Although formed as a fighter-bomber unit in Cape Town in April 1939, the squadron was disbanded in December 1939. However, on 7 May 1941 the squadron, known as 'the Chakas' after the Zulu warrior-king, was reformed at Swartkop. Flying Mohawk IVs, the squadron left for Egypt in December 1941. Re-equipped with Tomahawk IIbs, they were given the role of maritime partol in February 1942. In mid-1942 the squadron was retasked as a fighter unit in the Western Desert, still flying the Tomahawk. Transfering to Kittyhawks at the end of 1942, the squadron concentrated on the ground-attack role. With the war in Africa over, the squadron moved to Malta for the invasion of Sicily and then to Sicily itself. In October 1943 the squadron moved to Italy itself. During 1944 the squadron converted to the Mustang III (later Mustang IV) and used them over Italy and Yugoslavia. The Chakas were disbanded at the end of the war.
Reformed in December 1950, the squadron operated as a citizen force unit in Durban. flying Harvards. In July 1973 they re-equipped with the Impala Mk I, while in early 1981 they received Impala Mk IIs. In 1988 the Impala's were swopped for the new Cheetah E operating from AFB Louis Trichardt, but sadly this proud squadron was disbanded during the round of squadron closures in 1992.
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