It all started in the South African Air Force.
In early 1943, Dad, aged 19, was studying forestry at Stellenbosch University. He was also a member of the Ossewabrandwag, an organisation for ferociously right-wing Afrikaners who were still fighting the Boer War in their hearts. Several of his uncles had fought with some distinction in the Boer War, and not for the British, either, and the course of action taken by many young men of Dad's age and political sympathies was to join the German Army.
Quite what prompted the decision to run away from university and join the Air Force must therefore remain a mystery, but it probably had more to do with getting a chance to get his hands on an aircraft than any great loyalty to the Allied cause, at least at that stage. The RAF were training pilots at No 1 Air School right here in South Africa, and it would seem that the Luftwaffe didn't have a base located as conveniently, otherwise this might have been a very different story.
So Dad joined up and was selected for pilot training, but first, like every Surf Effrikan troopie, he had to do basics - drill, firearms training, and lots and lots of exercise.....
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