Michael Welchman

 Tribute web site: Michael Welchman

Hi and welcome to this site!

I visited Michael and Betty at their house in Hermanus during July 2012. Michael was so kind to share his WW2 experiences and allowed me to copy his war photographs and flying log book. Thanks also to Michael for telling some of his war stories in front of the camera.
 
Not much is written on our WW2 SAAF reconnaissance  squadron and hopefully Michael's photographs and stories  will give the visitor some insight to the circumstances, bravery and sacrifice endured by the pilots of No. 40 during the desert campaign in 1942-43.



VIDEO INTERVIEW


 

 

 Michael and Betty in Hermanus: August 2012 


 Michael joined the SAAF in 1940 while he was a second year medical student at Wits university. After he qualified as a SAAF pilot he was demobilized and sent back to Wits but he persuaded the SAAF command to be re-enlisted.  


He was sent to North Africa in Sept 1941 and posted to No. 40 squadron. After a long waiting period the squadron eventually received their Hurricane and Tomahawk aircraft in 1942. 

From February 1942 Michael started to fly operational sorties in extreme dangerous situations as they had to fly unescorted single- or double aircraft missions over enemy concentrations to gather photographic and tactical information. Michael had some hairy operational experiences and many of his fellow pilots were shot down and killed.

When sent back to South Africa he was trained as an instructor and did flying instruction until 1944.

After the war he finished his degree as medical doctor and had a successful career in medicine. He  specialized in radiology.   

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

July 2012

 

 Military Career

06/11/1940   No.1 E.F.T.S. Baragwanath

10/11/1940   First Solo flight 

05/01/1941   No.21 Air School Kimberley

26/04/1941   Obtain wings 

26/04/1941   P and O's Pool (ZAS)

29/06/1941   No.62 Air School (CFS)Bloemfontein 

29/08/1941   No.70 O.T.U. (Ismailia)

18/09/1941   SAAF No. 40 Squadron

                     Artillery co-op course

09/02/1943   Finished operational tour with 

                     40 Squadron

03/05/1943   No. 62 Air School (CFS)Bloemfontein

26/07/1943   No. 23 Air School Waterkloof

08/05/1944   No.25 Air School Standerton

25/06/1944   No.11 O.T.U. Waterkloof

 1942, Kimberly

 


CLICK HERE TO VIEW MICHAEL'S  WAR PHOTOGRAPHS

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MICHAEL'S LOG BOOK

CLICK HERE TO VIEW INFO ON 40 SQUADRON PILOTS 1941 - 1942

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A 40 SQUADRON WAR DIARY 1942-1943


 

 Hurricane Mk 1, SAAF No.40 squadron 1942.


 North Africa 1941-1943


 

 

 

 

2014 Hermanus 


Michael standing at the back: centre 

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