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					                                                                                  March 2010        Volume 1, Number 1

 FLYING SPIRIT      The Official National Newsletter of the SAAF Association

                                   New appointments by the Minister of Defence
                                   The Former Acting Secretary for Defence, Mr Tsepe Motumi has
                                   been appointed Director-General for the newly established
                                   Department of Military Veterans with effect from 24 February
Contents                           2010.
New appointments -           1
A new name and format! -     1     Since joining the Department of Defence in 1996 Mr Motumi has
Shackleton emergency -       2     served the department in various capacities, including that of
Old Bill of the Order -      2     Director of Human Resources Policy, Chief Director Defence Policy,
Snippets -                   3     Chief of Policy and Planning, Chief Defence International Affairs
Into the Unknown -           4     and Acting Secretary for Defence from August 2008 to 23 February 2010.
Headdress Project            6
Durban Flying Boats          7     Mr Motumi an ardent intellectual and executer hold a series of degrees. These include
Out and About                8     a Master of Management in the field of Public and Development, and a Bachelor of
Heroes Remembered            9     Arts, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. Furthermore, Mr Motumi holds a
Our Readers Say              9     Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of South
Now this is an AIRPLANE!!!   11    Africa (UNISA) and he is a Senior Research Fellow from the Kings College London
Afrikaanse Radioprosedure    12    (University of London).
                                   FOR DEFENCE
                                                                      The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms
                                                                      Lindiwe Sisulu has appointed Chief of Joint Operations
                                                                      of the South African National Defence Force,
                                                                      Lieutenant General Themba Matanzima as the Acting
                                                                      Secretary for Defence with effect from 1 March 2010.
                                                                      He will act in this position until President Jacob Zuma
                                                                      makes a permanent appointment.
                                                                Lt Gen Matanzima has served the South African
                                   National Defence Force(SANDF) in various capacities which include, General Officer
Contact Us                         Commanding Eastern Province, Chief Director Corporate Services at the Army Office,
                                   SANDF Chief of Corporate Staff, Chief of Human Resources and Chief of Joint
The Editors                        Operations. Lt Gen Matanzima holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Public
SAAFA NHQ                          Administration from the Ghana Institute of Management and a Public Administration
P.O. Box 2216                      Master of Development and Management degree from the North West University.
0137                               A new name and format!
Tel: 012 651 5921
                                   The editors, NEC, branch chairmen and you, our readers, put heads together when it
Fax: 086 218 4657
                                   was decided that SAAFA must have a unique name and format for its national
                                   newsletter. All proposed names received, were considered and it was decided to name
                                   the national newsletter “Flying Spirit.” from this issue onwards. And as this is the first
                                   of the issue of the new look, we start anew with the numbering and therefore this is
                                   Volume 1, Number 1. The layout of “Flying Spirit” has been changed to make it both
                                   email and copier friendly. With this style we try to get more news to you using less
                                   space and paper.

                                                         Page 1 of 12
The size of the lettering is small but readable and is not smaller than the daily paper or magazine that you as a reader
We hope that you approve of the new look and name and welcome any comments.

Shackleton emergency mid 1960’s by Dries van der Lith
In the mid sixties, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean a message from a Shackleton Mk 3 Maritime Long Range Patrol
aircraft of the South African Air Force at 0700B hours shattered the tranquil silence in the Air Force Base Ysterplaat
Control Tower with an urgent call of: “Securité, securité, securité!!!” That meant, we have got serious problems but
cannot yet define it.
Let us first get the background to this story. The Republic of South Africa was mostly at peace with the world at that
time, but was diligently preparing for war. It may perhaps not have been realized as a principle of war, but the
protectors of the Nation knew that peacetime was the best time to shape up for the inevitable conflicts that will come.
Therefore this report will be written in the spirit of that period. Every flight was treated as an operational sortie with
the appropriate security classification. Call signs were masked to confuse the enemy, positions and times were changed
to confuse, -- ah, well, those that did not need to know what was going on, and those that did not listen to briefings.
Therefore don’t try to make sense out of the paraphernalia and smokescreens that are so necessary to relate this
happening. For reasons dictated by Air Staff Intelligence, thus in the dire interests of the safety of the Country itself,
and for the protection of individuals themselves, names places and even minor little facts may have been substituted by
more credible touches of ingenuity that may appear to the casual reader as fact. (To such an extent that some readers
may think they were there, but were not, and vice versa!). The Shackleton mission - call sign ‘Shady 07’, was planned to
search for and reconnoitre with a vessel known only as ‘Amigo’, about a thousand nautical miles west of Cape Town.
Vital information of international importance would be exchanged. Total flight time estimated at 16 hours, touching on
the limits of the aircrafts flight endurance. The return journey, to rendezvous and back would take about 7 hours. The
other 9 hours were search, patrol and look again. After a total flight time of 12 hours the captain of ‘Shady 07’ Oom
Chris Lombard declared ‘Amigo’ could not be found or contacted and ordered course to be set for home. The
operational requirements were fulfilled, the political expectations did not realize. The highly rated young navigator,
whom for security purposes we will only refer to as Ken, having manoeuvred the tactical movements of the aircraft up
till then, was relieved from duty to take a well deserved break (read nap) in a prime location where other crew duties
would not disturb him – in the nose turret where the Shackleton sported a twin package of synchronized Hispano
20mm cannon. The weather was good, the lady of the sky seemed to vibrate with enthusiasm to get home, ‘George’
was on duty, it was snooze time, stand down and that glorious feeling of satisfaction of a sortie steering towards a task
well done as far as the Air Force was concerned. Just an hour to go to touchdown!
And then it happened. Chaos. Calamity.
                                                                                                         (To be continued)

