Albie Götze

WW2 SAAF Typhoon Pilot  Albie Götze tribute page

Hi and welcome to this site!

I visited Albie at his house in Hillcrest/Natal in June 2014. Albie was so kind to share his WW2 experiences with me and allowed me to copy his flying logbook and war photographs. Thanks  to Albie for the kindness during my visit and also for telling some of his war stories in front of the camera.

Albert Richard  Götze joined the South African Air Force in mid 1942 and was selected for fighter pilot training. After he finished  flying training he was sent to the Middle East  where he joined up with RAF  No. 127 Spitfire squadron in April 1944.

127 Squadron moved to England and from there they operated as a UK defence unit . They  flew  patrols and bomber escorts to mainland Europe but  also did some fighter-bomber work. During this time Albie was involved with shooting down German V-1 flying bombs and also did cover flying on D-day.  

In August 1944 Albie was transferred to RAF No.137 squadron flying Hawker Typhoon ground attack aircraft. He participated in the Market Garden- and the Rhine crossing operations. 

137 Squadron always operated at low altitude ("on the deck") and was mainly employed  to attack targets such as armour, anti-aircraft installations, specific buildings, transports and  enemy personnel.

Flying in the Typhoon squadron was dangerous and high risk. The losses were extreme and hence replacement pilots were usually filled with volunteers. Albie's aircraft was hit on occasions and he made a few crash landings with damaged aircraft.

After the war Albie participated as a navigator in the Berlin Airlift of 1949 where they flew around the clock supply flights from West Germany.

In 1951 Albie completed a combat tour with SAAF No. 2 squadron to Korea as part of a US Air Force formation where he flew P-51 Mustangs.

 Albie had a long and successful career in the SAAF and ended with the rank of Brigadier General. He was responsible for  the introduction and implementation of the South African air defence system with the underground head station at Devon. He was also responsible for the system to be fully computerised. 

Albie was also the personal secretary of the State President of South Africa for 4 years.

He retired from the Air Force in 1978


This is a living web site. Any input and/or participation will be much appreciated regarding additional information, correctness, information from relatives of members who served with Albie, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail me. 

If you perhaps have a family member who served as a SAAF fighter pilot during WW2 and you would want to find out more about his war service please contact me, hopefully I can be of some help.

Tinus le Roux

September 2014




On the day of the interview, 14 June 2014 at Albie's house in Hillcrest KwaZulu-Natal. 



Flying Career

02/06/1942    75 Air School Lyttleton, ground training

08/05/1943    5 Air School Witbank, Elementary flying training, 80h Tiger Moths

18/05/1943    First Solo after 7 hours flying

17/07/1943    23 Air School Waterkloof, Advanced flying training, 160h Harvards

04/12/1943    Qualified for wings.

22/01/1944    5 A.R.C. Middle East

22/01/1944    71 O.T.U. Ismailia Egypt

12/03/1944    22 P.T.C. Almasa Cairo

20/03/1944    127 Squadron RAF, St Jean, Palestine

23/04/1944    127 Squadron RAF, North Weald, England

17/05/1944    127 Squadron RAF, Lympme, England

19/05/1944    First operational sortie, bomber escort over France

28/05/1944    Crash landed

06/06/1944    D-day Convoy patrol

23/06/1944    Shoot down a German V-1 flying bomb

27/06/1944    Shoot down 2x  V-1's

28/06/1944    Shoot down a V-1?

04/07/1944    127 Squadron RAF, Tangmere, 

12/07/1944    127 Squadron RAF, South-End,  Gunnery course

23/07/1944    127 Squadron RAF, Tangmere, 

31/07/1044    Landed at airstrip B-6, Normandy

03/08/1944    Last Spitfire mission, bomber escort from B-6

07/08/1944    Typhoon training, 3 T.E.W. Aston Down

12/08/1944    Accident with Typhoon, brakes failure

26/08/1944    Typhoon training, 83 G.S.U. Bogner

28/08/1944    137 Squadron RAF, Typhoons, Creton

02/09/1944    Squadron moved to Amiens

06/09/1944    Squadron moved to Brussels

17/09/1944    First wave of attack vs AA installations MARKET GARDEN

31/12/1944    Destroy FW190, badly hit by flak, fellow pilot Colton helped Albie to get back with the shot up plane, crash landed.

01/01/1945    Eindhoven aerodrome attacked by German fighters, many Typhoons destroyed on the ground.

13/01/1945    Squadron moved to Helmond, Holland

24/03/1945    Crossing of the Rhine operations, 11 gun positions destroyed.

04/04/1945    Last operation

21/04/1945    End of operational tour, 103 sorties, 106 ops hours.

27/04/1945    Back to England, Instruction at 59 OTU

21/11/1945    Back in SA

March 1949   Berlin airlift, navigator in Dakota

29/04/1949    Prime minister Dr. D F Malan as passanger in the Dakota

21/04/1951    Operational service in Korea with SAAF No. 2 Squadron, Mustangs P-51

28/08/1951    Operational tour ended, 70 sorties, 122 ops hours.







 Harvard trainer

 Operational Training Unit Ismailia, Albie in front row 2nd from right.

?? Spitfire


 Albie with 127 squadron, seated 2nd from the right.

Typhoons of 137 squadron, Eindhoven aerodrome.


Typhoons of 137 squadron, Eindhoven.


Typhoons of 137 squadron, Eindhoven.


 Note the halo's indicating the persons were killed.


 Albie seated 2nd from the right

Typhoons after the war at Acklington where Albie gave instruction.


Typhoons doing a victory fly-past



Berlin Airlift 1948-1949


Albie on the left with the reunion ....


Berlin Airlift memorial


Korea 1951 







Albie as a guest in Korea for  a commemoration ceremony. 



Photographs courtesy John Colton 

John Colton was a fellow pilot in 137 squadron. On 31 of December 1944 Albie's plane was hit by ground fire and the rudder trim cable was cut. This meant that Albie had to fly at full rudder to keep the Typhoon stable. He could not sustain the constant pressure with his one foot on the rudder bar and supported the force by hand and thus unable to have proper view of where to fly. Colton then flew in a top postion of Albie and thus guided him back to base. Albie eventually made it back and safely crash landed the aircraft. Albie had regular communication with John until he passed away in 2013. The following photographs below courtesy of John Colton.

John Colton passed away in 2013.



 Eindhoven 1944

 The 24 cylinder 2200 hp Napier Sabre engine powered the Typhoon aircraft.




Thanks to Martin Walker who sent these photographs to me



 King George visits the squadron.



















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