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  #1  
Old 29-06-12, 06:23 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Default 26 South Africa Squadron Royal Flying Corps

26 Sqd Badge 2.JPG

At the conclusion of the German South West Africa campaign, the Department of Defence of the Union of South Africa offered the entire South African Aviation Corps to the Imperial Government.

At this point in time, the SAAC consisted of 152 personnel. They were ordered back to South Africa and moved to Cape Town. The unit eventually departed on 31 July 1915 and it was decided in London to form a South African squadron.

A second contingent then left for England from South Africa on 19 September 1915.

A RFC squadron then consisted of 28 officers, 20 Non Commissioned Officers and 161 men.

The squadron was officially established on 8 October 1915. Officially formed at Nethravon, the squadron left for East Africa in December 1915 and arrived in Mombasa on 31 January 1916.

At the end of their tasks in the East African campaigns, the Squadron returned to Cape Town where they were sent to England for disbandment. This took place on 8 July 1918 at Blandford in England.

The East African campaign had taken its toll in tropical sicknesses but suprisingly only two pilots were killed in flying accidents.
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  #2  
Old 29-06-12, 07:25 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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26 June 2012 Photos A3.JPG

A pair of rare squadron related "trench art" pieces.
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  #3  
Old 29-06-12, 09:04 AM
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Arthur R Arthur R is offline
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Interesting pieces of "trench art". Thanks for posting.

As a matter of interest, the springbok-head badge, approved in 1936, was one of the earliest formal RAF squadron badges, the current system of badges having been introduced only in 1935. The squadron acknowledged its South African ancestry by choosing the springbok head, and a motto in Afrikaans. At one time, evidently, the wording on the frame read 'Army Co-operation Squadron' rather than simply 'Squadron'.

http://www.griffon.clara.net/rafh/sqns.htm
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Arthur
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  #4  
Old 30-06-12, 04:45 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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Thanks Arthur,

I have a medal group to one of its members and the unit name that is engraved on the medals is very interesting.

Regards,

Will
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  #5  
Old 30-06-12, 05:32 AM
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Will

What the unit on the medals?

Cheers
Jim
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  #6  
Old 01-07-12, 07:07 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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RFC Medal Group 4.JPG

RFC Medal Group 5.JPG

Hi Jim,

S.A.S.R.F.C.

Regards,

Will
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  #7  
Old 01-07-12, 11:24 AM
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Brian Conyngham Brian Conyngham is offline
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Guys

I was lucky enough to purchase one of these pairs 18 months back, my guy did not move on the the UK once he had completed his East Afican service. Tropical deseases had taken their toll.

Not many about.

Brian
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  #8  
Old 01-07-12, 01:22 PM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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RFC Medal Group 1.JPG

RFC Medal Group 2.JPG

Hi Brian,

Phillips saw service in the GSWA campaign as a signaller (DLI) before joining the squadron for service in GEA.

He suffered from a few bouts of malaria but was demobilised in England.

Their medals are very difficult to find as you have stated.

Regards,

Will
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  #9  
Old 02-07-12, 04:07 AM
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Will

Thanks for showing that, did the South African Aviation Corps have any badges or insignia?

Cheers
Jim
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  #10  
Old 02-07-12, 05:17 AM
sabrigade sabrigade is offline
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The S.A.A.C. had their own cap badge and shoulder title.

The pilot's brevet was also different but examples do not seem to have survived and only replicas are available.
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  #11  
Old 02-07-12, 07:39 AM
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Will

I guess you learn something every day I didnt know that there was a badge and title, do you have a pic of them? I have a few medal groups to the S.A.A.C.

Cheers
Jim

Last edited by JimD; 02-07-12 at 07:40 AM. Reason: Cant spell
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  #12  
Old 02-07-12, 11:00 AM
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William

Here is some info on my chap and a little on the squadron that the guys might find interesting:

Z533 2nd C/AM Rupert Stanford Smyth
26th (South African) Squadron Royal Flying Corps
Service in German East Africa


Born in Melbourne Australia on the 21st April 1899, Smyth who was living in Johannesburg at the time was a Motor Mechanic by trade. He was a member of the Church of England and gave his father James Raymond Smyth also living in Johannesburg as his next-of-kin. At 19 he initially attested with the Mechanised Transport section of the South African Service Corps attached to the S.A. Squadron R.F.C. with the number MT 4893 on the 24th April 1917 at Roberts Heights, Pretoria. However his stay with the SASC MT Section was short lived and after only 19 days he was “discharged” on the 11th May1917 in consequence of “Re-attesting from the RFC South African Section East Africa to the RFC ground service Authority 22/3 from Z 34 dd 10th May 1917”.

After undergoing a full medical at Roberts Heights his re-attestation with 26 Squadron R.F.C. took place on the 15th May1917 at Potchefstroom, and he was allocated a new service number Z533 with the rank of 2nd Class Air Mechanic. He embarked on the 13/14th June 1917 at Durban per HMT Anchis and proceeded to German East Africa disembarking at Dar-es-Salaam on the 26th June 1917.

