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    Air Forces of the British Commonwealth; Women's Services; Home Front

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  1. Hi there

    I am new to this forum and have an interest in brevets (wings). I noticed that you wrote on SAAF brevets a while ago and was wondering if we could communicate on SAAF brevets. I am doing some research on SAAF, SA Army and Rhaf brevets and I am getting very confused. Some help would be much appreciated or if you can point me in the direction of someone in this forum who is a full bottle on SAAF matters.

    Kind regards


    1. jamyam



      I would be very happy to share information on SAAF & Rhodesian brevets. I am not an expert but I do have a fairly representative collection and I am slowly beginning to make sense of the enormous range of brevets issued over the years by the SAAF. My direct email is john@jamurdoch.co.uk

  2. Let me expand my post on the English/Afrikaans meanings of SAAF Aircrew brevets and then frame my question another way. My understanding is as follows, although I am always happy to learn and to be corrected: Dual language brevets were first introduced in 1941 with: AG / LK – Air Gunner / Lug Kanonier (Red initials in white wreath halfwing) This was followed by: RO / M – Radio Operator / Markonis (in 1942) FE / B – Flight Engineer / Boord Tegnikus (post-war) LF / AP – Lug Fotograaf / Air Photographer (post-war, interestingly with Afrikaans first & also ensigned by a crown) A new series was introduced in 1961, which can roughly be described as white or gold lettering on a blue ground with white wreath and wing. There was an incredible variety of designs, shades and sizes, with the following additional abbreviations: BS / AG - Boord Skutter / Air Gunner (which replaced AG / LK) AH / LW – Air Hostess / Lug Waardin C – Air Chef / Sjef (Interestingly, not C / S, although a C / S brevet was introduced in 1993) LM – Load Master / Laai Meester TI / TE – Toets Ingineer / Test Engineer SO / TO – Sleep Teiken Operateur / Tow Operator The EO brevet was introduced in 1988 for the Electronic Warfare Operator. My original question asked whether this could represent the dual language mustering of Electronic Warfare Operator / Elektronika Oorlogvoering Operateur – but this is only translated from a dictionary and may not be the official Afrikaans title for this mustering. A further new series was introduced in 1993, with the background to the lettering within the wreath becoming increasingly oval and with the wide variety of designs and sizes continuing to flourish. Silver & Gold versions were also introduced to represent flying hours’ experience. The following additional abbreviation was used: ET – Which is probably ‘Electronic Technician’ rather than ‘Electronic Transmitter’, as in my original post. Everything changed again in 2002, with the introduction of bronze, silver and gold brevets for increasing length of flying hours. All brevets now became unilingual and the following two new abbreviations were introduced: EW – Electronic Warfare Operator (Replacing EO) FA – Flight Attendant The following brevets were also issued: AG, AH, AP, C, ET, FE, LM, RO, TE & TT. These are all self-explanatory except TT, which represented Towed Target Operator. The official SAAF website today lists the following aircrew musterings (in addition to Pilot, Reserve Force Pilot & Navigator): ET (Electronic Technician), EW (Electronic Warfare Operator), FE (Flight Engineer), LM (Loadmaster), RO (Radio Operator) & Flight Attendant – which is bizarrely illustrated with an AH brevet! I hope that some readers may find this brief synopsis useful and it brings me back to my original question: Can anyone tell me the official Afrikaans title of the EO & ET musterings (because I believe that the initials are probably bilingual); and, just for interest, what is the Afrikaans for the Flight Attendant mustering?
  3. Until 2003, most aircrew brevets were available in a bilingual format. It seems as though only English abbreviations have been used since 2003. Two musterings with only a single abbreviation are EO and ET but I wonder if these, like Load Master / Laai Meester are the same in English & Afrikaans. Using a dictionary, which can be a very dangerous thing, I can get to: Elektronika Operateur for the EO Electronics Operator or Electronics Warfare Operator (Elektronika Oorlogvoering Operateur). ET (Electronics Transmitter) first appeared in the 1993-2003 series of brevets but would seem to translate into Afrikaans as ‘Elektronika Sender’. Is there an alternative translation which would fit ET in both languages? The EO has been replaced by EW (Electronics Warfare Operator) in the English-only series post-2003. FA (Flight Attendant) also appears as a new English-only brevet post-2003 (possibly translated as Vlug Hangende). I would be grateful if an Afrikaans speaker could point out any errors in my crude guesses and supply the official SAAF Afrikaans titles for these musterings.
