Jerks Maclean

 Tribute page for SAAF WWII fighter pilot:  Jerks Maclean

Welcome to this page!

Thanks to Annie Ponting, Jerks' daughter,  who made available the flying log book and photographs of her dad. Also thanks to Yuri Maree who did the log book scans and compiled the service record of Jerks Maclean. 

Allan Delville Maclean joined the SAAF  in 1940. He obtained his wings in mid 1941. Finishing his service flying training, Jerks was sent to No. 1  fighter  squadron in North Africa for  operational service, flying Hurricanes. Due to a shortage of  fighter pilots he soon flew operations without the formal OTU training as was required for combat pilots.

Jerks completed his operations tour  to North Africa in late 1942, experiencing the  Crusader-, Gazala- and Alamein battles of 1941-42. He was also one of the pilots who participated in the famous "Stuka Party" where 14 enemy aircraft were shot down in a single mission. 

 In 1943 Jerks went up north for a second tour, this time  flying Spitfires with 81 squadron RAF doing service in Sicily . 81 Squadron was transferred to the Far East flying against the Japanese in India and Burma. He was awarded the DFC  in August 1944.

Jerks also participated in the operational tour with 2 squadron to Korea flying Mustangs as part of the U.S. forces.

He left the SAAF after his tour to Korea and had a successful career in the xxxx industry but was killed in a motor accident in xxxx.

North Africa 1942 

 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 Jerks in his squadron, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail me. Most welcome will be any photographs of No. 1 squadron while Jerks 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

November 2013 


Jerks opening the canopy of his Hurricane AX-M., North Africa 1942.


 WW2 service record

Allan Delville Maclean born in Worcester  6.9.1918

Was a clerk in the Deprtment of Inland Revenue before joining the SAAF

12.8.1940 Attested in UDF at SAAF HQ Voortrekkerhoogte

12.8.1940 Basic military training at Central Air Force Training Depot (100 Air School) at Valhalla

12.12.1940 Ground Training at Ground Instruction School (63 Air School), Bloemfontein

2.2.1941 Elementary Flying Training at 1 Air School Baragwanath

29.3.1941 Service Flying Training at 21 Air School Kimberley  – classmates included future 1 Squadron pilots Robert ‘Moon’ Collingwood, Tom Meek and Tony Biden

18.7.1941 Received Wings and Commission as 2/Lt

19.7.1941 Posted Mobile Air Force Depot Waterkloof

27.8.1941 Posted to 5 Squadron at Germiston  – future 1 Sq pilots ‘Moon’ Collingwood, Tony Biden, Piet Beyers, ‘Boy’ Barrell, ‘Bomb’ Finney, Ray Connell, Lawrence Waugh, Tom Meek, ‘Spek’ Milner, Noel Sandilands and Charles Willson were all founder members of 5 Sq before being posted to 1 Squadron in September 1941

19.9.1941 Departed Swartkops by SAAF Shuttle for Cairo

22.9.1941 Upon arrival posted to 1 Squadron SAAF

28.9.1941  Joined 1 Squadron at Fuka satellite (LG 16) – ten replacement pilots – Maclean, Collingwood, Meek, Milner, Beyers, Barrell, Sandilands, Willson, Waugh, Connell (Finney and Biden went to 71 OTU and joined the squadron on 6.12.1941)

17.10.1941 First operational sortie, a fighter sweep to the Gerawla area – had a total of 159:45 of flying time!

18.11.1941 patrolled over British tanks advancing on 1st day of Operation Crusader

4.12.1941 damaged a Macchi 202 in fight in El Adem area – Meek shot down but safe

6.12.1941 damaged Me 109 in fight El Adem area

18.1.1942 Promoted to Lieutenant

8.2.1942 damaged Me 109 during Battle of Gazala  - Finney was his No.2 and force-landed and was strafed on the ground by Otto Schultz of JG 27

14.3.1942 first night operation, scrambled from Sidi Haneish South (LG 13) with Hannes Faure as No.2 – attacked a He 111 over the sea and damaged it – lost sight of it in the dark

24.4.1942 Admitted to No.1 General Hospital at Kantara with sand fly fever

9.5.1942  No.1 Squadron became operationally ineffective because of attrition and serviceability problems due to sand damaging Hurricanes’ engines, and moved back to Port Said at the mouth of the Suez Canal to rest and re-equip.

