MALAN, Adolph Gysbert “Sailor”  
 
PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Malan, Adolph Gysbert “Sailor”
Date of birth: Unknown (Wellington, Cape Province, South Africa)
Date of death:  September 17th, 1963 (South Africa)
Nationality:  South African
BIOGRAPHY: 
Service number 37604.
Adolph Gysbert Malan was born in South Africa in 1910 and joined the Royal Air Force in England. Before he joined the RAF in 1935 he had served in the Merchant Navy (Union Castle Line of the Mercantile Marine). From this service he derived his nickname “Sailor”.
When the danger signs from Nazi Germany were recognized, he learned to fly on Tiger Moth aircraft at an elementary flying school near Bristol, England, and he first took to the air on 6th January, 1936.
He duly passed the course and received his pilot's wings. On 20th December, 1936, he was posted to No. 74 (Fighter) Squadron (the great Tiger Squadron, so called because of its fierce fighting records and its badge: a tiger’s face surmounting the motto “I Fear No Man”). It was his first and only squadron, and was the squadron's most famous fighter of all time in the opinion of all those who served in it. He was promoted to Pilot Officer in January 1937, and was appointed to acting Flight Commander of "A" Flight, flying Spitfires, in August. He received another promotion to Flight Lieutenant just before the opening of the war.
In the Battle of Britain Malan's score began to mount rapidly and, as a stern disciplinarian in the air and on the ground his 'Ten Rules of Air Fighting' were circulated within Fighter Command. By the end of 1940 he had scored 18 victories and received the DSO, and early in 1941 became Wing Leader of the Biggin Hill squadrons. Flying Spitfire's they undertook sweeps and escort missions over France and in June Malan destroyed nine Bf 109's. When his score was 32 he was taken off flying. He became Commanding Officer of Biggin Hill in 1943. After a distinguished ground career he left the RAF and returned to South Africa in 1946. He died on 17th September, 1963, from Parkinson's disease.
     
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (DFC)
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Unit: Red Section of “A” Flight, No. 74 (Fighter) Squadron, 11 Group RAF
Awarded on: June 11th, 1940
Action: Citation:
"During May 1940, this officer has led his flight, and on certain occasions his squadron, on ten offensive patrols in Northern France. He has personally shot down two enemy aircraft and, probably, three others. Flight Lieutenant Malan has displayed great skill, courage and relentless determination in his attacks upon the enemy."
Details: London Gazette 11th June 1940.
 
     
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER (DSO)
Rank: Squadron Leader
Unit: No. 74 (Fighter) Squadron, 11 Group RAF
Awarded on: December 24th, 1940
Action: This officer has commanded his squadron with outstanding success over an
intensive period of air operations and, by his brilliant leadership, skill and determination has contributed to the success obtained. Since early in August 1940, the squadron has destroyed at least 84 enemy aircraft and damaged many more. Squadron Leader Malan has himself destroyed at least eighteen hostile aircraft and possibly another six.
 
     
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER (DSO)
Awarded on: July 22nd, 1941
Action: July 22, 1941, Bars to the DSO as Acting Wing Commander
This officer has displayed the greatest courage and disdain of the enemy whilst leading his Wing on numerous recent operations over Northern France. His cool judgement, exceptional determination and ability have enabled him to increase his confirmed victories over enemy aircraft from 19 to 28, in addition to a further 20 damaged and probably destroyed. His record and behaviour have earned for him the greatest admiration and devotion of his comrades in the Wing. During the past fortnight the Wing has scored heavily against the enemy with 42 hostile aircraft destroyed, a further 15 probably destroyed and 11 damaged."
Details: Received as bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
 
     
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (DFC)
Details: Received as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
 
     
OORLOGSKRUIS 1940/CROIX DE GUERRE 1940
Details: With a bronze palm for mentions by the War Office.
 
     
CROIX DE GUERRE (1939-1945)
 
     
ORDRE NATIONAL DE LA LEGION D’HONNEUR
Details: In the degree of Officer.
 
     
CESKOSLOVENSKÝ VÁLECNÝ KRÍŽ 1939
 
 
 
  Provide alterations or additional information
Picture source:   - ZAR.co.za
Information source(s):   - The London Gazette, Issue 34870. Tuesday 11th June 1940
- ZAR.co.za
- Wikipedia
- The-Battle-Of-Britain.co.uk
   
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