SA vegvlieeniers wat aan die BoB deelgeneem het.

 (Wynne, Kenneth G.:  Men of the Battle of Britain.  (60th Anniversy Edition) RAF Museum)

Pilots from South Africa who fought in the Battle of Britain:

Flying Officer (FO) N J M Barry (killed during the Battle of Britain)

Flight Lieutenant (F/Lt) W S Bowyer

F/O P R-F Burton (killed during the Battle of Britain)
Squadron Leader (S/Ldr) G F Chater
Pilot Officer (P/O) C A G Clark
F/O I B Difford (killed during the Battle of Britain)
P/O G J Drake (killed during the Battle of Britain)
F/O C W Goldsmith (killed during the Battle of Britain)
P/O L W Graham
P/O R H Haviland (killed during the Battle of Britain)
F/O I B D E Hay
F/Lt. G D L Haysom
F/O M R Hill
F/O P H Hugo

Sq Lead B Hull (killed during the Battle of Britain)

P/O A G Lewis

S/Ldr. A G Malan

F/O E J Morris

P/O J R S Oelofse (killed during the Battle of Britain)

F/O S R Peacock-Edwards

P/O F H Posener (killed during the Battle of Britain)

F/O B G Stapleton

F/O B van Mentz

Sgt. T Y Wallace

P/O A B Watkinson

  SA in die BoB

  1. Nathaniel John Merriman Barry

72514 FO Pilot SA 3 and 501 Squadrons

Barry came from Keer Weder, Franschoek.  In 1938 he was a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate at Pembroke Colleg, Cambridge.  He joined the University Air Squadron and later transferred to the RAFVR.

Called up at the outbreak of war, Barry completed his flying training and was then posted as ADC to Air Vice Marschal de Crespigny.  He requested a posting to fighters and was with 3 Squadron at the start of the BoB.

On September 26 1940 Barry joined 501 Squadron at Kenley.  Four days later he forced landed at Pembury, in a Hurricane L 1657 after a combat with Bf109’s over Maidstone.  On October 7, Barry was shot down by a Bf 109 over Wrotham.  He baled out but fell dead at Wilmington.  His aircraft crashed at Lane End, Darenth.  Barry was 22 years old.  He is buried in the churchyard of St Andrew’s, Finahll, Yorkshire.

  1. Walter Stafford Bowyer

39607  FL Pilot SA 257 Squadron

Bowyer was born in Durban on April 16 1914 and went to Durban High School.  He joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1937, did his flying courses at Ansly and 3 FTS, South Cerney.   With training completed, he joined 3 Squadron at Kenley on November 27, 1937.

When 257 Squadron was reformed at Hendon on May 17 1940, Bowyer joined it on the 19th, as Flight Commander.  He flew one operational sortie before becoming non-effective sick with jaundice on July 17.  After returning to the squadron from sick leave, he went down with appendicitis and after more sick leave, Bowyer was posted away to 2 AACU, Gosport on October 4 1940.

Bowyer was killed on January 24, as a Squadron Leader with 2 AACU.  In a Gladiator K 7935, he collided with a balloon cable and crashed at Fort Grange, Gosport.

He is buried in Ocklynge Cemetery, Eastbourne, Sussex.

APO 3.5.37  PO 1.3.38  FO 1.9.39  FL 3.9.40

  1. Percival Ross-Frames Burton

74348  FO  Pilot  SA  249 Squadron

Born in 1917 in Cape Province, Burton joined the SA Coast Garrison and Citizen Forces in 1935.  He later went to Britain, to Christ Church College, Oxford to read Jurisprudence.  In 1938 he was reserve cox for the Oxford crew in the University Boat Race.

Burton learned to fly with the University Air Squadron and was called up in 1939.  After completing his training at FTS, Cranwell, he arrived at 6 OTU, Sutton Bridge on June 22 1940 to convert to Hurricanes and joined 249 Squadron at Church Fenton on July 21.

On the morning of September 27 the squadron engaged a formation of Bf 110’s of V/LG 1.  The Hurricanes broke the Germans’ two defensive circles and the enemy aircraft went south at low level, heading for the Channel.  Burton pursued one of the Bf 110’s about forty miles, often at little more that treetop height but the German pilot, the Gruppe Kommandeur of V/LG1, Haupthmann Horst Liensberger, was unable to shake him off.

Just north of Hailsham, Burton’s guns stopped firing and the two aircraft skimmed over the rooftops.  The Hurricane, V 6883, was above and behind the Bf 110.  Burton suddenly banked and made what appeared to be an attack.  Both machinesfollowed by the rest of the aircraft.  The falling object was the wingtip of Burton’s  Hurricane.  His aircraft crashed into a huge oak tree on New Barn Farm, throwing its dead pilot clear and burning itself out in a field.

