This is another retrospective post that I am doing based on images that I have in my collection. The exif data of the images says that this event happened on 05/04/2009, but, it may be incorrect due to my frequent file movements.
Anyway, one fine Sunday in 2009 I headed off to the South African Museum of Military History aka “The War Museum” in Saxonwold. I vaguely recall the reason for it, but somebody forgot to tell me that they were holding a military themed fair on that day. I hopped onto the M1 North, intending to bail out in the vicinity of St Andrews or Oxford streets, Unfortunately, the universe was not playing fair and as I approached the turn off I realised that I would not be turning off at that point because there was a thumping great Dakota blocking the exit! Now Daks are not the sort of thing you expect to find on a highway, they tend to congregate around airports, airborne invasions and occasionally rusting away in backwaters of the world. Some still insist on flying, and you know what they say “you cannot keep a good Dak down”.
This unfortunate Gooney Bird was being towed tail first towards her destination (which was probably the same as mine), her wings had been shed but her engine housings were still intact. However, there was no way I could fit past her and given the fact that this was a highway meant I could not stop for a quick squizz, I had to get back into my lane really quickly and find the next off ramp. I do not know that part of town so well and there was a good chance I would end up taking one heck of a detour as a result.
Eventually I managed to orientate myself and was in the correct area with the War Museum in front of me, although the place was buzzing with cars and people. I was very tempted to up the hook and head off for home instead. I have just checked my images to see why I was at the War Museum and the reason was that I wanted to get pics of Nancy, the Springbok Mascot.
I forked up vast amounts of dosh to go into the War Museum, and it was packed, however, I first had to get my image and headed to the display where she was. Images taken, I went outside to look at the exhibits and displays. There was a small contingent of re-enactors in military uniform and some of them were really amazing to see. The people responsible were Battle Group South.
Special thanks to the guys that I photographed, especially the sinister looking guy in black. I have blanked his face to protect his privacy.
There were the usual purveyors of militaria at the show and I wandered around, occasionally examining items or drifting back to the museum exhibits. I did not take too many pics that day for some reason. It could be that the crowds distracted me and I left after doing the rounds. However, there was a surprise in the parking lot!
That Dak and I were destined to meet again!
The question is: what is the history of this aircraft? fortunately the history could be found at the Dakota Association of South Africa website. In a nutshell:
C/N 27099, Delivered to the USAAF on 11 January 1945.
Transferred to the RAF on lend-lease at RAF Nassau on 18 January 1945 as KN231.
Arrived in South Africa in May 1975 for the South African Air Force as 6850 (2) delivered August 1975. Was to be donated to the Dakota Association of South Africa but was sold to private concern and displayed inside Caesar’s Palace Casino near Johannesburg International Airport in April 2000.
Sold once again to private concern and donated to the SA National Museum of Military History in Saxonwold Johannesburg in 2009, arrived Sunday 5 April 2009.
It was obvious that she would be a new exhibit, although I do question her arriving at one of the busier days at the museum. It was awhile before I was at the museum again, and the first place I went to was the only area large enough to house a Dakota.
I must admit I did a lot of looking at this old lady because they are really becoming quite rare birds.
Random Dakota Images
Who knows, maybe one day somebody will come along and buy her and she may fly again, at any rate, considering this old lady is now 72 years old she is a tribute to her builders and has a special place in the heart of all aircraft buffs.
There is another Dak at Swartkops AFB that I grabbed 2 pics of…
What other aircraft does the War Museum have?
The museum has a number of interesting aircraft, but they are not very easy to photograph in some areas (it is even harder now because of the no photography policy they unilaterally brought in).
Other Museum Aircraft.
My aircraft identification skills are not fantastic, but I can generally tell what they are but not what version they may be. I will slowly add data as I work towards finishing this post. Apart from the Dak there is a….
DRW © 2009-2021. Retrospectively created 23/05/2017.