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By John G.Murdoch

Catalogue of the precious selection of cash and medals.

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This simple idea saved a considerable amount of time and avoided the necessity of sending a second aircraft back later to review the results of any operation. The Buccaneer–Canberra combination was the workhorse of the SAAF air war, but arguably the jewel in the crown of SAAF fighter capacity throughout the period was the Mirage F1 fleet flown by SAAF 1 and 3 squadrons and which saw considerable and consistent action over Angola. The Mirage F1 was developed as an air-superiority fighter, primarily to succeed the highly successful Mirage III mark, to which the SAAF was already committed and which had been in service internationally since the early 1960s.

Weston thereafter established the John Weston Aviation Company and in the same year – 1911 – the Aeronautical Society of South Africa. A camouflaged SAAF DC-3 Dakota. With the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the first minister of defence, General Jan Smuts, set about moulding a unified military from the at times antagonistic remnants of the Anglo–Boer War. The Defence Act of 1912 established a Union Defence Force, command of which was given to General Christiaan Frederick Beyers who later persuaded Jan Smuts to consider the introduction of an air wing to the fledgling South African military formation.

A 1941 news item from United Press made this remark: “The Royal Air Force disclosed today the identities of its ten leading aces. One is a former financial clerk in a newspaper office; another, a former South African sailor. ” The South African sailor was Adolph Gysbert Malan, the celebrated fighter pilot who led 74 Squadron RAF through the Battle of Britain, surviving the war with a record of 27 confirmed kills and three probables. Mirage IIIR2Z being towed from the revetments at AFB Hoedspruit.

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