19.5.1942 First flight after hospital – ship patrol east of Port Said

3.7.1942 Shot down 1 Ju 87 during the 1 Squadron ‘Stuka Party’

4.7.1942 Probably destroyed Me 109 during fight over El Alamein line

Flew Hurricane 2B No.5348 AX-M known as ‘MAX’ during late June and most of July, until Captain Peter Metelerkamp was shot down by Me 109’s while flying MAX on 24 July.

18.9.1942 Posted to SAAF Base Depot at Almaza, Cairo

27.9.1942 Arrived Swartkops in SAAF JU 86

6.11.1942 Posted to Commander Fortress Air Defence in Cape Town, flew mostly Fairey Battles from Brooklyn Air Force Station (Ysterplaat from 1.4.1949) – Waugh, Meek and Faure of 1 squadron also posted to unit 

8.7.1943 Posted to MAFD Waterkloof

10.8.1943 Departed Swartkops on SAAF Shuttle DC-3, arrived SAAF Base Depot Almaza 13.8.1943

16.8.1943 Attached to RAF

18-25.8.1943 Converted to Spitfire in 322 Wing Training Flight at Sorman, Libya

26.8.1943 Joined 81 Squadron RAF at Lentini in Sicily as Flight Commander

19.9.1943 Promoted to Captain

9-10-11.1943  Flew operations over Sicily and Italy

11.1943 No.81 and 152 Squadrons RAF sent to Far East

25.11.1943 Departed Cairo in Spitfire Mk.8 for India, port u/c leg collapsed on landing at Sharjah (UAE) on 28th and continued on to India by DC-3, arrived at Alipor airfield in Calcutta on 13.12.1943

19.1.1944 First operational flight in India, a fighter sweep over the Irrawaddy river

13.2.1944 Damaged a Japanese Zero in combat

12.3.1944 Flew to ‘Broadway’ an Allied airfield 200 miles behind Japanese lines

17.3.1944 Strafed by Japanese fighters while on cockpit standby at Broadway – Spitfire hit 40 times, strafed as he ran away from it – the CO S/L ‘Babe’ Whitamore was shot down and killed

12.4.1944 Probably destroyed an ‘Oscar’ fighter in combat with 20+ e/a east of Chindwin river

31.8.1944 Posted to Middle East after 112 operational sorties in India and Burma

18.9.1944 Departed SAAFBD Almaza for Swartkops

14.11.1944 Posted to 11 OTU at Waterkloof as Instructor

5.7.1945 Departed Swartkops for SAAFBD at Almaza in Egypt

8.8.1945 Posted to 7 Wing SAAF at Colombo - the war ended the same day

13.8.1945  Posted back to SAAFBD prior to return to the Union

10.9.1945  Arrived back in the Union

30.11.1945 Posted to 3 Air Depot at Brooklyn AFS

30.4.1946  Released from UDF

 Total air-to-air victories ........1 confirmed, 2 probables and 5 damaged










Jerks' famous aircraft "MAX" that he flew with 1 sqdn in 1942. The inspiration for the art work painted on the aircraft is from the South African manufactured MAX cigarettes.  The painted  swastika refer  supposedly to the Ju-87 he shot down during the "Stuka Party" 

 Thanks to Brent Best for this profile. 






1941: Jerks third from right. 

 L.t.R.:  Mello MacRobert, Jerks, Billy Herbert (KIA), Moon Collingwood, Bomb Finney

Jerks and Hannes digging slit trenches





Close-up on Jerks' Hurricane art work.


L.t.R.: Ginger Baker (killed), Jerks,  Tom Philips, Fred Schofield (POW), Bill Rabie (killed) with Ginger and Sannie.

 On the beach somewhere

Photograph and caption from fellow pilot Tom Meek 

Photograph from Bruce Rose-Christie



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