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COMMEMORATION OF JOINT AIR TRAINING SCHEME 2 May 1987


Commemoration of air training scheme

On 2 May 1987 the establishment of the JATS was commemorated at AFB Waterkloof (ICAO code FAWK) with a gathering of people and aircraft.

Background

The British Air Council had approved a scheme to locate flying training schools overseas on 23 October 1938, but it was not until much later that the scheme was actually implemented.

In December 1939 Smuts offred facilities in South Africa for the establishment of flying training schools for the training of both RAF and SAAF pilots and aircrew. On 11 April 1940 General Smuts announced that this proposal had been accepted.
Under the initial agreement signed on 1 June 1940 there were to be four elementary flying training schools (EFTSs), four service flying training schools (SFTSs) and three air observers schools (AOSs). The agreement was that South Africa would provide the airfields, buildings and all facilities while the UK Government would provide the aircraft, sparers and items of training equipment.

A new agreement was drawn up and duly signed on 23 June 1941, which was called the “Joint Air Training Scheme in South Africa, Memorandum of Agreement”. The following units were proposed:
·         Seven elementary flying training schools
·         Seven service flying training schools
·         Six (later five) combined observer navigation and gunnery schools
·         A general reconnaissance school
·         A proposed station for the assembly and testing of aircraft for training and operational needs

To this was later added an elementary observers school, an air signals school, a fighter operational training unit, a general reconnaissance operational training unit and an air armanent school and several additional assembly stations or air depots. The SFTSs were to be of two types, namely group I for single-engine training and group II for twin-engine training.
Late 1943 saw the JATS reach its zenith with all the air schools working to maximum output. Of an intake of 973 pupils to the EFTSs between 9 October and 18 December there was a corresponding output of 819.

By 1945 the contraction of the JATS was fully underway and one unit after another closed down. With rhe end of the war some of the former air schools were used as demobilastion centres. On 8 March 1946 the JATS finally closed down and there were only the statistics left: 33 347 men trained, of which 20800 were for the RAF. Of these well over 15 000 were pilolts and navigators. 12221 had served the SAAF and 326 in Allied air forces.

Aircraft noticed at the base on the day

Number/               Name                                             Unit/                           Base                  Remarks
Reggie                                                                       Airline
22 Sud Aviation SE-3130 Alouette II SAAF Museum Flight FASK ICAO code for AFB Swartkop; construction number 1280, ex-VQ-ZBJ
204 Dassault Mirage F1CZ 3 Squadron FAWK Displayed with armaments
206 Dassault Mirage F1CZ 3 Squadron FAWK  
214 Dassault Mirage F1CZ 3 Squadron FAWK Standing next to hangar
333 Nord C-160Z Transall 28 Squadron FAWK Static display
369 Canadair Sabre Mk 6   FAWK Gate guard
404 Lockheed C-130B Hercules 28 Squadron FAWK Static display
414 Hawkker Siddeley Buccaneer S Mk 50 24 Squadron FAWK Static display
455 English Electric Canberra B(1) Mk 12 12 Squadron FAWK Static display
564 Atlas Impala Mk I 24 Squadron FAWK Static display
632 Aerospatiale Alouette III 17 Squadron FASK  
2007 de Havilland DH-87B Hornet Moth SAAF Museum Flight FASK Flew first-day cover
6828 Douglas C-47A 44 Squadron FASK  
7111 North American Harvard Mk IIA Central Flying School Dunnottar CFS badge
7569 North American Harvard Mk III Central Flying School Dunnottar JATS colour
scheme, flew first-day cover
7666 North American Harvard AT-6 Central Flying School Dunnottar CFS badge
7668 North American Harvard AT-6A Central Flying School Dunnottar CFS badge
7690 North American Harvard AT-6C Central Flying School Dunnottar CFS badge
A5 Sikorsky S-55C SAAF Museum Flight FASK Previously WV223
KK476 Fairchild F24R-46A Argus Mk III SAAF Museum Flight FASK Construction number 1094; ex-ZS-DEY (registered in January 1951)
VD+TD Fieseler Fi-156C-7 Storch SAAF Museum Flight FASK Construction number 475099
WG354 de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T Mk 10 SAAF Museum Flight FASK  
ZS-AFA2 CASA 352L South African Airways FAJS ICAO code for Jan Smuts Airport
ZS-BUC2 Bücker Bü.131 Jungmann      
ZS-BXB de Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth     Formation fly-past & landing
ZS-CAQ Dassault Falcon 50 21 Squadron FAWK Took off
ZS-CKX de Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth     Formation fly-past & landing
ZS-DHR de Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth     Formation fly-past & landing
ZS-FEL de Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth     Flew first-day cover
ZS-JGV de Havilland DH-89A Dragon Rapide   Progress Airfield Owner John English, no reggie
ZS-JVL Lockheed L100-30 Hercules Safair FAJS Took off
ZS-LPE Hawker Siddeley HS-125-400 (Mercurius) 21 Squadron FAWK  
 
