South African Air Force squadron identification codes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The South African Air Force adopted Royal Air Force squadron identification codes during the Second World War and continued to use these codes after the war. The last use of the wartime code system was on a 22 Squadron PV-1 Ventura in 1960.[1]

Aircraft deployed for the East African Campaign did not carry any squadron codes - and these were first introduced when the SAAF deployed to North Africa in 1942. Squadron codes were assigned by the RAF from a theater annex to SD110. Aircraft used in South Africa did not carry squadron codes, except for aircraft of the 11 OTU which carried the squadron codes of their parent squadrons (1 and 2 Squadron SAAF).[2]

Historically, the codes were usually two alphabetic characters, painted on the rear fuselage next to the roundel. These formed a suffix or prefix to the call sign of each aircraft (on the other side of the roundel) which was usually a single letter (e. g. "G for George"). In general, when an aircraft was lost or withdrawn from use, its call sign was applied to its replacement or another aircraft.[3]

World War II[edit]

Code Squadron Type Period From Period To Theater Notes
AX 1 Squadron [2] Hurricane Mk I April 1942 November 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
AX 1 Squadron [2] Hurricane Mk IIc September 1942 November 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
AX 1 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk Vc November 1942 April 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East
AX 1 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk VIII August 1943 June 1945 Mediterranean / Middle East
AX 1 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk IX c August 1943 October 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East
AX 11 Operational Training Unit [2] Hurricane Mk II 1943 1944 South Africa: Training A Flight
DB 2 Squadron [2] Kittyhawk Mk I, Ia April 1942 June 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East Maj. D.B. Hauptfleisch (OC 2 Sqn) flew Kittyhawk Mk. I with personal code DBH 1942-1943 [4]
DB 2 Squadron [2] Kittyhawk Mk III June 1943 Junly 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East
DB 2 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk Vc June 1943 March 1944 Mediterranean / Middle East
DB 2 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk IX February 1944 July 1945 Mediterranean / Middle East
DHL 1943 1944 Italy Personal code of Col. D.H. Loftus, OC 7 Wing SAAF, Kittyhawk [5]
DT 1943 1944 Italy Personal code of Maj. S.F. du Toit, 7 Wing SAAF, Spitfire Mk. VIII[5]
DT 1945 1945 Italy Personal code of Lt. Col. S.F. du Toit, OC 8 Wing SAAF, Spitfire Mk. VIII[5]
CA 3 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk IX February 1944 October 1945 Mediterranean / Middle East Maj. C.A. Golding (OC 3 Sqn) flew Spitfire IX with personal code CAG 1944-1945 [4]
DX 4 Squadron [2] Tomahawk Mk. II Feb 1942 Jun 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
KJ 4 Squadron [2] Tomahawk Mk. IIb c Nov 1941 Jan 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
KJ 4 Squadron [2] Kittyhawk Mk's I, Ia, III Jun 1941 Jul 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East
KJ 4 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk. V Jul 1943 May 1944 Italy
KJ 4 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk. IX May 1944 Jul 1945 Italy
KK 31 Squadron B-24 Liberator 1944 1945 Italy
GL 5 Squadron [2] Tomahawk Mk II Oct 1941 Jan 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East
GL 5 Squadron [2] Kittyhawk Mk Ia 1943 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East
GL 5 Squadron [2] Kittyhawk Mk III, Mk IV Jan 1943 Sep 1944 Italy
GL 5 Squadron [2] Mustang Mk III, Mk IV Sep 1944 Oct 1945 Italy
GL 11 Operational Training Unit [2] Hurricane Mk. II 1943 1945 South Africa: Training B Flight
JEP 1945 1945 Italy Personal code of Maj. J.E. Pearson, 8 Wing SAAF, Spitfire Mk. IX[6]
JH 1945 1945 Italy Personal code of Lt. Col. J Human, OC 7 Wing SAAF, Spitfire Mk. IX[7]
ND 11 Squadron [2] Kittyhawk Mk. IV Oct 1944 Aug 1945 Italy
ND 11 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk. IX Aug 1945 Oct 1945 Italy
OZ 24 Squadron [2] Boston Mk. III 1941 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
P 12 Squadron [8] Douglas Boston III March 1942 December 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East
P 25 Squadron [9] Martin Marauder III October 1944 July 1945 Mediterranean / Italy
? 26 Squadron [10][11] Vickers Wellington Mk X & XI May 1943 May 1945 West Africa / Gold Coast(Ghana)
A 12 Squadron [8] Martin Maryland II January 1944 December 1944 Mediterranean / Italy
V 12 Squadron [8] Martin Maryland III August 1945 November 1945 Mediterranean / Italy
B 30 Squadron [12] Martin Marauder III August 1944 September 1945 Mediterranean / Italy
TA 2 Squadron [2] Tomahawk Mk. II 1941 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
TJ 7 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk. IX 1944 1945 Mediterranean / Middle East
VL 12 Squadron [2] Boston Mk. III 1942 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
WR 40 Squadron [2] Hurricane Mk's. I, II Jan 1942 Aug 1942 Mediterranean / Middle East
WR 40 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk. V Feb 1943 Jun 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East Lt Col R.R. Rogers, OC 40 Sqn flew with personal serial code RR, 1943, Spitfire Mk. IX[13]
WR 40 Squadron [2] Spitfire Mk. IX Jun 1943 Oct 1945 Italy Maj T. Cook, OC 40 Sqn flew with personal serial code TC, 1944, Spitfire Mk. IX[13]
ZP 15 Squadron [2] Blenheim Mk. V 1942 1943 Mediterranean / Middle East

