The rising of SAAF (Août – Novembre 1940)

The Rising of the SAAF (August - November 1940)

Beginning of the Offensive Bomber by the SAAF.

Objective: to eliminate the Regia Aeronautica on airfields in Somalia and Southern Ethiopia.

Deployment of No.1 (SAAF) Squadron detachments at Atbara and Azaza, along the Sudanese border.

Deployment of No.3 (SAAF) Squadron, with its Hawker Hurricanes, on the Southern Front.

20 August 1940
01Sep

20 August 1940

20 Août 1940 Northern Front Despite the difficult struggles of the previous days, the Aden-based units remain active. Five Vickers Wellesley of No.223 (RAF) Squadron return to Ethiopian aerodromes between 08h00 and 13h30. Several buildings

21 August 1940
01Sep

21 August 1940

21 Août 1940 Northern Front The day is very quiet on the northern front. No.223 (RAF) Squadron is ordered to prepare for its return to Sudan the next day[1], while No.203 (RAF) Squadron undergoes a

22 August 1940
01Sep

22 August 1940

22 August 1940 Northern Front Five Vickers Wellesley of No.14 (RAF) Squadron take off at 05h00 to attack ships reported on Dahlak Bay. However, the bad weather forces the aircraft to

23 August 1940
01Sep

23 August 1940

23 August 1940 Northern Front On this relatively calm day, several units are experiencing various changes. No.11 (RAF) Squadron sees the arrival of two pilots: Pilot Officer Moore and Sergeant Thornton

24 August 1940
01Sep

24 August 1940

24 August 1940 Northern Front The No.430 (RAF) Flight is sending two Gloster Gauntlets and two Vickers Vincents from Al-Qadarif Airfield to bomb Fort Galabat.[1] Vickers Vincent over Aden, 1930. Southern Front Following the 21 August

25 August 1940
25Aug

25 August 1940

25 August 1940 Northern Front Six Bristol Blenheim Mk I of No.11 and No.39 (RAF) Squadron (three and three), having joined the advanced airfield on the island of Perim the day

26 August 1940
26Aug

26 August 1940

26 August 1940 Northern Front Since his return to Sudan, No.223 (RAF) Squadron tqke off for its first mission when five Vickers Wellesley leave to attack the Asmara airfield between 06h00

27 August 1940
27Aug

27 August 1940

27 August 1940 Northern Front This day sees part of No.14 (RAF) Squadron engaged in a special mission. Indeed, in mid-August 1940, the local command of the RAF is contacted by

28 August 1940
28Aug

28 August 1940

28 August 1940 Northern Front Three Vickers Wellesley of No.223 (RAF) Squadron are sent bombing the airfield of Barentu between 05h00 and 09h00. The attack seems a success with several direct

29 August 1940
29Aug

29 August 1940

29 August 1940 Northern Front To end the month, No.8 (RAF) Squadron decided to take off with six Bristol Blenheim Mk I between 06h05 and 09h30. The first three attack Tandaho’s

30 August 1940
30Aug

30 August 1940

30 August 1940 Northern Front An Italian bombing on Hayya station is reported at dawn. Again, as on the southern front, these attacks by two or three aircraft are more like

31 August 1940
31Aug

31 August 1940

31 August 1940 Northern Front If the last day of the month is relatively calm, the No.14 (RAF) Squadron ORB provides a very interesting document summarizing the action since June 1940.

1 September 1940
01Sep

1 September 1940

1 September 1940 Northern Front The day is mainly marked by a massive raid against the naval base of Assab. The RAF engages all its Bristol Blenheim Squadrons based in Aden.

2 September 1940
02Sep

2 September 1940

2 September 1940 Northern Front Following the loss of the previous day, No.14 (RAF) Squadron performs six sorties to search for the missing aircraft. The latter is finally spotted around 18h00

3 September 1940
11Sep

3 September 1940

3 September 1940 Northern Front The RAF has more and more difficulty organizing “massive” attacks, except by regrouping all its Squadrons. For example, No.47 (RAF) Squadron aligns only two Vickers Wellesley

4 September 1940
16Sep

4 September 1940

4 September 1940 Northern Front After several false alarms the day before, several Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 of 44bis Gruppo BT, based in Dire Dawa, attack Aden with some efficiency since the ship

