68th Anniversary of the Warsaw Flights – Saturday, 8th September 2012

68th ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW FLIGHTS – Saturday, 8 September 2012

Tomorrow we will commemorate the 68th Anniversary of the heroic flights over Warsaw by South African and Allied airmen to drop supplies to the Polish Home Army and civilian population of Warsaw, at that time locked in a mortal struggle for freedom.
Details of the ceremony are as follows:
11: 00 hrs – Religious Service and Wreath Laying at the Katyn Memorial, James and Ethel Gray Park, Melrose Estate, Johannesburg, South Africa The Commemoration will be podcast so you can watch it from anywhere in the world.

The podcast will start at 11am South African Time ( Johannesburg – we have only one time zone in RSA) You can check your local time against Johannesburg on the World Clock on google.

To watch the podcast go to: www.polonia.co.za/warsawflights <http://www.polonia.co.za/warsawflights> and follow directions from there. Last year I watched the podcast from Kenya and will be watching again this year from Zanzibar. I hope many of you will be able to link in. Vanessa asked about a reunion/get together a long time back, how about at the 69th Anniversary next year, we see how many people can be in Johannesburg for it?

If you cannot tune in tomorrow, just take a minute to Salute the men of 31 and 34 Sq. and make a point of it to tell someone about the heroic work they did.

I post this on behalf of the Organising Committee: Mr A Romanowicz (Chairman)

P.O. Box 905, Northlands, 2116, South Africa – arom@wol.co.za –www.polonia.co.za/warsawflights – Tel. +27 11 788 6577

Donation of Aeroshell W120 for the Griffons

Category : Contributors , News , Projects

The South African Air Force Museum and the Crew of 1722 take the opportunity of thanking Mr Freddi Stafford of SOS Oil for the desperately needed generous donation of a drum of Aeroshell W120 oil for our four hungry Rolls Royce Griffon 57A’s.

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80 ANS Anniversary

“Peritia Per Scientiam” (Skills Through Knowledge)

Today, 60 years ago, 80 Air Navigation School was founded at Air Force Station Langebaanweg.

A new exhibition has been mounted by 80 ANS in the Museum and will be unofficially opened this afternoon at the Museum at 16H00B. There is a reunion of 80 ANS members who will be having a formal dinner at the Officer’s Mess this evening to commemorate this very historic event.

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Exhibition – Not My War

Category : Contributors , Exhibitions


Exhibition: Not My War
Artist: Wayne Barker, Christo Doherty, Paul Emmanuel, John Liebenberg, Jo Ractliffe, Colin Richards, Chad Rossouw, Penny Siopis, Christopher Swift and Gavin Younge
Date: 29 Jun 2012 – 25 Jul 2012
Venue: Michaelis Galleries

The Michaelis Galleries and the Gordon Institute for Creative and Performing Arts (GIPCA) present Not My War, an exhibition of works by significant South African artists reflecting on the country’s involvement in border wars in Northern Namibia and Southern Angola during the 1960’s to 1980’s. The exhibition opening is at 18:00 on 29 June.

Not My War is curated by David Brits, and participating artists are Wayne Barker, Christo Doherty, Paul Emmanuel, John Liebenberg, Jo Ractliffe, Colin Richards, Chad Rossouw, Penny Siopis, Christopher Swift and Gavin Younge. Exhibition and catalogue text by Natasha Norman.

Up until 1994, almost all able-bodied white male South Africans were called up for National Service around the year they turned 18. Most were put through rigorous physical and skills training, and many sent to fight in South Africa’s so-called Border War in Northern South West Africa and Southern Angola.

Marking the 25th anniversary of what is now commonly referred to as the Border War’s bloodiest and most decisive battles, most notably at Cuito Cuanavale, Not My War looks at how a selection of artists have been impacted by and responded to this critical point in the nation’s of history.

As far as most of these conscripted young men were concerned, there was little option but to perform their national duty. One’s call-up could be deferred for a few years if one studied, but to avoid it meant facing harsh consequences. The options were to object on conscientious or religious grounds and face a six-year jail term, or flee the country.

Since the shift in political power in 1994, many of the men that fought in Border War have felt themselves to be recast in an insidious light. While many soldiers believed the SADF’s rhetoric that they were fighting in Angola to shield their country from the violent tide of communism, the war is now widely regarded as an unjust conflict that upheld the racist interests of Apartheid. The Border War has in many ways become forgotten in post-Apartheid South Africa, as remembering this ‘silent war’ it would mean – both on an institutional and personal level – engaging the struggle to reconcile the propaganda, trauma, heroism and racism implicit in a discussion of its nature.

