7 Squadron "Fight anywhere and everywhere"
The roles of No 7 Squadron, equipped with Allouette III aircraft, were troop transport, casevac and battlefield support including Fireforce. Some of these aircraft (G cars) were fitted with twin Browning.303 machine guns. These twin Brownings replaced the Fabrique Nationale 7.62 machine gun acquired with the helicopters; compared to the Brownings the 7.62 was considered less efficient as an air to ground weapon, due its relatively low rate of fire. Some Alloutte III aircraft were configured as K car gunships, armed with a 20 mm cannon firing high explosive incendiary rounds.

Established at New Sarum Air Force Base to the south of Salisbury, it operated Allouette III helicopters. The number being flown (initially about a dozen) varied, some remaining in service through the war years until Zimbabwean Independence, and despite what was often heavy damage, they would be repaired and maintained, often aided by the Alouette's relatively simple construction. The Alouette was not waterproof, however - in August 1964 one flew into Lake MacLlwaine during an exercise to determine whether safe operation over water at night was possible. Presumably the conclusion was that it was not.

In the early war years, pilots were usually posted to 7 Squadron from No 4 Squadron. 4 Squadron had given them initial training in cooperation with other military units. This was intended to increase understanding of the manner of army operations, but in the latter years, due to pilot shortages, some pilots were posted directly to No 7 Squadron without previous ground training.

1967
By the end of 1967 No 7 Squadron was committed to maintain helicopters on a semi-permanent basis at both Wankie (FAF 1) and Kariba (FAF2)

1974
March 1974 the first Allouette III helicopter with a 20mm gun mounted (K-Car) was flown

1980
Following Independence,  No 8 Squadron and No 7 Squadron were amalgamated because of the lack both of serviceable aircraft and crews. In 1983 the squadron was reformed; more helicopters (Augusta Bell 412s and AS 532 Cougars) were added.

 

Trace