4 Squadron SAAF

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4 Squadron
Spitfire Mk.IX PT672 Evelyn b.jpg
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX
Active April 1939-December 1939
March 1941-October 1945
January 1951-October 1958
November 1961-September 1991[1]
Country South Africa
Branch South African Air Force
Role Fighter Bomber · Counter Insurgency
Motto "Mors Hosti" (Death to the Enemy)[1]
Insignia
Squadron Identification Code KJ 1942-1945[2]
4 Squadron Insignia 4 Squadron SAAF Insignia.jpg

4 Squadron SAAF was a South African Air Force unit which served during World War II.

It was resurrected in 1951 and remained active until 1958. Its final period of active service was from 1961 to 1991. Its final aircraft were Impala Mk IIs. It was based at Lanseria Airport at the time of final disbandment.

History[edit]

Establishment and deployment[edit]

The squadron was initially equipped with Hawker Hartbees, Hawker Furys and Wapitis when it was first formed in April 1939 in Durban. It was disbanded soon thereafter (December 1939) and resurrected at AFB Waterkloof on 24 March 1941 flying Hurricanes.[1] Operational training took place in Kenya and soon the squadron was responsible for protection against possible Italian attacks from Somaliland. While in Kenya, it received a number of Curtiss Mohawks which had been taken over from French orders.[3]

World War II[edit]

On 1 September 1941 the squadron began to move to Egypt and converted to Tomahawks. Its first combat patrol came on 12 November, early in Operation Crusader as a fighter-bomber squadron. The squadron remained in Egypt to take part in all of the desert battles from Operation Crusader to El Alamein. The squadron also supported the advance into Tunisia as well as the invasions of Sicily and Italy. The Kittyhawks were replaced by Spitfires in July 1943. In August it moved onto Sicily and to the Italian mainland in September from where it concentrated on ground attack missions until the end of hostilities. 4 Squadron remained in Italy for two months after the end of the war; on 12 July its personnel began returning to South Africa. The squadron was disbanded in October 1945.[3]

Post World War II[edit]

4 Squadron was reformed in January 1951 at AFB Waterkloof as the Active Citizen Force element of 1 Squadron with Harvards and Spitfires until once again disbanded in October 1958. On 1 November 1961, it was reformed at Swartkop, flying Harvards and in August 1972 the first Impala Jets were received.

The squadron moved from Swartkop to Waterkloof and then to Lanseria Airport where it received Impala Mk IIs. It saw numerous deployments to South-West Africa and Mpacha and Rundu airfields in southern Angola.[4] Its home base remained at Lanseria until it was disbanded in September 1991.[1]

Aircraft[edit]

Aircraft flown by 4 Squadron
Note: Aircraft type photographs may not necessarily represent aircraft of the same mark or actual aircraft belonging to the Squadron.
Hawker Hartbeest
1939 
Hawker Fury
1939 
Westland Wapiti
1939 
Hawker Hurricane
1941 
Curtiss 87A Kittyhawk
1941-1943 
Captured Messerschmitt Bf 109F
North Africa, 1943 
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.V
1943-1945, 1951-1958 
North American T-6 Harvard
1951-1958, 1961-1972 
Atlas Impala Mk I
1972-1991 
Atlas Impala Mk I
c. 1980-1991 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d "The Airforce - Squadrons". 4 Squadron. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ Flintham, Vic (2003). Combat Codes. Barnesly: Pen & Sword Aviation. p. 165. ISBN 978-1-84415-691-7. 
  3. ^ a b Rickard, J. "History of War". No. 4 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ Cooper, Tom (2 September 2003). "Angola: SAAF Bushwacks Six Helicopters". Central, Eastern and Southern Africa Database: Angola. Air Combat Information Unit. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 

External links[edit]