|Hawker Hunter (Interception, Ground
Hunters (first flown in 1951) went
through a number of design and developments before they were
introduced to the Rhodesian Air Force as a replacement for the Vampires
they were then operating. Rhodesian Hunters were never used in
action as interceptors, although on external raids some were armed with
primitive Sidewinders to provide a limited air-defence capability. South
Africa provided a degree of air-to-air combat training, and judging by
the one major occasion when air to air battles took place in southern
Africa (August 1987 to July 1988, between the South Africans and
Cubans) it can be predicted that the Rhodesians - although knowing
the difficulty in getting replacement machines - would have remained
aggressive, with the intention of providing sufficient deterrent to
delay further attacks. Soon after the dissolution of Federation,
attempts were made to evaluate the Hunter as a possible, somewhat
rudimentary, reconnaissance aircraft, but these attempts were
The cost of ammunition was both a deterrent to
over-use, and an incentive to accurate, short bursts of fire. For a
number of years a prized possession was a holed-garbage can - a bet
having foolishly been placed that the pilot would not have been able to
hit such a small target with a single round.
The Zimbabwean government was to use the
survivors both in the Congo, and, it is alleged, Mozambique. The
Zimbabweans were the last country to operate the Hunter - it is unclear
(and highly unlikely) whether any remain operational. During the
war, Hunters were flown by Squadron.
Rhodesian Hunters were flown by
|BAC (English Electric) Canberra
Medium bomber/ reconnaissance. Built in
Britain from 1949. Originally acquired before the break-up of
Federation. Whilst the most famous usage was on the "Green
Leader" raid on the camps in Zambia, they served throughout the
war, and the survivors were only gradually retired by the Zimbabwean Airforce.
One can still be seen in a state of some decay in the Gweru
military museum. The aircraft were flown by Squadron.
flew Rhodesian Canberras.