Ian Sturgeon

 WW2 Tac/R Pilot Tribute Page: Ian Sturgeon

Hi and welcome to this site!


I made contact with John Sturgeon, Ian's son. (thanks to Stefaan Bouwer)  We decided to establish this web page as a tribute to Ian's ww2 service. John send me the war time photographs of Ian as well as other documents and information. All of these are presented on this web page.

Eric Ian Humphries Sturgeon joined the SAAF in March 1940. He finished his training as a pilot in 1941 and was posted to SAAF No. 40 squadron in North Africa. 

40 Squadron was a tactical reconnaissance unit flying dangerous single or dual aircraft sorties over enemy concentrations to gather information. 

Ian had an eventful and successful operational tour in North Africa doing primary  reconnaissance missions. He also shot down an enemy fighter and was himself shot down and wounded. Ian received the DFC award and was promoted to the rank of  captain.

After his return to South Africa,  he was sent to Italy in 1944 for a second operational tour to 40 squadron. While in Italy Ian was shot down, wounded and captured  but escaped and re-joined his squadron after nearly one month of evading the enemy behind the front line. 

Ian was subsequently injured in a flying accident and returned to South Africa in late 1944. 

After the war Ian had a successful career in the petroleum industry but sadly passed away in 1965 at an early age of 44.


1940 while in training


  Ian as Captain with DFC  (1943 +)


A 40 squadron Hurricane Mk-1 in the desert 1942. (photograph Michael Welchman)

 

 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 Ian in some of his units, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail me. Most welcome will be any photographs of No. 40 squadron while Ian 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


In the desert 1942 



Military Career

04/03/1940   Joined the SAAF
16/08/1941   Obtained wings
16/08/1941   Promoted to 2nd Leutenant
27/09/1941   Departed for North Africa
30/09/1941   Attached to RAF No. 30 squadron
27/11/1941   Joined SAAF No. 40 Squadron, flying Hurricanes and Tomahawks
16/02/1942   Promoted to Leutenant
07/05/1942   Shot down an Italian MC-202
13/06/1942   Became "A"  Flight commander
13/06/1942   Aircraft was hit in the fuel tank by enemy AA fire, returned safely to base.
01/07/1942   Damaged an enemy aircraft.
01/07/1942   Was shot down and wounded in the neck, force landed, returned to base
22/01/1943   Promoted to Captain
02/03/1943   DFC awarded
02/03/1943   Finished tour, move to SAAF base camp in Cairo
24/03/1943   Returned to South Africa
24/04/1944   Move to Italy to rejoin 40 squadron in second operational tour, flying Spitfires
29/05/1944   Shot down by enemy fire, crash landed, wounded in his  foot (burns)  and elbow (shrapnel) and taken prisoner
01/06/1944   Escaped from German prison hospital and survived on foot behind enemy lines. 
29/06/1944   He was  found by advancing Allied troops and admitted to an Allied hospital.
04/07/1944   Returned to 40 squadron.
10/07/1944   Seriously injured in a flying accident while flying a Harvard from H.M.S. Hunter. Major D W Maree, DFC, was co-pilot and was instantly killed.
05/10/1944   Posted to MAFD SAAF ex ME
12/06/1945   Released, medical unfit. 


 

Ian's medal set including the DFC

 


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PHOTOGRAPH SET OF IAN

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A 40 SQDN PILOT LIST OF 1942

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE WEB SITE OF FELLOW PILOT M WELCHMAN

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PHOTOGRAPH SET OF MICHAEL WELCHMAN

 CLICK HERE TO VIEW a 40 SQUADRON DIARY OF 1942


Get-together: Michael & Betty  Welchman, John Sturgeon and myself  in Hermanus February 2013


 

 

 


 Western Desert 1941-1943


In a sailing Dingy  on the Nile: Jack Webb, Ian and Barry Acutt



In the Desert 1942; Barry Acutt, Ian and Jack Webb. Jack was killed in November 1942. 

 

40 Squadron Curtiss Tomahawk 1942

 

Tomahawk engine maintenance/repair/change 


40 Squadron Hurricanes with the famous "gremlin" nose art 


From the SAAF "Wings" magazine 1943

 

40 Squadron command: OC Murray Gardiner. flight commanders:  Jannie Blaauw, Tiny Nel, Mitchell Baker.

 

 Italy 1944

40 Squadron Logo 1944

 

40 Squadron Spitfire IX's

 

 40 Squadron Spitfire starting up



Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

 


 


40 Squadron War Diary Extracts 


Africa 

 

 

 

 


Italy 


 

 


 

Make a Free Website with Yola.