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The Douglas C-47 Dakota in SAAF service


The SAAF never operated the DC-3 version only various Marks of the C-47 Dakota versions.


C/N 12586

SAAF 6859 of the South African Air Force Museum Swartkop

At AFB Swartkop

Photograph: Jens Frischmuth Hangar Talk Online Aviation Magazine

12704 6887 Jens IMG_1258

C/N 12704

SAAF 6887 (2) taken at the Margate air show in 2008

The aircraft is the Aero Modifications International (AMI) DC-3-65TP or C-47TP as some call it

Photograph: Jens Frischmuth Hangar Talk Online Aviation Magazine

DOUGLAS C-47 DAKOTA

Information courtesy Winston Brent Freeworld Publications
"Workhorse of the air" is the name regularly given to the indestructible Douglas C-47 Dakota. The SAAF has for some time had the largest remaining fleet of Dakotas in the world, namely 47 aircraft. As a result of the SAAF decision in recent years to rationalise, it no longer retains the “pole position”.
The SAAF took on charge a large number of Dakotas during World War II and allocated them the serials 6801 - 6884.
At the cessation of hostilities in 1945 a large number of surplus Dakotas were disposed of, including transferring some to the South African Airways. The survivors of the SAA fleet found their way back to the SAAF in 1971 when they were allocated the serials 6885 to 6889.
When sanctions were imposed on South Africa from about 1975, other plans were devised to obtain aircraft and a number of Dakotas were purchased from various sources to supplement those still in SAAF service. In total 16 were added to the SAAF strength and most were given “old” serials.
One of the most successful “coups” was the purchase of 5 Royal New Zealand Air Force Dakotas which were withdrawn from that service in 1977. These were purchased by a concern in the Comores Islands with the name Island Associates and given Comores registrations before flying from New Zealand to the Comores. Once they were safely in the Comores, the next leg of the “coup” was to fly them to South Africa. In SAAF service they were given “old” serials, and some of them have found their way into the "Turbo Dak" program.
As a result of the rationalisation that has taken place over the last few years, a number of the “Turbo Daks” have been offered for sale during late 1997 and early 1998 and most of them have been bought by customers in the United States.
The only remaining operational Dakotas are those serving with 35 Squadron in Cape Town and which have been converted to the maritime role to patrol the long South African coastline. Those no longer required for service have been stored, pending disposal.
Winston Brent 4 July 2009

The list below is of Douglas C-47 aircraft that have seen service with the South African Air Force

