18 September 1940
Following reports of troop concentrations near Kassala, three Vickers Wellesley of No. 47 (RAF) Squadron took off at 03h30 for a bombing. All the bombs fall on the target, but the crews note the absence of Italian troops on the target.
They are followed by three other aircraft of No.223 (RAF) Squadron at 08h30. Again, the bombs hit the target (although many fall on the village). A very strong anti-aircraft defense, more precise than usual, is reported.
In the afternoon, Gloster Gladiator of No. 1 Squadron Gloster Gladiator (SAAF) Squadron are one action when three aircraft patrolled between 14h50 and 17h15 hours above Kassala. They see and engage on flight two Fiat CR.42 during which, one of the Italian fighter is seen spinning, while the second is forced to a crashed-landing on the ground of Tessenei (south-western border of Eritrea). A victory is claimed by Major Schalk van Schalkwyk, while the second is shared by Lieutnant Johan J. Coetzer and John L. Hewitson (N5852).
Note that this event poses some problems. Indeed due to lack of a War Diary during this period for No.1 (SAAF) Squadron, it is appropriate to rely on secondary sources or compile after the facts. Thus, in the present case, the Italian documentation does not indicate any such confrontation, even if the latter is also incomplete, while in the semi-official history of the SAAF, James A. Brown mentions the date of 1st September. This difference is also present in a summary of activity written by Major Andrew between August and November 1940. This document of two pages is, nevertheless, written during 1941 and includes several errors. It can be noted, however, that John L. Hewitson’s logbook accurately describes this aerial combat on 18 September.
Logbook of Lieutenant John L. Hewitson on September 18, 1940.
From Aden, the RAF is very active on Dire Dawa with an attack by four Bristol Blenheim Mk I of No.8 (RAF) Squadron, four others of No.11 (RAF) Squadron, as well as two of No.39 aircraft (RAF) Squadron, between 02h15 and 06h15. Several bombs fall on the station, the buildings housing the personnel on the airfield and the hangar of Ala Littoria.
Following the losses of 12 September, the SAAF decided to change its mode of operation by attacking, this time at dawn, thanks to the light of the full moon.
Thus, three Fairey Battle of No.11 (SAAF) Squadron leave Archers Post at 17h00, to reach the Habaswein forward ground. They leave the latter at 01h30 to attack, at 05h00, Mogadishu airfield with several low passages for twenty minutes, touching the hangars and the runway, despite a very strong anti-aircraft defense.
Note that unlike previous operations, subsequent photo recognition is not planned. On their side, two Junkers Ju.86 of No.12 (SAAF) Squadron bomb the Yabelo airfield. One Caproni Ca.133 is claimed damaged.
Finally, at the same time, an instruction is sent by Lieutnant-Colonel Stephen Melville, Commander of the 1st (SAAF) Bomber Brigade. Henceforth, priority must be given to the security of the aircraft and not to the results of the attacks. Crews are therefore encouraged to stop showing:
« Of an intense vigor in the course of the missions (…), the return of all planes must be sought, by all the means, and constitute the first objective of the commander».
This demand promptly provokes criticism within South African units, the No.12 War Diary (SAAF) Squadron mentioning that the fact of :
« No longer able to take the slightest risk during the attacks causes great disappointment in the Squadron (…), having in mind the importance of aircraft safety, this instruction has greatly reduced the morale of crews ».
Finally, the instruction is withdrawn at the end of October by the Air Headquarters East Africa.
 « 18 september 1940 », No. 47 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 463. Cette sortie pose un léger problème dans les documents. En effet, le Form 340 fait état de deux appareils envoyés le 18, tandis que le Form 341 mentionne trois Wellesley et date la sortie pour le 19. Enfin, le Reconnaissance Report du Squadron Leader James E. Pelly-Fry indique le 18 septembre avec la liste de trois équipages et les identifications de trois Wellesley.
 « 18 september 1940 », No. 223 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 1374.
 McLean S., Squadron of the South African Air Force and their aircraft (1920 – 2005), Cape Town, auto-édition, 2005, p.4 ; Schoeman M., Springbok Fighter Victory, SAAF Fighter operations, East Afica (1940 – 1941), Nelspruit, Freeworld Publications, coll. « African Aviation Series », 2002, p. 41 et 135.
 Gustavsson H. et Slongo L., Gladiator vs CR.42 Falco (1940 – 1941), Oxford, Osprey Publishing, 2012, p.57.
 Brown J.-A., A gathering of eagles, the campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Afica (1940 – 1941), Cape Town, Purnell, coll. « South African Forces World War II », 1970, p.54.
 « 18 september 1940 », No. 8 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 114 ; « 18 september 1940 », No. 11 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 162 ; « 18 september 1940 », No. 39 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 407.
 « 18 september 1940 », Narrative northern operations SAAF, September 1940, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 8 ; « 18 september 1940 ; Operation Instruction n°61 ; Operation Order n°26 », No. 11 (SAAF) Bomber Squadron, War Dirary, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 3 ; « 18 september 1940 ; Operation Order n°35 », No. 12 (SAAF) Bomber Squadron, War Dirary, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 4.
 Narrative northern operations SAAF, September et October 1940, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 8 ; Brown J.-A., A gathering of eagles, the campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Afica (1940 – 1941), Cape Town, Purnell, coll. « South African Forces World War II », 1970, p.65.