Old Bill of the Order
At the Annual General Meeting of the Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH) Ola Grinaker
from Knysna was appointed as Old Bill of the Order. It is an honory position for a year and
the holder of the office is invited to take the Chair at the AGM at Moth General
Headquarters at Warriors Gate in Durban.
Ola served in the SA Air Force as a helicopter pilot in 11, 17 and 19 Squadrons and
performed active service in Rhodesia, South West Africa and Angola. He was decorated
with the Honoris Crux medal in 1979. In 1983 he moved to Knysna and joined the MOTH
Albatross Shellhole and is currently serving as the Provincial Old Bill for Eastern Cape. He
has distinguished himself as a vigorous and active Moth participating in activities and
projects and his energetic support at MOTH social functions has earned him high regard
with fellow MOYHS.
Moth Grinaker has also been awarded the Certificate of True Comradeship and the Certificate for Excellent Service.
                                                                                                        Well done Ola! Ed.

Which people
Wife goes to supermarket, sees man's briefs on sale. She buys a dozen of the same colour. Goes home and gives hubby.
Hubby protests, "Why buy me the same colour? People will think I do not change underwear!!” Wife asks, "Which

                                                      Page 2 of 12
                                                 I    was    scratching
                                                 through some old
                                                 things the other day
                                                 and came across these
                                                 two photographs of
                                                 the    44    Squadron
                                                 Rugby team 1944/45
                                                 when they were based
                                                 in Bari, Italy. They
                                                 were given to me by
                                                 my uncle many years
ago. There is a photo of the full team and of their seven-aside team. In both photos he is sitting on the bench on the
left (Pieter Francois du Toit). Regards, Crow Stannard.
Do you recognise any of the team members? Ed
The book WE CONQUER FROM ABOVE on the history of 1 Parachute Battalion 1961-1991, will
soon be available by Paul J Els. It is a soft cover book, A4 size, with 336 pages and contains c.
1000 black/white photos of which most have not been published before. The cost of the book
will be R360 (add R20 postage – local) after the closing of pre-orders. Proof of payment,
postal address of payee, name of person to whom the book must be autographed and
email/contact details is required. Email or fax your orders to:, Fax:
0866049967.      Enquiries: 012-6513188 (strictly 0800-1200 weekdays: except Monday
mornings.) Cell: 083-3445993 or post to PelsA Books, P.O. Box 21670, Valhalla, 0185. Bank
Details: FNB 62215690430 Branch 251145 (Eldoraigne).
Pretoria Branch member, Butch Bester, has for the last
four years organized a get-together of ex SAAF
members during his vacation in Cape Town. On 4
January 2010 a lunch was held at the Stellenbosch
Flying Club and was attended by 18 ex SAAF members.
The photograph was taken by Basie Basson at this lunch
and shows;
Front: Syd de la Harpe, Joe Joubert, Rex Earp-Jones,
Horse Sweeney, Jiggs Hugo.
Middle: Martin Verster, Basie Basson, Theuns Prinsloo,
Theo de Munnik, Chris Prins, Chris de Witt, Ed van
Ravesteyn, Ken Smith, Butch Bester.
Back: Jules Moolman, Jerry Coetzee, Dick Henry, Ares
The African Pilot has offered SAAFA Members a 12 month subscription of R180 to this great magazine for all aviation
fanatics. The subscription form is included in this newsletter for your convenience.
Complete the form and fax it to 011 466 8496 for attention Barbara.
'n Reünie van alle oudlede, vlieëniers, tegnici, ondersteuningspersoneel en burgerlikes van 42 LOP Vlug en 42 LLV
Eskader (insluitend die SALM Opeidingsvlug) wat tot en met 30 September 1968 voltyds in Potchefstroom in hierdie
eenhede gedien het, word beplan vir Vrydag 22 Oktober 2010 in Pretoria. Lede wat nog nie kennis geneem het nie,
word versoek om een van die ondergenoemde persone te kontak. Lede wat reeds kennis geneem het, moet asseblief