The list is sorted by SAAF serial number


Serial model c/n Delivery date ex-USAF ex-RAF or other fate
6801 C-47A 9492 21.06.43 42-23630 FD574 to SAA ZS-DJB Simonsberg reverted to 6889
6802 C-47A 9628 02.07.43 42-23766 FD906 to ZS-DDV G-AJXL G-AMGD VP-YTT ZS-EKK 3D-AAV ZS-IWL ET-AIA
6803 C-47A 9629 29.07.43 42-23767 FD907 to ZS-DER XY-ACR w/o 24.05.69
6804 C-47A 9630 29.07.43 42-23768 FD908 to SAA ZS-AVI Mount Anderson w/o Carolina 15.09.52
6805 C-47A 9877 17.02.45 42-24015 FD956 to ZS-DDR XY-ACS w/o 10.06.63
6806 C-47A 9878 15.08.43 42-24016 FD957 to G-ALCB AP-ADH G-ALCB
6807 C-47A 9879 15.08.43 42-24017 FD958 crashed Lake Victoria 11.05.45
6808 C-47a 10106 27.09.43 42-24244 FL523 to G-ALCC 5B-CBE 5B-CAW
6809 C-47A 10104 17.09.43 42-24242 FL521 crashed north of Broken Hill 28.09.45
6810 C-47A 10105 03.10.43 42-24243 FL522 to ZS-DEF G-AMFV
6811 C-47ATP 11986 16.12.43 42-92211 FL579 cur Snake Valley to be sold
6812 C-47A 11987 03.01.44 42-92212 FL580 crashed Kisumu 11.07.45
6813 C-47A 11989 14.12.43 42-92213 FL581 to ZS-DJK VP-YSY ZS-DJK A2-ADB Z-WRJ
6814 C-47ATP 11990 16.12.43 42-92214 FK582 cur 35 Squadron as maritime
6815 C-47A 12016 03.01.44 42-92238 FL606 to ZS-AVJ Crashed East Griqualand 15.10.51
6816 C-47A 12112 25.01.44 42-92324 FZ576 w/o 06.05.94
6817 C-47A 12159 25.01.44 42-92366 FZ604 to G-ALCA AP-ABW CF-GXE w/o 12.04.61
6818 C-47A 11979 18.01.44 42-92204 FL572 to ZS-DHO G-ANLF F-OAOR G-ANLF OO-SBH w/o 28.03.69
6819 C-47A 12166 07.02.44 42-92373 FZ611 to ZS-BXI Elandskop VP-KNU ZS-BXI to 6886
6820 C-47ATP 12115 13.02.44 42-92327 FZ580 sold as N192RD 15.07.98
6821 C-47A 12107 31.01.44 42-92320 FZ572 to ZS-BXF Klapperkop later Vasberade to 6888
6822 C-47A 12049 07.02.44 42-92267 FL625 to ZS-BXG Piketberg to 6887
6823 C-47A 12073 31.01.44 42-92289 FL645 to ZS-DEO XY-ACN ET-AGV N9700N 5Y-BFO ZS-XXX ZS-MFY
6824 C-47A 12055 21.01.44 42-92273 FL630 to ZS-DES CF-GOR N800KC CF-KZO CF-PQG w/o 16.03.65
6825 C-47ATP 12160 27.02.44 42-92367 FZ605 cur 35 Squadron as maritime
6826 C-47A 12161 27.02.44 42-92368 FZ606 to ZS-DFN KA-DFN w/o 06.12.61
6827 C-47A 12158 12.03.44 42-10883 FZ603 to ZS-DDZ G-ALPN
6828 C-47ATP 12415 12.03.44 42-92597 KG385 cur (EW) 35 Squadron
6829 C-47A 12413 12.03.44 42-92595 KG383 to SAA as ZS-BXI 11.12.95
6830 C-47A 12414 31.03.44 42-92596 KG384 to ZS-BYI (NTU) ZS-DFB w/o 27.07.52
6831 C-47A 12595 17.04.44 42-92759 KG483 to ZS-BXZ (NTU)
6832 C-47A 12478 08.04.44 42-10886 KG443 to SAAF Museum Ysterplaat
6833 C-47A 12579 08.04.44 42-92744 KG467 to ZS-BYH XY-ACQ w/o 02.09.55
6834 C-47ATP 12590 08.04.44 42-92754 KG478 sold to ZS-OSO National Test Pilot School (NTPS) in Cape Town 09.05.01, then N834TP
6835 (1) C-47A 12596 15.05.44 42-92760 KG484 to ZS-DJX to 6885
6835 (2) C-47TP 20175 0.77 43-15709 LR-AAB OD-AAB F-OCEN D6-ECB sold as N145RD 15.12.97
6836 C-47A 13018 01.05.44 42-10891 KG535 to VP-YPB CR-AFR FAP6167 s d Mozambique 1968
