|The role of No 4 Squadron was that of support of the army on Internal
Security Operations. This was later modified in 1969 with the introduction of the Trojan
aircraft to include light transport, reconnaissance, forward air
control, casevac and light ground attack.
No 4 Squadron was formed as
an Internal Security support squadron in January 1956, based at Thornhill
in Gwelo, originally operating the T52 Percival Provost; these were
later replaced in
1967 by the Lockheed Aeromachi AL60 Trojan aircraft; the remaining
Provost aircraft were transferred to No 6 Squadron.
In January 1968 No. 4 Squadron for the first time, employed Trojan
aircraft on operations - one was to be damaged in 1973 when the pilot
pulled out of an attack too low, another was to be shot down in
Mozambique in April 1974 by gunfire.
Two Hunters searching for the Trojan were fired at with SAM-7 heat
seeking missile. This was the first occasion that a strella missile was
known to have been used against Rhodesian aircraft.
Six days later on the 20th April 1974 Trojan 3427 with Air Sub
Lieutenant R.Wilson and Flight Sergeant Rob Andrews was downed by a
surface to air missile in the same area in Mocambique whilst searching
for the aircraft of Chris Weinman. Both crew members were killed and the
The squadron initially carried out message dropping trials, and was
then to attempt night landings
using Land Rover headlights to illuminate the runway threshold; it continued to work on
airborne Forward Air Control (FAC) which had first been used in 1968.
Various different methods were experimented on - Very Pistol trials were continued to try to find a
better method of marking the target for Forward Air Control. A previous
trail resulted in hundreds of acres of farmland being set on fire.
In 1976 the Trojan aircraft were supplemented by Reims FTB 337 Lynx
aircraft. September 1976 saw the loss of the first Lynx.
Post Zimbabwe Independence
When the Trojans were sold off post independence the squadron continued
to operate the Lynx in the Internal Security role.