                                                      Page 3 of 12
ander lede waarvan hulle bewus is, in kennis stel en hulle versoek om van hulle te laat hoor. Gert de Klerk: Tel 012
6642125, e pos; Gert Goosen: Tel 012 6600909; Martin van Niekerk: Tel 012 8070804, e pos
The pilots who were students on the Pupil Pilots Course of 1964 are invited to attend a reunion.
The intention is to hold a solo evening dinner function at the Cape Town Club on 23 September 2010. This date
coincides well with the AAD exhibition being held at AFB Ysterplaat over the following few days and provides
participants with the opportunity to attend the exhibition and view the flying displays and stands. Scully might even
have some Harvards there for us to touch and reminisce.
The thinking behind the reunion is around the 64/46 theme as follows:
64 - the Pupes Course year.
46 – this took place 46 years ago.
64 – is our average age this year.
46 – we were mostly born in 1946
Do any of us need a better reason for a reunion?
It has proven difficult to get hold of number of us as we have dispersed all over the world and to different occupations.
Any member of this course who happens to read this is requested to contact myself or alternately Scully Levin at to ensure your participation.
Derek Kirkland - Cell: +2782 894 4215; E-mail:

An Italian Boy’s Confession
'Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl'.
The priest asks, 'Is that you, little Joey Pagano?’
'Yes, Father, it is.'
'And who was the girl you were with?'
'I can't tell you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation'.
"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well
tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?
'I cannot say.'
'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?'
'I'll never tell.'
'Was it Nina Capelli?'
'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'
'Was it Cathy Piriano?'
'My lips are sealed.'
'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?'
'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'
The priest sighs in frustration. 'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You
cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.'
Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, 'What'd you get?'
'Four months vacation and five good leads.’

Dates to diarise
16 April 2010 -           SAAFA East Rand Branch is hosting a SAAF 90 lunch. Contact John Houghton if you want to
                          attend: - 011 894 2869
8 May 2010 -              Silver Queen Air Rally at Swartkop. 10h00 onwards. Cash Bar and lunch available. For details
                          contact the national office.
13 – 16 May 2010 -        SAAFA AGM and Congress to be held at the Air Force College, Thaba Tshwane.
16 May 2010 -             Air Force Memorial Service at Bays Hill. SAAFA Block Booking. Members that wish to attend
                          are to give their names in at the national office not later than 12 May 10h00.
12 – 13 Junie 2010 -      “Warbird” byeenkoms van skaal radie beheerde model vliegtuie, Swartkop. Vlieg vanaf
                          10h00 tot 16h00- Verversings sal te koop wees.

Airline Anecdotes
Occasionally, airline flight attendants make an effort to make the "in-flight safety lecture" a bit more entertaining. Here
are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
                                                      Page 4 of 12
    "As we prepare for takeoff, please make sure your tray tables and seat backs are fully upright in their most
     uncomfortable position."
    "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 6 ways out of this airplane..."
    "Your seat cushions can be used for floatation, and in the event of an emergency water landing, please take them
     with our compliments."
    "We do feature a smoking section on this flight; if you must smoke, contact a member of the flight crew and we
     will escort you to the wing of the airplane."
    "Smoking in the lavatories is prohibited. Any person caught smoking in the lavatories will be asked to leave the
     plane immediately."