6837 C-47ATP 13539 05.07.44 42-93608 KG672 cur 35 Squadron
6838 C-47A 13541 23.07.44 42-93610 KG674 to ZS-CAI, sold as ZS-CAI
6839 C-47ATP 13540 03.07.44 42-93609 KG673 to ZS-MRS, reverted to 6839 10.95, cur Snake Valley to go to 35 Squadron as transport
6840 C-47ATP 13866/25311 11.08.44 43-48050 KG767 cur 35 Squadron as transport
6841 C-47A 13867/25312 11.08.44 43-48051 KG768 to RRAF703 VP-YZB R7303
6842 C-47A 13865/25310 12.08.42 43-48049 KG766 to SRAF 25 RRAF25 RRAF157 RRAF702 VP-YZA R3702 w/o 31.05.77
6843 C-47B 14164/25609 15.09.44 43-48348 KJ825 crashed south of Bloemfontein 21.09.87
6844 C-47BTP 14165/25610 15.09.44 43-48349 KJ826 sold to Professional Aviation to ZS-OJK 11.99
6845 (1) C-47B 14669/26114 21.10.44 43-48853 KJ940 crashed Tabora 16.02.45
6845 (2) C-47TP 14642/26087 .08.79 43-48826 KJ919 G-AMSI ZS-DHW VP-YSL A2-ZEO ZS-DHW A2-ZEO cur 35 Squadron to be sold
6846 (1) C-47B 14671/26116 07.11.44 43-48855 KJ942 crashed Rand Airport 16.07.53
6846 (2) C-47TP 16386/33134 0.81 44-76802 NZ3542 ZK-AQU D6-CAH sold as N8241T 14.07.98
6847 C-47B 14670/26115 21.11.44 43-48854 KJ941 w/o near Pretoria 08.07.45
6848 C-47B 14993/26438 21.11.44 43-49177 KJ999 For sale 13.01.95 Sold as ZS-NTD
6849 C-47B 14994/26439 21.12.44 43-49178 KK100 to ZS-DKP VP-YSP A2-ZEP ZS-IPX A2-AAA ZS-IPX to SAAF 6892
6850 (1) C-47B 15301/26746 21.12.44 43-49485 KK162 crashed near Swartkop 04.08.72
6850 (2) C-47 15654/27099 .08.75 43-49838 KN231 G-AMZW SN-AAH ST-AAH to SAAF Museum as static display, to Caesars Casino (Emperors Palace) Jhb .04.00, to South African National Museum of Military History
6851 C-47B 15300/26745 21.01.45 43-49484 KK161 crashed in SWA Namibia 25.03.80
6852 C-47BTP 15557/27002 18.03.45 43-49741 KK220 cur 35 Squadron as maritime
6853 C-47BTP 15754/27199 09.03.45 43-49938 KN267 sold as N148RD 19.12.97
6854 C-47BTP 15887/32635 09.03.45 44-76303 KN327 cur Snake Valley to go to 35 Squadron as maritime
6855 (1) C-47B 16189/32937 15.04.45 44-76605 KN464 to ZS-DJC Mount Prospect crashed Katberg 06.03.62
6855 (2) C-47TP 16213/32961 .08.79 44-76629 KN483 ZS-DIV VP-YSN A2-ZEN ZS-DIV A2-ZEN sold as N8194Q 14.07.98
6856 C-47B 16625/33373 28.06.45 44-77041 KN669 crashed near Bizana 10.02.61
6857 C-47BTP 16627/33375 28.06.45 44-77043 KN670 sold as N193RD 8.07.98
6858 (1) C-47B 16628/33376 28.06.45 44-77044 KN671 crashed near Lyttelton 26.02.48
6858 (2) C-47TP 16149/32897 0.81 44-76565 NZ3538 ZK-AQP D6-CAF sold as N146RD 11.12.97
6859 C-47A 12586 27.09.45 42-92751 KG474 to SAAF Museum Swartkop 24.09.94, cur, flown by Historic Flight
6860 C-47A 12000(11899) 28.09.45 42-92223 FL591 to ZS-DBZ TF-FIS G-ALTT ET-ABI w/o 14.09.65
6861 C-47B 14494/25939 27.09.45 43-48678 KJ980 to RRAF706 VP-YZE R3706
6862 C-47A 10110 .09.45 42-24248 FL527 sold as ZS-NZA 31.08.96 to 9Q-CJJ
6863 (1) C-47B 16198/32946 27.09.45 44-76614 KN471 to RRAF707 VP-YZF R3707 R7307 w/o 21.07.75
