No. 28 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War

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No.28 Squadron, S.A.A.F., was a transport squadron that served in the Mediterranean from its formation in 1943 until the autumn of 1945.

When No.28 Squadron was formed it had a typically varied mix of aircraft for a British or Commonwealth transport squadron, with some elderly Wellingtons, a few Douglas Dakotas and a larger number of Avro Ansons (twenty by August). The squadron's main base was at Castel Benito (western Libya, close to Tripoli), although for its first year of operations the squadron almost always had at least one detachment based elsewhere.

During this period the Wellingtons and Dakotas were used on longer transport flights while the Ansons were used for short range communications flights in South Africa.

The Wellingtons were retired at the end of 1943, leaving the squadron with only the Ansons and Dakotas. The Ansons left in April 1944, and for the rest of the year the squadron was fully equipped with the Dakota. In June the Dakotas were concentrated at the squadron's new base at Maison Blanche, Algiers, from where it operated passenger and cargo routes across the Mediterranean.

More variety of aircraft appeared during 1945. In January the Ansons returned, this time as ambulance aircraft, followed in the new month by a number of Beach Expediters.

The need for transport aircraft lasted beyond the end of the war, and No.28 Squadron continued to operate until September 1945. In that month the remaining aircraft were flown back to South Africa, while the squadron's personnel embarked for home later in the month.

July-December 1943: Vickers Wellingtojn IC
July 1943-April 1944: Avro Anson I
July 1943-September 1945: Douglas Dakota I, II and III
January-August 1945: Avro Anson I
February-May 1945: Beach Expediter I

June 1943: Almaza
June 1943-June 1944: Castel Benito (western Libya)
     July-September 1943: Detachment to Ras-el-Ma
     September 1943-July 1944: Detachment to Oudna
     September 1943: Detachment to Pachino
     September 1943-July 1944: Detachment to Bari
     December 1943-May 1944: Rabat-Sale
June 1944-September 1945: Maison Blanche

Squadron Codes: -

1943-1945: Transport Squadron, Mediterranean Theatre
July 1943: No.216 Group, Mediterranean Air Transport Service, Mediterranean Air Command



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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 November 2009), No. 28 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War,

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