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Zimbabwe airforce history

Last modified: 2002-09-07 by jarig bakker
Keywords: zimbabwe | rhodesia | southern rhodesia | federation of rhodesia and nyasaland |
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Southern Rhodesian Airforce

The Southern Rhodesian Airforce was established in 1947 and initially used the RAF ensign and the 3 squadrons were disbanded after WW II.
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

Royal Rhodesian Air Force, during the Federation (1953 to 1963)

by Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

With the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953, an air arm of the armed forces was created with a distinctive roundel of its own. The RAF roundel was adapted to display three small assegais in black and white vertically across the red centre. The assegais represented the three territories making up the Federation, namely Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland .(Note: the Union Jack was displayed in the canton and not the Federal flag).
On 15 October 1954 the air arm was officially designated as the ROYAL RHODESIAN AIR FORCE.
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

Royal Rhodesian Air Force, Southern Rhodesia (1963-1968)

by Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

Following the dissolution of the Federation in December 1963, the name of the airforce was not changed but the roundel and flag were changed to display a SINGLE assegai extending vertically across the entire width of the roundel.
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

Rhodesian Air Force during UDI years (1968-1979)

by Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

In March 1970 the prefix "Royal" was dropped following Rhodesia's UDI and subsequent declaration of its Republican status. A new roundel was adopted in the new Rhodesian colours of green and white containing a lion (in gold) and tusk in the centre of the white. A new flag was taken into use in April 1970. The new flag contained the Rhodesian flag in the canton with the roundel in the fly on a light blue field.
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

Close-up of the lion

[close-up of the lion] by Dean Thomas, 26 Aug 2002

The emblem sent by Dean Thomas is that of the former Rhodesian Air force. This lion was found in the centre of the air force
roundel which is also found in the fly of the Rhodesian Air Force flag.
Bruce Berry, 4 Sep 2002

Zimbabwe 1979

In 1979 the during the short-lived Zimbabwe Rhodesia government of Bishop Muzorewa, the air force flag the only military flag to be changed to coincide with the change in the national flag. The roundel remained the same.
Steven Shea, 15 July 1997

Air Force of Zimbabwe Ensign

by Bruce Berry, 17 Feb 1998

Following the independence of Zimbabwe in April 1980, the airforce was renamed the Air Force of Zimbabwe and adopted a new emblem being a Bateluer eagle in flight. The new air force flag retains the light blue field and has the Zimbabwe flag in the canton with the air force emblem in gold in the fly.

With regard to roundels, the Zimbabwe Air Force aircraft do not have a roundel as such, but are marked with a Zimbabwe Bird in gold (as opposed to yellow in the illustration below). This is considered to be the roundel and I think you should add to your list.
The design of the bird can be found on the Air Force flag above the flying eagle in the fly. There is no background to the bird - it is just placed on the fuselage and wings.
Bruce Berry, 17 Feb 1998

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