In recent years, however, a large amount material concerning South Africa’s Border War in Namibia/Angola has burst onto the cultural landscape. Where a decade ago such material was scarce, in the last five years there has been a considerable surge of novels, biographies, documentaries, films, theatre, photography and visual art all dealing with this subject. It would seem that the muzzle on South Africa’s ‘silent war’ – in the cultural sphere at least – has begun to lift.

Furthering the resurgence of dialogue around this ‘silent war’, Not my War will endeavor to engage the complex personal and institutional discourse surrounding this conflict, as well as highlight the war’s continuing relevance and effect on South African society.

For further information, please contact Cara van der Westhuizen, Tel: 021 480 7170 and cara.vanderwesthuizen@uct.ac.za.

The Michaelis Galleries are at the Michaelis School of Fine Art on the Hiddingh Campus, 37 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Opening hours are Tues – Fri 11.00 to 16.00, Sat 10.00 to 13.00 or by appointment.

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Appointment Of New Chief Of The South African Air Force

Category : News

 C SANDF has pleasure in announcing the appointment of Major General Fabian Zimpande (ZAKES) Msimang as the new Chief of the South Africa Air Force with effect from 01 October 2012.

 Maj Gen Msimang intergrated into the South African National Defence Force in 1994 after the first democratic Elections as a qualified pilot on the Mi 8 and Mi 25 helicopters. He received his flying training at Frunze 1 Central Officers Training Center Kirghizstan, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1986 to 1991.

 He graduated from the institution with a diploma in Command & Tactics of Military Aviation. During his career he has flown the Mi 8, Mi 25 Allouette III, Oryx helicopters and also did a factory conversion onto the A 109E at AgustaWestland in Italy.

 He was a member of the Armed Wing of the African National Congress, Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK). He has been in combat as an MK cadre in Angola in 1986. Post 1994 he has been an operational pilot at maritime and inland squadrons. He has also been deployed on several occasions as a Military Liaison Officer.

 In 1994, he completed the Air Force of Zimbabwe’s Junior and Staff Course. In 2000, he was appointed as the Assistant Project Officer on Project Flange in Italy. This was an acquisition project of the Agusta A109 LUH which replaced the Allouette III helicopter. Whilst in Italy, in 2002 he successfully completed the Senior Staff Course at the Italian Air Force War School. In 2003 successfully completed the Joint Senior Command and Staff Programme at the South African War College, having to do specific modules in joint warfare.

 Upon his return from Italy in 2003, he was appointed Officer Commanding of the Helicopter Flying School at Air Force Base Bloemfontein. In 2005 he was appointed as Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspruit and promoted to the rank of Colonel. In 2006, he completed the Executive National Security Programme at the South African National Defence College.

 After a two and a half year tour as Officer Commanding Air Force Base Bloemspriut he was transferred to the Air Command in June 2007 appointed as Director Helicopter Systems and promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. In November 2010 he was appointed as Chief Director Air Policy and Plans and promoted to the rank of Major General responsible Air Force strategy, policies, capabilities and resource allocation and also serves as a Non-Executive Director to the Air Traffic and Navigation Systems Board.

 Major General Fabian Msimang is married to Afrika and has four sons.

 The leadership in the SANDF wishes to congratulate Maj Gen Msimang on his new appointment and trust that he will carry on executing his duties to the best of his ability inline with the SANDF’s constitutional mandate. With the same breath the leadership of the SANDF extend gratitude to thank General Gagiano for his dedication and contributions to the development of the SAAF in particular the SANDF in general.

 Source: DCC bulletin

Shackleton MR.3 Engine Run


Video courtesy of Hilton Mundy, Short Final TV

TAF Skimmerfoil arrives in Port Elizabeth

Tandem Airfoil Flareboat Skimmerfoil

On Wednesday 4th July 2007 an unusual new exhibit arrived on a flatbed at the SAAF Museum in Port Elizabeth.  The Skimmerfoil Jörg IV is an extremely interesting craft which brought a uniquely new dimension to the Museum.

The TAF (Tandem Airfoil Flareboat) Skimmerfoil is referred to as a WIG (wings into ground) craft.  Its inventor is Günther W Jörg, who is still involved in  Airfoil Flareboat Technology (Airfoil) in Germany. In 1979/80 successful test runs with 4-6 seaters were carried out in South Africa.



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Sunset Call – Tom Cockbain

Category : News


It is with sadness that we have to report the passing away of Tom Cockbain on 24 May 2012 at the age of 94.

