Lieutenant H. H. Geraty, SAAF no. 47478V
Second Lieutenant Geraty served in 112 RAF Squadron from 27 September 1940 to 19 November 1940 before being posted to 3 SAAF Squadron to take part in the campaign in East Africa.
On 1 December 1940, 112 Squadron started to ferry Gladiators to the Royal Hellenic Air Force when Flight Lieutenant R. J. Abrahams, Flight Lieutenant Charles Fry, Flight Lieutenant Joseph Fraser, Flying Officer Edwin Banks, Flying Officer Homer Cochrane, Pilot Officer Alfred Costello, Pilot Officer R. H. Smith and 2nd Lieutenant Geraty (who was about to leave the 112 Squadron to be posted to 3 SAAF Squadron in East Africa) left Sidi Haneish to ferry eight Gladiators.
On 4 December, Flight Lieutenant Charles Fry led four Gladiators (Flying Officer Homer Cochrane, Pilot Officer R. H. Smith and Second Lieutenant Geraty) from Egypt to Greece, to join 80 Squadron on detachment.
Twelve of the sixteen 112 Squadron pilots that had left for Greece on ferry flights returned to Sidi Haneish in a Bombay on 7 December. The pilots were Flight Lieutenant Lloyd Schwab, Flying Officer Richard Acworth, Pilot Officer Leonard Bartley, Pilot Officer Jack Groves, Pilot Officer D. G. H. McDonald, Pilot Officer R. H. MacDonald, Sergeant G. M. Donaldson, Flight Lieutenant R. J. Abrahams, Flight Lieutenant Joseph Fraser, Flying Officer Edwin Banks, Flying Officer Homer Cochrane, Pilot Officer Alfred Costello. The other four pilots remained in Greece (Flight Lieutenant Charles Fry, Flying Officer R. J. Bennett, Pilot Officer R. H. Smith, Second Lieutenant Geraty) attached to 80 Squadron.
During the latter part of March 1941, 3 SAAF Squadron was beginning to run short of Hurricanes as no replacements had been received. To alleviate this problem it was decided to equip the Squadron with Gladiators as a stopgap. Twelve ex-94 Squadron Gladiators were handed over to the South Africans by the end of March; the last being handed over on 29 March.
On 21 April he caught a Ca.133 over Debra Marcos and shot it down.
On 11 June 1941 he returned to the Union.
Geraty ended the war with 1 biplane victory, this being claimed while flying Gloster Gladiators.
|Kill no.||Date||Number||Type||Result||Plane type||Serial no.||Locality||Unit|
|1||21/04/41||1||Ca.133||Destroyed||Gladiator||Debra Marcos||3 SAAF Squadron|
Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
Desert Prelude: Early clashes June-November 1940 - Håkan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo, 2010 MMP books, ISBN 978-83-89450-52-4
Desert Prelude: Operation Compass - Håkan Gustavsson and Ludovico Slongo, 2011 MMP books, ISBN 978-83-61421-18-4
Dust Clouds in the Middle East - Christopher Shores, 1996 Grub Street, London, ISBN 1-898697-37-X
Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford.
Springbok Fighter Victory: East Africa Volume 1 1940 – 1941 – Michael Shoeman, 2002 African Aviation Series No. 11, Freeworld Publications CC, ISBN 0-958-4388-5-4