George Hillary

Tribute page: WW2 SAAF pilot  George Hillary

Hi and welcome to this site!

Thanks to Steve Hillary who kindly scanned his father's war photograph album and sent it to me. Also thanks to Wayne Allen-White who established the contacts and made everything possible.

The photo album of George Hillary is special and unique as it is well captioned describing in much detail George's combat tour in North Africa, Malta and Sicily.

George Winton Hillary joined the SAAF in early 1941 and qualified for his wings in 1942. After a short while with 6 squadron in Durban, George was posted to 2 squadron for war service in North Africa in mid 1942.

George had an eventful combat tour with 2 squadron in the Western Desert. He participated in many air battles at the Alamein front. The squadron was then involved with the campaign from Egypt towards the west, rapidly pushing the Axis forces to Tunisia.

During this time George flew Kittyhawks in combat sorties such as bomber escorts, armed recce's and also dive bombing and strafing of ground targets

George  joined 1 squadron in early 1943.  1 Squadron was equipped with Spitfires. It was in this time until mid 1943 where the squadron was involved with the final defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa.

George also saw operational service in Malta and Sicily until the end of his operational tour in September 1943.

Back in the Union George was involved with pilot training until the end of the war.

After the war George had a successful career as an architect.

Interesting to note that George was the creator of the famous 2 squadron (Flying Cheetahs) logo, still in use today.


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 George, 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

September 2016

Military service

01/01/1941    75 AS Lyttleton, Tiger Moths

31/08/1941    4 AS Benoni, Miles Masters

27/10/1941    25 AS Standerton

13/02/1942    Qualify for wings

03/03/1942    Joined 6 squadron Durban, Mohawks

22/07/1942    Joined 2 Squadron North Africa, Tomahawks, Kittyhawks

31/12/1942    Joined 59 R.S.U. Agedabia

29/01/1943    Joined 1 Squadron North Africa, Spitfires

11/09/1943    Returned To Union

Sketch in George's log book: 2 Squadron crest designed by George, still in use today.




In North Africa 1942, standing besides his Kittyhawk "Nancy II".

In full flying kit

Sitting on the spinner of a Kittyhawk, North Africa 1942

George with a 2 Squadron Kittyhawk

1 Squadron Spitfire v 1943 North Africa

1 Squadron Spitfire VIII,, Sicily, 1943

1 Squadron in Sicily: George standing in back row on the right.

Pinting by GA Campbell showing George's Spitfire IV over Mt. Etna.

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