Fritz Johl

 These photographs originate from the private albums of ww2 SAAF fighter pilot Stewart  Fritz Johl. It was kindly made available by him. I scanned and placed the photographs on this web site in order to share these gems to enthusiasts and the wider public. Please respect the copy rights of these photographs and contact me to obtain the necessary permission if you want to duplicate some of this material in other web sites or printed matter.


Tinus le Roux

September 2012


1) 13 Year old Fritz as a HJ member on board the German ship "Hemden" when it visited Cape Town. During this event Fritz obtained an award directly from Adm. Doenitz.

1 a

2 Roberts Heights 1940, Fritz as a pupil pilot standing in front of a Hawker Hart aircraft.

3 Early 1940, Bloemfontein at the 1 Elementary Flying Training School; aircraft still have civilian paint shemes and markings; Tiger Moth

4 EFTS Bloemfontein 1940

5   EFTS Bloemfontein 1940

6 Visitor Vickers Valentia transport at Roberts Heights

7 Vickers Valentia

8 Union buildings in Pretoria from the seat of a Hart.

9 Erasmus; Ryan aircraft with Menasco engine, Erasmus got killed as a pupil pilot in a bird strike flying accident at Wonderboom aerodrome 1940.

10 Tutors in Cape Town

11 Tiger Moth at EFTS Bloemfontein

12 Bucher Jungmann; brought into South Africa by Jewish pilots who flew with Hermann Goering in ww1 in the von Richthoven squadron. Goering tipped them and see off that they safely left Germany to relocate in South Africa before the war. Rosenthal and Katzenstein were the 2 chaps. The 2 guys started a flying school in Rustenburg. Ironically they were both interned as German citizens at the outbreak of ww2.

13 Hawker Hart Roberts Heights 1940. V 12 cylinder Rolls Royce "Kestrel" engine.

14 Pre War Baragwanath


16 Pre war Baragwanath

17 Hart with Pretoria Jhb road in the background. Instructors wore white overalls.

18 Hart, grass stuck on skid. Every flight had its own symbol.

19 Waterkloof AFB in early days

20 Hart, note the movable slots on top wing leading edge

21 Bloemfontein 1941 1942

22 Hind crash site on Smuts's property at Irene, next to Waterkloof

23 Waterkloof before night flying. Hawker Hinds.Hinds had the tail wheel (not a skid like the Harts) and wheel breaks. Independent breaks for the wheels that help to steer when taxing.

During this time the "Hinds" were also referred to as "Harts".

25 Hart, no wheel breaks, Roberts Heights

26 Hart

27 Formation flying Transvaal from Robert Heights'

28 Hart

2nd Instructor's course in South Africa at Kimberly/Bloemfontein 1940

Fritz Johl

"Wildy Wildsmith; DFC, OC No 2 sqdn

Harold Kirby, OC No 7 sqdn

"Cookie" Botha, DFC, KIA 1942

"Ken" Driver, fighter ace, DFC, KIFA

"Lemmie" le Mesurier, DFC, OC No. 1 sqdn, KIFA

"Snowy" Moodie, DFC, OC No. 1 sqdn

Tom Rhodes, 1 sqdn flight commander, KIA 1942

Piet Venter, OC RAF 92 sqdn, DFC, He crashed a Mustang in Italy

A Kriel, OC 10 sqdn

"Dormy" Barlouw, OC 80 sqdn RAF Thrown out of the SAAF due to a crash and then he joined the RAF

Barry Wiggett, OC 3 sqdn

OC of CFS JD Pretorius, later OC 3 sqdn

"Bunny" Pearce, OC 5 sqdn


31 Bloemfontein, Pretorius (OC of 1 CFS) led this flight to Kimberly to drop a bunch of toilet rolls as a kind of joke :) . 1940 Instructors course.

32 Hart

34 Hind that made an accident after night flying. Note the rubber bungees that connects the rudder with the tail wheel. This was to help with taxi steering. Waterkloof.

