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SOUTH AFRICA - AVRO ANSON HELP…


bruce bay
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I am looking for some information about RAF Ansons flown in South Africa in the Second World War. 

 

My grandfather flew in Ansons in South Africa, and from the stories of his I remember he was often flying reconnaissance and watching out for U-Boats they feared were moving in waters to the south… 

 

He died about 11 years ago, and sadly I don’t remember where he was flying from specifically, or much else about it. His stories were mainly about snakes and motorbikes - he seemed to find the actual flying less interesting than living in South Africa.

 

I recently looked through his photos for a picture he showed me when I was young. I remember it quite vividly - black and white (naturally) of him and a friend stood in front of a parked Anson. Sadly - it seems to have disappeared. 

 

I want to build a 1/48 Anson, and had hoped to do one in the same markings as his plane. 

 

It seems now I won’t be able to find the exact aircraft, sadly, but wondered if anyone has any information about which Squadrons might have been doing this sort of flying, at least I can get close! 

 

Many thanks, 

 

Bruce 

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As a start try accessing his service records it will list the unit(s) he served on in South Africa which will lead to the types of aircraft flown by the squadron. You can then research individual aircraft flown by this unit.

 

Selwyn

Edited by Selwyn
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The GR Ansons were flown by 33 Coastal Reconnaissance Flight.  I suspect that tracking down their individual history may not be as easy as it would be for an RAF example.  Ron Belling did a painting of one such example (1132/E) in his book Military Aviation in South Africa.  The aircraft is in standard RAF Dark Green and Dark Earth camouflage but with light blue undersides.  PM me for more information - not that there is a lot.  They then went on to be widely used for training purposes, but this doesn't seem to be what you need.

 

PS  33 CRF became the nucleus of 25 Sq, initially with the same role and a steadily increasing number of Venturas.

Edited by Graham Boak
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Hi all

 

He may have been flying out of either Ysterplaat in Cape Town or Wingfield Naval Station. Both had Ansons doing anti-sub patrols. I have a book about the history of the Wingfield base and can try to see what there is to share if you PM me.

 

The only other bases near the coast were in Port Elizabeth and Durban. ASAIK they only had fighter units and training flights, but there are other SAAFers on the forum who may be able to assist better.

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2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

The photo of F/1124 would appear to be relevant, but there is something odd about the photo - it looks touched-up to me - and therefore the presentation of the code on the finflash has to be queried.

 

Its been badly scanned from a newspaper picture printed using halftones and the sampling rate has interacted with the original dot pattern create the moire patterning. Unless the original was retouched, it would be very difficult to retouch the digital image.

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Hi Bruce.

I am at the office and not at my books, so will help later. The SAAF had MANY units flying Ansons.

From Coastal Flights/ Squadrons/ Air Schools OTU's.

We had 100's of them. Like saying your Father flew Lancasters. Which one??

I will need to get the Unit as was recommended, before we can get near a photo.

I may have a photo of one of the ones in his Unit. They also changed colours during the War, so time will help.

Let me know his Unit and I will try and get you a photo

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Thanks to everyone for all their help so far. It's really appreciated, and the depth of knowledge is most impressive... 

 

Off the bat - and I know this might be a real stupid thing to ask.... I guess lots of the info so far refers to SAAF Ansons. He was most certainly British, from Bow in London, and as far as I knew flew in the RAF. But maybe RAF personnel flew in SAAF units in the war? I have read that they shared training units in SA... So maybe that was it. 

 

Trying to track down more info on the unit at present. 

 

Thank you all again for your help, most kind! 

17 hours ago, Etiennedup said:

Bruce, here is a Parhe newsreel film  on Ansons from Youngsfield, Cape Town during the war.

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/south-african-coastal-patrol-1/query/Cape+TOWN

Thank you! Wonderful footage! 

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1 hour ago, Stefaan said:

Hi Bruce.

Many RAF chaps trained in SA under the Empire Training Scheme, and were then shipped out to Allied sqdns. He could have stayed in the SAAF. That will show in his service record.

You don't know where his logbook is??

Stefaan

Thanks Stefaan - that's good to know. And sounds a likely explanation... I am having a hard time finding any of his stuff sadly. But am on the hunt! Thank you for your help. 

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