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SAAF Pilots with 33 Sqn RAF 1944-45
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Author:  Makila [ 23 Nov 2017, 16:31 ]
Post subject:  SAAF Pilots with 33 Sqn RAF 1944-45

I am searching for information regarding two SAAF pilots whose names appear in the 33 Sqn RAF ORB in 1944-1945:

Lt G D Silva (328735)
Lt E D Thompson

The 33 Squadron Association recently completed a four day tour to France, Belgium and the Netherlands to study the Battle of the Scheldt, as 33 Sqn has the battle Honour 'Walcheren' on its Standard. They followed 33 Sqn's route from the SE coast of England, through Caen (France), Le Treport/Eu (France), Merville (France) and Maldegem (Belgium), visiting the airfields where 33 Sqn, part of 2 TAF 135 Wing, was stationed until Dec 1944, when it flew its Spitfire MkIXs home to Lasham and then moved down to Predannack in Cornwall to convert to Hawker Tempest Vs. It was while researching documentation from the National Archives in Kew that I found details of the two SAAF officers. By Feb 45 the Sqn, including Lt Silva and Lt (later Capt) Thompson, had converted to the Tempest and had moved back to Gilze Rijen (Netherlands) to rejoin 135 Wing, which had moved there from Maldegem after the Luftwaffe gave the airfield and the two remaining squadrons a severe kicking during Op BODENPLATTE.

Yes, this is the 33 Sqn that was commanded by Pat Pattle in Greece in 1941. There is also a veteran from this period who is alive and well and living in Ireland. His name is Jan Linzel, he will be 102 in December. Jan is the last remaining RNLAF pilot who was part of the force that took off to defend the Netherlands against the Luftwaffe on 10 May 1940. Jan was shot down, eventually escaped to Britain via Lisbon in 1943, and joined the RAF. he was posted to 33 Sqn in Aug 44, and 322 (Dutch) Sqn in Jul 45.

Any information regarding the two SAAF officers would be gratefully received.

Author:  Kremlin [ 25 Nov 2017, 19:50 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF Pilots with 33 Sqn RAF 1944-45

Hi Makila

The below extracted from Springbok Fighter Victory Volume I by Michael Schoeman.


Author:  Makila [ 29 Nov 2017, 00:35 ]
Post subject:  Re: SAAF Pilots with 33 Sqn RAF 1944-45

Thank you for that information, it is the first piece of new information we have ever received about these two officers and it gives me something to work with now.
Many thanks, best regards,

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