Battle of Britain London Monument – P/O C C O Joubert THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT "Never in the field of human
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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – P/O C C O Joubert
Charles Cecil Oliver Joubert was born in Greytown, South Africa on 22nd April 1915. He joined the South African Air Force as a pupil pilot in January 1935 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant before resigning in April 1938.
He then joined the S.A. government as a civilian pilot, flying trigonometrical surveys for the Department of Lands during 1938-39. He accumulated over 1,000 flying hours, mostly solo during these early years.
He was the second of four brothers, two of whom, Louis and Jimmie, went on to serve during the war in the South African Army in East Africa and Madagascar, while the third, Henri, served in the South African Air Force in the Middle East and Italy. As pilots, Charles and Henri were inspired by their uncle William Baynes Nel, who served in the Royal Flying Corps, flying the S.E.5a in 84 Squadron and who was credited with 7 victories.
Charles Joubert was commissioned in the RAFVR on 29th June 1940 and arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden on that day. After converting to Hurricanes he joined 56 Squadron at North Weald on 15th July. In an action over Sheppey on 13th August Joubert damaged a Do17. Following an attack by a Me110 his radiator exploded. He baled out, slightly injured in the leg by a cannon shell splinter, from Hurricane P3479 and landed at Capton Farm, Faversham. He did not fly operationally again until 9th September.
Joubert was posted from 56 to 73 Squadron, then at Debden, on 6th November 1940. Three days later 73 moved to Birkenhead for embarkation on to the carrier HMS Furious for service in the Middle East. Joubert was with this draft, which went aboard on the 10th. He flew a Hurricane off at Takoradi in Ghana on 29th November to fly the ferry route to Heliopolis in Egypt via Lagos, Accra, Kano, Maidugari, Wadi Halfa and Abu Sueir.
During December the pilots of 73 were attached to 274 Squadron in the Western Desert. The squadron became operational again, as a unit, in early January 1941. Though usually fit, he was stricken with malaria in January and was not allowed to fly operationally until May and spent most of 1941 attached to RAF headquarters in Egypt.
Joubert was posted to 94 Squadron in December 1941, which did air defence and ground attack duties flying Hurricanes in the Western Desert, during the heavy fighting to stem the German advance that led to the fall of Tobruk. He was posted to 274 Squadron in early April 1942, then again to RAF headquarters in June.
In February 1943 Joubert transferred to the Administrative & Special Duties Branch and then served in No. 1 and No. 24 Sector Operations Rooms through until October 1943 when he was posted to 332 Wing in Djidjelli, Algeria. He returned to RAF Middle East HQ in Egypt in December and was then posted to 335 Wing in Catania, Italy in February 1944. In April he was posted to 334 Wing in Perugia, Italy, which was engaged in Special Duties supply flights to the Partisans in Yugoslavia, where he stayed until November.
In December 1944 he was posted to 300 Wing, later designated 300 Group, in Australia, which was tasked with providing air transport to the British Pacific Fleet and which uniquely came under the direct control of the Royal Navy fleet commander. The Group had 70 Dakota aircraft, based at Camden west of Sydney and at Parafield near Adelaide.
In May 1945 Charles Joubert married Eileen Kenny, a Principal Matron in the Australian Army Nursing Service, whom he had first met when they both served in England in 1940.
Joubert ended his active service at 300 Group’s headquarters, which was located in Melbourne for easy liaison with the RAAF’s HQ. He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant. He didn’t fly as a pilot again after the war, but embarked on a career in commercial real estate and subsequently joined the civil service in Johannesburg.
He died aged 58 in June 1973 in Johannesburg, survived by his wife and two sons, Guy and Bob.
Text and images courtesy of Bob Joubert.