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Katanga Harvard


KATANGA HARVARD by Joao M. Vidal

The Portuguese, Belgian, French and South African government supported the secession of Katanga.
During the war Portugal supplied to the Avikat (Aviation Katangaise), amongst other types, 10 NA Harvard acquired in Belgium from the aircraft brokerage company COGEA. These aircraft were crated and shipped from Ostend to Luanda where they were assembled and flown to Kolwezi by Polish, Belgian, French and South African pilots (no Portuguese pilot was ever involved). The armament consisted of the standard original Browning .303 machine guns and two or four artisanal bomb racks under the wings. The aircraft had no gunsight. Some publications present drawings of these aircraft with rocket pods installed but that never existed.

At the end of the war four of these aircraft escaped back to Angola. One of them was in a very poor condition. Even the engine cowling was missing! From Vila Teixeira de Sousa, the remaining 3 aircraft were flown to AB.3 Negage where they were kept until the early 70s but were never used or integrated on the Portuguese Air Force, although Dan Hagedorn claims them to have been on what he was copied by several publications.

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