Tumult in the Clouds: Stories from the South African Air Force 1920-2010

Tumult in the Clouds: Stories from the South African Air Force 1920-2010

by Dean Wingrin

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781908916273
Publisher: Helion & Company, Limited
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Pages: 334
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

An accountant by profession, Dean Wingrin has had an interest in aviation since childhood, collecting articles and taking photos at airports and air shows whenever he could. His photographs and articles are regularly published in local and international journals and aviation magazines. He also acts as a consultant to various print, radio, TV and internet journalists and investigative programmes. He served his national service in the South African Air Force and was Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Cape Town branch of the Friends of the SAAF Museum for almost 20 years. He is founder and webmaster of the popular unofficial SAAF website (www.saairforce.co.za), a site he set up in 1996 as a result of his interest in the SAAF. The website provides a detailed background on the SAAF and its current activities and is viewed as the premier website on the air force. Dean is also a director of the South African Aviation Foundation Museum Ltd, a non-profit company formed to preserve the SAAF's aviation heritage through, inter alia, physical and financial assistance to the SAAF Museum at Air Force Base Ysterplaat in Cape Town.

Table of Contents

Foreword Lieutenant-General (Ret.) Denis Earp SSA, SD, SOE, SM 12

Note from the author 13

Glossary and abbreviations 15

List of illustrations 19

List of maps 24

Part 1 Formation of the SAAF: 1920-1939 29

Background 30

Sir Pierre - Father of the SAAF 32

Memories of Sir Pierre 33

Air force father recalls the beginning 33

Administering the fledging air force 34

SAAF member 188 35

Dad in the ZAAF 35

Part 2 World War Two: 1939-1945 37

Background 38

Early training 39

Down memory lane 41

Raid on Fort Namoroputh 42

Touched by a hero 42

The story of Porky Rich as a soldier 44

Hacked 46

El Alamein line shoot: Sand in my shoes, or a fighter pilot's day in the Western Desert 48

How we helped heat the Nazis 52

This is the BBC 52

My war 53

Invasion of Madagascar 54

Desert duels 57

A night in the desert and a missed opportunity 62

On straps and the Underwater Flying School 64

Caterpillar Club 68

The dummy 69

My father 70

Forced landing on the Skeleton Coast 71

Letter no. 31 73

Desert daydreams 74

A night intruder's op 76

How the war was won 78

Death on an Italian farm 79

Conscience over Italy 80

The Aegean Campaign 81

Mission to Stuttgart 82

Stalag Luft III 83

A glance over Switzerland 90

Liberators over Warsaw 91

Crew chief 96

Liberator crews 98

The Widow Maker 98

10,500 feet above Verona 100

Trading prisoners 102

Two virgins 105

Raid on Conegliano 120

Twenty minutes in the life of a pilot 121

Operation Bowler 121

Incident on a Dakota shuttle to Italy 124

A navigator's story 124

Navigating the Cairo-Pretoria shuttle service 128

A hero returns 128

By troopship to South Africa, 1942 129

No. 48 Air School at East London 132

No. 44 Air School at Grahamstown 133

Ysterplaat Air Force Station 135

Two men 138

Part 3 Berlin Airlift: 1948 139

Background 140

The Berlin Airlift 141

Daily life 146

Coal over Berlin 147

A South African in the RAF 148

Part 4 Korea: 1953-1955 149

Background 150

First to Korea 151

Japan to Korea 152

Activities in Korea 153

Changing tactics 155

Korean memories 158

Fighting in Korea 159

A bum effort 162

Mustang 308 164

My stay in Korea 165

Tussling with MiGs 168

Life in Korea 169

Life of an armourer 170

Memories of Korea 171

Volunteering for Korea 172

Sabre flying 173

How I got to flying jets in Korea 174

Bringing a Sabre home 179

How to lose 40 pounds in 41 days 180

On Mustangs and Sabres 182

Surprising Sabre 182

Air display 182

R&R at Fujiya 183

Liaison with the Cheetahs 183

Life in Chinhae, circa 1951 185

Part 5 Rhodesia: 1967-1980 189

Background 190

Views of a lifetime 190

The mombies 192

Recce in Rhodesia 192

Search for Puma lost at Mapai 193

Working with the SAAF 195

Part 6 Border War: 1960-1988 197

Background 198

Bush tours 199

Doggies 201

A coffin for Coppen 202

Bush lessons 204

Missing, presumed dead 206

Harvards to SWA 208

Carry me to my plane 208

Routing to Ondangwa 212

Bosbok adventures 212

Attack on Cassinga 214

ATC and Ondangwa 216

Chopper air-combat manoeuvres 220

First Impala across the border 221

Mortar attack on Ondangwa 222

Hercules flight 224

Ejection 224

Impala night weapons 232

C-160 wheels-up 234

Missed Sunday lunch 234

My personal experiences with the 250 ADAG 235

Where are the Bushmen? 240

A tragic day 240

Another tragic day 241

Bosbok over Xangongo 242

The bombing of SAAF HQ 244

An NSM's view of SAAF security 246

SAM survivor 248

Low flying in the Buccaneer 248

Dak versus Puma 249

The accident that would just not end 250

Menongue, 1988 254

The sinking of the Habana 257

Part 7 Post-War Years: 1946-1994 261

Background 262

An RAF type joins the SAAF 263

Tsetse-fly spraying 264

The tale of a survivor of Sunderland 1714 265

The ambulance flight 268

Air force boats 269

Undershooting on two 271

Buccaneer airmen's story of rescue 272

Rescue of Buccaneer pilots 274

Prelude to the rescue of Buc 417 275

High flight 275

Ejection 276

Excitement, challenges and fun 277

Swinging engineer 277

Shadowing a Scorpion 278

Buccaneer 425 279

Flying at sea 281

The day the dominee went to sea 282

Temptations of Langebaanweg 285

Ice escapades 286

Dakota 6825 287

Demoina 290

Dak flight 294

Poseidon adventure 295

From the naval perspective 297

The Harvard saga 298

My girl 299

Part 8 Post-1994 301

Background 302

Full circle 303

Just another Christmas Day 306

Rose among the thorns 307

Inadvertent ejection 309

A dark night in Africa 313

Part 9 Display Flying 317

Background 318

Harvard acrobatics 318

Night aerobatics 319

First jet aerobatic team 320

Leading the Silver Falcons 321

Second tour with the Silver Falcons 322

Being accepted into the Silver Falcons 322

Flying for the SAAF Museum 323

Flying with Johnny Johnson 324

Appendix I Pub songs from the Second World War 325

Appendix II Pub songs from Korea 327

Appendix III Pub songs from the Border War 332

Index 341

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