18 November 1940

18 November 1940

Northern Front

Flying Officer Stephen P. Bartlett left No.94 (RAF) Squadron on 18 November[1] to join No.112 (RAF) Squadron in Egypt where he probably served until January 1941[2]. If the later part of his career is not known at the time of writing, he ended the war with the temporary rank of Squadron Leader[3] and joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve until October 1955.[4]

Southern Front

After a complicated start, the situation of No.1 (SAAF) Survey Flight is slowly improving. The unit is redesigned No.60 (SAAF) Squadron on 1st November and receives two Avro Anson between September and October (n°1114 – R3317 and n°1127 – N9976), while the last Airspeed Envoys (n°251 – c/n 50) is returned to South Africa.[5] Air activity remains, however, very limited. This situation poses a serious problem for Brigadier Hector C. Daniel (Senior SAAF Officer East Africa) in view of the future offensive in italian Somaliland.

By chance, the SAAF received three Glenn-Martin Maryland orders (originally from French orders recovered by the British). These first aircraft were sent to Kenya to form No.14 (SAAF) Squadron.[6]

Some of the pilots from No.12 (SAAF) Squadron were then sent to Nakuru airfield to follow a conversion on the new aircraft : Major Charles E. Martin[7], Lieutenant Miles Barnby, B. Brian, Owen Glynn Davies, H.A. Launder, F.W.J. Maxwell, John N. Robbs et R. Tennant.

In mid-November, Brigadier Hector C. Daniel is instructed to organize a photographic reconnaissance over the port of Mogadishu. Due to the fear of the vulnerability of the Junkers Ju.86 and Fairey Battle against Italians fighters, the decision is taken to send, on 18 November, one of the Glenn-Martin Maryland. However, the identity of the aircraft and crew is not specified in the South African documentation.[8]

[1] No.94 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541). Kew : TNA, AIR 27/755.

[2] Shark Squadron : RAF 112 Sqn Tribute Website : http://raf-112-squadron.org/nominal_roll.html

[3] London Gazette, 24 August 1945 : https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37240/supplement/4333

[4] London Gazette, 13 december 1955 : https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/40653/supplement/7014

[5] MCLEAN, Steven. Squadrons of the South African Air Force and their aircraft (1920 – 2005). Cape Town : [s.n.], 2005. p.381.

[6] The unit will have a complicated organisation as part of the staff, including the squadron leader, will quickly be called to Pretoria (South Africa= for training, while one Flight remains in East Africa. In any case, No.14 (SAAF) Squadron was quickly (May 1941) renamed No.24 (SAAF) Squadron to avoid any confusion with No.14 (RAF) Squadron operating in the same theatre of operations.

[7] Replaced by Major J.M.B. Botes for leading No.12 (SAAF) Squadron

[8] BROWN, James Ambrose. A Gathering of Eagles : The campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Africa (1940 – 1941). Cape Town : Purnell and Sons, 1970. p.95 ; MCLEAN, Steven. Squadrons of the South African Air Force and their aircraft (1920 – 2005). Cape Town : [s.n.], 2005. p.131, 148 et 232 ; November – Narrative Norther Operations SAAF. Kew : TNA, AIR/54/8.

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