South Africans in the RAF

  • -

South Africans in the RAF

Category : Newsletter , WW2

(Imperial War Museum)

Adolph ‘Sailor’ Malan, born in Wellington, Cape Province. (Imperial War Museum)

One of the RAF’s leading aces, and one of the highest scoring pilots during the Battle of Britain was Adolph “Sailor” Malan DFC, an RAF pilot since 1936, who led No. 74 Squadron RAF at the height of the Battle of Britain. Under his leadership No. 74 became one of the RAF’s best units. Malan claimed his first two victories over Dunkirk on 21 May 1940, and had claimed five more by the time the Battle started in earnest. Between 19 July and 22 October he shot down six German aircraft. His “Ten Rules for Air Fighting” were printed and pinned up in crew rooms all over Fighter Command. He was part of a group of about 25 pilots from South Africa that took part in the Battle, eight or nine of whom (depending on sources) died during the Battle.

(SAAF Museum)

Albert Gerald Lewis, born in Kimberley, Northern Cape (SAAF Museum)

Other notable pilots included P/O Albert “Zulu” Lewis, who opened his account over France in May with No. 85 Squadron, shooting down three Messerschmitt Bf 109s in one action. With No. 85 in August, and then in September with No. 249 Squadron under Squadron Leader (later Air Chief Marshal) Sir John Grandy, at North Weald. Lewis flew three, four and five times a day and 15 September 1940 got a He 111, and shared in the probable destruction of another. On 18 September he got his 12th confirmed enemy aircraft. By 27 September, flying GN-R, Lewis had 18 victories.[31] He was shot down and badly burned on 28 September. Lewis missed the rest of the Battle and his recovery to flying fitness took over three months. 

Basil Gerald “Stapme” Stapleton, with several probables to his credit, survived a crash on 7 September, trying to stop bombers getting through to London. Both men would later command RAF squadrons.

Air Vice Marshall Sir Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand, born in Beaconsfield, Northern Cape. (SAAF Museum)

Air Vice Marshall Sir Christopher Joseph Quintin Brand, born in Beaconsfield, Northern Cape. (SAAF Museum)

The most senior officer of South African origin during the Battle was Air Vice-Marshal Sir Christopher J. Quintin-Brand KBE, DSO, MC, DFC, Air Officer Commanding No. 10 Group RAF covering the South-West; a long service RAF officer, he had joined the RFC in 1916.

 


Search this Site

Next Event

Feb
24
Sat
2018
10:30 Three Ships Commemoration @ South African Cenotaph
Three Ships Commemoration @ South African Cenotaph
Feb 24 @ 10:30 – 11:30
Three Ships Commemoration @ South African Cenotaph | England | United Kingdom
The Three Ships Parade commemorates the loss of lives at sea, and pays homage to the SS Mendi, HMSAS Southern Floe and the SAS President Kruger, thereby recognising three significant periods in our history.
Mar
12
Mon
2018
10:00 Commonwealth Day Parade @ Common...
Commonwealth Day Parade @ Common...
Mar 12 @ 10:00 – 12:30
Commonwealth Day Parade @ Commonwealth Gates Memorial
Purpose: The annual celebration day for the Commonwealth of Nations, consisting of 52 member states, of which South Africa is a member.                      
Apr
7
Sat
2018
13:30 England Branch Q2 Social & Legio...
England Branch Q2 Social & Legio...
Apr 7 @ 13:30 – 18:00
England Branch Q2 Social & Legion Committee Meeting@ TBC
Purpose (committee meeting): All Branch members are invited to contribute in providing suggestions/feedback, or just listen to the quarterly update. Final event planning will also take place for one of our upcoming flagship events – scheduled
Apr
28
Sat
2018
11:00 Nation-building Tribute (aka Fre...
Nation-building Tribute (aka Fre...
Apr 28 @ 11:00 – 13:00
Nation-building Tribute (aka Freedom Day Parade)@Parliament Square
Purpose: In celebrating Freedom Day in South Africa, the South African Legion – England Branch, in association with the Royal British Legion – South African branch, gives tribute to three statesmen whose nation building vision and deeds shaped modern South

Shopping Cart

Loading...