SAAF WW2 fighter pilot Victor Martin

Tribute Website: Vic  Martin

Hi and welcome to this site!

I met Victor here in Cape Town , he just turned 90. Presented on this page some photographs and also Vic's log book. Thanks Vic for allowing me to copy all of this and for it  to be shown here. Many thanks also to Penny Smith (Vic's daughter) for communications and visit arrangements.

Vic joined the SAAF in 1941 and did operational service with No. 2 squadron from 1942 to 1944. During his operational tour he served in North Africa and Italy and was promoted to Captain as a flight commander.

 In early 1943 he was shot down on the North African coast and became the first South African to successfully ditch a Kittyhawk in the "drink".  

He flew Kittyhawks and later Spitfires and did all kinds of fighter- and fighter-bomber missions. On completion of his operational tour Vic was awarded the DFC and obtained "above average" ratings for fighter and fighter-bomber operations from the wing commander Col. Human.

After his return to South Africa in 1944 a colour blindness problem was diagnosed and he was prevented to  participate in further operational service.

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 Vic in his squadron, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail me. Most welcome will be any photographs of No. 2 squadron while Vic 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


Video on how Vic got shot down 

Military career

18/10/1942  No. 6 Air School (Tiger Moths)

18/11/1942  First solo

28/12/1941  No. 22 Air School  (Hawker Harts)

10/04/1942  Qualify for wings

07/05/1942  No. 26 Air School (Masters)

06/06/1942  No.3 squadron attached to No.6 sqdn Durban (Harvards and Mohawks)

23/10/1942  No. 53 R.S.U. (Tomahawks and Kittyhawks)

13/11/1942  SAAF No. 2  Fighter squadron

25/02/1943  First operational sortie

29/03/1943  Shot down, ditched Kittyhawk in sea. After 4 hours in the med, picked up by RAF rescue boat. Boat was accidentally  strafed by RAF squadron but Vic was not hit.

21/05/1943  Last sortie flown in African campaign.

08/06/1943  First flight in Spitfire

29/10/1943  First Spitfire IX bombing sortie

08/01/1944  Strafed and destroyed a train

09/01/1944  A/C damaged by enemy fire, crash landed

01/05/1944  Last operational flight, successful bombing of enemy observation post

02/05/1944  DFC awarded

27/07/1944  No. 11 OTU

20/08/1944  Last flight 


Vic getting his wings 1942 



Flight commander and squadron leader reunion 2012: Vic visiting Bomb Finney at his home in Cape Town.


Taking a bath in the desert


Vic getting a lift somewhere in the desert


Vic on the right


No. 2 squadron pilots group photo 1944: Vic sitting on the VW mud guard in front. Harry Gaynor was the squadron leader sitting in the center holding the dog. Harry was KIA not long after this photograph was taken.


Letter found in Vic's log book.


Vic posing with a Spitfire at an air show.


Painting of Vic's Spitfire displayed in his bedroom.


Vic and Bomb Finney outside Bomb's house, 2012.


Vic standing in the back row 2nd from the right.


No. 2 squadron pilot's reunion in Johannesburg with the victory flag being displayed.


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