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Role: Medium transport
Status: Current
Aircraft: C-130B/BZ Hercules

28 Squadron

"Portamus" (We Carry)
About this Squadron

Immediately after being formed at Almaza, Egypt, on 1 June 1943, 28 Squadron was split into two, with A Flight based at Castel Benito in Italy and B Flight based at Ras-el-Ma in Morocco, both operating Avro Ansons. By August, Wellingtons and Dakotas had joined the fleet. The squadron also operated detachments in Sicily and Algeria and it was only at the end of the war in Europe that the squadron consolidated operations at Maison Blanche, Algeria.

In September 1945 the squadron returned permanently to South Africa and was based at AFB Swartkop from where it shuttled South African troops home from North Africa and Europe (the 'Springbok Shuttle') during 1945 and early 1946 using Dakotas. At this time, they also operated the Anson, DH Rapide and a single Avro York. VIP flights remained an important part of 28 Squadrons taskings, with various Dakotas and Venturas fitted out with improved accommodation. From 22 September 1948 to 25 September 1949 two contingents participated in the Berlin Airlift, flying RAF aircraft. In 1949 nine De Havilland Devons were added to the VIP fleet, followed by DH Herons in 1955, while the York was disposed of in 1952.

The squadron moved from AFS Zwartkop to AFB Waterkloof in November 1956, leaving its Dakotas behind to join 44 Squadron at Swartkop. When the Dakota could no longer be used to fly VIPs to Europe, a Viscount was acquired in 1958. Seven C-130B Hercules were acquired in 1963, whilst the VIP Flight moved from Waterkloof to AFS Swartkop on 15 May 1967. 

In February 1968 the VIP flight was reconstituted as 21 Squadron (taking with ot the Viscount), while the C-160Z Transall was acquired in 1969 and operated with the squadron from January 1970 until they retired in 1993. Three ex-USN C-130F aircraft were acquired in 1996, with a further two ex-USAF C-130B in 1998. The F models were only flown for a short period before being retired, but the squadron continues to fly the nine C-130B Hercules, all having been upgraded to C-130BZ configuration.

Other Squadrons based at Air Force Base Waterkloof:
1 Air Servicing Unit, 111 Squadron, 21 Squadron, 41 Squadron, 44 Squadron, 5 Air Servicing Unit, 504 Squadron, 60 Squadron, Air Publications Service Centre, Central Photographic Institute, Command and Control School, Electronic Warfare Centre, Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre, SAAF Telecommunications Centre

Other Current Squadrons:
1 Air Servicing Unit, 10 Air Depot, 10 Squadron, 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, 2 Squadron, 21 Squadron, 22 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, 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 Procurement Unit, SAAF Telecommunications Centre, School of Cookery, Test Flight and Development Centre