Home Forum Shop Alumni

Squadrons of the SAAF and their Aircraft: 1920 - 2005

Author: Steven McLean

ISBN: 0 9584929 4 8

Reviewed By: Dean Wingrin

The SAAF has had a long and proud past, with many books being written on its aircraft, its history and even a few books and manuscripts published on individual squadron histories. But no one book has attempted to tell the story of the SAAF through its squadrons and units. It is this later quality that sets this book apart as this is the first time that the histories of all 108 squadrons, flying training schools and units that comprised the SAAF since its formation in 1920 to 2005 is told in one book.

Each squadron or unit is treated as an individual chapter with a badge or badges, motto with translation, Battle / Theatre Honour listing (where applicable), an in-depth history, a list of all airfields and landing grounds from which the unit operated with accompanying dates, and a list of the major and minor aircraft types to have served with the squadron / unit with serial number samples known to have been on strength.

Squadrons and units include all the operational squadrons, including 62 Squadron, which carries the dubious distinction of having the shortest lifespan of all SAAF squadrons to date (two months!), the Reserve and Commando Squadrons and all the training units. Miscellaneous squadrons covered include Research Squadron, the Test Flight and Development Centre and the SAAF Museum.

Although the book features some 890 colour and black & white photographs, it is primarily text-based with the images playing a supporting role. It also features 97 squadron badge artworks by aviation artist, Darryl Legg, to provide what could be the most comprehensive collection of SAAF squadron emblems between two covers.

As a comprehensive history of each squadron, the book is not a chronological history of the SAAF. But do not let that deter you. The meticulous research that has been put into this book will become evident and the reader will derive a greater insight into the history and operations of the SAAF than by reading an abbreviated history of the SAAF itself.

This book can be thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in the SAAF.

298 x 210mm, 480pp, 890 b/w & colour photos, badges and profiles

Purchase this book online from The Airforce Shop!

See Archive for all reviews