No. 26 Squadron whose Afrikaans motto was 'N Wagter in die Lug (A guard in the sky) had been formed at Netheravon on 8 October 1915 from mainly personnel of the South African Aviation Corps. It was equipped with B.E.2c’s and Henri Farman F-27’s and sent to East Africa in 1915, arriving in Mombasa at the end of January 1916. The squadron flew mainly reconnaissance and occasional bombing missions in the hunt for the elusive German forces. In February 1918 it was dispatched back to the UK where it was meant to have officially been disbanded at Blandford in July 1918. (However there is photographic proof ostensibly showing a 26th Squadron picture that is dated 1919)

As with most European troops in this tropical campaign Smyth suffered from bouts of malaria, leading to him having to be hospitalised on a number of occasions. He was eventually invalided back to South Africa per SS Takada on the 22nd January 1918 and disembarked in Durban on the 29th January 1918. He was treated at various hospitals in the Union and finally demobilised at Wynberg in Cape Town on the 11th May 1918, after serving for 326 days.

His full medal entitlement was a British War and Victory Medal (unilingual) pair issued by the R.F.C. and not by the South African authorities. The pair comes with a silver medalet with the Union of South Africa Coat of Arms surrounded with the wording South African Union Defence Force on one side and the other side engraved with his name.

There have been examples of both the unilingual and bilingual Victory Medal to members of this squadron sold on previous DNW auctions. In his records there is a request for the Smyth’s service records by the Officer in Charge RAF records at Ruislip: Uxbridge: Middlesex. The said record request refers to a “minute numbered Medals/291623 dated the 26th April 1924”. Was it is possible that due to fact that Smyth being an Australian by birth that his medals were issued by the R.A.F.?

FOOTNOTE Re: 26 Squadron RAF

Between the wars

On 11 October 1927 No. 26 Squadron was reformed at Catterick as a single flight of Atlas army co-operation aircraft and on 1 September 1938 a second flight was added. In July 1933 Audaxes were received which were replaced by Hectors in August 1937.

Second World War

By the out-break of World War 2 the Squadron had been equipped with Lysanders and in October 1939 it was moved to France. When the Germans invaded Belgium in May 1940 No. 26 was forced to move to Lympne where it flew reconnaissance, bombing and supply missions over northern France. Coastal patrols began in June and training with the army occupied most of the Squadrons time for the next few years. In February 1941 Tomahawks began to arrive to replace the Lysanders for tactical reconnaissance missions. In October 1941 the Tomahawks began to fly low-level ground attack sorties over northern France but they lacked the performance required for operations of this nature so in January 1942 they were replaced by Mustangs. The tactical reconnaissance and day intruder missions continued until July 1943, when the Squadron moved to Yorkshire and then in March 1944 to Scotland. In preparations for the Normandy landings No. 26 trained in spotting naval guns, a task it carried out on and after D-Day. For this role the Squadron was equipped with Spitfires although they reverted back to Mustangs in December 1944 for reconnaissance missions over the Netherlands. In April 1945 the Squadron spent two weeks spotting for French warships bombarding pockets of German resistance before being transferred to Germany in August. No. 26 remained here until 1 April 1946 when it was disbanded.

Post war

On the same day, No. 41 Squadron was renumbered as No. 26 Squadron at Wunstorf and it flew Spitfires and Tempests until April 1949 when it was re-equipped with Vampires. In November 1953 No. 26 was converted to Sabre jet fighters and remained a day-fighter unit until it was disbanded on 10 September 1957. It was reformed with Hunters at Gutersloh on 7 June 1958 but was disbanded again on 30 December 1960. Reformed again at Odiham on 1 June 1962, No. 26 became a helicopter Squadron flying Belvederes. It was moved to Aden in 1963 and then on to Singapore on 30 November 1965 where it was merged with No. 66 Squadron. On 3 February 1969 the Northern Communication Squadron at Wyton was re-designated No. 26 Squadron until it was finally disbanded on 1 April 1976.

Regards
Brian
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  #13  
Old 20-10-18, 11:59 AM
Ted1975 Ted1975 is offline
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I am attaching three images. The first is of the No. 26 Squadron (South African) Royal Flying Corps, with my great uncle, Flight Sergeant Edward Morris Hutchings, seated second from the right. The second is a portrait of him in his uniform. The last is of his grave in Dar-es-Salaam War Cemetery - he was one of the two killed in a flying accident.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg No. 26 Squadron (South African) Royal Flying Corps.jpg (51.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg EMH in RFC uniform.jpg (33.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg EMH grave.jpg (69.1 KB, 17 views)
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  #14  
Old 21-10-18, 05:53 AM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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Thanks Ted, great photos. Can you confirm if your uncle's should title is "Royal Flying Corps" or "South African Aviation Corps" please? I would expect RFC but just like to confirm.
Thanks, cheers,
Alex
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  #15  
Old 22-10-18, 06:57 AM
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Brian Conyngham Brian Conyngham is offline
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Hi Alex, our flyers in GEA were SA Squadron RFC.

Brian
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