6863 (2) C-47TP 16565/33313 0.81 44-76981 NZ3546 ZK-AWQ D6-CAG Sold as N81907 14.07.98
6864 C-47ATP 12580 28.09.45 42-92745 KG468 wfu Ysterplaat 2ASU to Bokrivier Military Training Facility 21.07.08
6865 (1) C-47B 15555/27000 12.01.45 43-49739 KK218 to ZS-DIY G-ANYF CF-HTH dbr 06.02.73
6865 (2) C-47BTP 16730/33478 0.81 44-77146 NZ3547 ZK-AZM D6-CAD sold as N8190X 14.07.98
6866 C-47A 12090 04.09.45 42-92304 FZ555 to ZS-DBL ZS-DCA G-ANNT F-OAPH ZS-DCA VP-YSK ZS-DCA
6867 C-47A 9836 03.10.45 42-23974 FD938 to RAF with temp reg ZS-NJE 5.94, became G-BVOL PH-TCB
6868 C-47BTP 16200/32948 08.10.45 44-76616 KN472 sold as N194RD 15.07.98
6869 C-47A 11911 06.10.45 42-92143 FL551 to G-ALCB 20.07.48
6870 (1) C-47B 15298/26743 06.10.45 43-49482 KK159 to ZS-DIZ 49482 FrAF F-SDKB F-BTDA EC-CAR F-BRQG
6870 (2) C-47TP 16463/33211 .06.79 44-76879 KN581 VP-KJS 5X-AAR 7Q-YKN ZS-EYN
6871 (1) C-47A 11991 03.10.45 42-92215 FL583 to ZS-DIW
6871 (2) C-47TP 16965/34225 0.81 45-962 N NZ3553 ZK-ERI D6-CAE to ZS-LJI cur
6872 C-47A 9539 04.10.65 42-23677 FD887 sold (NFD)
6873 C-47A 11926 .10.45 42-92157 FL565 sold as ZS-NTE
6874 (1) C-47B 15903/32651 04.10.45 44-76319 KN337 to RRAF709 VP-YZH R7039
6874 (2) C-47TP 16077/32825 .08.80 44-76493 KN402 VP-KJP 5Y-AAD 9J-RGY sold as N81952 14.07.98
6875 (1) C-47A 12065 28.09.45 42-92282 FL638 destroyed by fire on ground at Rand Airport 03.07.64
6875 (2) C-53DTP 11746 0.81 42-68819 SE-APG N8071Z 9Q-CYI cur 35 Squadron as VIP transport, to be sold
6876 C-47ATP 12582 28.09.45 42-92747 KG470 sold as N81949 17.07.98
6877 C-47ATP 11925 01.10.45 42-92156 FL564 cur 35 Squadron as transport
6878 C-47B 16203/32951 28.09.45 44-76619 KN474 burnt out Rand Airport 24.05.81
6879 C-47ATP 9766 28.09.45 42-23904 FD933 to ZS-MRR, reverted to 6879 10.95, sold as N147RD 11.12.97
6880 (1) C-47A 9948 28.09.45 42-24086 FD962 to ZS-CCG CR-AHB FAP6176 C9-AHB
6880 (2) C-47TP 14101/25546 12.04.80 43-48285 348285 FrAF F-BTDE YU-ABV N8071Y N3701Y TN-ADT sold as N330RD 14.04.00
6881 C-47B 16213/32961 06.10.45 44-76629 KN483 to ZS-DIV VP-YSN A2-ZEN ZS-DIV A2-ZEN to SAAF 6855 (2)
6882 C-47B 15896/32644 03.10.45 44-76312 KN334 sold to NTPS as ZS-MAP
6883 C-47B 14495/25940 07.10.45 43-48679 KJ909 crashed Swartkop 25.06.46
6884 C-47ATP 12064 .09.45 42-92281 FL637 wfu Ysterplaat 2ASU to Bokrivier Military Training Facility 6.07.08
6885 C-47ATP 12596 08.02.71 42-92760 KG484 6835 ZS-DJX cur 35 Squadron as maritime
6886 C-47ATP 12166 08.02.71 42-92373 FZ611 6819 ZS-BXI Sold as N8194Z 14.07.98
6887 (1) C-47A 12049 08.02.71 42-92267 FL625 6822 ZS-BXG to RhAF as R3711 w/o 18.12.80
6887 (2) C-47ATP 12704 .09.81 42-92857 SP-LCB OY-AIC 42-92857 N8071X TN-ADS cur as 35 Squadron as transport
6888 C-47A 12107 08.02.71 42-92320 FZ572 6821 ZS-BXF to SAA as ZS-BXF 04.07.91, damaged in f landing 21.11.03. Repaired. Current SAA Museum Society
6889 C-47A 9492 08.02.71 42-23630 FD874 6801 ZS-DJB to RhAF as R7312 w/o 10.07.86