Into the Unknown by the late R.C.K.H.T. (Dick) BATE
                                                                                 I can recall that anybody who had worked
                                                                                 on engines, it did not matter what type of
                                                                                 engine, was taken into No 1 Air Depot
                                                                                 and shown over engine repair that were
                                                                                 being done at the depot. Airmen who
                                                                                 had worked with timber and could use a
                                                                                 saw and chisel were taken down to
                                                                                 Zwartkops and were shown the inner
                                                                                 structure of the timber framed aircraft,
                                                                                 which were situated in hangers just off
                                                                                 the tarmac at the Air Station.
                                                                                 As we started to get to know one another
                                                                                 I found that we had two fellows who had
                                                                                 flown in World War I and had come back
                                                                                 for the second time round. It was
                                                                                 obvious that because of their age they
                       65 Air School, Wynberg, Cape Town                         could not become pilots, but had joined
           Airmen for the Armourers Course A6 1/1/1941 to 30/4/1941
                                                                                 in the spirit of flying to fill any post that
                                                                                 could be made available to them.
It must be emphasised that the Air Force was in its infancy and all the fellows who had joined were beginning to learn a
complete new language and participating in one way and another to build a new arm of the fighting units of the South
African Forces and this had to be done from virtually nothing. This was not only applicable to South Africa but also the
Western World to build up a fighting force in the air to participate in the coming confrontation which was to rock the
whole world.
To this end the small air forces of the smaller countries all over the world would one day come together to make a
fighting force never known before and the contribution that the South African Air Force made to help in the global
confrontation cannot be measured in numbers but the fact that these small air forces assisting one another made it
possible to win out when the chips were down.
Back in Pretoria this small band of men started to bind together an Air Force that was to give the enemies a real
headache in the future was beginning to materialise. We had to learn all about this small element that was to grow
into a new fighting arm; we had to learn from first principles the new language of flying and the participants of the Air
Force began to learn how the aircraft got off the ground, to fight, then bring the aircraft back to the ground for
preparation in the next encounter.
The Air Force was and is a highly specialised force, comprising of many different technical specialities which have to be
knitted together to get an aircraft off the ground, also keep the aircraft in the air and come in to land again. Then the
flying crews who had to fly the aircraft had to be trained and taught the skills of how to fly an aircraft, not only that, but
how to fight in the air and bomb enemies. All these various components had to be knitted together for the ultimate
purpose of building an Air Force that could take its place in the coming battles in the air and on the ground. The
administrative staff to keep this highly technical organisation to operate in future battles had to be trained and build up
to enable the Air Force to participate with the fighting forces world wide.
At this time the German Reich was riding high, the German forces had broken through the Maginot Line and were
racing towards the English Channel, Belgium and Holland had already surrendered to the Germans but fighting was still
                                                       Page 5 of 12
                                                                                      th          th
continuing on French soil, The miracle of Dunkirk was being carried out (May the 6 to June 4 1940) and there was
much speculation as to whether Italy would join the war on the German side. Eventually Mussolini declared war on the
Western World and it was then that the Abysinian war commenced. Small as the South African Air Force was it started
making a name for itself and many and various stories started coming back to us; such as a forty gallon petrol drum
being filled with all sorts of metal pieces, a fuse device added complete with an explosive in the drum which had then
been dropped into an Italian stronghold with shattering results and so campaign in Africa commenced.
The air battle of Britain started around June/July 1940 and it was then realised what the significance of a good air force
meant. The little island in the North Atlantic was hammered by a very supreme German Air Force and the story
unfolded about the many air struggles between the English ad German Air Forces fighting each other over the English
Channel and over the lands of England and France, especially England.
It was during this period that the South African Air Force really started taking shape, elation felt when things went our
way and then down in the dumps when the Germans were successful. New expressions started making the news; “Axis
Forces” for the German/Italian alliance, “Allied Forces” for the Western Forces including the then Colonies and
Dominions of the British Empire. When looking at this objectively, this period was the commencement of when huge
Armies, Navies and Air Forces were beginning to move thousands of miles to operational areas and this was the
beginning of a most unsettled period in world history.
The Australian, New Zealanders and Indians had to be moved from their home bases to fight in Africa. The South and
West Africans were moved into the northern frontiers of Kenya and fight through areas that we now know to be
inhabitable so as to force the Italians out of Ethiopia and the various Somalia lands of east Africa and then join up with
the Australian, New Zealand, Indian and English Forces who were already entrenched in the Eastern Mediterranean and
to force the Italians and Germans off the North African Mediterranean coast and back into Europe.
(What an unsettled world.)
I personally started a new venture in the beginning of the year of 1941.

