Unit Information: 42 Squadron, SAAF

Unit Abreviation
Unit Name
42 Squadron, SAAF
Total Deaths
7
Logo
Motto
"Per Spicimus" (We Survey)
Description

The only army aviation unit to serve in the South African forces during World War II, 42 AOP Flight was formed at Bari, Italy, on 23 January 1945, with an officer of the SA Artillery in command. Most of the pilots were drawn from the SAAF and were given special training for their artillery-spotting duties. Flying Austers, the squadron was kept busy until the end of the war in Europe, moving from one base to the next as the Germans retreated in Italy.

With the end of the war, 42 Flight and their Austers were shipped back to South Africa and were based at Potchefstroom, the home of the South African Artillery. Its first two purely Army pilots were trained at the SAAF's Central Flying School in 1949, with the flight flying various marques of Auster. For a while the Flight was placed under the control of the SAAF, but in 1953 it reverted back to the Army for a few years before being passed back to the SAAF as 42 Squadron. Auster AOP-6s and 9s entered service between 1953 and 1957.

In May 1962 the Austers were phased out by the Cessna 185, being joined by the Bosbok in 1974 and later by the Kudu. The Kudu was retired in 1991, followed by the Bosbok in 1992. In the last few months of service of the Bosbok, the squadron formed the 'Spikes' formation team to showcase the performance qualities of their much underrated aircraft. The squadron moved to AFB Swartkop in December 1992, flying the Cessna 185. A single Pilatus PC-6, formerly of the Bophuthatswana (homeland) Defence Force, joined the squadron following the 1994 elections. The squadron relocated to AFB Waterkloof in early 2000, wereafter it was disbanded.

Select a Unit to display

Information

Contributions to this website are not only welcome, they are vital. Please add Stories and Dedications, images of the person, grave images and any other information that you have.

I get emailed a copy of the additions that you make and I will extract the information to update the database.

Year of Death

Person

Advanced Search

Sitewide Statistics

Deaths 33799
Stories 2230
Dedications 993
Photos 4769
Units 876
Users 510

Donations

Donations help to defray the costs of server hosting and bandwidth. Anything you contribute will be greatly appreciated.

Last Visits

List of the locations of last people to visit this site.

  1. You (United States)  
  2. (United States)  
  3. (United States)  
  4. (United States)  
  5. (United States)  
  6. (United States)  
  7. (China)  
  8. ()  
  9. Berlin (Germany)  
  10. ()  

Tweets

Other Stuff

Bookmark and Share

Products from Just Done Productions
Soldiers Verse: An Anthology of Poetry by John Dovey My Cryptic Life by Donald Els Alanby Labourer or Settler: Colonial Natal's Indian Dilemma 1860 -1897 by Duncan Du Bois From Forever to Beyond by Peter Keller Altered States by Frank Nunes Raw Yet Real by Roderick de-Bathe