Appart from being a meeting place for its members SAAFA actively promotes the image of the SAAF and its members. Indeed, the two-fold activity of having fun while raising funds continues to produce excellent results over the years. Funds raised thus are distributed via the Association's Care of the Aged programme.
All persons who serve in, or once served in the SAAF (PF or CF), or in any other Allied Air Force, are eligible to join this unique fraternity.
SAAFA branches are active all over Southern Africa: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East Rand (Benoni), Johannesburg, Kimberley, Lower South Coast (Margate), Laeveld (Hoedspruit), Namibia (Windhoek), Outeniqua (George/Knysna), Pietermaritzburg, Port Alfred, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Stilfontein, Soutpansberg (Machado/Louis Trichardt) and Weskus (Langebaan/Vredenburg). The SA Korean War Veterans Association also has branch status with the SAAFA.
Membership brings participation in many activities, enjoying life wining and dining, raffles, sport events, special outings, regular luncheons at which distinguished persons from industry and commerce address the gathering and chat afterwards. How about golf, horse racing, bowls and "Fly-in-Braai" days and many more interesting events?!
Members are entitled to wear the distinctive SAAFA tie, blazer badge and other insignia, and to participate in all SAAFA activities at Branch level. They are also encouraged to participate in the on-going worthwhile projects of the Association. Less fortunate SAAFA members and their dependents are being assisted in their well being. An ever-increasing percentage of funds raised are being channeled towards the Care of the Aged programme.
A national newsletter is distributed via email regularly free-of-charge, while several branches send out their own newsletters.
One finds very little documented information on the establishment of the SAAF Association. The original concept, formulated in late 1944 was threefold;
- To continue the spirit and camaraderie of the South African Air Force generated during World War II
- To perpetuate the memory of all brave Air Force men and women who made the supreme sacrifice for their country
- And in particular to assist with the welfare and support their widows and children
Colonel Rod Douglas, a veteran of the 1914-1918 Great War, started the Christmas Cheer Fund during, whilst serving as a senior staff officer at Air Force Headquarters. This fund ensured that all SAAF Squadrons and Units serving beyond the borders of South Africa would be treated to a sumptuous lunch or dinner on Christmas day. Generous donations to this cause were received from SAAF Units remaining in South Africa.
Colonel Douglas had experienced the aftermath of World War I with the plight of the widows, children and demobilised airmen. He wished to ensure that this did not happen again when World War II hostilities ceased. To this end, he gathered a group of like-minded airmen and set about creating the South African Air Force Association. Colonel Rod Douglas is considered as the founder of the South African Air Force Association and he served as the first SAAFA National President, guiding the Association through its formative years.
An initial meeting was held in Johannesburg on 11 December 1944. Many distinguished airmen were present to be elected as committee members. A draft Constitution was discussed and approved. Principles, objectives and projects were tabled and discussed. The first SAAFA meeting was held at the Inanda Club on 26 January 1945, which date is recognised as the founding date of the Association. At an Executive Meeting held on 24 April 1945, Branches were approved in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Benoni and Windhoek. The first annual National Congress was held in Johannesburg on 15 June 1946.
Over the years, Branches were formed in cities and towns throughout South Africa, some of which have since closed due to employment, residential and retirement dynamics. At present, Branches exist in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, East Rand, Johannesburg, Kimberley, Lower South Coast (Port Shepstone/Margate), Lowveld (Hoedspruit), Outeniqua (George), Port Alfred, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria, Soutpansberg (Makhado), Stilfontein, Whale Coast (Hermanus) and Weskus (Langebaan). In addition, there is a SAAFA satellite Branch in Dubai, UAE.
Close links are maintained with the South African Korean War Veterans Association, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force OfficersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Club, the Warsaw Flights Commemoration Organising Committee, the Alpine 44 Club and the Council of Military Veterans Organisations (CMVO).
As had been anticipated, soon after the end of World War II the SAAF Association found itself involved in numerous support projects, many of which continue to this day, most notably that of Benevolence.
Many children of Air Force members who had made the supreme sacrifice had their schooling made possible with financial and other support of SAAFA. In addition to this, tertiary education bursaries were provided to many dependents. With the passage of time, the emphasis has shifted from education to provision of assistance and support to past members of the SAAF who suffer from chronic and debilitating health issues as well those who suffer severe financial hardship. SAAFA has an ongoing care of the aged project nationwide.
Welfare grants, food parcels and Christmas cheer have over the years been made to members and members dependents. Together with the South African Legion improvements in war pensions were for ex-SAAF members and their dependents were negotiated. Successful applications for tax exemptions for special flying allowances were negotiated as were many other issues requiring the SAAF Association to lobby with Government, Provinces and various organisations.
The Air Force Fund was started during the War to provide funds to donate Ã¢â‚¬Å“SpitfireÃ¢â‚¬Â aircraft to the Royal Air Force. At the cessation of hostilities remaining funds were distributed to SAAFA Branches and the RAF Benevolent Fund. The Association administered funds for 1939/45 SAAF Veterans in need on behalf of the Air Force Fund. Housing Memorials in the form of blocks of flats were built in Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Past members of the SAAF, and in instances their surviving spouses, occupy flats at sub-economic rentals. Two of these facilities, in Pretoria and Johannesburg, continue to offer this service, Cape Town having sold their facility to the University of Cape Town.