SAAFA Cape Town Branch Headdress Project
                                  During Congress 2009 held in Port Alfred the Cape
                                  Town Branch came up with an idea that SAAFA should
                                  consider using wide brimmed headdress when
                                  attending parades and events outdoors and members
                                  are seated in the hot sun. The present flight cap does
                                  not cover the face from our sun. Congress decided that
                                  Cape Town must investigate the proposal and come
                                  with ideas. The investigation led to many comments,
                                  both positive and negative, but the Branch kept their
promise to investigate and hereunder follows the outcome.
A grand effort , and widely accepted and complimented! So much so that the National President, Ken Snowball, sent an
email to the Cape Town Branch reading as follows: “ I have just had some very positive feedback from the Cape
Garrison Artillery (CGA) in Cape Town on how smart your new hat
looked at their parade today. Apparently the local District Old Bill
indicated to Bruce Risien of the CGA that he is so envious and impressed
that he is going to raise the issue with the MOTHS and try and introduce
a similar hat with a MOTH badge on it to replace the berets. Well done
Cape Town!”
                                                   The       hats    are
                                                   manufactured       in
                                                   Cape Town at the last
                                                   Millinery that exists
                                                   in South Africa. The material is felt imported from Europe. The
                                                   ribbon was supplied by NEC. The badges are embroidered by a local
                                                   The hat sizes range from 56cm to 60cm. The cost price is R150.00
                                                   per hat plus postage and packaging provided large orders are
                                                   received. The minimum order the milliner will consider is for 25 hats.
                                                 Members interested are requested to submit their orders to SAAFA
                                                 NHQ at 012 651 5921 or fax: 086 218 4657 or email: Orders will be consolidated and forwarded to the Cape Town Branch for distribution.
                                                      Page 6 of 12
Durban Flying Boats
Durban was host to various military flying boats from around 1942 and
a fulltime presence was established early in 1943 when 262 Squadron
of the Royal Air Force moved into a base complete with hangar and
slipway adjacent to the BOAC facility at Bayhead. The squadron flew
reconnaissance patrols out to sea from here and from lakes St. Lucia
and Umsingazi in Zululand in their American Consolidated PBY
The composite picture was taken during an air survey of Durban in
1948. The one on the left shows the SAAF 35 Squadron Flying Boat base
at Bayhead. Marked with a 1 is the base junk heap on which can be
                                                    seen          the
                                                    remains of the
                                                    Catalina aircraft
                                                    which         the
                                                    squadron operated during WWII (one can realize how expensive
                                                    it was even in those days). On the right is the mooring basin in
                                                    front of the SAAF base and, marked with a 2, the deserted BOAC
                                                    hangar and slipway which had been used until the previous year
                                                    by the aircraft plying the passenger and mail route between
                                                    South Africa and the UK.
                                                         The photograph of Catalina FP257F landing was piloted by F/O
Dick Lawson was supplied by the Bull family of Sydney, from the Service Records of the late F/Lt Jack Bull (Pilot of
Catalina FP288G). Catalinas going on anti-submarine patrol from Durban would take off from here and land at Eastern
Shores, Lake St Lucia, or later at Umsingazi, to be loaded with depth charges before flying their patrols. The Catalinas
                                                       were usually prohibited from taking off from Durban with depth
                                                       charges aboard because of the fearful consequences to the
                                                       tightly-packed shipping in the harbour if a flying boat packed with
                                                       high explosive were to crash on take-off.
                                                           Aircraft from 262 Squadron attacked a surfaced U-boat (U-859)
                                                          300 miles South West of Durban of Durban on July 5, 1944. It was
                                                          later found that the U- boat had been seriously damaged in the
                                                          attack with one crew member being killed and three wounded.
                                                          So many South African pilots joined the squadron that it was
                                                          eventually assimilated into the South African Air Force as 35
                                                          Squadron with the Zulu motto Shaya Amanzi (Strike at the
                                                          Water). The squadron received the Short Sunderland V (a
                                                          military version of the Empire C-Class Flying Boat) in 1945 and
 The photo of a Sunderland was taken by Tom Chalmers on   continued to fly out of Durban until 1957 when all maritime
 one of the last occasions a Sunderland took off from     reconnaissance duties were taken over by land-based Avro
 Durban Bay.
                                                          Shackletons at the Cape.
Tom Chalmers took the picture on the top left in 1957 on the day before the last official Sunderland flight was to take
place from Durban. By coincidence he was to be a passenger on
the last flight but it never occurred because two of the engines
failed on take-off and the aircraft swung in towards the quay
knocking off the end of her wing on a bollard and making a
number of fishermen jump for their lives in to the bay.
 A close inspection of the book Flying Boat by Ivan Spring
reveals that the accident referred to above took place on 28
August 1957, meaning that the picture must have been taken on
27 August. The picture probably does not show the last take-off
from Durban Bay after all, because Flying Boat records the last
Sunderland flight as having taken place on 8 November 1957.
Received from Barbara Le Grange there were news clippings
from the Natal Sunday Post of 3 August, 1947. The pictures
include one of a Sunderland of 35 Squadron, South African Air

                                                          Page 7 of 12
Force, landing on Durban Bay. Other pictures include a Sunderland being towed out into the bay ready for take-off, the
seaplane tender and a view of the Sunderland's cockpit shortly after take-off. In the cockpit are pilot Lieut. J.S.
Montgomery, left, and co-pilot Lieut. R. Richards D.F.C.; T-Jetty is clearly visible through the aircraft's windscreen.

Flight School
A blonde went to a flight school, insisting she wanted to learn to fly that day. As all the planes were currently in use, the
owner agreed to instruct her on how to pilot the helicopter solo by radio.
He took her out, showed her how to start it, and gave her the basics and sent her on her way.
After she climbed 1000 feet, she radioed in. "I'm doing great! I love it! The view is so beautiful, and I'm starting to get
the hang of this."
After 2000 feet, she radioed again, saying how easy it was becoming to fly. The instructor watched her climb over 3000
feet, and was beginning to worry that she hadn't radioed in.
A few minutes later, he watched in horror as she crashed about half a mile away. He ran over and pulled her from the
When he asked what happened, she said, "I don't know! Everything was going fine, but as I got higher, I was starting to
get cold. I can't remember anything after I turned off the big fan."

