Graham Hojem

  Tribute page: WW2 SAAF pilot  Graham Hojem

Hi and welcome to this site!

I have met the Hojem family via internet. Kevin Hojem kindly allowed me to make a copy of Graham's flying log book. Thanks also to Tessa Kruger and Warwick Hojem who sent me photographs of Graham. 

Graham Clayton "Dicky" Hojem joined the South African Air Force in Mid 1940. He was selected for fighter pilot training. After qualification in 1941, he was sent to No. 3 squadron stationed in East Africa. In August 1941, after only two months of operations with 3 squadron, Graham was transferred to No. 1 squadron for war service in North Africa.

Graham had an eventful tour with a number of aerial battles experienced, but was shot down in flames on the morning of 17 December 1941, near Derna. His remains was never discovered and eventually declared as killed in action. 

1 Squadron experienced a busy time in their first few months of operations in Libya, flying a large number of sorties regularly.  Graham flew a total of 69 sorties in 128 operational hours in the 4 months before his death.

During that period,  pilots of 1 squadron flew the outdated Hurricane Mk. 1's against the superior German Messerschmitts. They still shot down a substantial amount of enemy aircraft but at a terrible cost in pilot losses.

Graham is remembered at the Alamein Commonwealth memorial column 24. It is believed that he was most likely shot down by the German super ace; Hans-Joachim Marseille.

Photograph of Graham displayed at his alma mater school in Escourt Natal 

 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 Graham, 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

May 2016

Military Service

Sept 1940          2 EFTS, Tiger Moths

Dec 1940           21 Air School, Hawker Hinds/Harts

29 March 1941  Qualify for wings

19 May    1941   20 SFTS Cranborne Rhodesia, Harvards

June 1941          No. 3 Fighter Squadron, East Africa, Hurricane, Gladiator

21 June 1941     Flew the last Gladiator sortie of 3 squadron to Jimma but force landed in a mealie field. Was reported missing for 4 days, returned on 25 June.

August 1941      No, 1 Fighter squadron, North Africa, Hurricanes

17 Dec 1941      Shot down and killed near Derna in Libya.

Click HERE to view Graham's Flying Log Book. 

 Graham with his parents Chris and Norah and possibly Rodney holding the dog. 

 Hojem brothers: Graham, Rod, Colin and Nigel. Graham wearing an Escourt High School blazer.


 Graham in East Africa with No 3 squadron standing in front of a captured Italian Caproni bomber.

 Same photo shoot in front of the Caproni.

 Graham(right) in North Africa with fellow pilot Jerks MacLean while in 1 squadron.

 Graham (right) with fellow 1 squadron pilot Charles Wilson, both to be killed soon after this photograph was snapped.



War Diary 3 Squadron June 1941



War Diary 1 Squadron 17 December 1941

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