Horse Sweeney

WW2 SAAF Fighter Pilot  Horse Sweeney tribute page

Hi and welcome to this site!

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

James Mackenzie Sweeney joined the South African Air Force in early 1941 and was selected for bomber pilot training, but later mustered as a fighter pilot. After he finished  flying training he was sent to the Middle East  where he joined up with No. 2  Fighter Squadron in November 1942.

Horse flew operations in North Africa with Kittyhawk aircraft mainly in a fighter/bomber role. 

In mid 1943 the squadron moved to Italy . Here Horse flew operations with Spitfire V aircraft. 

Due to an unfortunate crash landing Horse's operational tour was cut short and he spent several months in hospital to recover from injuries sustained and tropical illness.

In 1951 Horse participated in an eventful operational tour to Korea with 2 Squadron as part of an American formation. Again Horse was wounded in action and sent back to South Africa.

After the Korean war Horse had a long and successful career in civil aviation.

Pupil pilot 1941 

 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 Horse, 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

October 2014


 Elementary Flying training with Tiger Moths at Randfontein.

Military Career

17/01/1941    75 Air School Lyttleton, ground instruction

25/10/1941    2 Air School Randfontein, elementary flying training, 56 hours Tiger Moths

18/11/1941    First solo after 15h50 

20/12/1941    22 Air School Vereeniging, service flying training, 101 hours Hawker Harts, -Audax's, -Hinds

28/01/1942    Crashed into Kommissie drift dam with Audax, Wonderboom. 

16/03/1942    Land in field with a Hind, Aircraft turned on nose.

10/04/1942    Qualified for wings

03/05/1942    26 Air School Petersburg, advanced service flying training, 19 hours Miles Masters II

01/06/1942    6 fighter Squadron, Durban. 13 hours on Masters, Harvards, Mohawks.

01/09/1942    MAF depot

03/10/1942    SAAF Base Depot, Middle East

19/10/1942    53 RSU, LG 222, Middle East. 14 hours on Harvards, Tomahawks, Kittyhawks

06/11/1942    2 Fighter Squadron, Kittyhawks, Spitfires (tour: 28 sorties, 69 ops hours)

27/11/1942    First operational sortie

02/04/1943    Aircraft holed by ack-ack

29/04/1943    Force landed Kittyhawk  "F" , "Mickey Mouse", ran out of fuel.

22/05/1943    Force landed Spitfire V "H"

26/08/1943    Engine caught fire, Spitfire V "G" burnt out

02/10/1943    Crashed on take-off, engine malfunction, injured.  Spitfire V c, DB-R, JK517

03/10/1943    Hospitals in Tunis, Tripoli and Cairo

28/01/1944    MAF Depot

29/05/1944    62 Air School

08/09/1944    43 Air School


??                  24 Squadron

??/??/1950    2 Squadron flying Spitfires, Vampires and Mustangs

??/01/1951    2 Squadron operational service in Korea flying Mustangs (tour: 53 sorties, 146 ops hours)

02/05/1951    Aircraft hit but returned to base, Horse  wounded, end of tour







 Video 1

Video 2 

Wings parade 1942


In the Noth Africa


 Kittyhawk in the desert.


 2 Squadron Kittyhawk in North Africa.

Flying Spitfires in Italy 

SAAF Mustangs: Korea 1951 

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