Out and About
On Thursday evening, 28 January
2010, the SAAF held its Prestige
Awards Dinner in the Sir Pierre van
Ryneveld Hall at Air Force
Headquarters. It was a glamorous
occasion with a menu second to
Fifteen of the Prestige Awards were     CAF (Lt Genl C. Gagiano) and OC SAAF GYM
presented at the dinner.        The     (Col M.N. Sakwe)
sixteenth and main award, the Floating Trophy for the Air Force Prestige
Unit of the year (2009) awarded to the Unit that excelled at all levels, was         Photographed enjoying a glass of bubbly prior to
                                                                                     the dinner in front of the statue of Sir Pierre van
presented by CAF to 2 ASU (AFB Langebaanweg) at the Air Force Day Parade             Ryneveld are fltr: Brig Gen Derrick Page
the following day.                                                                   (SAAF/SAAFA Liaison), Brig Gen Ken Snowball
                                                                                     (National President SAAFA) and Brig Gen Sam
The SAAFA congratulates all the prize winners and extends their best wishes          Madumane (OC AFB Waterkloof).
to all units for 2010.
                                                       On Wednesday 17 February 2010, Gen Magnus Malan, former
                                                       Minister of Defence, laid a wreath at the SADF Wall of Remembrance
                                                       at the Voortrekker Monument in memory of those who had died in
                                                       service of their country between 1960 and 1994.
                                                       Gen Malan, who could not attend the unveiling of the Wall of
                                                       Remembrance last year due to ill health, paid tribute to those whose
                                                       names appear on the wall saying that their sacrifices paved the way
                                                       for the relatively peaceful transition to democracy in South Africa.
                                                       After the short but dignified wreath laying ceremony many friends and
                                                       colleagues who had served with the minister at various times had a
                                                       most enjoyable informal lunch with him at the Monument’s
  SAAFA members photo-graphed at the lunch are fltr:
  Frans Du Randt, Rudy Nieuwenhuizen, Lt Gen Mike      STANLEY WALTERS AWARDS DINNER
  Muller, Gen Magnus Malan, V Adm Burt Becker
  and Ken Snowball.                           The Annual Stanley Walters Awards Dinner was held at the General's
                                              House, SAAF College, on Friday 22 January 2010. Stanley Walters, a
founding member of SAAFA and life long member of the Johannesburg branch, established a Trust Fund before he died
to be used to encourage young undergraduate engineers of the SAAF.
                                                          Page 8 of 12
                                                   Photographed at this years dinner is the National Vice President of
                                                   SAAFA and Chairman of the Johannesburg branch, Don Johnston,
                                                   delivering the keynote address prior to presenting the floating trophy
                                                   and prize money to the best achiever of 2009.
                                                   SAAFA JOHANNESBURG BRANCH BANQUET
                                             The     Johannesburg
                                             Branch held its annual
                                             banquet at the Rand
                                             Club, Johannesburg,
                                             on Friday evening 26
                                             February 2010. CAF,
Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano, was the guest of honour and main speaker. In
the photo fltr are Don Johnston (National Vice President and
Chairman of the Johannesburg Branch), Lt Gen Carlo Gagiano (CAF),
Ken Snowball (National President) and Arrie de Klerk (Acting
Chairman East Rand Branch).

Heroes Remembered                          (From Cross of Honour by Ian Uys)
Capt Denzil Seymour White, 19 Squadron, SAAF, Honoris Crux
F/Sgt Jacob Andries Burger, 16 Squadron, SAAF, Honoris Crux
Denzil White was educated at Clapham High School in Pretoria and joined the Air Force on leaving school. Captain
White, 26, was the pilot and Jacob Burger, from a farm near Boshof in the Free State, was the flight engineer of a
helicopter. They were the leading helicopter of three patrolling dense bush on 7 December 1974, when the rear machine
was fired on from the ground. They turned back to assist and came under fire from another enemy strongpoint.
As bullets ripped through their helicopter Burger replied with his 303 Browning. There was a smell of fuel as the tank
was hit and the instruments failed as the vacuum pipe was severed. Then the tail rotor cable was cut and they circled
the enemy in drunken fashion. Nevertheless White pressed home his attack.
Burger's Browning hammered away for 20 minutes, keeping the enemies' heads down. Relief helicopters arrived and
with barely three minutes fuel left White skidded onto the runway at base. White and Burger were awarded the Honoris
Crux for their determination and perseverance under difficult circumstances.
In January 1976 White was stationed at Durban, flying Pumas. In May 1977 he flew in an attempt to rescue the crew of a
yacht that was competing in the annual race from Richard's Bay to Durban.

