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Digital Photography using Canon EOS cameras



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SAAF Mosquitos PDF Print E-mail

 The SAAF's association with the Mosquito started in 1942 when 60 squadron, who up until that time had been doing a sterling job with the Maryland's they were equipped with started having problems due to fierce Luftwaffe opposition with Me109F's. Field Marshall Montgomery intervened and sent a message to Churchill indicating that the forthcoming battles (El Alamein) success could not be guaranteed unless better Photo Reconnaissance equipment was forthcoming. Churchill arranged for two Mosquitoes to be transferred to the Desert and allocated to 60 Sqd SAAF. To this end two night fighter NFII were modified into PR II's and dispatched to the the desert. In due course 60 Sqd were equipped with MkVI and the PRIX versions.

An interesting anecdote with 60 squadrons Mosquito usage was with Pi Piennaar's run in with the then new (and almost unknown to the Allies) Me262 jet fighter. This is expertly told in his book, Dancing in the Sky. His successful return, although the aircraft was badly shot up and crash landed, allowed the Allies more insight into the capabilities of the Me262.

Towards the end of WWII 60 squadron was equipped with the PRXVI variant and at the end of the war returned to South Africa with them.

The harsh South African sunshine had a very detrimental effect on the wooden Mosquito and their post war career in the SAAF was short-lived. 

One of these Mosquitoes has been preserved and is on view in the Military History Museum in Saxonwold although she is painted in a representation of a WWII colours. It does appear as if there is a darker shade (the correct PRU Blue?) showing through where the paint has been scratched off on the nose. She bears the name Lucky Lady although she should also carry the name Anne on the fuselage nose.

Detail photos can be found here


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