60 Squadron SAAF

60 Squadron SAAF is a squadron of the South African Air Force. It is a transport, aerial refuelling and EW(electronic warfare)/ELINT(electronic intelligence) squadron. It was first formed at Nairobi in December 1940.

During its first years the squadron flew the British Aircraft Double Eagle, Martin Maryland, de Havilland Mosquito, and the Lockheed Ventura. The squadron was reequipped with Boeing 707s in 1986.

While it was based for a long period at AFB Waterkloof, Pretoria, due to ongoing runway and taxiway repairs at that base, the squadron operated temporarily for a period out of Johannesburg International Airport.

Operations wound down with the last operational Boeing 707 flight flown on 10 July 2007 to Bujumbura, Kinshasa and Kindu.[1] The squadron appears to be in limbo, with conversion to the Airbus A400M cancelled.

Auschwitz-Birkenau 25 August 1944
Photo of Auschwitz-Birkenau taken by 60 Sqn (Sortie no. 60PR/694) under U.S. Air Force command. The selection process of a recently arrived transport visible on the ramp has been completed, and those selected to die are being taken to Crematorium II. Photo released by the Central Intelligence Agency, 1979.
60 Squadron
Retired 60 Squadron Boeing 707 tail number 1419
ActiveDecember 1940
CountrySouth Africa  South Africa
BranchSouth African Air Force
RoleTransport, aerial refueling and EW/ELINT
Current BaseAFB Waterkloof
Motto(s)Accipimus Et Damus We Take and We Give
EquipmentBoeing 707


  1. ^ http://www.saairforce.co.za/the-airforce/squadrons/12/60-squadron

1944 (MCMXLIV)

was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1944th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 944th year of the 2nd millennium, the 44th year of the 20th century, and the 5th year of the 1940s decade.

1944 in South Africa

The following lists events that happened during 1944 in South Africa.

60 Squadron

60 Squadron or 60th Squadron may refer to:

Aviation squadrons

No. 60 Squadron RAF, a unit of the Royal Air Force

No. 60 Squadron RAAF, a unit of the Royal Australian Air Force

60 Squadron SAAF, a unit of the South African Air Force

Desert Air Force

The Desert Air Force (DAF), also known chronologically as Air Headquarters Western Desert, Air Headquarters Libya, the Western Desert Air Force, and the First Tactical Air Force (1TAF), was an Allied tactical air force created from No. 204 Group under RAF Middle East Command in North Africa in 1941 to provide close air support to the British Eighth Army. Throughout World War II, the DAF was made up of squadrons from the Royal Air Force (RAF), the South African Air Force (SAAF), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and other Allied air forces.

In October 1941, the Western Desert Air Forces had 16 squadrons of aircraft (nine fighter, six medium bomber and one tactical reconnaissance) and fielded approximately 1,000 combat aircraft by late 1941. By the time of the Second Battle of El Alamein, the DAF fielded 29 squadrons (including nine South African and three USAAF units) flying Boston, Baltimore and Mitchell medium bombers and Hurricane, Kittyhawk, Tomahawk, Warhawk and Spitfire fighters and fighter-bombers. There were over 1,500 combat aircraft, more than double the number of aircraft the Axis could field.

Heinz-Edgar Berres

Heinz-Edgar Berres (10 January 1920 – 25 July 1943) was a Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Berres was shot down on 25 July 1943 over Sicily. Berres claimed 52 victories in 354 missions. He was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross and promoted to Hauptmann.

Lockheed Ventura

The Lockheed Ventura, also known as the Lockheed B-34 Lexington, was a twin engine medium bomber of World War II, used by United States and British Commonwealth forces in several guises, including maritime patrol.

The Ventura was developed from the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar transport, as a replacement for the Lockheed Hudson bombers then in service with the Royal Air Force. Used in daylight attacks against occupied Europe, they proved to have weaknesses and were removed from bomber duty and some used for patrols by Coastal Command.

After United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) monopolization of land-based bombers was removed, the US Navy ordered a revised design which entered service as the PV-2 Harpoon for anti-submarine work.

Martin Baltimore

The Martin 187 Baltimore was a twin-engined light attack bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company in the United States, originally ordered by the French in May 1940 as a follow-up to the earlier Martin Maryland, then in service in France. With the fall of France, the production series was diverted to Great Britain and it was subsequently used almost exclusively in the Mediterranean and Middle East theatre of World War II.

Development of the Baltimore was hindered by a series of problems, although the type eventually became a versatile combat aircraft. Produced in large numbers, the Baltimore was not used operationally by United States armed forces, but eventually served with the British, Canadian, Australian, South African, Hellenic and the Italian air forces.

