Adolph Gysbert Malan DSO & Bar DFC & Bar (24 March 1910 – 17 September 1963), better known as Sailor Malan, was a famed South African World War II RAF fighter pilot who led No. 74 Squadron RAF during the height of the Battle of Britain. Malan was known for sending German bomber pilots home with dead crews as a warning to other Luftwaffe crews. Under his leadership No. 74 became one of the RAF's best units. Malan scored 27 kills, seven shared destroyed, three probably destroyed and 16 damaged. [Wikipedia].
Malan developed a set of simple rules for fighter pilots, to be disseminated throughout RAF Fighter Command, which eventually could be found tacked to the wall of most airbases:
TEN OF MY RULES FOR AIR FIGHTING
- Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of one to two seconds only when your sights are definitely "ON".
- Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of your body: have both hands on the stick: concentrate on your ring sight.
- Always keep a sharp lookout. "Keep your finger out".
- Height gives you the initiative.
- Always turn and face the attack.
- Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
- Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
- When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as a top guard.
- INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAMWORK are words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.
- Go in quickly - Punch hard - Get out!
You can read his fascinating story here: - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailor_Malan
I doubt that he is 'Forgotten'
He's one of 'The Few' and therefore 'Immortal.'
He may have been forgotton in SA during apartheid but not in the rest of the free world among aviation buffs.
hell of a Man
Yeah, pretty famous guy actually.
He was certainly not forgotten in the RSA among my generation. I learned about him while still quite young, but then I have been interested in the military, especially SADF WW2 history for as long as I can remember.
I'm not sure how many young people know about him today though.
Exactly what I thought - the younger generations will only know about iPods/iMac's/iPhone's and so forth. It is our duty to educate them about history - as the saying goes you cannot go into the future not knowing your past. Yes I'm also extremely interested in WW2 - North Africa, Italy, etc.Lest we forget!
Radio talk given by Sailor Malan in 1941:
An in-depth article about him:
This article, an expanded version of a 2008 public lecture, explores the life and times of Adolph Gysbert 'Sailor' Malan, a South African who rose to prominence as a combatant in the 1940 Battle of Britain and who, after his post-war return to the Union, became a notable personality in liberal reform politics. A classic Anglo-Afrikaner empire loyalist or 'King's Afrikaner', Malan became 'Sailor' through his interwar merchant marine service, joining the Royal Air Force in the later 1930s. An exceptional fighter pilot, his wartime role as an RAF ace in defending Britain turned him into a national hero, a migrating loyal Springbok who had sprung selflessly to the defence of Great Britain. Subsequently, as an ex-serviceman, Malan drew on his wartime sensibilities and beliefs to return to political battle in his home country, in opposition to post-1948 Afrikaner nationalism and its apartheid policies. The mini-biography of Sailor Malan analyses several key life-story elements, including his seafaring apprenticeship, British wartime identity and combat experience, and troubled relationship with post 1945 South Africa as a gradualist liberal.
Wasn't Robert Shaws role in the Battle of Britain supposed to be Malan?
Guy Hamilton's spectacular 1969 epic, Battle of Britain, featured a square-jawed, no-nonsense fighter pilot called Squadron Leader Skipper.Confident, courageous, and contemptuously impatient of flying fools, he was played by the late American [actually British] actor Robert Shaw. Making the best use of his set jaw, wavy blond hair and flat, blue-eyed stare, Shaw for once acted out of his socks, embodying a real-life Battle of Britain personality in a forceful cameo role. The seafaring connotation of his 'skipper' character in a white turtle-neck sweater was not incidental. For Squadron Leader Skipper's bearing and conviction represented implicitly the identity of the commander of 74 Squadron in August 1940, Sailor Malan, a leader hard on himself and hard on his pilots.
"The Skipper hates Germans"
"You'll hate me if you don't get busy with those repairs."
Just on a side note Eric , go have a look at these two SAn pilots from the two World Wars:
Pat Pattle : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmaduke_Pattle
Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Beauchamp-Proctor
I would say they are more "forgotten" than Sailor Malan. And IIRC there was talk some years ago that a hollywood film was planned on the exploits of Pat Pattle.
We as South Africans should set our pettiness aside and start to look at our own far more. I reside now in Australia for nearly 12 years due to my work and the way that the Australians look after there war-heroes are something to be seen. In any case I appreciate all the positive comments that I received, it does seems that there are still people out that did not forgot about the past.