The funeral service details are as follows:

Thursday 31st,May

15h00 hrs.

Settlers Park Retirement Village in Don Prowess Hall Port Alfred.

Our Condolences goes to the family and friends.


Tom will be remembered for the following:

SAAF WW2 with Oom Jannie aircrew,

Founder of Radar Services in the SAAF,

Founder of SAAF Museum Swarkop,

Over 50 yrs SAAF service.

Founder of Port Alfred Branch 1986 and chaired 12 yrs

Founder of 43 Air School Garden and Wall of Rememberance

and many more……..

“At the going down of the Sun, and in the morning, we will remember him”

Marianne Fryer

National Secretary

SAAF Association NHQ

Spitfire Replica Project


By Rob Tribelhorn – Project Leader

A full size scale model of the WW2 Supermarine Spitfire MK-IV fighter is being constructed in the Bellman Hangar.

Port Elizabeth’s Spitfire Project

In about March 2010 the former curator of the Museum, Lt. Col. Tinus Janse van Rensburg initiated building a full size Supermarine Spitfire and asked me if I thought it was feasible to construct it out of wood.

We had a set of 1/9 scale plans so he arranged with the Nelson Mandela Municipal University to enlarge the fuselage formers to full size. These were printed on paper and laid out on sheets of five ply plywood.

I then cut these out with a jig saw and mounted them on a plastic pole at the correct spacing.

I proceeded from there to follow the 1/9 plans, making the necessary changes required to fit a person seated in the cockpit.

In 2011 Fred Muller joined me and we proceeded to construct the fuselage with whatever timber materials we lay our hands on. This consisted of shutter board, 3 ply plywood and pine planking sawn to the correct widths for the ribs and main spars.

The cockpit was constructed as realistic as possible using spare gauges and made-up parts from the WW2. I had to rebuild some of the gauges and make up others match and position all the gauges as close as possible to the real aircraft.

The fuselage took shape and we progressed to the wing section. This element was problematic as I had to design and manufacture the undercarriage frame with steel tubing obtained from Peter Boshoff the AMO.

Together with Col. John van Rooyen’s assistance, we welded up a frame and fitted undercarriage legs and installed these into the timber wing section. Peter Boshoff then donated two Yak Oleo legs which, with some lathe work were fitted.

Finally, we obtained two Vampire wheels and tyres from Pretoria but these were without tubes. I then purchased two passenger car tubes and made up two valves to fit.

The undercarriage was finally fitted to the wing section and ready to be attached to the fuselage which was being completed in between this work.

50L of Polyurethane liquid for foam was kindly donated by the Chemical Company BASF, enabling us to cast parts to then carve and shape out Spitfire air scoops.

The exhaust outlet stubs donated by E.P. Mufflers, a local exhaust manufacturing company.

The cockpit received its undercarriage control, throttle and pitch control constructed to match the Spitfire as closely as possible. The tail wheel assembly was remodeled as the weight of the aircraft was too great for the initial parts constructed.

The wing ribs have been cut and assembled by Wally Viljoen who recently joined the team with timber donated by Pennypinchers.

Work in progress consists of planning the spars and commencing with construction of the two wing sections.


11 July 2014 Update:

Cpt Kelbrick-Rob Tribelhorn-s

A representative of the RAF Officers Club in Johannesburg paid a visit to the Museum and that organisation made a donation towards the manufacture of the aluminium structure for the main wings.


The four Blade propeller with a diameter of 3,2 m (10′ 9″) was manufactured thanks to kind assistance by Plastics By Graymaur which filled up much needed technical gap for the propellers moulding.


Wayne Williams of Graymaur visited the Museum during a family member birthday party and was so impressed with the project that he offered to make a mould of the propellers using their hi-tech 3D computer CNC Router machine.


Aircraft will be painted in the standard camouflage of Ocean grey/green with a light sea grey underside and have Sailor Malan’s markings when he was a Group Captain. The markings are being researched right now to ensure correctness. Jon Adams is doing some research for me as well as he knows Sailor’s son whom he will bring down with the rollout.




Bofors Ant-Aircraft Gun – PE

The restoration of a WW2 40mm Mk 1 Anti-Aircraft field gun is taking place in the Parachute loft. Permission to visit this work in progress must be obtained and guided by a staff member.
The Bofors gun is an anti-aircraft autocannon designed by the Swedish defense firm Bofors. It was the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft system during World War II, used by most of the western allies as well as various other forces. They remain in service to this day making it one of the longest-serving artillery pieces of all time.