The German crew were buried in Hailsham Cemetery but were exhumed after the war buried elsewhere.  Burton is buried St. Andrew’s churchyard, Tangmere.  Eye-witness reports indicate strongly that he deliberately rammed the Bf 110.  A letter from Flight Command to the Hailsham ARP Chief said that Burton was to be recommended for a posthumous gallantry award.  This could have been the VC but in fact he only received a Mention in Despatches.

In 1980 a road on a housing estate near to the site of the crash site was called “Burton’s Walk” in his memory.

  1. George Frederick Chater.

34230  SL  Pilot  SA   247 and 3 Squadron.

Chater joined the RAF on a short service commission in September 1934.  He completed his flying training 3 FTS, Grantham and joined 23 Squadron at Biggin Hill on September 16 1935.  He was posted overseas on February 21, 1936 to 100 (Torpedo-Bomber) Squadron at Selctar, Straits Settlement.

At the beginning of 1940 Chater was flying instructor at Cranwell.  On July 28 he arrived at Roborough and on August 1 he reformed 247 Squadron from Gladiators of the Sumburgh Flighter Command.

Chater was awarded the DFC (13.9.40) and on September 22 he was given command of 3 Squadron at Turnhouse.  He was posted away in November 1940.  Chater commanded 30 Squadron in Ceylon from February to May 1942 and a Hurricane Wing in Burma in 1944.  He was released from the RAF in 1949 as a Group Captain.

APO 14.9.34  PO 8.3.35  FO 8.11.36  FL 8.11.38  SL 1.9.40  WC 1.12.41

  1. Colin Anthony Gordon Clarke

42192  PO  Pilot  SA  FIU

Clarke from Johannesburg joined the RAF on a short service commission in April 1939.  He joined 266 Squadron in October 1939 and was with the Fighter Interception Unit  by June 25 1940.

On October 13 Clark was flying Blenheim L 6805, operating as a target aircraft for an AI-equipped Boston.  Die to an error in the use of the fuel cocks, he experienced engine failure and made a crash-landing near Lancing College.  The aircraft was written off but he was unhurt.

Clark was killed on October 30, 1941, as a Flight Lieutenant with 137 Squadron.  Newly-formed and equipped with Whirlwinds, the squadron flew its first operational sortie on October 24.  Clark was lost when he went into the sea on an operational flight.  He was 28 and is buried in St. Michael’s churchyard, Geldeston, Norfolk.

APO 24.6.39  PO 9.12.39  FO 9.12.40

  1. Ivor Benison Difford.

39865  FO  Pilot  SA  85 and 605 Squadron

Difford, of Johannesburg, joined the RAF on a short service commission in April 1937.  After completing his elementary flying training, he was posted on July 17 to 4 FTS, Abu Sueir.

On March 6 1938 he went to a job at AHQ Kai Tak, Hong Kong.  Difford arrived at 6 OTU, Sutton Bridge from the Air Ministry on September 11 1940.  After converting to Hurricanes, he joined 85 Squadron at Church Fenton on the 23rd, moving to 607 Squadron at Tangmere on October 2.

He was killed on October 7 1940 when he crashed at Eartham Farm, Slindon in Hurricane L 1728.  Difford was 30 years old and is buried in St Andrew’s churchyard, Tangmere.

APO 5.3.37  PO 10.5.38  FO 10.12.39

  1. George James Drake

42398  PO  Pilot  SA  607 Squadron

Drake was born in Hugenot, Cape Province on July 27, 1920, the son of the station master.  He Matriculated at Paarl Boys’ High School in 1938 and tried to enlist in the SAAF but was unsuccessful.  He made his way to England and joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939.

With his training completed, Drake arrived at 5 OTU, Aston Down on March 23, 1940.  After converting to Hurricanes, he was posted 607 Squadron in France on April 20 1940.

He was shot down in combat over the Mayfield area on September 9 and reported “missing”.  His name is on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 8.

Drake’s Hurricane crashed at Bockingfold Farm, Goudhurst.  When this aircraft was excavated on May 21, 1972, his remains were still in the cockpit.  He was buried with full military honours at Brookwood Military Cemetery on November 22 1972.

  1. Claude Waller Goldsmith

72152  FO  Pilot  SA 603 and 54 Squadrons

Goldsmith, from Dersley, Transvaal, was educated  in England at Cheltenham College and Imperial College, London where he studied Mining at the School of Mines.  He was a member of  the London University Air Squadron in 1936 and commissioned in the RAFVR in March 1938.

Called to full-time service on October 10 1939, Goldsmith was with 603 Squadron at Dyce in early July 1940 and was posted to 54 Squadron at Hornchurch on September 3.  He rejoined 603 there on the 28th.

Goldsmith was shot down by Bf 109’s  south of Maidstone on October 27 1940.  His Spitfire, P.7439, crashed Waltham.  He died of his injuries next day, aged 23.  He is buried in Hornchurch Cemetery, Essex.

