40mm Bofor Anti Aircraft Gun

This 40mm Bofors Anti-aircraft gun began life in 1942 and saw action in the Western Desert during World War 2.

The intervening years were not kind to her and she had deteriorated due to harsh weather conditions and lack of attention.

A decision was taken to restore the gun by the Friends of the S.A.A.F. Museum and a dedicated work  party of volunteers committed themselves to the task.  A cost analysis was compiled for the necessary sundries and restoration commenced in early 2002. Each Saturday the team met and “the gun” as she became known, was stripped of all removable components.  Every part was meticulously cleaned, removing multiple layers of dirt, paint and rust, right down to bare metal.

Numerous components were missing and had to be scrounged from various sources or in some instances, hand-made.

Much research was done including contact with numerous military museums to establish the correct colour scheme.

Every part of “the gun” was treated with a rust inhibitor, painted with an undercoat and finally sprayed the correct colour finish.

In early 2004 a visit was made by the team to the Naval Dockyard in Simonstown to enlist the assistance of the Naval Gunnery Command in the skills of re-assembling a 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft Gun.  Much was learned and the team of volunteers began the assembly process in April.

By August 2004 the task was complete and two and a half years of dedicated work had finally paid off.

The 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft Gun Project is the culmination of hard work, dedication and commitment by the Friends of the S.A.A.F Museum to preserve our heritage for future generations.

The next project tackled by the ‘Gun Smiths’ was a Sperry Searchlight, which makes a superb companion piece to the Bofor Gun.