9781920143367 cover


The Story of the Mirage F1 in the South African Air Force

By Brig-Gen Dick Lord

153 x 234 mm, 368 pages, 56 colour photos, 220 b/w photos, 12 maps, diagrams, 9781920143367, £14.95, Paperback, 30 Degrees South Publishers
1 January 2008

Currently in stock.

  • A gripping account of the pilots and legendary ‘Vlamgat’ planes of the South African Air Force

    “Their hands are shaking ever so slightly. They will be flying again in the morning”

    Vlamgat, literally ‘flaming hole’ in Afrikaans, was the nickname the South African Air Force (SAAF) gave to the Mirage F1, its formidable frontline jet fighter during South Africa’s long ‘border wars’ in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Battling Soviet MiG-21s over African skies, the Vlammies, the Mirage pilots as they were affectionately known, acquitted themselves with distinction and honour.

    Vlamgat is a gripping account of these pilots and their deeds of bravery; their experiences are authentically related with accuracy, humour and pathos by Brigadier General Dick Lord, himself a Vlammie.

    As Willem Hechter, former Chief of the SAAF, says: “Vlamgat deserves a place of pride in the long history of this, the second oldest air force in the world.”

    About the Author
    Brigadier-General Dick Lord joined the Royal Navy as an air cadet in 1958, where he qualified as a fighter pilot. In the mid ’60s, he was selected for a two-year exchange tour with the US Navy, flying A4 Skyhawks and F4 Phantoms out of San Diego, California. He returned to South Africa in early ’70s and joined the South African Air Force (SAAF). During the Border War, he commanded 1 Squadron. A highlight of his career was organising the successful fly-past of 76 aircraft for Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as President of South Africa in 1994.

    Also By This Author

    From Fledgling to Eagle The South African Air Force during the Border War

    The crucible of combat over 23 years forged the fledgling South African Air Force into a formidable strike weapon, capable of defeating the best Soviet air defences of the time.


    From Tailhooker to Mud Mover

    This book traces an extraordinary career through nearly four decades of military aviation. Dick Lord, well known as an aviation raconteur, tells a tale of military flying at its very best. He covers, in amusing detail, the life of a carrier pilot in both the Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm and the United States Navy.


    Standby! South African Air Force Search and Rescue

    In the air force, no mission receives greater priority than the mission of mercy. When lives are at stake, all resources available are dedicated to the task.


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