  1. Richard Haviland

76571  PO  Pilot  SA  248 Squadron.

Havland joined the RAFVR about August 1937 as an Airman Pilot(740716).  Called up on September 1 1939, he completed his training and was with 248 Squadron in early July 1940.

On August 7 he ditched in the sea off St. Abb’s Head due to lack of fuel.  The Blenheim was towed in by a trawler and salvaged.  Haviland and his crew were picked from their dingyand landed at South Shickls.

Haviland was killed in a flying accident on August 28 1940.  He was 27 years and was cremated at the Aberdeen Crematorium.

  1. Leslie William Graham

81912  PO  Pilot  SA 56 Squadron

Graham joined 56 Squadron at North Weald on July 29 1940.  His Hurricane, V7368, was set alight in a surprise attack by enemy aircraft during a sector patrol on August 16.  Graham bailed out, slightly injured.  He was posted away three days later.

He was released from the RAF in 1946, as a Squadron leader.

  1. Ian Bruce David Errol  Hay

72483   FO  Pilot  SA  611Squadron

Born in Johannesburg on June 4, 1916, Hay was at Rugby School from 1930 to 1933.  He obtained his ‘A’ License in 1934 and joined the Cambridge University Air Squadron in 1937, when he was at Trinity Hall reading Mechanical Science.

Commissioned in the RAFVR in September 1938, Hay was called up on September 1 1939.  He was posted to 6 FTS, Little Rissington in October and with training completed he joined 611Squadron at Digby in April 1940, serving with it in the Battle of Britain.

He was posted away in early 1941 and became Sector Controller at Digby and later at Coltishall, Tangmere, Exeter and other stations.  He was invalided out of the RAF in 1945, as a Wing Commander.

He returned to SA, where he became a director of Miles Aircraft, of Rand Mines 1950-52 and the Central Mining and Investment Corporation from 1952.

PO (RAFVR) 27.9.39  PO 27.3.40  FL 6.4.41  SL 10.7.44

  1. Geoffrey David Leybourne Haysom

39736  FL  Pilot  SA  79 Squadron

Haysom of Durban, joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1937.  He was posted to FTS, Brize Norton on June 5 and after completing his training, went to the staff of the School of Naval Co-operation at Ford on January 8 1938.  He joined 79 Sq at Biggin Hill on Nov. 1 1938.

Over Abbeville, on June 6 1940, Haysom shot down a Bf 109.  He took temporary command of the squadron on July 7 when the CO was killed.

On Aug 15 Haysom claimed a Bf 109 shot down, on the 28th  he made a force landing at Appledore Station near Tenterden, when his glycol system was damaged in combatover Hythe, on the 30th he probably destroyed a Bf 109, on the 31st shot down another and on Sept 1damaged a Do 17, Haysom shot down a Ju 88 on Nov 20 which had been photographing damaged caused in the raid on Coventry.

On April 1 1940 he destroyed a He 111 and on the 4th he shared in damaging another.  He was awarded the DFC (29.4.41) and commanded 79 Sq from June to September 1941, when was posted away to 51 OTU as an instructor.

In mid 1942 Haysom was posted to the Middle East and he joined 260 Sq on July 19, possibly as supernumerary to gain experience on Kittyhawks.  Three days later he was promoted to Acting Wing Commander to become Wing Leader 239 Wing in the Western Desert.  At the end of his tour Haysom was awarded the DSO (16.2.43) being then credited with at least six enemy aircraft destroyed.

In Italy, after his experience of supporting the Army in the Western Desert, Haysom evolved the ‘Cab Rank’ system which was used with such success in the 1944 invasion of Europe.  A sq of air fighters were airborne generally in line astern and was called up by Mobile Observations Post with the forward troops to attack specific targets as required.  Haysom was released in 1946, as a Group Capt.  He died in 1979.

APO 18.5.37  PO 18.3.38   FO 11.10.39  FL 11.10.40  SL 1.12.41  WC 1.1.44

  1. Caeser Barraud Hull

37285  FL  SA  263 and 43 Sq

Hull was born on Feb 23 1911 at Leachdale  Farm in Shangani, South Rhodesia.  His father served in the desert campaign in German West Africa.  In 1918 the family was farming at Nylstroom in the Transvaal, SA, moving in 1922 to Voegelstruiskraal, near Rustenburg.  Hull and his elder brother were taught at home by their parents until 1926, when they went as boys to St. John’s College, Jhb.  The later became boarders in this, the best and most expensive school in Tvl.

On leaving, Hull returned to the family farm, then at M’babane, Swaziland.  He went to work for a mining company and in 1934 he was picked for the Springbok boxing team at the Empire Games at Wembley.  After returning home, Hull decided to join the SAAF.  There was an initial difficulty because he did not speak Afrikaans but eventually he went as a cade to the SAAF Reserve Training School at Roberts Heights.  On completion of the course, Hull’s Afrikaans prevented his transfer to the SAAF.

