No. 41 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War

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No.41 Squadron, S.A.A.F., was formed as an army co-operation squadron during 1940, serving in East Africa, then spent most of 1943-44 operating as a fighter unit in the eastern Mediterranean.

No.41 Squadron was formed on 16 October 1940 as an army co-operation squadron equipped with the Hawker Hartbees. These aircraft were used during the campaign in East Africa.

On 1 September 1941 the squadron received a number of Curtiss Mohawks, which it used to equip No.41 Squadron Fighter Detachment. On 5 October 1941 this detachment achieved the only Mohawk victory in Africa, before later in the same month becoming 'B' Flight, No.3 Squadron.

By 1943 the squadron had converted to the Hurricane I. In April-May 1943 the squadron moved from Kenya to Egypt, where it was given Hurricane IIBs, which it used to provide air defence for Egypt. The squadron's only offensive operation was a single fighter sweeps over Crete on 23 July 1943.

In February 1944 the Hurricanes were joined by a number of Spitfire Mk.IXs, provided to high-altitude interceptions. Two months later the Hurricanes were replaced with Spitfire VCs. The squadron continued to be based in Egypt, but it also provided detachments for Palestine (May-July 1944), before moving fully to Palestine in August. Three months later the squadron began to disperse, and it officially disbanded on 30 November 1944.

Aircraft
October 1940-: Hawker Hartbees
September 1941-: Curtiss Mohawk

-May 1943: Hawker Hurricane I
May-July 1943: Hawker Hurricane IIB
July 1943-March 1944: Hawker Hurricane IIC
February-July 1944: Supermarine Spitfire IX
March-November 1944: Supermarine Spitfire VC

Location
April-May 1943: Edku
     May-July 1943: Detachment to Lakatamia
May 1943: Almaza
May-July 1943: Shandur
July-December 1943: Bu Amud
December 1943-January 1944: El Adem
January-February 1944: Savoia
February-May 1944: LG.07
     May-July 1944: St. Jean d'Acre
May-July 1944: El Gamil
July-August 1945: Almaza
August-November 1944: St. Jean d'Acre

Squadron Codes: sss

Duty/ Groups
November 1941: Air Headquarters, East Africa
October 1942: No.207 Group, Middle East Command
Ju;y 1943: No.212 Group, Headquarters Air Defences Eastern Mediterranean, RAF Middle East

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 November 2009), No. 41 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/SAAF/41_wwII.html

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