Michael Welchman, WW2 Tactical Reconnaissance Pilot SAAF

Michael joined the SAAF in 1940 while he was a second year medical student at Wits university. After he qualified as a SAAF pilot he was demobilized and sent back to Wits but he persuaded the SAAF command to be re-enlisted.

He was sent to North Africa in Sept 1941 and posted to No. 40 squadron. After a long waiting period the squadron eventually received their Hurricane and Tomahawk aircraft in 1942.

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From February 1942 Michael started to fly operational sorties in extreme dangerous situations as they had to fly unescorted single- or double aircraft missions over enemy concentrations to gather photographic and tactical information. Michael had some hairy operational experiences and many of his fellow pilots were shot down and killed.

When sent back to South Africa he was trained as an instructor and did flying instruction until 1944.

After the war he finished his degree as medical doctor and had a successful career in medicine. He specialized in radiology.