In 1935 Hull applied for an RAF short service commission and was provisionally accepted.  He began his ab initio course in July, went to No 1 RAF Depot, Uxbridge on Sept 16 1935 and on the 28th was posted to FTS , Grantham.  With training completed, Hull joined 43 Sq at Tangmere on Aug 5 1936.

Flying in a Fury, he represented 43 in aerobatics on June 26 1937 at the Hendon Air Display.  In Spring 1938, having won three eliminating boxing bouts, Hull decided against taking part in the Imperial Championships to be held in SA because he did not wish for a three months absence from 43.  The officer who took his place was killed in an aeroplane crash in Rhodesia.

In late 1838 43 was re-equipped with Hurricanes.  At the outbreak of war Hull was commanding ‘A’ Flight.  On Jan 30 1940, he and sergeant F R Carey shared in the destruction of a He 111 five miles east of Coquet Island, on Feb 13 he destroyed another in the first raid on Scapa Flow and on March 28 and April 10 he shared two more.

On May 1940 Hull was posted to 263 Sq, as a Flight Commander.  Within a few days the sq Gladiators were loaded on to the aircraft carrier HMS Furious at Scapa Flow and on the 14th it sailed for Norway.  On arrival, the sq remained on board because the airfield at Bardu Foss was not yet serviceable.  On the 21st Hull led his flight off in thick weather and landed safely, although one section of 263 had to return to the carrier.  He damaged a He 111 on the 22nd, shared in the destruction of another on the 24th and destroyed two Ju 52’s , damaged a third and probably destroyed two He 111’s on the 26th.

Hull destroyed a Ju 87 on the 27th.  He was then hit by fire from another Ju 87 and Bf 109 and crashed, wounded in the head and knee.  He was thrown clear and lay unconscious for a while.  After coming to and walking away, dazed and sore, Hull was helped to Bodo Hospital by a Norwegian.  On the 28th he sent north in a hospital ship and two days later flown back to Britain in a Sunderland.  He was awarded the DFC (21.6.40) and received a Mention in Despatches (11.7.40).

The CO fo 43 Sq, SL J V C Badger, was killed on Aug 30 1940 and the next day Hull arrived at Tangmere to take command.  He claimed two Bf 110’s probably destroyed on Sept 4 and claimed a Bf 109 destroyed and shared a Ju 88 on the 6th.  In the late afternoon of the 7th the sq was scrambled to meet a large force of Do 17’s escorted by Bf 109’s.  Hull was last seen diving to attack the bombers.  He is believed to have been shot down by a Bf 109 and killed in his aircraft.  His Hurricane, V6641, crashed in the grounds of Purley High School.  Hull is buried in St Andrew’s churchyard, Tangmere.

APO 16.9.35  PO 16.9.36  FO 16.4.38  FL 16.4.40

  1. Michael Rowland Hill

72467  FO  Pilot  SA  266 Sq

Hill was educated at Leys School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read History.  He was member of the University Air Sq and was commissioned in the RAFVR in October 1938.

Called up on September 1 1939, Hill completed his training and arrived at 7 OUT, Hawarden in early September 1940.  After converting to Spitfires, he joined 266 SQ at Wittering on the 28th.

Hill was killed on March 12 1945, as a Sq Leader with 19Sq.  He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 265.

PO (RAFVR) 18.10.38  PO 11.10.39  FO 9.8.40  FL 9.8.41  SL1.7.43

  1. Petrus Hendrik (Dutch/Khaki) Hugo

41848 FO   Pilot  South African   615 Squadron

Born at Pampoenpoort, Dist. Victoria West in the Western Cape on December 20 1917, Hugo studied at the Witwatersrand College of Aeronautical Engineering.  He joined the RAF on a short service commission in February 1939 and did his ab initio training at 6 E&RFTS, Sywell.

After completing his advanced course at 13 FTS, Drem, Hugo went to the 11 Group Pool, St. Athan on October 23.  He was posted to No. 2 Ferry Pool at Filton on November 17 and he then joined 615 Squadron at Vitry in France in December 1939.  On May 20 1940 Hugo destroyed a He 111.  The squadron was withdrawn to Kenley next day.  On July 14 he claimed a Ju87 destroyed, on the20th two Bf 109s, on the 25th another Bf 109, on the 27tha shared He 59, on August 12 a Bf 109 and on the 16th he damaged a H 111.   During the combat his aircraft was severely damaged by a Bf 110 and he returned to Kenley, slightly wounded in both legs.

On the 18th Hugo crash-landed at Orpington after a combat with Bf 109s, in Hurrican R4221.  He was admitted to Orpington Hospital, with wounds to the face.  He was awarded the DFC (23.8.40) and returned to the squadron in September, making his first flight on the 22nd.

