Noel Sandilands

Tribute page: WW2 SAAF pilot  Noel Sandilands

Hi and welcome to this site!

Thanks to Brett Hendey who made contact with me via the internet and sent me all the information of Lt. Sandilands. He was working on the biography of Lt. Sandilands from the memorabilia collection of Ulrich Duebi from Durban. Thanks to Ulrich for his permission to publish this material.

This again the sad story of a young and forgotten fighter pilot being killed in the vast desert of North Africa, his body never found for a proper burial.

Noel Milne "Sandy" Sandilands  joined the SAAF in August 1940 and qualified for his wings in  mid 1941. 

Due to a shortage of pilots at that particular time, Noel was posted to No.1 Fighter squadron (North Africa) without proper operational flying training. He commenced with operations in October 1941.

The Western Desert war was fought in Libya during that time. Our SAAF fighter squadrons were under immense pressure from the superior German Messerschmitt fighter  that caused severe losses to Allied aircraft. Under these conditions our boys still maintained a good record of achievement with their work.

Noel was shot down in flames and killed on 5 December 1941, aged 25.  His loss was claimed by the German super ace: Hans Joachim Marseille.

With the two months of operations Noel completed 24 operations within approx 30 operational flying hours.

Noel is remembered at the Alamein memorial column 246. 

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 Noel, 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

November 2016



Sandilands on the left front row



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