Post war use of wartime code system[edit]

Code Squadron Type Period From Period To Theater Notes
DHL 1946 1946 South Africa Personal code of Col. D.H. Loftus, OC 7 Wing SAAF Spitfire Mk. VIII[5]
AX 1 Squadron[1] Spitfire LF.9 1946 1949 South Africa
AX 1 Squadron[1] Vampire FB.5 1949 1951 South Africa
DB 2 Squadron[1] Spitfire LF.9 1946 1948 South Africa
JS 60 Squadron[1] Dakota Mk. III, IV 1946 1950 South Africa
JS 60 Squadron[1] Spitfire LF.9 (PR) 1946 1950 South Africa
JS 60 Squadron[1] Ventura Mk. II 1946 1950 South Africa
JS 60 Squadron[1] Mosquito PR 16 1946 1950 South Africa
LB 21 Squadron[1] Ventura Mk. II 1947 1951 South Africa
MS 17 Squadron[1] Ventura Mk. V 1947 1958 South Africa
MT 22 Squadron[14] Ventura Mk. V 1954 1960 South Africa
OD 28 Squadron[14] Dakota Mk. III, IV 1946 1955 South Africa
OP 42 Squadron[14] Auster AOPS 1953 1957 South Africa
OZ 24 Squadron[14] Ventura II 1948 1948 South Africa
PH 27 Squadron[14] South Africa Code allocated but not used.
RB 35 Squadron[14] Sunderland GR.5 1945 1947 South Africa
RB 35 Squadron[14] Anson floatplane 1946 1946 South Africa
ST 25 Squadron[14] South Africa Code allocated but not used.
VL 12 Squadron[14] Anson 1946 1950 South Africa

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Flintham, V; Tomas, A (2008). Combat Codes: A full explanation and listing of British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Force unit codes since 1938. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Aviation. p. 165. ISBN 9781844156917. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Flintham (2008), pp. 165
  3. ^ Lake, Alan (1999). Flying units of the RAF (1st ed.). Shrewsbury: Airlife Publishing. pp. 294–303. ISBN 1 84037 086 6. 
  4. ^ a b Flintham (2008), pp.229
  5. ^ a b c d Flintham (2008), pp.230
  6. ^ Flintham (2008), pp.233
  7. ^ Flintham (2008), pp.234
  8. ^ a b c "History of War". No. 12 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "History of War". No. 25 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "History of War". No. 26 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "26 Sqn Unofficial Site". No. 26 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War. 
  12. ^ "History of War". No. 30 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Flintham (2008), pp.237
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Flintham (2008), pp. 198