The SAAF Squadrons of 31 and 34 were formed in April 1944, and did service in Italy during the Second World War. They were disbanded after the War, and to date are the only heavy bomber squadrons in the history of the South African Airforce.
The Squadrons are most famous, along with the USAAF squadrons, and RAF 178 squadron, for flying to Warsaw with supplies during the uprising of the Polish resistance under General Bor Komorowski for which the Squadrons suffered heavy losses. The Squadrons also dropped supplies to the Yugoslavian resistance under Marshal Tito in the later part of the War.
34 Squadron was a heavy bomber squadron of the South African Air Force during World War 2. It was formed in Egypt on 14 April 1944 and operated from Egypt and Italy until the end of the Second World War. It was equipped with Consolidated Vultee B-24 Liberator IV's. In July 1944, the squadron moved from Egypt to Italy and formed part of No.2 Wing (SAAF) along with 31 Squadron SAAF.
The squadrons first operation was on 21 July 1944 and the squadron operated in northern Italy, the Balkans, Austria Southern France as well as mine-laying operations along the Danube. The squadron was also involved in re-supply air drops to partisans in Yugoslavia (Operation Flotsam) as well as air supply drops to the defenders in the Warsaw uprising of August–September 1944. The squadron returned to Egypt in September and was converted to a transport squadron, flying supplies and passengers to and from northern Italy, Austria, Egypt and South Africa. It was disbanded on 15 December 1945.