Hugo was appointed a Flight Commander in September 1941.  On October 14 he shared a He 59 and he was awarded a Bar to the DFC (25.11.41).  In November he was given command of 41 Squadron at Merston.  He destroyed a Bf 109 and damaged another on February 12 1942 and destroyed two more on March14 and 26.

Hugo was made Wing Leader at Tangmere on April 12 and on this day he damaged a FW 190, on the 16th he damaged a Bf 109 and on the 27th he got a a probable FW 190 and damaged another.  He was shot down in this engagement, baled out into the Channel and was picked up by an ASR launch, wounded.  He was awarded the DSO (29.5.42)

After a spell at HQ 11 Group, Hugo was appointed Wing Leader at Hornchurch on July 18 1942 but stayed only until August 31, being then posted to lead 322 Wing in North Africa.  On November 12 he shared a Do 217 over Bougie, Algeria, on the 13th he probably destroyed a Ju 88, on the 15th a probable He 111, on the 16th and 18th Ju 88s and on the 21st, 26th and 28th Bf 109s.

On November 29 Hugo took temporary command of 322 Wing when the CO was injured in an attack on the airfield.  On December 2 he destroyed a SM 79 and shared another one and on the 14th destroyed a SM 79.  Hugo was awarded a second Bar to the DFC (16.2.43) and posted to HQ North West African Coast Air Force on March 13 1943.

He took command of 322 Wing again in June 1943.  On the 29th he damaged a Bf 109, on September 2 destroyed a FW 190 and an Arado Ar 196 on November 18.  Hugo damaged a Bf 109 on July 10 and continued to lead the Wing until its disbandment in November 1944, when he was posted to HQ Mediterranean Allied Air Forces.

He was later seconded to Marshal Tolbukin’s 2nd Ukranian Army, then moving from Romania to Austria.  After returning to the UK, Hugo was posted to the Central Fighter Establishment.

In addition to his awards, he received the Croix de Guerre (France) and the DFC (US) (14.11.44).  Hugo retired from the RAF on February 19 1950, as a Squadron Leader, retaining the rank of Group Captain.  He died in South African in 1986.

His portrait was done by Cuthbert Orde in February 1941.

APO 1.4.39   PO 21.10.39   FO 21.10.40   FL 21.10.41  SL 12.7.42  SL 1.9.45

  1. Albert Gerald Lewis.

41303  PO  Pilot  SA 85 and 249 Sq.

Born in Kimberley in 1918, Lewis was educated at the High School there.  He joined the RAF on short service commission in August 1938.  With training completed, he was posted to Lec-on-Solent.

Lewis arrived at 12 Pool Group on October 19, 1939 for conversion to Spitfires.  Hew joined 616 Sq in late November 1939 and went to 504 Sq at Debden in March 1940.

He joined 85 Sq in France in early April.  On March 12 he shot down a Bf 109 and a He 111 and in two patrols on the 19th he destroyed fie Bf 109’d before he was himself shot down over Lille. He was awarded the DFC (25.6 40).

On August 18 1940 Lewis probably destroyed a Bf 109 and on the 31st a Bf 109.  On Sept 14 he was posted to 249 SQ at North Weald.  On the 15th Lewis destroyed a He111, on the 18th a Bf 109 and on the 27th three Bf 109’s, two Bf 110’s and a Ju 88. He was shot down during a combat over Faversham on Sept 28 and baled out, badly burnt.

Lewis was admitted to Faversham Hospital. His Hurrican V 6617, crashed at Blackett’s Farm, Tonge.  He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (22.10.40).  In Sept 1941 Lewis was posted to 52 OUT, Debden and became Oc of C Sq there.  He took command of 261 Sq at China Bay, Ceylon in March 1942.  Lewis led the Sq against a Japanese carrier-based aircraft attack on Trincomalec on April 9 1942.  He was wounded and did not return to the sq.

Lewis returned to the UK in June 1942. He was cleared from the RAF in 1946, as a Sq Leader.  His portrait was done by Eric Kennington.

APO 29.10.38  PO 29.11.38  FO 29.11.40  FL 29.11.41

  1. Adolph Gysbert (Sailor Malan)

Malan was born in Wellington, South Africa, on October 3 1910.  In February 1924 he became a cadet  on the training ship General Botha and joined the Union Castle Steamship Line in 1927.

In 1935 Malan applied for a short vervice commission in the RAF, was accepted and began his elementary flying training at 2F&RFTS, Hilton on January 6 1936.  He went on to 3FTS, Grantham on March 14 and joined 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on December 20 1936.  Malan was made Flight Commander in late 1937.

Near Dunkirk on May 21 1940, he destroyed a Ju 88, probably a He 111 and damaged a second Ju 88, on the 22nd he shared  Ju 88, on the 24th shared a Do 17 and destroyed a He 111 and on the 27th destroyed a Bf 109, shared a probable Do 17 and damaged two other.  He was awarded the DFC (11.6.40)

During the night of June 18/19 Malan destroyed two He 111’s.  He shared  a He 111 on July 12, got a probable Bf 109 on the 19th, damaged another on the 25th and destroyed a Bf 109 and damaged another on the 28th.  He took command of 74 Sq on August 8, destroyed two BF 109s and damaged a third on the 11th and destroyed a Do 17 and probably another on the 13th.

