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THE AIRFORCE - SQUADRONS
 
 

Role: Disbanded
Status: Disbanded
Based at: N/A
Aircraft:

114 Commando Squadron

About this Squadron

The unit was staffed by volunteer aircrew flying civilian aircraft. 

The idea of a commando squadron staffed by woman originated with Mrs. Ingrid Heinz. After ten years of unsucsessfull bartering the head of the Air Force, Genl. R.H.D. Rogers approve the plan during November 1975. The idea became fesable after a visit by women pilots to the Dunnottar base middel 1974. During this visit the woman had a chance to convince some sinior Air Force officers of their plan. The plan was proposed to Mr. P.W. Botha in January 1975 and the prosess was officially started.   

Ministerial approval was granted on 28 January 1976 for the establishment of a Commando squadron staffed by women aircrew. On 20 February 1976 a directive was issued by Chief of AF for the formation of 114 Squadron.

A special selection board was held on 28 October 1976 attended by 20 woman pilots. Four pilots were selected: Val Humphreys of Ngodwana, Eastern Transvaal; Yvonne van den Dool of Tzaneen; Rita du Plessis of Delmas and E. Amalie van Maltitz of Johannesburg. An additional five members was selected by formation date: mrs. M.H. Brooks, I. Heinz, Jeanette E. Fraser-Jones and miss J. Manning all from Johannesburg and P.A. Hoffman of Pretoria. Rita du Plessis did not join. The first squadron memberes were appointed on 21 December 1996.

The establishment of 114 Commando Squadron was annouced on 4 January 1977 by AFHQ.

Tasked with visual reconnassance causualty evacuation, search and rescue and dropping of supplies and messages. The recurement for joining the squadron were to be fully bilingual,  between 18 and 60 years of age, have access to an aircraft, minimum of 150 solo flying hours. They had to fly a minimum of 24 hours a year to maintain proficiency, attend four hours training each year and do 10 hours a year of an annual training camp. The squadron was to consist of 20 pilots and 5 observers.

Controlled by Light Aircraft Command in 1970's.

8 Candidate officers commenced training iro officers orientation course on 2 February 1997. From 14 to 18 March 1977 the members did their first weak of basic training at S.T.T. Flying training commenced at Lanseria on 2 April 1977 and was completed at AFS Potchefstroom. The first S.A.A.F. Commando Pilot Wings were awarded to women pilots of 114 Commando Squadron on 16 June 1977 at Potchefstroom.

During July 1977 the pilots attended a navigation course at 80 ANS, becoming the first woman to attend a course at this unit.

On 13 August 1977 the Squadron held its first parade at Lanseria. 114 Sqn HQ was officially opened on 11 November 1977. The squadron performed its first mission on 15/16 March 1978, flying five officers from AFHQ to Durban.

In 1979 B Flight was formed in Natal.

During the flying camp of 1979 at Messina two members of B Flight lost their way and ended up in Mozambique.

After the disbandment of Light Aircraft Command at the end of 1979 the squadron with 102 and 104 sqn came under control of AFB Swartkop.

During 1981 members of 114 manned the ops room at Windhoek.

On 12 November 1981 B Flight was transferred to 105 Sqn.

In terms of the S.A.A.F. rationalization program, known as "Plan 90", 114 Commando Squadron was ordered to disband by 31st December 1990. In the end the squadron was disbanded some time before this date, on 31st March 1990. A closing down parade was held on 18 June 1990. Suitable personnel were transferred to other commando squadrons, mostly 104 and 111 Commando Squadrons.  



Other Squadrons based at N/A:
1 Squadron, 10 Squadron, 103 Squadron, 109 Squadron, 11 Squadron, 112 Commando Squadron / 1 SWA Squadron, 12 Squadron, 120 Squadron, 24 Squadron, 25 Squadron, 26 Squadron, 27 Squadron, 3 Squadron, 30 Squadron, 31 Squadron, 4 Squadron, 40 Squadron, 42 Squadron, 5 Squadron, 6 Squadron, 7 Squadron, 8 Squadron, 84 Light Aircraft Flying School, 86 Multi-Engine Flying School, 88 Maritime Operational Training School, 89 Combat Flying School

Other Disbanded Squadrons:
1 Squadron, 103 Squadron, 109 Squadron, 11 Squadron, 112 Commando Squadron / 1 SWA Squadron, 12 Squadron, 120 Squadron, 24 Squadron, 25 Squadron, 26 Squadron, 27 Squadron, 3 Squadron, 30 Squadron, 31 Squadron, 4 Air Servicing Unit, 4 Squadron, 40 Squadron, 42 Squadron, 5 Squadron, 6 Squadron, 7 Air Servicing Unit, 7 Squadron, 8 Squadron, 84 Light Aircraft Flying School, 86 Multi-Engine Flying School, 88 Maritime Operational Training School, 89 Combat Flying School