Colin Sinclair

 WW2 Desert Hurricane Pilot Tribute Page: Colin Sinclair

Hi and welcome to this site!

I met Colin  last year at his home in Natal. Chris Brown organised this visit.(Thanks Chris!). Colin kindly agreed to be video interviewed and also allowed me to copy his photographs, flying log book and other memorabilia. All of these are presented on this web site.

Colin  joined the SAAF in November 1940. He finished his training in early 1942 and was sent to SAAF No. 1 fighter squadron in Egypt. The squadron flew Hurricanes but Colin was for a while detached to RAF No. 92 squadron to gain experience on Spitfires. 

After a very successful and eventful combat tour Colin joined  No. 73 OTU as an instructor. In 1944 Colin became a flight commander of SAAF. No. 11 squadron in Italy flying mostly dive bombing sorties with Kittyhawks. 

After the war Colin studied at Wits University and had a long and successful career as a dentist.

Thanks Colin for allowing me to video interview you and to copy all your war documents. Thanks also to Natalie for your kindness with the visit.


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 Colin in some of his units, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail me. Most welcome will be any photographs of No. 1 and 11 squadrons while Colin was with them.

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

January 2013

Colin's aircraft being damaged by AA fire July 1942


Military Career

18/11/1940   75 Air School ITW (Intermediate Training Wing)

28/04/1941   75 Air School ATW (Advanced Training Wing)

02/08/1941   2 Air School E.F.T.S. Randfontein, Tiger Moths

20/08/1941   First Solo

01/10/1941   24 Air School I.T.S. (Intermediate Training Squadron) Dunnottar, Nigel, Miles Masters 2

26/11/1941   24 Air School A.T.S. (Advanced Training Squadron) Dunnottar, Miles Masters 2

14/01/1942  Obtain wings

14/01/1942   Commissioned as officer of the SAAF

16/01/1942   Mobile Air Force

28/03/1942   SA B Depot, Middle East

16/04/1942   SAAF No. 1 Fighter Squadron, Middle East

03/07/1942   Shot down a Stuka Ju-87 (Stuka party)

23/07/1942   Hurricane hit by ack-ack, aileron holed

18/08/1942   Detached to RAF No. 92 "East India" squadron to gain experience with Spitfires

01/09/1942   Spitfire hit by canon shell in engine, returned safely

08/11/1942   Damage a Bf-109

10/12/1942   End of operational tour, returned to South Africa

13/03/1943   73 OTU, Abu Suier, instructor on Harvards and Spitfires.

06/01/1944   11 OTU. Zwartkops, instructor on Kittyhawks

23/05/1944   SAAF No. 9 squadron, Middle East, Spitfires

01/08/1944   SAAF No. 11 squadron, Middle East, Italy, Kittyhawks, Flight commander

30/10/1944  Became operational, Italy. Kittyhawk bombers

13/08/1945   Join SAAF No. 7 Wing for srvice in the Far East. Japan surrendered when they were on their way.

10/09/1945   Arrive back in Durban Harbour.

25/02/1946   Mention in Dispatches being awarded

14/11/1947   DFC awarded

Colin's medals including  a DFC and MiD.






 Colin and Natalie, Dec 2012


 Colin flying here: Western desert 1942 with 1 squadron, Bomb Finney took the picture.




Training with Miles Masters at Dunnottar, Nigel


Going "up north" with a Ju-52


New pilots at 1 squadron April 1942: Reg "Ginger" Baker ( Killed), Colin Sinclair, Barry Haynes, Ernest Jory, George O'Farrel, Harry Gaynor (Killed), Les Marshall (Killed)

1 Squadron Hurricanes at Port Said where Colin joined them.

Colin's pilot colleagues  at the squadron: Ginger Baker, Jerks McLean, Tom Philips, Fred Schofield, Bill Rabie, 2 dogs in front: Ginger and Sannie.

Pilots from 1 squadron seconded to RAF 92 squadron to gain experience on Spitfires: Bill Rabie, RAF type, Colin Sinclair, Charlie Hewitson


Colin's Spitfire being hit with an exploding shell.


Servicing of a Spitfire V at RAF 92 squadron.


Colin at 73 OTU Abu Suier, 1943 

At 73 OTU as a Harvard and Spitfire instructor with Bill Rabie and Bomb Finney.


AT 73 OTU: Colin is the flight commander.


Colin flying, pic taken by Bomb Finney 

Command team of 11 Squadron: Capt. Dudley  "Pigeon" Dove, Maj. Charves Laubser, Capt.  Colin Sinclair. They were part of SAAF 8 wing under command of  Col. Rosie du Toit.. Back ground is an 11  squadron Kittyhawk.







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