Zimbabwe Police Air Wing
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Police Aviation


Official Title: Police Reserve Air Wing
Title in English: Police Reserve Air Wing
Abbreviation: PRAW


Narrative Summary:
The Rhodesian police service was called the British South African Police (BSAP), which also had a reserve force of part-time volunteers. The Police Reserve comprised men too old for national service, but many were veterans of World War Two. By the end of the 1960s, the Police Reserve had formed an Air Wing (PRAW). Members of the PRAW flew light civil aircraft, often owned by themselves or flying clubs, in support of the BSAP. As they often flew over areas close to home, they became familiar with the area and could spot anything unusual or suspicious - often indicating guerrilla activity. In 1979, the BSAP was renamed the Zimbabwe Republic Police.  

Key Dates:
196?    PRAW established
1979    BSAP renamed Zimbabwe Republic Police

Current Status:
The Zimbabwe Republic Police is presently reported to have an 'Air Wing', but has no known aircraft of its own.

Future Plans:
Attempts to acquire helicopters in mid-2001 were aborted, but it is expected that another attempt will be made.


National Insignia:
Not applicable - civil registered aircraft only.

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
All aircraft used carried civil registrations.  

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designation System(s):

Current Aircraft Inventory:
None currently operated.

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Cessna 172 some 1978 198? Comores Republic
Other types may also shave been operated - further details are welcomed.

Aircraft NOT USED List:
No false reports known.


Main Headquarters:
Not known

Current Organisational Structure:
No details known.

Current Order of Battle:
Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle:
Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List:
Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
No details known.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
Numerous private airstrips and small civil airfields.

More Information


'Britain's Rebel Air Force - The War From The Air In Rhodesia 1965-1980' [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Roy Nesbit & Dudley Cowderoy
Published by Grub Street, 1998 ISBN: 1 902304 05 5
* Includes references to PAW operations.


None known.


None known.

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First Created: 26 February 2003 - Last Revised: 26 February 2003
Copyright 2003 John Hayles.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk