John Martin

 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

August 2013

 Military career

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




dog tags 


John and his wife Maureen, June 2003 on his  80th birthday.





 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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