SAAF Patch South African Air Force a 5 Squadron Harvards 60s
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SAAF Patch South African Air Force a 5 Squadron Harvards 60s

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  • Item #: 1P 32SA 1SAF 01SQN 2OP 0005SQ 01
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SAAF Patch South African Air Force 5 Squadron Patch Badge Harvards Durban 1960s Embroidered on twill cream paper back 92mm by 106mm three and five eighth inches by four and one eighth inches.

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History 1939 - 1992

Motto: - Difficultates Aspiciemus - We Shall Confront All Difficulties

5 Squadron formed in April 1939 at Cape Town as a fighter bomber unit and was disbanded in December 1939. The squadron reformed on 7 May 1941 at Swartkop with Mohawk IV fighter aircraft and was nicknamed the Chakas after a Zulu warrior king. The Squadron relocated to Desert Air Force Egypt in December 1941 reequipping with Tomahawk IIB fighter aircraft becoming operational in March 1942 initially tasked with maritime anti shipping patrols with the RAFs 233 Wing. In mid 1942 the squadron was redeployed in the fighter role and played a major part in the fighting during the retreat from Libya into Egypt in the summer of 1942 including battles over the Knightsbridge box and the Free French fortress at Bir Hakim and El Alamein suffering significant losses.

The Squadron converted to Kittyhawk fighters at the end of 1942 and added the ground attack role to its tasking for the advance into Tunisia. With the defeat of the Germans in North Africa in May 1943 the Squadron relocated to Malta for the invasion of Sicily under 7 SAAF Wing and then moved to Sicily in August 1943 to provide fighter support for the invasion of mainland Italy. In October 1943 the squadron moved to Italy in the ground attack role. In September 1944 the Squadron converted to Mustang fighter aircraft for ground attack close air support and fighter bomber missions and to escort USAAF and SAAF bomber raids in Italy and Yugoslavia until the German surrender in May 1945 and the Chakas remained in Italy until disbanded on 19 October 1945.

5 Squadron reformed in December 1950 at Durban as an Active Citizen Force unit flying Harvards. In July 1973 the Squadron reequipped with Impala Mk I trainer attack aircraft and upgraded to Impala Mk IIs in early 1981. The squadron then relocated to Louis Trichardt AFB in 1988 and reequipped with Cheetah E fighter aircraft. 5 Squadron was disbanded on 2 October 1992 and its Cheetahs decommissioned.  

 

This patch dates from the 1960s

 

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