  4. You will be very lucky if you can find a citation in the PRO and RAF service records are only available to next of kin. The majority of DFMs were 'end of tour' recommendations (still very well earned!) rather than awards for a specific act of gallantry. Red log book entries refer to operational flights and it is only a coincidence that, on the pages shown, they also happen to be night flights.
  5. Australians serving in the RAF wore nationality titles in common with citizens from many other allied countries. Some of these titles also incorporated shoulder eagles. The nationality titles for officers were light blue on RAF blue-grey and the titles for other ranks were light blue on dark blue. As mentioned above, RAAF personnel serving with the RAF (rather than in the RAF) would generally wear their standard RAAF uniforms but, if necessary, did also wear RAF uniforms when it was not possible to obtain replacement RAAF uniforms.
  6. Thank you very much indeed for responding to my question on bullion cap and collar badges. The Air Force badges C86 to C94 in Colin Owen's book have always seemed to be an enigma to me and you have put these three badges clearly in perspective. My interpretation of these badges would now be: C86, bullion on khaki felt, padded, worn with the khaki uniform in the 1930s. C87 , bullion on blue felt, colonel & brigadier, about 1952 (as related by mIlhistry, above) C88/9, bullion collars on blue felt, SAAF officer's full dress uniform, 1930's (as related by milhistry, above) C90, bullion with gilt eagle on blue felt, staff officer's, 1949-1959 (despite having a King's Crown - only 1 SAAF changed to a Queen's Crown!) C91/2, variants of C90 in embroidery rather than bullion with gilt eagle. (I have never seen a C91 in the flesh!) C93, gilt outstretched eagle on blue padded patch, SAAF Colonels & Brigadiers, 1959-2002 C94, bullion variant of C93. (Was this used on a specific style uniform or during a specific period?) I hope this may help others to start to make sense of what just seems to be a random presentation of badges in Owen. Particularly the khaki SAAF/SALM badge (C86) ascribed to 1920 has to be wrong as it would have been SAAF/ZALM at that date. It may also be that I have still got some details wrong and I would welcome further comments from members with more experience of the precise use and period of this series of badges.
  7. Hi Chris, I am not too sure what point you are making in your reply. I thought that my price of R600 twenty years ago was reasonably consistent with the prices of R800 - 1000 quoted in this thread (and ignoring the one comment about $800). The main purpose of my post was to add strength to the view that there are indeed many more than three of these badges in existence and many more than three genuine examples in the market. John
  8. I am coming to this thread rather late in the day but, just to further disabuse the view of only three badges, I have two in my collection! Both bought in 1992, the scarcer version in brass cost GBP40 and the more usual version in bronze cost GBP35. Say around SAR600 and then you need to add 20 years' inflation.
  9. I, too, have been delighted to see these two early SAAF dress uniforms. Can you confirm that these were both introduced in 1934 for winter and summer wear and that the blue uniform is what would be referred to as 'dress blues'? Also, the light khaki dress uniform is obviously distinct from the gaberdine uniform introduced for summer wear in 1932, but is it based on exactly the same gaberdine material? I have a pair of collars like those on your two dress uniforms, together with what appears to be a related cap badge. I have always assumed that these were dated from 1949 with the introduction of the blue SAAF uniform but, clearly, at least the collar badges must date from 1934. Do you know if the cap badge is connected and also dates as a full dress cap badge from 1934, or is this unrelated as a Colonel's & Brigadier's cap badge from a later period? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
  10. Mike Unfortunately I do not know of any published reference for South African Helmet flashes. I purchased the amphigarious flash from one of the South African badge gurus. It came out of a very old and well established collection and was already written up as described. I have no doubt whatsoever about its authenticity and the system of bisected flashes representing state and service unit is well known. What I can show you is a genuine amphigarious badge which is on an orange/red SPFS patch. (Sealed Permanent Force Shade). With best wishes John
  11. I have a similar SAAF helmet flash with a dark blue Transvaal half and a mid-blue SAAF half. The SAAF half is a definite strong blue as opposed to the light khaki appearance of the flash in your photo. The red & black diagonal represents Artillery and so this is the helmet flash of an amphigarious officer. Interestingly, the diagonal in my example is the opposute way to the one in your flash. John Murdoch
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