Our Readers Say
A Request to all SAAF and Ex SAAF Airmen
In 1985 , with the concurrence of the Chief of the Air Force, General Earp, I began to look at
flying training in the SAAF with a particular interest in memories of airmen who had passed
through the Central Flying School (Dunnottar or Kimberley etc.) in any of its forms (sometimes
known as FTS Dunnottar etc.). Also those who, for a short period did initial training on Impalas
at Langebaanweg.
The intention was not to repeat the sterling work done by Dave Bekker who is the undoubted authority on history in the SAAF,
but to record the human stories and occurrences at flying school in the "ab initio" phase i.e. selection , ground school, initial
flying, solo and eventual departure for advanced training. The stories of both "pupes" and instructors are of interest.
It is not my intention to record the later operational stories as these have been and continue to be covered elsewhere. I am
looking at initial training only (with some reference to what the subject later achieved if appropriate).
In 1985-1987 I was able to record interviews with many early Transvaal Air Training School "cadets" such as Justice Margo,
Theo Wassenaar, Brig. Boyle, Col van der Kaay and many early airmen but for various reasons I had to curtail this activity. The
TATS scheme was the forerunner of all SAAF flying training. I also had help from Col McGregor of the Museum.
Recently it occurred to me that much of the amusing and tragic memory of a proud Air Force will be lost if it is not recorded and
hence my request that anyone who has memories of their early flying days or days as instructors should let me have it by e mail
or by post. I am looking for everyday happenings that build the story of a pilot's start in life as an airman. If it never reaches
book form (which I hope it will) I will ensure that the manuscript reaches the museum records.
                                                         Page 9 of 12
Andrew Embleton
Address: P.O. Box 1202, Hermanus, 7200. Tel: 028 312 3006. Email:
Looking for:
Dear Sir,
I am trying to get in touch with Captain Clyde Harley who was a member of the South African Air Force during World
War 2. He will be 96 years old in March this year and for the last 8 months I have just not been able to make contact
with him. His last address known to me was in the North Beach area of Durban, in a block of flats called Las Vegas. I
have been unable to make contact with his sons. I wonder if any SAAFA member might have any contact with him.
Yours sincerely,
Peter Eldridge
Tel: 021 7864770 or Email:
I visit your website and I would like to ask you for any information about Lt Limkhead-Wekk (or Wekker), former SAAF
pilot of 70 Squadron RAF 205 Group (Italy). He was member of crew Vickers Wellington B Mk.X, LN 699 -C- shoot down
during night raid on Pardubice (Czech) on 21.- 22 July 1944. He survived the crash and was taken as prisoner.
I would welcome some new information, otherwise please give my kind beg for details to anybody who could know
Thank you very much in advance and I remain.
Yours truly,
Jan Vladar
I am a veteran of 34 heavy bomber squadron. I would like to contact any ground crew members still living.
Euverard Coetzee.
Tel: 031 916 1155 or email:
Report Back
Lt I.M. Meiring
Dear Sir/Madam,
To date I have not seen a reply to the query regarding Lt Ian Murry Meiring.
I was in 15 Squadron when Lt Meiring was posted to us for replacement air crew as we were losing a lot at that time.
I was a boarder in Brill House, Grey College and Ian was a senior boy. His younger brother, David, was with me in Junior
School. His father, Jock Murry Meiring was school principle. So I recognised him immediately.
The night in question, 3 Baltimores took off on a night raid. One was piloted by Ian and I think the other was piloted by
Lt Yalwin. The third I don’t know. They had 2 carrier pigeons with them in separate containers. Not being in ops, I
don’t know where they went, but rumour was a shipping strike at Crete – after a long while one pigeon returned with
no message. Up to now nothing has been heard of them. That is my memory of the event. For what it is worth.
W. Humphries, Stilfontein Branch (23 Ada Ave, Adamayview, Klerksdorp, 2571)
Durban Branch can you possibly help?
Low (Louw) Flying
In 4 fighter squadron low flying was what it was all about – lots of ground strafing really means lots of low flying – but
the most amazing feat and low flying I saw was at an ASU at Gazala.
Some of us, about four or five, had gone off to the beach for a swim while one guy had to remain at base to test a
Kittyhawk; but he did pitch up later. We’d all had a “kaalgat” swim when suddenly this Kitty from above dives down on
us but very very low; so low that we all fell flat on our faces. There was a shout, rather an obscene one, from Lt Brian

