SAAF wings, etcFebruary 8 2005 at 5:40 PM
Chris Kanca (Premier Login AOC553)
from IP address 188.8.131.52
Response to SAAF and SRAF
I'd be most interested in hearing what info/theories you've heard regarding the SAAF aircrew halfwings. I have two jackets that have them -- both war-dated.
In and of itself, this doesn't mean much as SAAF continued to wear khaki BD into the Korean war -- presumably war-dated stocks would still have been onhand for years.
For the dual-language halfwings, I'd heard theories exactly the opposite -- i.e. that they were a postwar thing and that the crowned wing shown in the book was that used by SA-trained SAAF aircrew.
This is a much under-researched area and I'd be extremely interested in the true story.
The following quote is from the history of the SAAF:
The change in Government in 1948 with the attainment of power by the National Party was to directly affect the Air Force. A plan was introduced that would restructure and reorientate the institutional culture of the Union Defence Force. In essence it involved the removal of Citizen Force regiments which were considered too British in terms of their institutional culture and identity, and eliminated advancement for women, blacks, coloured or indians. The first target was the Air Force, for it was perceived as being far too British. RAF personnel contracts were not renewed and a budgetary noose was placed around Air Force finances.
The SAAF counteracted the attempt to abolish foreign influence by developing a truly Air Force culture. In July 1949 a very significant step in the history of the SAAF took place, the conventional Army khaki gave way to a grey-blue uniform. At long last the SAAF had a uniform of which they were proud to wear. In November 1950 the SAAF adopted the Springbok for the centre of the roundel, giving the SAAF its own identity.
The highlighted areas coincide with information that I'd picked up supporting that the desire to be less British was what drove the design(s) of the new wings. The fiscal austerity imposed on SAAF is also referenced as why current stocks of wartime-pattern wings continued in use.
|This message has been edited by AOC553 from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Feb 8, 2005 6:56 PM|