35 Hawker Hind, see tail wheel contraption.

36 Hind Crashed after night flying, heavy landing, Waterkloof.

37 Crashed Hind

38 Fatal crash debris during the instructors course.

40 Funeral party (coffin carriers) for pupil pilot 'Erasmus" (see pic No. 9) that got killed at Wonderboom in a flying accident. Notice all the pilots have wings but without rank! McLaen, Piper, Wildsmith, Tom Condon, Hector McDonald, Kokkie van Rooyen (became manager of Suid Wes lugdiens after the war),?, All uniforms were not standard issue but tailor made at a Pretoria private clothing shop

41 Pupil pilot named Bell with a Hart

42 Picture taken from B flight hanger at Roberts Heights.

43 Roberts Heights with the trees lining the Jhb road.

44 Roberts Heights in front of B flight hanger, all pupil pilots. This was the first service flying course at Roberts Heights as part of the SAAF upil pilot training program.

45 Avro Tutor

46 Hart

47 Hart

48 Fatal crash during instructors course at Kimberly, two people got killed.





52b Hart stick placed at impact point

53 Tiger Moth with danaged U/C

54 Safely landed

55 Miles Magister, Fritz looking up

56 Avro Anson in Cape Town flown during Fritz's Navigation course in 1943.


58 73 OTU course in Egypt. Fritz sitting next to Joe Dunning. Neville Duke was the OC of the OTU. Joe and Fritz were great friends. They later were fellow pilots in SAAF 2 sqdn. Joe's wife was chief of the WAAF unit, Doreen Dunning.

59 Kittyhawk at 73 OTU


61 Kittyhawk at 11 OTU in SA

62 Portrait taken in Cairo

63 Spitfire at 73 OTU, Egypt




66 Bitter lakes with the canal, Egypt.



69 Fritz at 73 OTU, Spit V

70 Joe Dunning at the OTU

71 Fritz in Italy

72 Gunnery course in Egypt. Ruebel was an OC of a US fighter squadron in Algiers and invited Fritz to help them with gunnery. Fritz flew the P-38 while he was there.


74 Joe Dunning

75 Harry Gaynor, OC of 2 sqdn. Harry was killed right in fronf of Fritz while they were low flying busy with a strafing run on an enemy transport. Fritz was Harry's number two on this sortie.

76 2 sqdn pilots:

Back LtR : Dormy Barlow, ?,? Joe Dunning, ?, Foxy Ruyter, ?,?,?,Paul Wiles,

Sitting LtR: ?,?,?, Harry Gaynor, ?, Vic Martin,

VW Jeep belonged to Joe and Fritz, they fitted Spit tyres to the VW.

77 Junkers 86 airliner with a US engines, modified to do bomber duty, 1940

78 Hawker Hart in Roberts Heights

79 Youngsfield, 1939-1940. Wapiti and Tutors. Wapiti was a bomber A/C.

80 Bloemfontein early 1940, EFTS 1

81 Rearwin sportster, before the war

82 Leopard Moth, larger engine than Tiger, Gypsy six engine, foldable wings.

83 Hornet Moth, Fritz flew this plane when he got his civil licence in 1939 with Victor Smith


85 Airspeed Oxford, wooden airframe, adhesive joints were a big problem as there were many cases of delamination.

86 EFTS in Bloemfontein 1940, at that stage uniforms were not available. Fritz, Willcot, Wildsmith, Jones

87 Miles Master, lots of structural problems regarding adhesive failures. Great performance though, better than Hurricane in many respects.

88 Oxford

89 Miles Master, very bad position for the instructor.

90 Hurricane II c with 4 canon

91 Harvard

92 Harvard

93 Visitor Maryland bomber at Waterkloof.


95 Liberator visitor at Brooklyn aerodrome Cape Town







102 Oxford, Nigel station

103 Harvard

104 Harvard

105 Jan Smut's a/c Lockheed Loadstar

106 accident at Waterkloof



109 crashed Oxford A/C , wooden construction


111 Fritz, Pretorius (Ex OC of CFS Bloemfontein) and Badenhorst; they did formation aerobatic flying after the war. This pic was taken in Rhodesia at Komalo airport.

112 Chipmunk; Tommy Vansten, Fritz and Badie Badenhorst, Aerobatic formation flying team in Rhodesia.

113 Badie Badenhorst flying pic taken by Fritz.


115 Oxford

116 Chipmunk that was bought from ex Rhodesiam Air Force

117 St albums outside PE, B flight of 11 OTU


119 11 OTU, St Albums


121 Rearwind sportster that Fritz got his civil licence in 1939.
Make a Free Website with Yola.