No. 44 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War

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No.44 Squadron, S.A.A.F., was a a transport squadron that operated in the Mediterranean from July 1944 until the end of 1945.

No.44 Squadron was formed by the renumbering of No.43 Squadron, SAAF, which had arrived in Egypt on 26 February. The squadron was renumbered on 12 March to avoid any confusion with No.43 Squadron, RAF, which was also operating in the Mediterranean theatre.

No.44 Squadron didn't become operational until 14 July 1944. In the interim the squadron's personnel were scattered across the area, with some in Egypt, some in Italy and some in Libya, while the aircrews trained with No.28 Squadron, SAAF, also a transport squadron.

No.44 Squadron operated over a very wide area, which included most of the Mediterranean as well as routes to the Sudan and East Africa, and occasional trips to Russia. Although it only operated from two main bases (Cairo West until February 1945 then Bari in Italy until December 1945), a number of detachments were scattered around the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East. In December 1944 the detachment at Bari began to fly operations in support of the Yugoslav partisans, taking the squadron's aircraft over enemy territory on a regular basis.

The squadron continued to operate until 7 December 1945. On that date its aircraft began to leave Italy for Cairo, and on 8 December the RAF officially took over its transport duties. The last of the squadron's aircraft left Italy on 11 December, and the squadron returned to South Africa.

One of these detachments was based at Bari. In December 1944 it began to operate in support of the Yugoslav partisans,

Aircraft
April 1944-December 1945: Douglas Dakota III
March-August 1945: Avro Anson XII

Location
March 1944-February 1945: Cairo West
February-December 1945: Bari

Squadron Codes: -

Duty
July 1943-December 1945: Transport Squadron

Books

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 November 2009), No. 44 Squadron (SAAF): Second World War, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/SAAF/44_wwII.html

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