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THE AIRFORCE - SQUADRONS
 
 

Role: Air Superiority
Status: Current
Aircraft: Gripen C, Gripen D

2 Squadron

"Sursam Prorusque" (Upward and Onward)
About this Squadron

Known as the 'Flying Cheetahs', 2 (Transvaal) Squadron was formed at Waterkloof in January 1939 with the Hawker Hartbees. Redesignated as a fighter/bomber unit, the squadron spent the year training, but was renumbered as 12 Squadron in December 1939.

The squadron was reformed in Kenya on 1 October 1940, flying Hurricanes, Fury 1's and Gladiator II's. The squadron moved to Egypt in April 1941 and was re-equipped with Curtiss Tomahawk IIB's. Kittyhawk's were received from May 1942. In 1943 the squadron moved to Sicily and then Italy were they were re-equipped with Spitfires which they flew until the end of the war.

The squadron was reformed in December 1948 at Waterkloof, flying Spitfire MkIX's. The Flying Cheetahs as South Africa's contribution to the Korean War. They served in Korea with distinction from November 1950 to December 1953, first flying the F-51D Mustang and from February 1953, the F-86F Sabre. During this campaign, an impressive 12 067 sorties were flown. 74 of 94 Mustangs, and 4 of 22 Sabres were lost, with 34 pilots killed. When the squadron returned to South Africa they were equipped with the Vampire at Waterkloof (in 1954), but in 1956 they received the Sabre Mk6.

Conversion to the new Mirage III occurred in 1963 and the squadron moved to AFB Hoedspruit at the end of 1978. They continued to fly the Mirages until October 1990. They later re-equipped with the Atlas Cheetah C and D, but remained 'on the books' during the hiatus between Mirage and Cheetah, not being officially disbanded at that point. Moving to Louis Trichardt (now Makado) in January 1993, 2 Squadron became the sole front line combat jet squadron in the SAAF.

The Cheetah was retired on 2 April 2008, but the squadron was still kept active until the new Gripen arrived. The SAAF accepted its first Gripen D in April 2008 and the final two Gripen D aircraft arrived in South Africa in July 2009. The first two Gripen Cs arrived on 11 February 2010.



Other Squadrons based at Air Force Base Makhado:
102 Squadron, 3 Air Servicing Unit, 515 Squadron, 85 Combat Flying School

Other Current Squadrons:
1 Air Servicing Unit, 10 Air Depot, 101 Squadron, 102 Squadron, 104 Squadron, 105 Squadron, 106 Squadron, 107 Squadron, 108 Squadron, 110 Squadron, 111 Squadron, 140 Squadron, 142 Squadron, 15 Squadron, 15 Squadron - 'C' Flight, 16 Squadron, 17 Squadron, 18 Deployment Support Unit, 19 Squadron, 2 Air Servicing Unit, 21 Squadron, 22 Squadron, 28 Squadron, 3 Air Servicing Unit, 35 Squadron, 41 Squadron, 44 Squadron, 5 Air Servicing Unit, 500 Squadron, 501 Squadron, 502 Squadron, 503 Squadron, 504 Squadron, 505 Squadron, 506 Squadron, 508 Squadron, 514 Squadron, 515 Squadron, 516 Squadron, 525 Squadron, 526 Squadron, 6 Air Servicing Unit, 60 Squadron, 68 Air School, 80 Air Navigation School, 85 Combat Flying School, 87 Helicopter Flying School, 92 Tactical Airfield Unit, Air Force Command and Control School, Air Force Gymnasium, Air Publications Service Centre, Airspace Control Unit, Bushveld Airspace Control Sector, Central Flying School, Central Photographic Institute, Combined Auction Centre, Command and Control School, Electronic Warfare Centre, Ellisras Reporting Post, Fire Training School, Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre, Lowveld Airspace Control Sector, Mobile Communications Unit, Rapid Deployment Air Operations Team 43, Rapid Deployment Air Operations Team 46, SA Air Force College, SAAF Band, SAAF Museum Historic Flight, SAAF Police, SAAF Telecommunications Centre, School of Cookery, Test Flight and Development Centre