South African Air Force
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|Introducing George Croote: I am the one with a pith helmet in the
middle of the group and the little guy under the B in the other group. Interesting the
tall chap directly under the B was my tail gunner (Les Barns from London -RAF) who
completed 63 operations with me. I am also the one to the right of the chap on the motor
cycle. Please notice the PSP - perforated steel plates on the runway of the that pic. This
shot was taken in Jesi in Italy 1944.
The aerial shot of the bombs is one taken from my aircraft. The note beneath records: date, height 11500 feet map refer D12 x 30 third box of formation. Forli Railway station is clear showing a direct hit. The POW's reports at that time reported that the 5th Mounted division were en training at the station and suffered heavy casualties.
The shot of the of the Jesi Aerodrome shows a string of Marauders on the runway, Spitfires, Mitchell's and tents in the foreground which were a temporary repair shop for Spitfires. This was one of the few serviceable runways in the poor weather- everybody was using it! The original pic is not a good quality.
You will be interested to know that the South Africans had five squadrons of Marauders in Italy. Three wing was desert Airforce consisting of 12, 21, 24 and 30 Squadron. 25 Squadron was part of the Balkan Airforce.
Thank you for your interest.