Harold Barnett

 WW2 Fighter Pilot Harold Barnett tribute page

Hi and welcome to this site;

Thanks to Mrs. Barnett who kindly made available the log book and memorabilia of her late husband to be scanned by me. Thanks also to Wayne Allen-White who met up with Mrs. Barnett and arranged everything. 

This page is constructed in memory of Harold Barnett's war service of 1941-1945.


 Harold Ivan "Barney"  Barnett  joined the SAAF in the early 1941, qualified as a fighter pilot and was sent to North Africa in 1942 for operational service with 2 squadron, flying Kittyhawks.

During his service  in North Africa Harold  flew mainly armed recce's, bomber escorts and ground attack operations.  

He participated with the fierce Alamein battles and the subsequent push for final victory in North Africa. 

He twice made safe forced landings and walked away without a scratch.

In mid 1943 the squadron moved to Sicily and then Italy  where they converted to Spitfires. 

Harold' s operational tour ended in early 1944 where upon  his involvement continued as  a flight  instructor in the Union.

After the war Harold had a long and successful career as entrepreneur in the  metals  industry.

 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 Harold, 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

November 2014

Military Career 

02/10/1941    2 Air School Randfontein, Elementary Flying Training, 50 hours Tyger Moths

24/11/1941    24 Air School Dunnottar, Service Flying Training, 101 hours on Miles Masters II "above average" assessment.

10/04/1942    Qualify for SAAF wings

05/05/1942    Central Flying School Bloemfontein AS 62, Instructor's training. Tutors and Tiger Moths.

08/06/1942    25 Air School Standerton. Service Flying Training. Miles Masters

13/07/1942    Mobile Air Force Depot; as passanger flew to the ME with a Lockheed Lodestar

18/08/1942    RAF 233 Wing Base (OTU) Egypt. Operational training with Harvards, Tomahawks and Kittyhawks. LG 237

27/08/1942    No.2 Fighter Squadron (Alamein line, LG 97)

28/08/1942    Fly first operation.

05/12/1942    Crash landed Kittyhawk wheels up.

27/02/1943    Crash landed on take-off, engine cut.

05/04/1943    Escort of General Alexander to Gabes.

22/08/1943    Fly over to Sicily, do ops from there to Italy

18/09/1943    Move to Italy

10/01/1944    Fly last op

25/01/1944    End of operational service. 107 Operations flown. 166 ops hours completed.

03/04/1944    Central Flying School Bloemfontein AS 62, flying instruction course no 42

27/06/1944    Central Flying School Bloemfontein AS 62, P.G.I. course no 1

26/07/1944    No 11 OTU St Albans, PE

20/12/1944    No11 OTU Waterkloof AS





 2 Squadron Kittyhawks in North Africa


Kittyhawks lined-up


SAAF 2 Squadron in North Africa early 1943 with their scoreboard flag. Harold is standing, holding the flag on the left side.


Note the persons in similar positions as when the famous photo was snapped 50 years earlier!


The launch of Steven McLean's  book "Squadrons of the South African Air Force" with some veteran WW2 pilots. Harold is second from the right.

Harold's Spitfire that was  restored by the SAAF museum. 

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