Spitfire pilot John Martin tribute page
Hi and welcome to this page;
During July 2013 I had the privilege to meet and video interview John Martin at his home in Johannesburg. Thanks to WW2 pilot veteran Stewart Finney who arranged the opportunity for me to meet John. Thanks to John for his kindness during my visit and for telling his war story in front of the camera.
John Henry Martin Joined the South African Air Force in 1942 as a pupil pilot and became a qualified fighter pilot in November 1943. He went up north to Egypt and Italy and was allocated to SAAF No. 4 squadron. John had a successful combat tour of 150 sorties doing mainly ground close support type of missions.
After the war John had a long and successful career running the family jewellery business.
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 John in 4 squadron, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail me. Most welcome will be any photographs of No. 4 squadron while John 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
01/02/1942 AS Lyttleton, ground training
17/04/1943 2 Air School Randfontein, 77 hoursTiger Moths
10/05/1943 First Solo after 11h
01/07/1943 22 Air School Vereeniging, 160 hours Harvards
13/11/1943 Obtain wings
13/11/1943 Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant
29/11/1943 11 OTU Zwartkops, Kittyhawks
20/12/1943 11 OTU Isipingo, Kittyhawks
09/01/1944 11 OTU Zwartkops, 60h total on Kittyhawks
20/03/1944 73 OTU Abu Sueir, Egypt, Spitfire I, V's, 20h
16/05/1944 7 Wing training flight, Spitfire V, 13h
28/05/1944 SAAF No. 4 Fighter Squadron, Italy
30/05/1944 First op flown.
150 ops flown over enemy territory. Mostly close support dive bombing and ground strafing. Also offensive patrols, armed recces and escorts to bombers were flown.
19/03/1945 Last op flown, operational tour expired.
12/06/1945 24 Air School Nigel, Oxfords
05/07/1945 5 Wing SAAF, Dakotas
05/08/1945 43 Air School, Grahamstown, Ansons and Harvards
15/09/1945 Last flight in the SAAF
4 Squadron logo
Thanks to Brent Best for this colour profile of John's KJ-X
Warsaw Flights commemoration Sept 2013 in Johannesburg
John's Spitfire KJ-X allocated to him while he was in 4 squadron.
John with Bill Tathham a fellow 4 squadron pilot. This photograph was taken with the first flight of a restored Spitfire in the colours of the aircraft flown by Bob Rogers, ex war time OC of 40 squadron.
SAAF 4 squadron pilots. This photograph was taken at the time of the King's visit to the squadron in 1944.
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