WW2 Desert Fighter Pilot: Stewart "Bomb" Finney

Tribute web site: Stewart "Bomb"  Finney

Hi and welcome to this site;

Bomb Finney is one of the last surviving World War Two desert air fighters. In North Africa he flew Hurricanes and Spitfires against the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica during SAAF's toughest hour of 1941-1942. He then returned for two more tours to see the war through with the conclusion of the  Africa and Italy campaigns. He was mentioned in dispatches and received the DFC in 1944. The Bar to the DFC was awarded to him in 1945. Bomb ended the war as a squadron  commanding officer with the rank of major.

I met Bomb Finney through Johan van den Berg and Ray Hattingh of the South African Military History Society and decided to perform a series of video interviews with him regarding his war experiences. 

The purpose of this web site is to present and share these videos. Also here are presented Bomb's military documentation and records including his photographs and log books. In addition are presented information of his squadrons and  fellow pilots.

This is a living web site. Any input and/or participation will be much appreciated regarding additional information, correctness, information from relatives of members who served with Bomb in his squadron, photographs, stories etc. Please e-mail   me. Most welcome will be any photographs of 1 and 2 squadron while Bomb was with them them.

If you have a family member who served as a SAAF fighter pilot during ww2 and you want to find out more about his war service please contact me and maybe I can be of assistance. 

Tinus le Roux

September 2011

With sadness please take note that Stewart passed away on 16 September 2014. Condolences  to Jeannie, Keith, Trevor, his family and friends.

R.I.P. Bomb and blue skies forever!


Bomb with his armourer and Hurricane IIc aircraft. (thanks to Steve Mclean for scan) Stewart was nick named "Bomb" due to his civilian occupation in a dynamite factory before the war.


Summary of military Service 

1938-1940  Transvaal Horse Artillery

28/08/40   Joined SAAF, basic training, Roberts Heights Pretoria

01/12/40   Ground Instruction School, Tempe, Bloemfontein

17/02/41  Initial Training  Wing, S Rhodesian Air Force, Kumalo, Rhodesia.

07/03/41  No 26 Elementary Flying Training School, Guinea Fowl, Gwelo, Rhodesia (50 hours on Tiger Moths) .

28/04/41  No 22 Service Flying Training School, Thornhill, Gwelo, Rhodesia (50 hours on Harvards). Received wings. Commissioned as officer of the RAF.

11/08/41  5 Squadron at Zwartkops and Germiston AFB's under OC Jack Frost.

18/10/41  71 Operational Training Unit, Khartoum, Sudan.

20/11/41  RAF 73 Squadron (night fighters, Hurricanes), El Gamil, Egypt; temporary transfer.

28/11/41  SAAF 1 Squadron, Egypt and Libya; 12 months operational service.

03/03/43  Instructor at 73 Operational Training Unit, Abu Sueir, Egypt.

10/09/43  SAAF 1 Squadron, Sicily and Italy, 6 months operational service.

21/03/44  Appointed Officer Commanding SAAF 2 Squadron, Italy, 2 months operational service.

18/10/44  SAAF 2 Squadron OC, Italy, 9 months operational service

Aug-Sept '45  SAAF 7 Wing, Troop ship to Ceylon

Jan '46 Demobilized



Bomb's photographs and log books 




8 September 2011, Pigalle restaurant, Seapoint, Cape Town. L.t.R : Jeannie, Stewart, Tinus, Tersia



 Bomb  with some of his 1 squadron pilot mates in North Africa 1942. From the left: Mel MacRobert, Jerks Maclean, Billy Herbert (KIA), Moon Collingwood, Bomb Finney


Bomb with his Hurricane in North Africa 

Chrismass gift Dec 2012; "Lady Bashful"  


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