Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Dave Panton Visit To Africa

By Dave Panton

Over the past month my wife and I have been on holiday with my son Dave Jnr. at his home in Durban, just before Christmas we made a road trip up to Harare to visit our family who are still living there .

 On the trip up to Zimbabwe we routed through Botswana to avoid the possible "horrors " of a Beit Bridge border crossing, so we entered Zimbabwe at Plumtree and did a night stop in Bulawayo.

 On the journey to Harare we took a break in Gweru and paid a visit to the Military and Aviation museum, it is pretty run down as it doesn't get many visitors these days.

 However we were most interested in the Aviation section, I was delighted to see one of the original Vampire FB9s RRAF 112 looking just as it had in the 1950s, I took a photograph of this aircraft with my son.

Attached I send pictures of one of the Canberra B2 's, a Harvard and one of the Hunters which had been damaged in the sabotage raid at Thornhill in 1982 ( this was an ex Kenya aircraft). The museum has a good range of exhibits including Vampire T11's,Provost, Augusta Bell chopper, Tiger Moth, Viscount and various  engines and weaponry.

I also include a photograph  of the "Old Boggies Clock" in the centre of Gweru which has been given a coat of paint and the clock is actually working!

As one can see the on that picture the Midlands Hotel and other buildings look much the same as they did in the 1950s.

I think these photographs  may be of interest to some of us "oldies" .

Terry and Babs Eaton are also on holiday from the UK staying with their daughter Teresa up on the KZN North coast we visited them early in December and had a happy reunion braai at Teresa & husband Phils' lovely home overlooking the Ocean.

Best wishes to all ORAFs and their families for this New Year !


Thanks to Dave for sharing his memories and photographs with ORAFs.

Comments are welcome - please send them to Eddy Norris at

 (Please visit our previous posts and archive

Ref. Rhodesian Air Force, ORAFs

Labels: , , , , ,