South Africa Air Force Museum

The official SAAF emblem is a golden African Fish Eagle with a laurel wreath in its claws. The motto on the wreath reads Per Aspera Ad Astra, meaning Through Adversity to the Stars.

The official SAAF emblem is a golden African Fish Eagle with a laurel wreath in its claws. The motto on the wreath reads "Per Aspera Ad Astra", meaning "Through Adversity to the Stars".
*24 Squadron*
"Per Noctem Per Diem" (Through Night, Through Day)

*About this Squadron*
By renumbering 14 Squadron, 24 Squadron was formed in East Africa on 5 March 1941. Although given Maryland bombers, these were replaced by Bostons in the ensuing Western Desert campaign. In December 1943 the squadron re-equipped with the Marauder Mk II, and later with the Mk III version. After flying its last operation in April 1945, the Marauders were converted to transports. Disbandenment came on 6 November 1945.
Reformed at Bloemspruit in April 1946 with B-34 Venturas, a citizen force complement of Harards was added in 1948, but was disbanded on 1 January 1951. With the purchase of the Buccaneer, the squadron was reformed at RNAS Lossiemouth in May 1965 before flying back to Waterkloof with their new additions. The Buccaneers performed sterling work during the Border War, with their long range and ability to air-refuel themselves and the Mirage F1AZ. As attirtion took their toll, Impala MkI aircraft were added to the fleet to maintain pilot proficiency and as a weapons trainer.
The squadron was disbanded in March 1991
South Africa performed an update to their Mirages along the lines of that of the Kfir and incorporating some Israeli-built kit. In 1986, Atlas Aircraft Corporation of South Africa rolled out a refurbished Mirage III machine named the "Cheetah".
The Cheetah E is a single seat, multi-role, all-weather fighter version of the Cheetah D. The E variant used the Mirage IIIEZ as the basis for the conversion and needed extensive upgrades and refitments to get it to Cheetah standards.
*3 Squadron*
"Semper Pugnans" (Always Fighting)

*About this Squadron*
One of the SAAFs front-line squadrons for many years, 3 Squadron was formed in January 1939 at AFB Waterkloof equipped with the Hawker Hartbees and Hurricane Mk II. In September 1939 the squadron moved to Port Elizabeth before being disbanded, only to be reformed at Waterkloof once again on 9 September 1940 with Hurricane Mk 1s. By October the squadron was involved in fighting in East Africa. Flying both Hurricanes and Gladiator Mk IIs, the squadron fought all the way through Somaliland and Abasynia and by the end of 1941 had destroyed over 100 Italian aircraft (24 in air combat). After moving to Asmara, the squadron was disbanded. The squadron was reformed in December 1942 and sent to the Middle East. Flying fighter defence over the port of Aden with Hurricane 11c and Spitfire V aircraft, coastal patrols were also flown from North Africa. Re-equipped with Spitfire IXs in August 1944, 3 Squadron was sent to Italy. Most of its operations involved strafing sorties. Disbanding followed at the end of the Second War War.
Three Squadron was reformed at Baragwanath Airport on 6 September 1952 as a part-time citizen force unit flying Harvards, but disbanded once again in 1957.
In August 1966 the squadron was reformed at AFB Waterkloof as a unit under the control of 2 Squadron, equipped with some Mirage IIIEZs. In February 1970 the unit received squadron colours and in the same year, hardware in the form of the Mirage IIIDZ. The squadron was reactivated as an autonomous squadron in February 1975, receiving the Mirage F1CZ in April 1975 when its Mirage IIIEZ, DZ and D2Z aircraft were transferred to 85 Advanced Flying School. The squadron continued to operate the Mirage F1CZ from Waterkloof AFB with frequent deployments to Namibia during the Border War. Three Squadron was disbanded when the Mirage F1CZs were retired on 30 September 1992.
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