Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thunder from the sky

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Several bloggers like Ahab, AD and Skywriter have memed or mentioned their best aircraft, here are mine as well as the reasons why they have a place in my memory;
The Allie - SA-316 / SA-319 Alouette III



















The Puma/Oryx
Both these Choppers were operated by 17 Squadron as well as others but I think 17 Sqd. are the blokes that pioneered Border Operations. To a soldier on the ground there was no better sound than that of the choppers coming in for a Casevac, bringing in supplies or support troops or causing Mayhem to the terrorists with the .50 Brownings or 20mm Cannon on one of the Allie Gunships of the Romeo Mike force at Ondangwa.



The Imp - AEROMACCHI ATLAS MB326M IMPALA MARK I AND MARK II
"Eagle One this is Zero Three Delta! Acquire target at Romeo Victor... Green smoke Foxtrot Foxtrot!" and then the boys in Blue would do the rest while the troopies hunkered down in hastily dug slit trenches and hoped the pilot was not colour blind.
The Dak - DOUGLAS C47 DAKOTA
Our lifeline in many ways, these old warbirds would drop the Bats during ops. and do the milk runs between bases as well, many a letter from home was brought north from Grooties in the belly of a Dakota.
The Herc - LOCKHEED C-130 HERCULES
There is nothing like blasting off from Mpacha airfield using JATO in one of these birds and watching some of the troopies turning green while you enjoy the G forces. The landings were pretty awesome as well, pilots used to use evasive tactics and dropping down in steep dives was one of them. Leaving your innards at 20 thousand feet is quite a thrill.

The Mirage - DASSAULT-BREGUET MIRAGE F.1, Mirage III, 111EZ, AND 111CZ
These were our ultimate backup and a few Cubans regretted tangling with our Top Gun's.





Sabre - CANADAIR CL13B SABRE MK VI
Korea was the proving ground for Jet Warfare and our pilots were in the thick of things once again.


Mustang - MUSTANG P-51D-20NA
As a kid I always wanted to fly one of these, only later did I learn that my mom's first fiancee was killed in Korea flying one...






Harvard - NORTH AMERICAN HARVARD
Tough and temperamental, I was told if one could learn to fly this critter one could fly any plane after that... if you survived that is...
Most of the pics come from the
SAAF Museum site.
Still need to tidy up the code and formatting of the page but I think you get the picture?
The quote sums up my feelings on having to use these wonderful machines, great as they were would it not have been better to have used the energy for peace?
"We merely want to live in peace with all the world, to trade with them, to commune with them, to learn from their culture as they may learn from ours, so that the products of our toil may be used for our schools and our roads and our churches and not for guns and planes and tanks and ships of war." Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)



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