Resulting from a proposal by the SAAF Association, the first Air Force Memorial was built at the entrance to the Waterkloof Air Force Station in 1957. The site subsequently proved unsuitable for a number of reasons and again the SAAF Association proposed that a national Air Force Memorial be built and agreed to cover half the overall costs. The magnificent Air Force Memorial as we know it today was completed in 1963 on BaysÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Hill, overlooking AFB Swartkop.
Jointly hosted with the South African Air Force, Memorial Services are held at the Air Force Memorial in May every year.
Also at the suggestion of the SAAF Association to the SAAF, Citizen Force Squadrons were established at Cape Town, Durban, Germiston, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.
Ongoing and continuous support to the SAAF in peace and conflict as experienced during the Berlin Airlift, the 1947 Royal Visit and the Korean War was provided. The support of and relationship with the South African Air Force remains today a high priority objective of SAAFA.
Today the South African Air Force Association continues the legacy of supporting the ex-SAAF aged and needy; to perpetuate of SAAF men and women killed in the line of duty; to foster Air Force camaraderie; to preserve our Air Force heritage and continue dynamic SAAF/SAAFA interaction.
National President Mike Louw
National Vice President Trevor Slade
Country Vice Presidents Frans Labuschagne (Weskus)
Arrie de Klerk (Pietermaritzburg)
Derrick Page (Cape Town)
Dirk Ackerman (JHB/Outeniqua)
Honorary Treasurer Carol Havenga
National Secretary Marianne Mostert
SAAF/SAAFA Liaison Philip Weyers
Benevolence Trevor Slade
Constitution/MoA/Records Hugh Paine
National Medical Liaison Mike Louw
Awards Jaap Rossouw
Memorial Services Renier Feldtmann
Remembrance/Heritage Bruce Harrison
Camaraderie Johann Mostert
Webmaster/Social Media Koos van Rensburg.
Lt Genl A.M. Muller, SSAS, SD, SM, SALM (Retired)
Lt Genl W.H. Hechter, SSAS, SD, SM, MMM, SALM (Retired)
Lt Genl R.J. Beukes, SD, SM, MMM, SALM (Retired)
Mr B. Hersov, DMS
Lt Genl C. Gagiano, SM, SAAF (Retired).
Lt Gen F Z Msimang psc (j), ensp
Military Despatches a website for the military enthusiast
Buccaneers of 24 Squadron - Johan Conradie
The V-Boys of Margate by Roger Makings (2014)
The Silent Enemy: How PTSD Damages our Soldiers
2011 Zwartkop Air Show
A B-17 Flying Fortress called All American
Amazing Engineering - Madeira Airport Runway
CESSNA 152 for the SAAF Museum
First RAF Sunderland Flight to Greenland
For the Africa Star
My year on the wing
Oldest Boeing Airliner in flying condition
Phyllis Doreen Dunning
The Coelacanth Flight - 1952
The Tale of Two Stories
Virginia Air Show 2012
Beyond the Edge of the Sky - Crow Stannard
Buccaneers of 24 Squadron - Johan Conradie
Coastal Strike - John Clements with Graeme Gibson
Commanding Heights - Roy Andersen
Facta Nostra Vivent - Andrew Embleton
In All Weather - Peter Chapman
My small segment of World War II - Alex Reith
Nick's War - Nick Lithgow
Special Forces - Peet Coetzee
Spitfires Rampant - Bill Tatham
The Rhodesian Command Dakota - Laurence (Flo) Hill
Warriors of the Sky - Peter Bagshawe
We Conquer from Above - Paul J Els
Wings over Langebaanweg - Andrew Embleton
My Dad and the Condor - Danie van der Spuy
Paul Lee's Talk on Antarctica
Legends Air Show 2017
RIAT Air Show 2018 - Stefaan Bouwer
Johannesburg Golf Day, September, Woodmead Golf Club, Carol van Rensburg, email@example.com
RAF Memorial Service, Bays Hill, April
Pretoria Annual Golf Day, May, Services Golf Club, Nick Havenga, 082 876 6150
Gunner's Association Service, Potchefstroom, April
SAAF Museum Air Show, May, AFB Swartkop
Pretoria Annual Banquet, SAAF HQ, August, Jaap Rossouw, 012 651 5922 or firstname.lastname@example.org
May, SA Air Force Memorial Service, Bays Hill, Pretoria. 10h00
May, Smuts Memorial Service, Irene, Pretoria. 15h00
May, Heritage Foundation Wreath Laying Ceremony, SADF Wall of
Remembrance, Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria. 10h00
June, SAPPERS Memorial Service, SAPPERS RUST. 11h00
SA Korean War Veterans Memorial Service, Air Force Memorial, Bays Hill, Pretoria, Date & Time to be confirmed
Branches are welcome to forward their event information to the
webmaster whom will gladly add them to this page.