RhAF Patch Rhodesian Air Force Rank Master Sergeant b
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RhAF Patch Rhodesian Air Force Rank Master Sergeant b

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RhAF Patch Rhodesian Air Force Master Sergeant Rank Badge Patch 2 1970 UDI Bush Wars Embroidered on wool 76mm by 71mm three inches by two and thirteen sixteenth inches.

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History 1970 - 1980

Following its unilateral declaration as a republic in March 1970 the Royal Rhodesian Air Force was renamed Rhodesian Air Force RhAF. Its fleet
was aging with Canberra bombers Provost trainers C-47 Dakotas and Argonaut transport aircraft from the late 1950s Hawker Hunters in 1962 with its Vampires reassigned to advanced training and ground attack and Alouette III helicopters. With sanctions imposed against Rhodesia the Air Force became increasingly dependent on South Africa and covert means to obtain spares and add to its fleet during the Bush War with Cessna 337 Lynx and Machetti SF260 Genet trainer and ground-attack aircraft Iroquois helicopters from Israel and additional Alouette III helicopters obtained covertly. For ground defense the Rhodesian Air Force had their own armoured car unit equipped with Eland 60s armed with 60 mm breech loading mortars. 

During the Emergency the Air Force consisted of no more than 2300 personnel including only 150 pilots who were qualified to fly all the aircraft within the Air Force and rotated through the various units so were often involved in combat missions. Rhodesian combined operations police Special Branch army and air force developed counter insurgency tactics from operations during and since WWII with Fireforce cross-border raids on Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army ZANLA guerrilla camps. Fireforce comprised units of Selous Scouts a tracker battalion of 1500 troops 80 percent black many recruited from captured guerrillas probing ahead of a parachute infantry battalion and up to 200 Special Air Service commandos supported by air force helicopter gunships and bomber squadrons armored transport columns mobile field artillery and equestrian pursuit dragoons Greys Scouts. Fireforce gathered intelligence disrupted guerrilla forces and seized equipment and formed the basis of new methods of counterinsurgency warfare although condemned by the UN.

Following the independence of Zimbabwe in April 1980 the air force was renamed the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

This patch dates from 1970

 

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