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Thread: Adolph Malan - forgotten South African fighter pilot

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    Default Adolph Malan - forgotten South African fighter pilot

    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

    1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of one to two seconds only when your sights are definitely "ON".
    2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of your body: have both hands on the stick: concentrate on your ring sight.
    3. Always keep a sharp lookout. "Keep your finger out".
    4. Height gives you the initiative.
    5. Always turn and face the attack.
    6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
    7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
    8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as a top guard.
    9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAMWORK are words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.
    10. Go in quickly - Punch hard - Get out!


    You can read his fascinating story here: - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailor_Malan

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    Hellfish Junior gaijinsamurai's Avatar
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    Thanks, Eric.

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    A little plastered Arfah's Avatar
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    I doubt that he is 'Forgotten'

    He's one of 'The Few' and therefore 'Immortal.'

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    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    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

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    No Good Bloody Seppo California Joe's Avatar
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    Yeah, pretty famous guy actually.

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    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.

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    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpl Kat View Post
    I'm not sure how many young people know about him today though.
    Here in SA? I would say very few.


    But I do , and still hold him in the highest regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpl Kat View Post
    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!

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    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Radio talk given by Sailor Malan in 1941:

    http://www.myspace.com/sailormalanmu...-1941-41738690

    An in-depth article about him:

    http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?...pt=sci_arttext

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2]
    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. [/SIZE][/FONT]

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    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    Wasn't Robert Shaws role in the Battle of Britain supposed to be Malan?

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    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LineDoggie View Post
    Wasn't Robert Shaws role in the Battle of Britain supposed to be Malan?
    Yes . The character was called Squadron Leader "Skipper" which is quite similar to "Sailor". This is from the article I linked to above:


    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2]
    Guy Hamilton's spectacular 1969 epic, Battle of Britain, featured a square-jawed, no-nonsense fighter pilot called Squadron Leader Skipper. [/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2]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.
    [/SIZE][/FONT]

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    Senior Member G-AWZT's Avatar
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    "The Skipper hates Germans"
    "You'll hate me if you don't get busy with those repairs."

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    Senior Member Dinges's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinges View Post
    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.
    They are most definetly not forgotten at all. They are on the same par as Sailor - although the emphasis seems to have gone more to modern day warfare, which is right with me. In my studies I do look at all aspects of warfare and I do even look at the Germans as well, as they also had excellent fighters, I even received an infraction for that - look under the historical section. The information that is linked there is mind boggling.

    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.

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    Senior Member baboon6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric79 View Post
    T
    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.
    Totally agree. For a writing course I did last year I wrote a 5000 or so word article about South Africa and World War II. I hope to expand this into a short book in the future which will provide a fairly brief but wide-ranging look at our role and experiences in the war. Hope I can get it published someday.

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