6890 C-47TP 16804/33552 0.77 44-77220 KP250 44-77220 GA+111 AS+586 GR+110 XA+116 14+11 N90904 sold as N149RD 19.12.97
6891 C-47TP 16276/33024 0.77 44-76692 KN499 0-476692 GA+112 GR+104 ND+201 XA+120 14+03 N90905 sold as N198RD 14.04.00
6892 C-47TP 14994/26439 0.78 43-49178 KK100 6849 ZS-DKP VP-YSP A2-ZEP ZS-IPX A2-AAA ZS-IPX sold as N195RD 8.07.98 to ZS-OJI 03.01.99
Losses
Aircraft Date Note
6807 11.05.45 Crew not known, A/Sgt W Anderson (k), L/Cpl W Upton (k) SA Army
6809 28.09.45 Capt JS Sandilands (s), Lt HC Read (s), F/Sgt WM Scott (s), Sgt RT Stewart (s) Passengers: Pte BJ Schoombie (k), Pte JN Schoombie (k), Tpr HLJ Roux (k), Tpr JE De Bruyn (k), Lt DC Armstrong (k), Pte HB Stoop (k), Lt SA Darier (k), WO2 GG Maritz (k) SAAF, Pte BS Scheepers (k), Cpl CJ Uys (s), Lt-Col H Klein (s), Cpl J van Rensburg (s), Pte H Smith (s), Sig W Barry (s), Pte A Grobbelaar (s), WO1 HW Steel (s), Lt A Maxwell (s), Maj B Harris (s), Pte R Hincks (s), Sapper A Benade (s), Cpl JM Robinson (s), Pte HJ Potgieter (s), Sapper CJ Lourens (s), Pte EW Gottschalk (s)
6812 11.07.45 Lt JA Hoffe (k), Lt Q Neuper (k), A/Sgt MPW Bezuidenhout (k), A/Sgt CLD Kemp (k), (24 pax killed)
6816 06.05.94 Capt M Huson (s), Lt J dos Santos (s)
6843 21.09.87 Maj J Branders (s), Capt B de Villiers (s)
6845 16.02.45 Tabora
6846 16.07.53 Lt BP Jonsson (s), Lt MB Borcherds (s)
6847 08.07.45 Lt IL Christianson (s), A/Sgt LJ Wallace (k), A/Sgt C Johnson (s), A/Cpl LK Kairuz (s)
6851 25.03.80 Lt JH Leeuw (k), Lt CJ Wessels (k), CO (Miss) ES Swart (k)
6856 10.02.61 Capt FK Siebrits (k), Lt AJA Heyns (k), A/Sgt LF Meise (k), LAM DH Nel (k), LAM JE Serfontein (k)
6878 24.05.81 Hangar fire
6883 25.06.46 Swartkop
6850 (1) 04.08.72 Capt PJ Steenkamp (s), Lt L Webb (s)
6858 (1) 26.02.48 Lt JF Breytenbach (s), Lt WC Botha (s), Lt BJ Grove (s), A/M MB de Meillon (k) (SAAF Tech on the ground)
6875 (1) 03.07.64 Destroyed by fire
FZ574 19.09.44 Lt KCG Wyness (s) engine cut, belly-landed on approach Maison Blanche 19.09.44
KG471 04.09.44 Capt KL O’Leary (s) crashed in forced landing Delabole, Cornwall 04.09.44
KG498 21.12.44 Lt GP Cronin (k), Lt CJ Jooste (k), Lt PS Moore (k), A/Cpl HV Kilburn (k) flew into hill at night 10m SSW of Torretoria Italy 21.12.44. Tyre burst on t/off, stalled, crashed Maison Blanche 15.03.45
KG525 15.03.45
KG690 31.07.44 Lt CJK Schutte (k), Lt JHS Glenny (k), Lt GC Pennington (k), A/Cpl R Hosner (k), A/Cpl RB Boraine (k) flew into cliffs on high ground, in cloud, Salalah, Aden 31.07.44
KG710 13.12.44 Capt AR Oldridge (k), Lt NS Campbell (k), Lt J Zurschmiede (k), A/Cpl CA Kalis (k). Missing between Bari and Hassani 13.12.44.
KN332 19.04.45 Lt HN Greenberg (k), Lt AF Smith (k), Lt LC Loram (k), A/Cpl T Griffiths (k), + 3 pax killed. Flew into hill descending in cloud near Vitrolles France 19.04.45 dbf
RAF Dak 16.07.44 Capt HW Solms (k)

