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The first five F-86Fs (serials 601 to 605) were delivered to No. 2 Squadron late in January 1953, and after conversion training the first missions were flown from March 12, 1953, along the Yalu River in the notorious ‘Mig Alley’. In the remaining four months before the armistice, the SAAF Sabres flew 1 694 sorties. Even on July 27,1953, the last day of the war, No.2 Squadron flew no less than 41 sorties before the armistice came into effect at one minute past 22h00.

Of the 20 or so Sabres flown by No. 2 Squadron, only four were lost on active service, although a fifth crashed after the armistice. All operational flying ceased on October 1,1953. Ten days later the Cheetahs’ brief but passionate love affair with the beautiful swept-wing fighter ended when the last two

 Sabres were flown to a USAF base to be handed back. Apparently, all the ex-SAAF F-86Fs found their way to the Philippines Air Force, who later scrapped them. No. 2 Squadron returned to the Union of South Africa, where it was re-equipped with Vampire F.B.Mk.S2s - recently been delivered from Britain. But the memory of the beautiful Sabre stayed with the flight crews for the next three years. 


Colour Scheme

The one that I decided to build was number 603, B - Ruth II. The SAAF Sabres were overall natural metal with standard Korean I.D. Markings consisting of 28" FS13432 Yellow bands bordered by a 4'' black stripes around mid fuselage and wingtips. SAAF rounded springbok roundels were worn in the standard 6 positions. above, below wings and sides of fuselage.

Almost full length fin flash. high aircraft codes, repeat on the upper nose wheel door. Serials and individual aircraft names were in black. 2 Squadron badges were positioned behind the gun troughs.


Last word

Kit that I used Heller F86F-30 Sabre no.80277 For more info on all the Sabres and colours go to the IPMSSA website with is part of my favourites. There they have a complete list of all Sabres. Very nice ref. 


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