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  #1  
Old 04-07-12, 09:02 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Default The South African Aviation Corps

SAAC 3.JPG

SAAC 4.JPG

On the 22nd of April 1914, six officers were granted commissioned appointments as probationary lieutenants and were gazetted in the Active Citizen Force. They had all completed a flying training course at the Alexanderfontein Flying School in Kimberley and then a course at the S. A. Military School in Bloemfontein.

Provision for an “Air Arm” had been made in the New Union Defence Act of 1912. This was after a visit by General Beyers had taken place to Germany where he had attended manoeuvres with the Imperial German Army.

The flying officers were sent to the Royal Flying Corps Central Flying School at Upavon in England for advanced training. At the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, the pilots requested and received permission to join the Royal Flying Corps. They flew to France with the British Expeditionary Force. At the end of 1914, they were recalled by the Union Defence Force for service in German South West Africa.

As far as I can ascertain, the South African Aviation Corps was formally gazetted as part of the U.D.F. in Government Notice No 130 dated 29 January 1915 and published in the Government Gazette of 5 February 1915.

The ground staff for the GSWA campaign had been recruited in South Africa. Workshops, two steel hangers and an aerodrome had been built at Walvis Bay. The unit was commanded by Major G.P. Wallace and it consisted of 17 officers and 150 men. They were supplied with steel-framed Henri Farman aircraft. Three flying officers had been attached from the Royal Naval Air Service and two BE2C aircraft had accompanied them.

Air operations commenced from 6 May 1915 and the Farmans were initially used for reconnaissance tasks. They were later also used as bombers with fitted racks. They first saw action at Karabib and operations later moved to Omaruru, Kalkveld, Otavi and Otjiwarongo. When the unit had to move northwards, advance working groups were required to prepare landing grounds in the thick bush that was found in the Northern areas of operations.

After the German surrender in GSWA on 9 July 1915, personnel were placed at the disposal of the Royal Flying Corps.

Last edited by sabrigade; 04-07-12 at 09:39 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-12, 09:41 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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SAAC 1.JPG

SAAC 2.JPG

A very rare cloth shoulder title.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-12, 10:19 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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SAAC 1915 A2.jpg

An official group photograph of the S.A.A.C.
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  #4  
Old 06-07-12, 03:35 AM
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JimD JimD is offline
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Awesome badge and title....!
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  #5  
Old 06-07-12, 06:26 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Hi Will
Thanks for the info, very interesting. Was there just the one badge in gilding metal, or do you know if there were officer badge variations?
Thanks. Cheers,
Alex
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  #6  
Old 08-12-13, 09:53 PM
actionoke actionoke is offline
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Default another SAAC badge out of the woodwork

This seems to be something never seen before but appears to have a SAAC connection.Any ideas on it would be appreciated.Thanks
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  #7  
Old 12-12-13, 02:14 PM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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Magnificent, I can't remember the last time I actually saw a real example, there is a complete muppet of a dealer here who has a really awful fake for sale at 500 plus!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrigade View Post
Attachment 65941

Attachment 65942

A very rare cloth shoulder title.
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  #8  
Old 30-12-13, 03:21 PM
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Insignia Insignia is offline
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Default S.A.A.C.

Fantastic that you have shown these badges and the photograph, in all my years of collecting I've seen so few pieces.

Many thanks for sharing them.
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  #9  
Old 10-04-19, 10:48 AM
Schutztruppe Schutztruppe is offline
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I am in the process of writing a book regarding the aerial campaign in German South West Africa. I wish to place a photograph of the SAAC cap badge in it.
Do I have your permission to do so. Of course I will give you thew credit.

Gordon McGregor
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  #10  
Old 10-04-19, 06:16 PM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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Please do feel free to use the attached as you see fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schutztruppe View Post
I am in the process of writing a book regarding the aerial campaign in German South West Africa. I wish to place a photograph of the SAAC cap badge in it.
Do I have your permission to do so. Of course I will give you thew credit.

Gordon McGregor
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  #11  
Old 11-04-19, 05:57 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schutztruppe View Post
I am in the process of writing a book regarding the aerial campaign in German South West Africa. I wish to place a photograph of the SAAC cap badge in it.
Do I have your permission to do so. Of course I will give you thew credit.

Gordon McGregor
Private message sent.
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  #12  
Old 06-06-20, 05:29 PM
air air is offline
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Default SAAC dog tag from my great-grandfather

This is my great-grandfather's Royal Flying Corps badge and his dog tag from serving in the SAAC.

My grandmother gave me these around 2007 and I never researched them until now.

The text reads:

BEATT - his surname
DM - does anyone know what this means?
SAAC - South African Aviation Corps
PRES - don't know. Am pretty sure this is PRES and not PRFS
7508 - maybe his service number?

I hope this is interesting and I would love to learn anything more.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-20, 10:32 AM
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leigh kitchen leigh kitchen is offline
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DM - his forename initials.
PRES - religion, Presbyterian.
7508 - service number.

First Name:
D M
Surname:
Beatt
Information:
Recruit enlisted under the ordinary terms of service. Attested 06/08/1915.
Rank:
Air Mechanic 2nd Class
Rank (2nd):
Fitter
Service Number:
7508
Service:
British Army
Primary Unit:
Royal Flying Corps
Archive Reference:
AIR 1 2172 209 13-2

RFC Number 1 Aircraft Depot logs 1917

First Name:
D.M.
Surname:
Beatt
Nationality:
British
Information:
Before transfer to R.A.F. from R.N.A.S or R.F.C - Rank:- A. Mech. 2., trade:- Fitter (Gen.)
More Information:
Airforce pay:- 2s. 0d. Terms of enlistment- Open engagement.
Rank:
Air Mechanic 3rd Class
Rank (2nd):
Fitter Gen
Service Number:
7508
Service From Date:
6/8/15
Service:
Royal Air Force
Archive Reference:
AIR 1/819/204/4/1316
Seniority Date:

Collection:
RAF Formations List 1918


First Name:
D M
Surname:
Beatt
Information:
This person transferred into the Royal Air Force from the British Army. They joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915.
Service Number:
7508
Service:
Royal Air Force
Primary Unit:
Royal Air Force
Archive Reference:
AIR 78 12 1

Royal Air Force Nominal Index of Airmen and Airwomen 1918 to 1975

Last edited by leigh kitchen; 07-06-20 at 10:42 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-20, 10:36 AM
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Milmed Milmed is offline
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PRES stands for Presbyterian (ie. his religion)
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  #15  
Old 09-06-20, 02:13 PM
air air is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh kitchen View Post
DM - his forename initials.
PRES - religion, Presbyterian.
7508 - service number.
...
This is absolutely amazing Leigh Kitchen! Thank you, this is of incredible value. I don't think I would have been able to recover this kind of information.

I'm curious, is there an online service for looking up these old RAF records or do you have access to archives elsewhere?

For completeness my great-grandfather's name was DOUGLAS M BEATT. It's fascinating to learn his rank and even his pay! Thank you so much.
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