The Adam Park Project


32 Sqn Badge p.207

Item Information:

Catalogue Number: 17/02/008 Source: TAPP Archaeology Surveys Location: 17 Adam park Report No: Report No.7 Artifact Type: Badges Production Date: 2010-08-12 00:00:00 Dimensions of Item: 60mm x 55mm Copyright with The Adam Park Project

Other Description:

17/2/008 is perhaps the most unusual item found on the site. It appears to be a badge or brooch in the shape of a bird carrying a bomb. At the tail of the bomb is inscribed in quite rough lettering the number ‘32’. Remarkably 32 Squadron of the South African Air Force has a similar image on its crest.

Historic Context:

Little can be found about 32 Squadron SAAF as it appears to have a short wartime existence. It was a coastal patrol squadron flying a job lot of civilian Junkers JU 86’s. When war was declared the civil Ju86's were taken over by the SAAF, pressed into service firstly with 15 Squadron based at Wingfield in Cape Town which subsequently became 32 (Coastal) Squadron 'A' Flight formed at Germiston on 1 December 1939. They shared a common command with No. 31 (Coastal) Squadron. The two units operated the Junkers Ju 86's and a single Blenheim Mk 1. The Junkers were replaced by Avro Ansons in 1940 and the squadron's two flights were formed into separated entities again on 1 September 1940 when "A" Flight was redesignated No. 31 Coastal Reconnaissance Flight at Durban and "B" Flight was redesignated No. 33 Coastal Reconnaissance Flight at Port Elizabeth. 32 Squadron then seems to have been disbanded and certainly played no role in the Singapore Campaign. In fact no SAAF units fought over Malaya so it is unclear as to why this Squadron badge should appear at Adam Park. A small number of SAAF personnel did however fight as part of the RAF squadrons so one ex-32 Sqn member could have possibly been held in captivity at Adam Park. However it is more likey that the badge was obtained by an 18th Division soldier during the stopover in Capetown on the journey to Singapore

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