Disposal

The table below lists the first batch to be offered for sale in late 1997

Serial New reg date reg Air frame hours
6835 N145RD 15.12.97 1737,4
6853 N148RD 19.12.97 6648,9
6858 N146RD 15.12.97 2248,4
6879 N147RD 11.12.97 13168,3
6890 N149RD 19.12.97 8992,1

The table below lists the first batch to be offered for sale in 1998

Serial New reg date reg Air frame hours
6820 N192RD 15.07.98
6844 ZS-OJK .11.99
6846 N8241T 14.07.98
6855 N8194Q 14.07.98
6857 N193RD 08.07.98
6863 N81907 14.07.98
6865 N8190X 14.07.98
6868 N194RD 15.07.98
6870 N332RD 14.04.00
6874 N81952 14.07.98
6876 N81949 17.07.98
6880 N330RD 14.04.00
6886 N8194Z 14.07.98
6891 N198RD 14.04.00
6892 N195RD 03.01.99


South African Air Force

The C-47 Dakota in SAAF service

Information supplied by:

Dean Wingrin who owns and manages the fantastic and informative website www.saairforce.co.za

Derrick Page

Steven Mclean

SAAF Operators and Squadrons that operated the Dakota

5 Wing

21 Squadron

25 Squadron

27 Squadron

28 Squadron

35 Squadron

44 Squadron

60 Squadron

86 Multi-Engine Flying School

Air Operations School
Central Flying School
TFDC (Test Flight and Development Centre) at Bredasdorp
Ysterplaat Station Flight


5 Wing

21 Squadron

21 Squadron was formed During May 1941 flew operational flights in North Africa and Italy. The squadron did not make use of the Dakota. The unit was disbanded in 1945.

On 1 February 1968 the squadron was reformed again, this time as a VIP squadron from part of 28 Squadron, equipped with a Viscount and three C-47 Dakotas.

The three VIP Dakotas were:

6852 Fleur C/N 27002
6857 Klein Tierberg later Elandsberg C/N 33375
6868 Rustig C/N 32948

The Dakotas were later transferred out.

Douglas C-47 Dakota

25 Squadron

Douglas C-47 Dakota 1 January 1951 to 13 November 1953

Douglas C-47 Dakota 1 February 1968 to 31 December 1990

25 Squadron inherited the Station Flight Dakotas

Reformed in January 1951 from 21 (CF) Squadron, Dakotas were flown as a part-time transport unit until being renumbered 44 Squadron in November 1953. Ysterplaat saw the squadron reformed in February 1968, once again equipped with the Dakota. The squadron was finally disbanded in October 1990.

Douglas C-47 Dakota

6832

6834

6835

6839

6840

6844

6858

6862

6865

6873

6877

27 Squadron

Douglas C-47 Dakota October 1962 to October 1969

27 Sqn never had its own Dakotas but drew from the Station Flight pool as did Nav School

The squadron was reformed again in October 1962 at Ysterplaat, flying inshore maritime reconnaissance with Dakotas until the Albatross was received in 1969.

Douglas C-47 Dakota

6811

6816

6820

6829

6832

6834

6839

6840

6860

6862

6867

6879

28 Squadron

Douglas C-47 Dakota 29 July 1943 to 1962

The Squadron was formed at Almaza, Egypt, on 1 June 1943 operating the Avro Anson. By August, Wellingtons and Dakotas had joined the fleet.