5 September 1940
17Sep

5 September 1940

5 September 1940 Northern Front Following the events of the day before, No.203 (RAF) Squadron is responsible for providing air cover for a maritime convoy accompanied by H.M.A.S. Hobart. HMAS Hobart

6 September 1940
24Sep

6 September 1940

6 September 1940 Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 from 44bis Gruppo BT are back to attack Aden and convoy BS 31/2. The No.94 (RAF) Squadron’s Gloster Gladiators responded and the N5757 (Sergeant F.E. Hendy)

7 September 1940
30Sep

7 September 1940

7 September 1940 Northern Front The No.430 (RAF) Flight is active during this day as a Vickers Vincent (a second is damaged at takeoff) and two Gloster Gauntlet take off from

8 September 1940
08Oct

8 September 1940

8 September 1940 Northern Front On this day, the Escadrille d’Aden suffered a tragedy when the Glenn Marin 167-F n° 82 (Lieutnant flight Roger Ritoux-Lachaud [1]; Flying Officer Pierre Fenaux of

9 September 1940
10Oct

9 September 1940

9 September 1940 Northern Front After a stop, the night before, at Ras Ara, four Bristol Blenheim of No. 11 and No.39 (RAF) Squadron (one [1] and three) took off at

10 September 1940
21Oct

10 September 1940

10 Septembre 1940 Northern Front In the night, British troops launch an attack on Fort Kassala. No. 14 (RAF) Squadron sends, at 11h15, three Vickers Wellesley in support. They are intercepted

11 Septembre 1940
28Nov

11 Septembre 1940

11 September 1940 Northern Front A large-scale operation was organized in Sudan in the evening, bringing together aircraft of No.14, 45, 47 and 223 (RAF) Squadron to target the airfield of

12 September 1940
29Nov

12 September 1940

12 September 1940 Northern Front Three Bristol Blenheim Mk I’s of No. 11 (RAF) Squadron are sent to attack the jetties at Assab harbor. Despite strong air defense, crews reports indicate

13 September 1940
04Dec

13 September 1940

13 September 1940 Northern Front The Vickers Wellesley are active in Sudan and two aircrafts from each of Squadrons are sent to attack Gura in the evening, between 17h30 and 19h30

14 September 1940
05Dec

14 September 1940

14 September 1940 Northern Front The Vickers Wellesley continue to attack Gura Airfield between 19h00 and 00h00, with five aircrafts of No. 14 (RAF) Squadron (only two on the target), three

15 September 1940
06Dec

15 September 1940

15 September 1940 Northern Front No.94 (RAF) Squadron knows a bit of action when Squadron Leader William T.F. Wightman (L9047) takes off at 12h25 for the usual patrol over the port

16 September 1940
07Dec

16 September 1940

16 September 1940 Northern Front After a day of rest, Vickers Wellesley take off for further night attacks. Three aircrafts of No.47 (RAF) Squadron are sent to Asmara between 15h30 and

17 September 1940
08Dec

17 September 1940

17 September 1940 Northern Front The French attached to No.8 (RAF) Squadron continue their flights with the Glenn Martin 167-F No. 102 (Flight Lieutenant Jacques Dodelier, Warrant Officer Yves Trecan, Sergeant

18 September 1940
12Jan

18 September 1940

18 September 1940 Northern Front 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

19 September 1940
15Jan

19 September 1940

19 September 1940 Northern Front The Bristol Blenheims return, again, to Dire Dawa with two aircrafts of No.8 (RAF) Squadron, two of No.11 (RAF) Squadron and two of No.39 (RAF) Squadron.

20 September 1940
18Jan

20 September 1940

20 September 1940 Northern Front After being announced for several weeks, the first three Blenheim Mk IVs were delivered to No.14 (RAF) Squadron on 14 September 1940 in Port Sudan. These

21 September 1940
03Mar

21 September 1940

21 September 1940 Northern Front During a nighttime bombardment of Gura and Asmara, the Vickers Wellesley K8530 (Flight Sergeant Bathe; Sergeant Naismith) was intercepted, around 11h36, northeast of Massawa. A short

22 September 1940
04Mar

22 September 1940

22 September 1940 Northern Front The end of September is marked by the gradual arrival and deployment of Major-General Lewis Heath’s 5th Indian Division in Sudan. This event leads to transfers

