Category Archives: Exhibitions

Collective Heritage Display

The Chief of the Air Force unveiled the Collective Heritage Display Hall at the Swartkop branch of the SAAF Museum on Thursday 15th of September.

It is the first phase of the complete revamp. Here’s how it looks:

Korean War – 62nd Anniversary

On the 25th June 2015 at the 62nd Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Day Memorial Service, the South Korean Ambassador to SA paid tribute to the SA airman that took part in the war which started on 25 June 1950.

34 South African Air Force airmen lost their lives and eight were taken prisoner.


The South African Air Force in Korea: An Assessment

by Professor D.M. Moore, D Litt et Phil
(An article on theThe South African Military History Society Website)

The following precis is available on Wikipedia.

At the outbreak of the Korean War the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of the North Korean Forces. A request was also made to all UN members for assistance.

 After a special Cabinet meeting on 20 July 1950 the Union Government announced that due to the long distance between South Africa and Korea, direct ground based military participation in the conflict was impractical and unrealistic but that a SAAF fighter squadron would be made available to the UN effort. The 50 officers and 157 other ranks of 2 Sqn SAAF sailed from Durban on 26 September 1950 – they had been selected from 1,426 members of the Permanent Force who had initially volunteered for service. This initial contingent was commanded by Cmdt S. van Breda Theron DSO, DFC, AFC and included many World War II SAAF veterans. The squadron was moved to Johnson Air Base near Tokyo on 25 September 1950 for conversion training on the F-51D Mustangs supplied by the US Air Force.

 On completion of conversion training, the squadron was deployed as one of the four USAF 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing squadrons and on 16 November 1950 an advance detachment consisting of 13 officers and 21 other ranks (including the Squadron Commander and his four Flight Commanders who made the crossing in their own F-51D Mustangs) left Japan for Pusan East (K-9) Air Base within the Pusan Perimeter in Korea to fly with the USAF pilots in order to familiarize themselves with the local operational conditions. On the morning of 19 November 1950, Cmdt Theron and Capt G.B. Lipawsky took off with two USAF pilots to fly the first SAAF combat sorties of the Korean War from K-9 and K-24 airfields at Pyongyang.

 On 30 November the squadron was moved further south to K-13 airfield due to North Korean and Chinese advances. It was again moved even further south after the UN forces lost additional ground to the North Koreans to K-10 airfield situated on the coast close to the town of Chinhae. This was to be the squadron’s permanent base for the duration of their first Korean deployment. During this period (while equipped with F-51D Mustangs) the squadron flew 10,373 sorties and lost 74 aircraft out of the total 95 allocated. Twelve pilots were killed in action, 30 missing and four wounded.

 In January 1953 the squadron returned to Japan for conversion to the USAF F-86F Sabre fighter-bombers. The first Sabre mission was flown on 16 March 1953 from the K-55 airfield in South Korea, being the first SAAF jet mission flown. 2 squadron was led by ace pilot, Major Jean de Wet from AFB Langebaanweg. The squadron was tasked with fighter sweeps along the Yalu and Chong-Chong rivers as well as close air support attack misisons. The squadron flew 2,032 sorties in the Sabres losing four out of the 22 aircraft supplied.

 The war ended on 27 July 1953, when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. During the first phase of the war, the main task of the squadron Mustangs was the interdiction of enemy supply routes which not only accounted for approximately 61.45% of SAAF combat sorties, but which reached an early peak from January to May 1951 (78% and 82%).

 A typical interdiction mission was an armed reconnaissance patrol usually undertaken by flights of two or four aircraft armed with two napalm bombs, 127 mm rockets and 12.7 mm machine guns. Later, after the introduction of the Sabres, the squadron was also called on to provide counter-air missions flying as fighter sweeps and interceptions against MiG-15’s, but interdiction and close air support remained the primary mission.

 Losses were 34 SAAF pilots killed, eight taken prisoner (including the future Chief of the Air Force, General D Earp) with 74 Mustangs and 4 Sabres lost. Pilots and men of the squadron received a total of 797 medals including 2 Silver Stars – the highest award to non-American nationals – 3 Legions of Merit, 55 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 40 Bronze Stars.

 In recognition of their association with 2 Squadron, the OC of 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing issued a policy directive “that all retreat ceremonies shall be preceded by the introductory bars of the South African national anthem. All personnel will render the honour to this anthem as our own.”

 On conclusion of hostilities, the Sabres were returned to the USAF and the squadron returned to South Africa in October 1953. During this period, the Union Defence Forces were reorganised into individual services and the SAAF became an arm of service in its own right, under an Air Chief of Staff (who was renamed “Chief of the Air Force” in 1966). It adopted a blue uniform, to replace the army khaki it had previously worn.

(Source – Wikipedia)

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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

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.