RESOURCES

AT-6 Harvard in South African Service: a pictorial history by Dave Becker and Winston Brent; African Aviation Series, No 1; 1995; Freeworld Publications CC

Civil Aircraft Registers of Africa; edited by Ian P Burnett; Air-Britain; 1981

Civil Aircraft Registers of Africa; edited by Ian P Burnett; Air-Britain; 1988

de Havilland Biplane Transports; Paul Hayes and Bernard King; a Gatwick Aviation Society publication in association with Aviation Classics; April 2003

85 Years of South African Air Force; Winston Brent – 1920 to 2005; African Aviation Series, No 1; Freeworld Publications CC; 2005

Squadron and Special Markings of the Post-war South African Air Force Covering the period 1946 to 1959; Ivan Spring; a Spring Air Publication; October 1994

The Douglas DC-3 and its predecessors; JMG Gradidge; an Air-Britain Publication; 1984

The SAAF Museum; Dave Becker; Aviation Society of Africa; approximately August 1977

The SAAF Museum; South African Air Force Museum Audio Visual Department; Airman Paul Vincent, Captain Dave Becker, Corporal L van der Walt and Airman J Ristow; no date

Yellow Wings: the story of the Joint Air Training Scheme in World War 2; Captain Dave Becker; published by the SAAF Museum; 1989


COPYRIGHT IMAGES 2017


Mirage F1CZ 204 has the construction number 64. Its colour scheme consists of a buff-and-dark-green camouflage, light-blue undersides and a black nose radome. Markings comprise the unit badge (the 3 Squadron motto is Semper Pugnans, which means “always fighting”)  and orange-white-and-blue flag on the tailfin, the springbok castle, the type name under the cockpit, the last-two digits of the serial number on the nose wheel door and the full serial number on the rear fuselage. The machine was put on static display with its armaments.


Here Mirage F1CZ 204 is seen with de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T Mk 10 number WG354 on the right-hand side. This Chipmunk has the construction number CI/0441 and was previously registered ZS-DIU (registered in September 1953).


In this view Mirage F1CZ 206 is taxying back.


Illustrated here is Mirage F1CZ 214 standing next to a hangar.


Nord C-160Z Transall 333 has the construction number Z2 and it was delivered on 25 August 1969. The colour scheme consists of a dark-earth-and-dark-green camouflage pattern, there are no markings (except the last digit of the serial number above the cockpit).


Note the last digit of the serial number above the cockpit.


The last digit of the serial number of Hercules 404 appears on the third step of the small door behind the cockpit.


Buccaneer 414 has the construction number SA4 17 and was delivered on 3 November 1965.


Serial number 455 is a Canberra B(1) Mk 12 and has the construction number 71675. The aircraft was delivered on 25 February 1964. Note the typical cockpit situated toward the left side.


The colour scheme of Canberra 455 consists of PRU blue. Markings include the full serial number on the rear fuselage and the last digit of the serial number on the nose.


Atlas Impala Mk I 564 has the construction number A89. Its colour scheme consists of silver with black above the nose. Markings comprise the springbok castle and full serial number on the rear fuselage, the orange-white-and-blue flag on the tailfin and the last-two digits of the serial number and 24 Squadron unit badge on the nose section.


Hornet Moth 2007 was previously ZS-ALA (registered in July 1937) and has the construction number 8121. The machine was impressed as SAAF 2007 in March 1940 and was restored and cancelled in March 1974.


Harvard 7569 is finished in a JATS colour scheme. This scheme consists of silver overall with a dark colour on the nose and yellow overall with silver. Markings consist of a type B roundel on top of the wings as well as a type A roundel and the full serial number under the wings. In addition there are the orange-white-and-blue flag and a small 7569, type A1 roundel and large 7569 on the fuselage. Note the two Tiger Moths in front of the aircraft.


Note the type A roundel and large serial number under the wing of Harvard 7569.


This is CASA 352L of South African Airways. The machine has the construction number 164 and was previously ZS-UYU, G-BFHE and E3B-273.


ZS-BXB has the construction number 82709, was registered in February 1948 and was previously SAAF 4636 and R4768.


Construction number 6831; previously NR743, VP-KEF (registered in July 1947), 5H-AAN (registered in August 1964) and VQ-SAG (allocated in February 1973, but not taken up). ZS-BUC2 and KK476 are in the background.  ZS-BUC2 is a Bücker Bü.131 Jungmann with construction number 20 (registered in November 1973) and KK476 is a Fairchild F24R-46A Argus Mk III with the construction number 1094.
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