Malan destroyed a Ju 88 and damaged another on Sept 11, got a probable Bf 109 on Oct 17, destroyed a Bf 109 on the 22nd, another on November 23, destroyed one and shared another on the 27th and shot down another on Dec 2.  He was awarded the DSO (24.12.40).

Malan destroyed a Bf 109 on Feb 2 1941 and shared a Do 17 on the 5th.  He was posted away from 74 Sq on March 10 1941 to lead the Biggin Hill Wing.

Between May 17 and July 24 1941 Malan destroyed twelve Bf 109s, probably destroyed one, shared two and damaged nine others.  He was awarded a Bar to the DSO (22.7.41) and in mid Aug was appointed CFI at 58 OTU, Grangemouth.  Two months later Malan was sent to the USA with five other pilots to lecture and liaise with the US Army Air Corps.

Back in the UK in the late 1941 Malan was posted to Sutton Bridge, to command the CGS.  On Jan 1 1943 he was appointed Station Commander Biggin Hill.  He often flew on operations over the next few months but scored no further victories.  Biggin Hill Sector claimed his 1000th victory on May 1943.  Malan was posted  away on October 7 and after sick leave, he took command of 19 Fighter Wing 2nd TAF on November 1.  In March 1944 he took command of 145 Wing at Merston, composed of three French Squadrons 329, 340 and 341.  He flew a Ramrod sortie on D day, leading Yellow Section of 340 Sq, escorting  Albemarks towing Horsa gliders.

Malan was made CO of the Advanced Gunnery School at Catfoss inn July 1944.  He did a course at RAF Staff College in 1945 but decided not to stay in the RAF.  He was released in 1946, as a Group Captain, and returned with his family to South Africa.

He died there on September 17 1963.  As well as his British awards, Malan received the C de G (Belgium, 4.11.41), the C de G (French), the French Legion d’Honneur and the Czech Military Cross.

His portrait was done by Eric Kennington and Cuthbert Orde.

APO 2.3.36   PO 6.1.37   FL 6.7.40   SL 10.6.41   WC 1.9.42

  1. Edward James Morris.

Born on April 6 1914 in the Transvaal, Morris was educated at Michael House Natal.  He joined the RAF on short term commission in June 1937.  He was posted to 6 FTS, Netheravon on September 18 and on completion of the course was posted to the Home Aircraft Depot at Henlow on May 7 1938 as a pilot in the Parachute Test Flight.

In Jan. 1939 Morris joined 79 Sq at Biggin Hill.  Still with the sq in 1940, he shared in the destruction of a He 59 on Aug 28 and destroyed a He111 by ramming on the 30th.  The Heinkel was on its way to attack Famborough, when Morris engaged it over Reigate.  The collided, Morris baled out, unhurt, landing at Dorking.  His Hurricane, P2303, crashed on Lodge Farm, South Holmwood, Brockham.  The Heinkel crashed at Swires Farm, Capel and exploded.

The next day Morris was wounded and crashed on landing at Biggin Hill, after being damaged by a Bf 109 during at attack on Do 17’s over base.  In the action he damaged the Do 17.

Morris was posted to 238 Sq at Chilbolton in Jan. 1941, as a Flight Commander.  He shared in destroying a Ju88 on March 23.  In May the sq went to the Middle East and in SeptMorris was posted to 250 Sq, to command.  He damaged two Bf 109’s on Nov 23 1941, got a probable Bf 19 on Dec 11 and shared a Bf 110 on Jan 22 1942.  He was posted to HQ Desert Air Force in March and awarded the DSO (7.4.42)

In late 1942 Morris was appointed Chief Instructor at 71 OUT, then in the Sudan but later in Egypt.  He became Wing Leader 251 Wing Desert Air Force in Italy in late 1943.  On April 23 1944 he shared a Bf 109, on June 8 shared a Ju 88 and on the 14th destroyed a Bf 109.  He was awarded the DFC (4.11.44) and was posted away at the end of the year to HQ MAAF, as Wing Commander Air Plans.  He was awarded the DFC (US) in1945.

Morris was granted a permanent commission in May 1945 and went to RAF Staff College.  He held a series of appointments and commands in the post-war years.  He was made a CBE (1.1.59), a CB (1.1.66) and retired from the RAF on July 1968 as an Air Commodore.

