SAAF action camera close up

Not often seen is a close up of like this of the South African Air Force in action during the North African campaign – WW2.  Here  cannon shells can be seen as they explode around the tail of a German Junkers Ju 52 forced down in the Western Desert by three Bristol Bisleys of No. 15 Squadron South African Air Force, 12 October 1942.

The starboard (right) engine is already on fire, and a member of the JU 52 crew can be seen trying to take cover lying face down on the ground beneath it. The Bisleys, escorted by four Bristol Beaufighters of No. 252 Squadron Royal Air Force, intercepted the German transport aircraft while returning from a strike on an enemy train.

The Beaufighters shot down a Ju 52 and damaged one of the escorting Messerschmitt Bf 110s, while the Bisleys forced down a second Ju 52 and subsequently destroyed it with their bombs. One of the Bisleys was shot down by return fire.

Image Copyright Imperial War Museum

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