Adolph (Sailor) Malan (Malan Close)


Adolph Gysbert Malan, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar

Adolph Gysbert Malan (24 March 1910  17 September 1963), better known as Sailor Malan, was a famed South African World War II RAF fighter pilot who led No. 74 Squadron RAF during the height of the Battle of Britain. Malan was known for sending German bomber pilots home with dead crews as a warning to other Luftwaffe crews. Under his leadership No. 74 became one of the RAF's best units. Malan scored 27 kills, seven shared destroyed, three probably destroyed and 16 damaged. On 24 December 1940, Malan received the Distinguished Service Order, and on 22 July 1941, a bar to the Order. On 10 March 1941 he was appointed as one of the first Wing Leaders for the offensive operations that spring and summer, leading the Biggin Hill Wing until mid August, when he was rested from operations. He finished his active fighter career in 1941 with 27 kills destroyed, 7 shared destroyed and 2 unconfirmed, 3 probables and 16 damaged, at the time the RAF's leading ace, and one of the highest scoring pilots to have served wholly with Fighter Command during World War II.