Shackleton MR.3 Engine Run


Video courtesy of Hilton Mundy, Short Final TV

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Beaufighter KV-930 of 19 Squadron based at Biferno, Italy

SAAF No 19 Sqn Beaufighter over the German occupied town of Zuzemberk


Dear Sir or Madam,
I research to find any information about the following crashed-ditched.
0n 12 September 1944 a Beaufighter KV-930 of 19 (SAAF)Squadron,crashed near to the shore of Ithaki Island (Greece).Both crew members survived the crash.
My interest is in discovering further information.Any details that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Yours Sincerely
Pavlos Lykoudis



Beaufighter KV930 code ‘V’ of 19 Squadron South African Air Force, based at Biferno (Italy).
Reported missing on 12 September 1944 following attack on a Siebel ferry off Ithaki Island. Struck in starboard engine by anti-aircraft fire and forced to ditch in sea one mile off Ithaki Island, on west coast of Greece at 1705hrs.
15879V Lt RA Geater (pilot – SAAF) and 153915 F/O SWG Dellow (observer – RAF) both reported safe on 23 September 1944.
Steven McLean
Research Assistant to SAAF Museum, AFB Ysterplaat
Cape Town
Rep. of South Africa

Wings and Wheels 2011 Air Show Participants

Image by Irene McCullagh


Air Show Helpline Number: 021 508 6414

  1. JET PROVOST                                                         FLYING DISPLAY
  2. L39                                                                             FLYING DISPLAY
  3. L39                                                                             FLYING DISPLAY
  4. 2 X MX2                                                                    FLYING DISPLAY
  5. 4 X HARVARD                                                        FLYING DISPLAY
  6. P51 MUSTANG                                                        FLYING DISPLAY
  7. SEA FURY                                                                 FLYING DISPLAY
  8. YAK 55                                                                       FLYING DISPLAY
  9. PITTS SPECIAL                                                       FLYING DISPLAY
  10. CRISTEN EAGLE                                                    FLYING DISPLAY
  11. BELL 47                                                                     FLYING DISPLAY
  12. GAZELLE                                                                  FLYING DISPLAY
  13. BOSBOK                                                                   FLYING DISPLAY
  14.  2 X RV73 (FORMATION)                                    FLYING DISPLAY
  15. 2 X RV8                                                                    FLYING DISPLAY
  16. PREMIER JET                                                        FLYPAST & STATIC
  17. C172                                                                           FLYPAST & STATIC
  18. AC500                                                                       FLYPAST & STATIC
  19. PREMIER JET                                                        FLYPAST & STATIC
  20. PC12                                                                          FLYPAST & STATIC
  21. BARON                                                                     FLYPAST & STATIC
  22. NAVY HARVARD                                                   POSSIBLE FLYING
  23. BOSBOK                                                                   STATIC
  24. CHIPMUNK                                                             STATIC
  25. TIGER MOTH                                                          STATIC
  26. PIPER CUB                                                               STATIC
  27. SAVANAH                                                                 STATIC
  28. HUGHES 269                                                           STATIC
  29. HUEY                                                                         STATIC
  30. GRASS HOPPER                                                     STATIC
  31. MAGNI GYRO                                                         STATIC
  32. SANKA HELICOPTER                                          STATIC
  33. WILGA                                                                      STATIC
  34. STEARMAN                                                             STATIC
  35. TITAN TORNADO                                                 STATIC
  36. VANSIN                                                                    STATIC
  37. RAVEN                                                                     STATIC
  38. JODEL                                                                      STATIC
  39. CX4                                                                           STATIC


  2. HAWK
  3. C47TP
  6. ORYX
  7. LYNX
  8. AUGUSTA A 109
  10. C130




C47 (DC3)








CAPE TOWN CAR CLUB:                                    BEST 300 CLASSIC & VINTAGE CARS

FRANSCHOEK MUSEUM:                       30 VEHICLES (









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Youth Day, 16th June 2011

The Cadets were treated to a special day on Youth Day, Thursday 16 June 2011 at the SAAF Museum, to honour them for all their achievements and to celebrate the day.

Unfortunately the weather did not play along, but they did manage some outdoor activities when the rain eased, scampering back indoors when the rain started again. There was a bit of cricket, soccer, and volley ball with a fence as a net. Very inventive.

Indoor activities were a movie and a team build, where they were given 15 pipe cleaners and had 30 mins to build something. Items ranged from a quad bike, a rescue boat, the Shackleton lifeboat and one team each made eyewear representing a movie character.

Lunch was a bring and braai and then they were treated to a dvd of YDP photos of the year so far, which they thoroughly enjoyed judging from the jokes and laughter.

The end result of a great day, laughter, fun and bonding.

Lee Stanbury

Youth Development Program Leader


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