APO 5.9.37  PO 12.7.38  FO 12.1.40  FL12.1.41  SL 1.3.42  WC 1.7.47  GC1.1.56  AC 1.1.62

  1. Johannes Roelof Stephanus Oelofse

42519  PO  Pilot  SA 43 Sq

Oelofse joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939. After completing his training, he began a course at 11 Group Pool, St Athan on Feb 1940.  He was posted away two days later  to make room for 12 Finnish pilots due to arrive for Hurricane  training. Oelofse joined 43 Sq at Wick on Feb. 8.

On Aug. 8 1940 he was shot down and killed in combat with enemy aircraft ten miles south of the Isle of Wight, in Hurricane P3468.  His body was later recovered.  Oelofse was 23.  He is buried in St. Andrews churchyard, Tangmere.

APO 19.8.39  PO 1.2.40

  1. Spencer Ritchie Peacock-Edwards

Born on May 271915 in Kokstad, South Africa, Peacock-Edwards joined the RAF on a short service commission  in March 1938.  He was posted to 2 FTS, Brize Norton on May 21 and joined 150 Squadron at Boscombe Down on December 17 1938.

From the outbreak of war he served in France with the squadron, flying Fairey Battles.  After the squadron was withdrawn to England in June 1940, Peacock-Edwards volunteered for Fighter Command and was posted to 615 Squadron, also of Kenley, on the 20th.

On October 6 he claimed a Do 17 destroyed, on the 21st a Do 17 damaged, on the 30th a Bf 109 damaged, on November 22 another Do 17 damaged and on December 3 a Do 17 shared.

Peacock-Edwards was posted away on December 15 1940, destined for the Middle East.  He embarked in the aircraft carrier HMS Furious at Liverpool and flew a Hurricane off at Takoradio on January 9 1941.  With other pilots he then flew a Hurricane north on the multi-stage ferry route to Ismailia in Egypt, from where he flew in a Sunderland to Malta, arriving there on January 30.

He joined 261 Squadron at Hal Far, claimed a Ju 88 destroyed on February 1, was appointed ‘A’ Flight Commander on the 16th, destroyed  two Ju 87’s and damaged another on March 23, destroyed, destroyed a Bf 109 on April 13 and then made a crash-landing at Hal Far in his badly damaged Hurrican, V7472.

In May1941 Peacock-Edwards returned to the Middle East.  From August he instructed at 71 OUT, Gordon’s Tree, Sudan and later in the year he went to the Pilot Pool, Kasfareet.

In February 1942 Peacock-Edwards embarked on HMS Indomitable and flew off at Ceylon on March 7.  He joined 131 Squadron, which was renumbered 258 Squadron on March 30.  The squadron was scrambled on April 5, when Japanese carrier-based aircraft attacked Colombo.  Peacock-Edwards destroyed a Navy 99 aircraft and probably a Zero.

He was posted to 273 Squadron at Katukurunda, Ceylon in August 1942 and was awarde the DFC (29.12.42).  He took command of 30 Squadron at Colombo in February 1943 and led it until April 1944 when he returned to the UK.

Peacock-Edwards retired from the RAF in February 14 1958, as a Squadron Leader.  He returned to South Africa to live.  He died in Johannesburg in September 1983.

APO  7.5.38   PO 7.3.39  FO 3.9.40   FL 3.9.41   SL 1.1.44   FL 1.12.42   SL 1.1.54

  1. P/O F H Posener (killed during the Battle of Britain) 152 Squadron. Warmwell.  Spitfire K9880. Shot down by Obit. Homuth of 3/JG27 in combat over the Channel off Swanage 4:35pm.  P/O Posener missing.  Aircraft lost. Died Saturday, 20 July 1940.
  2. Basil Gerald Stapleton.

41879  FO   Pilot   South  African   603 Squadron

Stapleton was born in Durban on May 13 1920.  He joined the RAF on short commission in January 1939.  He began his elementary flying training at 13 H&RFTS, White Waltham on the 23rd and moved on to 13FTS, Drem on April 15.

With training completed Stapleton converted to Blenheims and joined 219 Squadron at Catterick on October 1939.  He was posted away in late November and after converting to Spitfires, he went to 603 Squadron at Prestwick.  On April 22 1940 he baled out of his Spitfire at night when his undercarriage jammed.

On July 3 1940 Stapleton shared a Ju 88, on the 20th shared a Do 17, on August 29 he got two probable Bf 109’s and on the 31st probably another.  On September 3 h claimed a Bf 109 and Do 17 destroyed and another Bf 109 probably destroyed, on the 7th Stapleton made a forced landing at Sutton Valence, after a combat with enemy fighters over South London in Spitfire N 3196, unhurt.

On September 11 he probably destroyed a Bf 110 and damaged a Bf 109, on the 15th destroyed a Do 17 and damaged another Bf 109, on the 17th he got a probable Bf 109, on the 30th and October 15 he destroyed two more, probably destroyed another two on the 17th and 20th and his final victory on November 11, another Bf 109.  He was awarded the DFC  (15.11.40).