23 September 1940
06Mar

23 September 1940

23 Septembre 1940 Southern Front According to South African documents, an Italian bomber attacks and drops three bombs on the airfield of Wajir at dawn (01h45). Unfortunately, without further details. At

24 September 1940
09Mar

24 September 1940

24 September 1940 Northern Front An attack by Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 was reported on Aden at 12h45 when a fight broke out between an Italian bomber and a Gloster Gladiator of No.94

25 September 1940
13Mar

25 September 1940

25 September 1940 Northern Front The day before, seven Vickers Wellesley of No. 47 (RAF) Squadron were instructed to join Khartoum airfield at 09h00. The next day five planes take off

27 September 1940
19Mar

27 September 1940

27 Septembre 1940 Northern Front Although a first Squadron of No.45 (RAF) detachment has already arrived from Egypt at the end of July to support Vickers Wellesley, its participation in air

28 September 1940
21Mar

28 September 1940

28 September 1940 Northern Front This day sees the first operation conducted by No.237 (Rhodesia) Squadron since its transfer to Sudan, when the Hawker Hardy K4055 (Pilot Officer Peter HS Simmonds,

29 September 1940
25Mar

29 September 1940

29 September 1940 A reconnaissance mission is carried out by Glenn-Martin 167F No. 102 (Flight Lieutenant Jacques Dodelier, Warrant Officer Yves Trecan Flight Sergeant Ronan Michel) between 06h50  and 12h10 above

30 September 1940
27Mar

30 September 1940

30 September 1940 No.45 (RAF) Squadron sends three Blenheims to bomb the Gura airfield around 12h50. However, 412a Squadriglia CT was transferred to this airfield with nine Fiat CR.42 a few

1st Octobre 1940
27Apr

1st Octobre 1940

1st October 1940 Northern Front A new reconnaissance flight was made over the Dessie area by the Escadrille d’Aden (Flight Lieutenant Jacques Dodelier, Yves Trecan Warrant Officer, Sergeant Ronan Michel and

2 October 1940
30Apr

2 October 1940

2 October 1940 Northern Front Three Bristol Blenheim of No.45 (RAF) Squadron take off from Wadi Gazouza, at 14h30 to attack the Gura airfield. Approaching the target, they are intercepted, above

3 October 1940
01May

3 October 1940

3 October 1940 Northern Front Despite a smaller pace of operation, the Aden-based Bristol Blenheims continue their regular attacks on the various targets of the Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia. However, these

4 October 1940
02May

4 October 1940

4 October 1940 Northern Front In the morning, Captain Brian J. L. Boyle (N5852), Lieutenant Andrew Duncan and Servaas de Kock Viljoen of No.1 (SAAF) Squadron take off from the Azaza

5 October 1940
03May

5 October 1940

5 October 1940 Northern Front The RAF decided to test another form of operation by sending three Vickers Wellesley of No.47 (RAF) Squadron and two Gloster Gauntlet : K5355 (Flight Lieutenant

6 October 1940
04May

6 October 1940

6 October 1940 Southern Front No.40 (SAAF) Squadron continues daily reconnaissance operations on Hartbees from various advanced terrain in northern Kenya. For example, on 6 October, Hartbee No. 803 (Lieutenant Lawrence

7 October 1940
05May

7 October 1940

7 October 1940 Northern Front Vickers Vincent, from No.8 (RAF) Squadron, are sent on mission, the last operation (mentioned in the ORB) being in August. The attacks, however, did not take

8 October 1940
06May

8 October 1940

8 October 1940 Northern Front After several weeks of break for training on Blenheim, No.14 (RAF) Squadron is back in action with Vickers Wellesley as Flight Lieutenant Cecil Rowan-Robinson, with K8631

9 October 1940
07May

9 October 1940

9 October 1940 Northern Front No.14 and No.223 (RAF) Squadron attacked the airfields of Gura and Mai Edaga with two (L2657 and K7767) and two (L2715 and K774) Vickers Wellesley respectively,

10 October 1940
18May

10 October 1940

10 October 1940 Southern Front Around 15h45, three Caproni Ca.133 from 31bis Gruppo BT attack the Wajir airfield. They are followed, five minutes later, by three other aircraft of the same

11 October 1940
20May

11 October 1940

11 October 1940 Northern Front At approximately 09h45, HMS Auckland [1] reported an unsuccessful attack by two Savoia-Marchetti SM.79s from an estimated altitude of 3 500 meters off Aden. The Bristol