                                                     Page 10 of 12
Bird who claimed that the aircraft had hit him and he was actually able to show the sky blue paint on his towel and a
large bruise on his bum.
The pilot was Piet Louw!
Piet was shot down and killed later over Corsica and I believe incidentally the bird strike occurred at 200 or 300 ft –
both birds and Hawker variants are rarely seen at 20 000ft.
Buzz de Kock (ex 4 Fighter Squadron)
4 Squadron
I was a member of 4 Squadron, SAAF during WW II, shot down by 80mm flack about a year before the war ended and a
POW in Stalag Luft I until the war ended. I became friendly with a RAF Lancaster pilot, “Rusty” Ruston and we have
kept in touch by exchanging Christmas Cards ever since.
My card this year included a short insert, a copy of which is enclosed, as it tells a tale which will interest anyone who
flew during the war. The insert read as follows:
“Still struggling along! I have completed my 6 ft span model of our Lancaster bomber -authentic squadron letters,
etc. and it has appeared at the Pathfinder Reunion Day at our local airfield. My rear gunner called on us recently - he
is two years younger than I am, but looks as if he -will last to eternity! He has made a hobby of visiting all the WW2
site^- he has even met the German shot who shot us down, and was invited to his 80th birthday party! We had to
attend the 65th anniversary of the French village in which we were shot down - they really put on a show.”

Now this is an AIRPLANE!!!
Look at this new aircraft... Boeing is preparing a 1000 passenger jet that could reshape the Air travel industry for the
next 100 years. The radical Blended Wing design has been developed by Boeing in cooperation with the NASA Langley
Research Center.
The mammoth plane will have a wing span of 265 feet
compared to the 747's 211 feet, and is designed to fit
within the newly created terminals used for the 555 seat
Airbus A380, which is 262 feet wide.
The new 797 is in direct response to the Airbus A380
which has racked up 159 orders, but has not yet flown
any passengers. Boeing decide to kill its 747X stretched
super jumbo in 2003 after little interest was shown by
airline companies, but has continued to develop the
ultimate Airbus crusher 797 for years at its Phantom
Works research facility in Long Beach, California.
The Airbus A380 has been in the works since 1999 and
has accumulated $13 billion in development costs, which gives Boeing a huge advantage now that Airbus has
                                                     committed to the older style tubular aircraft for decades to
                                                            There are several big advantages to the blended wing
                                                            design, the most important being the lift to drag ratio which
                                                            is expected to increase by an amazing 50%, with overall
                                                            weight reduced by 25%, making it an estimated 33% more
                                                            efficient than the A380, and making Airbus's $13 billion
                                                            dollar investment look pretty shaky.
                                                      High body rigidity is another key factor in blended wing
                                                      aircraft. It reduces turbulence and creates less stress on the
                                                      air frame which adds to efficiency, giving the 797 a
                                                      tremendous 8800 nautical mile range with its 1000
passengers flying comfortably at mach 0.88 or 654 mph (+-1046km/h) cruising speed another advantage over the
Airbus tube-and-wing designed A380's 570 mph (912 km/h).
The exact date for introduction is unclear, yet the battle lines are clearly drawn in the high-stakes war for civilian air
supremacy. What an amazing thing!

                                                     Page 11 of 12
Ya-Ya Sisters

Afrikaanse Radioprosedure
Wie onthou nog hierdie Afrikaanse terme uit die dae wat die reel van een maand Afrikaans en de volgende maand
Engels was? Wonder hoe dit vandag sou werk?
                                                                                         CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
            ENGELS                               AFRIKAANS
Taxi                                Ryinstruksies
Clear to take runway                Mag ek die aanloopbaan neem
Take-off clearance                  Opstyg-klaring
Landing instructions                Landings instruksies
Initial                             Half-by
Downwind                            Wind-af
Cross wind                          Dwarswind
Base final                          Draai eindnadering
Final                               Eindnadering
Touch and go landing                Verbyskiet landing of rol landing
Full stop landing                   Laaste landing
High Key                            Hoë punt
Low key                             Lae punt
Overshoot                           Verbyskiet
Crash barrier                       Vangnet
Request QGH                         Versoek QGH
Request GCA                         Versoek GGN
Request radio compass letdown       Versoek radiokompas – daling
Outbound                            Uitwaarts
Inbound                             Inwaarts
Flight level                        Vlughoogte
Beacons or Motors                   Motors of bakens
Practice forced landing             Oefen noodlanding

Are ANGELS. And when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly …….....on a broomstick!

                            The Editors extends their thanks for all contributions received.
   Opinions expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect those of the Editors or SAAFA National Executive.
            The editors reserves the right to amend or reject any editorial matter submitted for publication

                                                    Page 12 of 12