Tour-expired, Stapleton was posted to No 4 Aircraft Delivery Flight on March 27 1941..He joined the MSFU on June 22 and was posted to 257 Squadron at Hornley on January 14 1942 as a Flight Commander.

At the end of his second tour, Stapleton went to 2 ADU on April 6 1943, remaining with it until September 1 when he was posted to Kenley as Sector Gunnery Instructor.  On July 25 1944 he joined 83 and on August 26 he was given command of 247 Squadron in France.

On December 23 1944 Stapleton was strafing a train when the locomotive exploded.  Pieces of debris punctured the radiator of his Typhoon.  He headed for the Allied lines but had to make a forced-landing before reaching them.  He was made PoW and spent the final months the war in Stalag Luft 1 at Barth.

Stapleton was freed, returned to England and was released from the RAF on January 31 1946, as a Squadron Leader.  He was awarded the DFC (Dutch, 1.1.46).

He returned to South Africa but went back to England in 1994.

APO 1.4.39   PO 21.10.39   FO 21.10.40  FL 21.10.41

  1. Brian van Mentz

70826  FO  Pilot  South African  222 Squadron

Born in Johannesburg Van Mentz joined the RAFO on a short service commission in November 1937.  He did his ab intro course at 4 E&RFTS  Brough, and he was posted to 8 FTS, Montrose on December 11 and joined 213 Squadron at Wittering on July 9 1938.  He was granted a short service commission in the RAF in October 1938.

In May 1940 Van Mentz was posted to 504 Squadron and went to France with it on the 12th.  He destroyed a Ju 88 on the 14th, destroyed a Ju 87 and probably a Hs 126 ont 15th and damaged two BR 109’s on the 16/17.  The Squadron was withdrawn to England on the 22nd.

Van Mentz joined 222 Squadron at Hornchurch on August 8 1940.  He damaged a Bf 109 on the 31st, destroyed a Bf 110 and damaged another on the 7th, destroyed a Ju 88 and damaged a Bf 109 on the 11th, damaged a Bf 110 on October 12.  Van Mentz was awarded the DFC on 25.10.40.

On October 30 he damaged a Bf 109 and on November 30 he destroyed a Do 17.  Van Metz was decorated by the King in a ceremony at Bircham Newton on January 28 1941.  Three days later he probably destroyed a Ju 88, on February 2 damaged a He 111 and on March 18 shared a Do 17.  He was killed on April 26 1941, when the Ferry Inn near Cotlshall, was hit by a bomb.

Van Metz was 24 and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.

APO (FAFO) 24.11.37    PO  19.10.38   FO 19.5.40

  1. Thomas Young Wallace

Wallace was born in Johannesburg.  He joined the RAF on a short service commission in August 1939 (42919).  With training completed, he was posted from FTS to 610 Squadron at Gravesend on June 19 1940.

His commission was terminated on July 1 after he was court-martialed for being absent without leave for two days in June.  He became a Sergeant-Pilot (1256954).  Wallace was posted to 111 Squadron at Croydon from No. 1 Recruit Centre, Uxbridge on July 17.

He claimed two Bf 110’s and two damaged on August 15, a Bf 109 destroyed and probably a Do 17 on the 16th, a Do 17 destroyed and two others damaged on the 18th, a Bf 109 damaged on the 24th, a Do 17 shared on the 26th, a Bf 110 destroyed, a Do probably destroyed and a Bf 110 damaged on the 31st and a Bf109 destroyed and three others damaged on September 4.

Wallace’s Hurricane, P 3025, was severely damaged by a Bf 109 over the Channel on September 7.  He glided back to the English coast and bailed out south of Ashford, slightly wounded.  The Hurrican, P 3025, crashed on Gammons Farm, Newchurch.  He was awarde the DFM (25.10.40).  Wallace damaged a He 111 on November 3.

Commissioned from Warrant Officer in March 1943, he commanded 609 Squadron from September 17 1944 to November 11, when he was shot down by flak over Dunkirk and killed.

Wallace was 28.  He is buried in Pihen-le-Guines War Cemetery, France.

APO 23.10.39     PO 10.3.43    FO 10.9.43

  1.  Arthur Basil Watkinson

42921  PO   Pilot  60 Squadron

Join the RAF on short term commission in August ?  when training was completed.  Watkinson joined 66 Squadron ? Coltishahll on July 26 ?

He claimed a Do 17 on ? September 11.  He was seen ? combat over Mayfield ? and bailed out, wounded in the shoulder and leg.  He ? X4322, crashed at ? Bivelham Forge Farm.

Watkinson was posted ? 15 FTS on November ? instructor.

From November 26 ?  24 he was at CFS, ? instructor’s course on Masters and Tutors.  Watkinson was released from the RAF in 1945, as a Flight Officer ?  He died in South Africa on October 18, 1985.

APO 23.10.39   PO 6.7.40    FO 6.7.41   FLO 6.10.42

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