In September 1945 the squadron returned permanently to South Africa and was based at AFB Swartkop from where it shuttled South African troops home from North Africa and Europe (the 'Springbok Shuttle') during 1945 and early 1946 using Dakotas.

VIP flights remained an important part of 28 Squadrons tasks, with various Dakotas and Venturas fitted out with improved accommodation.

From 22 September 1948 to 25 September 1949 two contingents participated in the Berlin Airlift, flying RAF Dakotas.

When the Dakota could no longer be used to fly VIPs to Europe, a Viscount was acquired in 1958, with the Dakotas being retired in 1962.

Douglas C-47 Dakota

6832

6834

6835

6843

6854

6856

6857

6868

35 Squadron

Douglas C-47 Dakota November 1984 to 9 September 1994

Douglas C-47TP Turbo Dak 1991to Current

After the AVRO Shackleton maritime reconnaissance aircraft were withdrawn in November 1984, the squadron continued to perform its maritime patrols with converted C-47 Dakotas - the Dakleton.

With the closing of 25 Squadron at the end of 1990, a transport flight was formed to operate the Dakota and King Air in the medium-range transport role.

In 1991 the 'classic' Dakota was replaced by the C-47TP in the transport role, while the maritime flight converted to the Turbo Dak in September 1994.

In 1998 the two separate flights were combined with crews able to perform both maritime and transport tasks.

Douglas C-47 Dakota

6814

6825

6829

6832

6840

6848

6852

6854

6862

6864

6867

6873

6877

6879

6884

Douglas C-47TP Turbo Dak

6811

6845

6848

6854

6858

6864

6870

6875

6877

6884

44 Squadron

Douglas C-47 Dakota    12 March 1944 to 6 December 1945

Douglas C-47 Dakota 13 November 1953 to ?

Douglas C-47TP Turbo Dak July 1992 to 1998

Renumbered from 43 Squadron at Cairo West on 12 March 1944 with Ansons, the squadron began conversion to the Dakota by the end of the month. The squadron was involved in scheduled and unscheduled flights throughout the region and even as far as Rome, Russia, Karachi and the Gold Coast (Ghana).

In February 1945 the squadron moved to the Italian port of Bari for operations in the Balkans, including providing support to Yugoslav partisans. The squadron’s activities were not confined to the Balkans, with general transport and VIP flights to the south of France, Turkey, Egypt and Britain. The squadron was eventually disbanded at Bari on 6 December 1945.

The squadron was reformed in November 1953 at Swartkop as a transport unit flying Dakotas by renumbering 25 Squadron. The squadron spent a few years at Waterkloof between 1956 and 1963 before returning to Swartkop.

In 1992, the squadron moved to AFB Waterkloof and re-equipped with Dakotas converted to the C-47TP standard. During 1998 the C-47TPs were transferred to 35 Squadron when the squadron took over the CASA 212s and CN-235 of the disbanded 86 MEFS.

Douglas C-47 Dakota

FD851

FD925

FL610

KG487

KG499

KG509

KG511

KG626

KG627

KG688

Douglas C-47 Dakota

6814

6825

6828

6834

6851

6853

6854

6855

6859

6876

6878

6882

6888

6892

Douglas C-47TP Turbo Dak

6825

6852

6877

6892

60 Squadron

86 Multi-Engine Flying School

Douglas C-47 Dakota    11 January 1968 to July 1992

Douglas C-47TP Dakota July 1992 to 1994

The Multi-engine Conversion Flight, 44 Squadron was re-designated Multi Engine Conversion Unit (MECU) on 1 February 1968 at AFB Swartkop.

In July 1968 the unit was relocated to AFB Bloemspruit in order to escape the dense air traffic in the Pretoria area.

The C-47 was replaced by the C-47TP in July 1992 and the Dakota C-47TP was phased out in 1994.

86 MEFS ceased operations on December 31, 1997 when the squadron was absorbed by 44 Squadron at Waterkloof.

Douglas C-47 Dakota

6811

6828

6837

6843

6846

6855

6859

6863

6875

6882

6884

Douglas C-47TP Dakota

6816

6845


 
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