No. 211 Group RAF

No 211 Group or No. 211 (Medium Bomber) Group was a Group of the Royal Air Force (RAF) formed on 10 December 1941 by renaming Nucleus Group Western Desert. The group was officially disbanded from 3 February 1942 to 12 March 1943, although some references refer to some of its original squadrons during this period as being with 211 Group. On 12 March 1943, the group reformed as No. 211 (Offensive Fighter) Group and Air Commodore Richard Atcherley assumed command of the group on 11 April 1943. At this time, 211 Group was the principle fighter force of the Desert Air Force (DAF) commanded by Air Vice Marshal Harry Broadhurst, and DAF was a sub-command of Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham's Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF).The group included many units from the South African Air Force (SAAF), as well as several from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), with one each from the Hellenic Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force. Many personnel from other British Commonwealth air forces also served in RAF, SAAF, RAAF and RCAF units, under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and related arrangements.

Throughout the North African Campaign, the medium bomber and fighter squadrons of Air Headquarters Western Desert, also known at various times of the campaign as Air Headquarters Libya, Western Desert Air Force, or DAF, were primarily assigned to either 211 Group or No. 212 (Fighter Control) Group (later No. 212 (Fighter) Group).

Northwest African Photographic Reconnaissance Wing

The Northwest African Photographic Reconnaissance Wing (NAPRW) was a composite Allied photographic reconnaissance wing operational in North Africa during World War II in 1943.

Northwest African Tactical Air Force

The Northwest African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) was a component of the Northwest African Air Forces which itself reported to the Mediterranean Air Command (MAC). These new Allied air force organizations were created at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943 to promote cooperation between the British Royal Air Force (RAF), the American United States Army Air Force (USAAF), and their respective ground and naval forces in the North African and Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). Effective February 18, 1943, the NATAF and other MAC commands existed until December 10, 1943, when MAC was disbanded and the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF) were established. Acting Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham was the commander of NATAF.

The components of NATAF at the time of the Allied invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) on July 10, 1943, are illustrated below.

Northwest African Tactical Air ForceAir Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham

For Operation Husky, No. 242 Group, originally a component of NATAF in February 1943, was assigned to the Northwest African Coastal Air Force (NACAF). At the same time, Air Headquarters, Western Desert became known as Desert Air Force. All of the fighter units of Desert Air Force formed No. 211 (Offensive Fighter) Group commanded by Air Commodore Richard Atcherley on April 11, 1943, in Tripoli. The 99th Fighter Squadron was assigned to the XII Air Support Command on May 28, 1943, and subsequently attached to the 33rd Fighter Group. The actual squadron assignments and detachments varied throughout the war depending on the specific needs of the air force. The table above illustrates the squadron assignments and commanders for the important period of World War II when the Allies prepared to invade Italy (Operation Husky), having just won the war in North Africa (Tunisia Campaign). In recognition of XII Air Support Command's operations in Sicily, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower presented Major General Edwin House with the Legion of Merit and stated the following:

"...for the first time established the application of a tactical air force operating in support of an American Army."

Operation Husky order of battle

Operation Husky Order of Battle is a listing of the significant

military and air force units that were involved in the campaign for Sicily,

July 10 – August 17, 1943.

South African Air Force

The South African Air Force (SAAF) (Afrikaans: Suid-Afrikaanse Lugmag) is the air force of South Africa, with headquarters in Pretoria. The South African Air Force was established on 1 February 1920. The Air Force has seen service in World War II and the Korean War. From 1966 the SAAF was involved in providing infantry support in a low intensity war ("The Border War") in Angola, South-West Africa (Namibia) and Rhodesia. As the war progressed, the intensity of air operations increased until in the late 1980s, the SAAF were compelled to fly fighter missions against Angolan aircraft in order to maintain tactical air superiority. On conclusion of the Border War in 1990, aircraft numbers were severely reduced due to economic pressures as well as the cessation of hostilities with neighbouring states. Today the SAAF has a limited air combat capability and has been structured towards regional peace-keeping, disaster relief and maritime patrol operations. During the apartheid era, it was known by its Afrikaans name of Suid-Afrikaanse Lugmag (SALM, lit. "South African Air Power"), a moniker which has since been depreciated.

Active squadrons
Training and development units
Formation aerobatic teams
Territorial reserve squadrons
Disbanded air and training squadrons
Disbanded air defence squadrons
WW2 Wings of the SAAF
List of training areas of the South African Air Force

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.