12 October 1940
22May

12 October 1940

12 October 1940 Southern Front On the night of 12 to 13 October, the SAAF organized a combined bombardment of No.11 and No.12 (SAAF) Squadron on the Italian airfield of Yabelo

13 October 1940
24May

13 October 1940

13 October 1940 Northern Front A Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 of 44bis Gruppo BT (6a Squadriglia BT) makes an attack on Aden at around 07h55. Flying Officer Gordon S.K. Haywood (L9047) of No.94

14 October 1940
27May

14 October 1940

14 October 1940 Northern Front It should be noted that the Italian anti-aircraft defence claimed the destruction of a British aircraft over the port of Massawa[1], the plane falling into the

15 October 1940
29May

15 October 1940

15 October 1940 Northern Front The days of 15 and 16 October are marked by the events related to the deployment on Gedaref. On 12 October 12, eight Vickers Wellesley, No.47

16 October 1940
09Jun

16 October 1940

16 October 1940 Northern Front Due to the British presence in Gedaref, the Italians decide to launch an attack on the airfield. For this purpose, General Pietro Piacentini (responsible for the

18 October 1940
10Jun

18 October 1940

18 October 1940 Northern Front After the events of 16 October, No.1 (SAAF) Squadron is instructed to attack Barentu Airfield in response. Captain Brian J.L. Boyle (N5830), Lieutenant Andrew Duncan and

19 October 1940
12Jun

19 October 1940

19 October 1940 Northern Front The French continue their reconnaissance flights aboard Glenn-Martin 167F n°102 (Flight Lieutenant Jacques Dodelier, Warrant Officer Yves Trecan, Flight Sergeant Ronan Michel and Robert Cunibil) with

20 October 1940
20Jun

20 October 1940

20 October 1940 Northern Front As previous days, the Italians continue to attack British ships in the Red Sea (convoy BN 7) by sending Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81. Around noon,

21 October 1940
22Jun

21 October 1940

21 October 1940 Northern Front Three Wellesleys of No.223 (RAF) Squadron took off between 19h20 and 20h20 to bomb the airfields of Asmara and Gura. Once again, the results are difficult

22 October 1940
23Jun

22 October 1940

22 October 1940 Northern Front The day is essentially marked by the organization of a massive attack, combined between the three Squadrons based at Aden, on airfields of Alamata and Dessie

23 – 24 October 1940
24Jun

23 – 24 October 1940

23 – 24 October 1940 Southern Front This day is relatively insignificant in terms of activity. Two Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 make a surprise visit on the Kenyan airfield of Malindi. Nevertheless, these

25 October 1940
25Jun

25 October 1940

25 October 1940 Southern Front The events of the day allow to highlight the major evolution provided by the arrival of the Hawker Hurricane on the southern front. Thus, three Savoia-Marchetti

26 October 1940
26Jun

26 October 1940

26 October 1940 Northern Front On the northern front, an air incident is close to turning to tragedy for No.14 (RAF) Squadron. The unit is still in training on the Bristol

27 – 30 October 1940
27Jun

27 – 30 October 1940

27 – 30 October 1940 Northern Front After several days of intense training, No.14 (RAF) Squadron makes its first operation with its new Bristol Blenheim Mk IV. For this purpose, three

31 October 1940
29Jun

31 October 1940

31 October 1940 Southern Front At the end of October, South African Prime Minister General Jan Smuts decides to organize an inspection tour of his armed forces in Kenya. He is

1st November 1940
30Jun

1st November 1940

1er November 1940 Northern Front Ground fighting erupts in the region of Gallabat. Three Gloster Gladiators of No.1 (SAAF) Squadron are sent to escort Gloster Gauntlets, equipped with bombs, of No.430

2 – 3 November 1940
02Jul

2 – 3 November 1940

2 – 3 November 1940 Northern Front Christopher Shores indicates, in his book “Dust Clouds in the Middle East”, that during the day of 2 November, a Savoia-Marchetti 79 of 44bis

4 November 1940
03Jul

4 November 1940

4 November 1940 Northern Front One of the few existing documents relating to No.1 (SAAF) Squadron provides some details. The unit is based in Azaza (Gedaref) with eight Gloster Gladiator Mk