South African Air Force NCO’s Garrison Cap

By the 1980s certain aspects of South African military uniform were based as much on US practice as they were on British and one items of headdress that certainly looked more American than British was the garrison cap worn by several different branches of the South African military. This was a simple cloth side cap, with a distinctive curved peak that was visually very similar top that issued by the US Army during the Second World War. It had the advantages of being cheap to manufacture, fairly easy to wear in a smart and soldierly manner and could be easily folded up and put in a pocket when not needed. It was ideal for garrison duties and the South African Air Force was one of those who used the cap extensively. Today we are looking at an example of the SAAF’s NCO caps:

The cap is made in a pale olive green colour and has contrasting piping in a lighter colour, the design of the peak especially follows US practice for garrison caps, which in turn drew inspiration from the French bonnet de police:

The interior of the cap is lined with black polyester and a manmade leather sweatband is sewn around the rim of the cap:

The label attached to the sweatband indicates that the cap is a small sized one, being just a 55, and it was made by Normoyle of Durban:

The modern South African air force continues to wear a similar cap, however it is coloured blue rather than green.

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