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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

RHODESIAN AIR FORCE THE SANCTIONS BUSTERS

Winston Brent has done a few publications on the Rhodesian Air Force -one of his books below.

Rhodesian Air Force
Author: Winston Brent
ISBN: 0 9584 388 1 1
The Sanctions Busters
Reviewed By: Dean Wingrin
The story of the Rhodesian Air Force is a fascinating one, having started out as a small force (Air Force) in 1947, scavenging from old RAF maintenance depots and scrap dumps in order to rebuild six scrapped and abandoned Tiger Moths. Later, fifteen Harvards were purchased and 22 Spitifres were ferried out from Britain in 1951. Then, in 1953, the first Vampires started to arrive. With the establishment of the Federation of rhodesia and Nyasaland, the title was changed to Rhodesian Air Force, with the 'Royal' added shortly thereafter. The RRAF even contributed Canberra bombers to RAF operations in the Middle East where they put the local RAF units to shame.
The Federation broke up at the end of 1963 and within three years the signs of insurgent activity became apparent along Rhodesia's borders. When Rhodesia declared independence (UDI) in 1965, the air force was subject to sanctions. For an air force that consisted almost entirely on British aircraft, no one thought the air force would remain operational for long. Yet, when independence was granted fifteen years later in 1980, the airforce has not only proved itself to be a strong and combat proven force, but they has even managed to purchase new and second-hand aircraft! Hence, the subtitle 'Sanctions Busters'.
During operations against the insurgents, the RRAF earned an enviable reputation during combat operations. When spare parts were unobtainable or too expensive, local ingenuity once again came to the forefront. Many are not aware that the South African Air Force was deeply invloved in helping Rhodesia from 1975 to 1980. SAAF C-130 Hercules transports were used to fly in supplies at night. At least 20 to 30 Alouette III helicopters were based in Rhodesia at any one time, initially under the South African Police name. SAAF Canberras flew sorties with their Rhodesian counterparts. As the author states, 'the purpose of the book is two-fold, to recognise the work done by those who "bust sanctions" and to pay tribute to those South Africans whom without wavering carried out their orders and to give them recognition.'
By it's very nature, the subject of this book is shrouded in mystery, subterfuge and secrecy, even after so many years. The first few chapters document the history of the RhAF from 1947 to 1980, squadron histories and serial numbering system. Thereafter, the author tackles each aircraft type, listing serial numbers, source and delivery methods. Numerous chapters are devoted to the involvement of the SAAF, making fascinating reading. Many of the missions flown are retold here for the first time.
The book concludes with individual aircraft histories of all pre- and post-war aircraft, a crash log and Roll of Honour for the period 1947 to 1980. Although not an in-depth history of the Rhodesian Air Force (for that see A Pride of Eagles by Beryl Salt), it is nevertheless a must read for anyone interested in the RhAF, it's aircraft and tactics as well as the involvement of the SAAF.
298 x 210mm, 190pp, 300 colour and B&W photos, maps

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I welcome comments from everyone on my book Choppertech.
I am interested especially on hearing from former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants who also have thier story to tell.