A pre-WWII Patrol dress tunic to Lieutenant Colonel E. A. Pope, AFC, SAAF
(see also his Mess dress tunic and Full dress tunic)
The dark blue patrol tunic was unique to the SAAF (vs. the RAF) as the SAAF was still considered a corps of the South African Army. The patrol tunic was used during the interwar period and was considered service dress for when not in the field (when the OD service dress would have been worn),
Like many air forces prior to the start of WWII, the tunic was worn with a leather garrison belt with a cross strap. The tunic features a high closed collar from which regimental collar devices were worn, which in this case were gilt versions of the air force crest. Rank was standard British rank worn on the shoulders. This was a unique feature of the SAAF vs. the RAF.
It is not clear from my sources or from photographs I have seen when the blue patrol was instituted or when it became obsolete. Based on other uniform regulations, this uniform was probably used primarily during the 1920s-1930s and was phased out during WWII. If you have any more information, please contact me.
*Click on any picture to see full size.

The rank is that of Lt. Colonel with one crown and one pip. I have information relating to a Lt. Col. Pope, who was armament officer of 3 group, SAAF. If you have any more information on this gentleman, please contact me.
Lt. Col Pope was a senior member of 3 group staff. As armament officer he was not part of active flight operations but was integral to their performance. For his work, he was awarded the Air Force Cross, which was for aviation merit or bravery when not in direct combat with the enemy. The remaining awards are the 1939-1945 cross, North Africa Cross, War Medal with Mention in Dispatches and the South Africa Service Medal.
A close view of the matching collar devices. These are gilt metal. During the war, it was more common to wear an oxidized bronze version of these with ones OD service dress.

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