The Story of the Gremlin

The Algoa Flying Club was formed in 1956 and amongst the founder members were pilots who had flown in the Second World War. The Gremlin became  the adopted mascot of the Algoa Flying Club and is an intimate part of the heritage.  The AFC pub, the social gathering spot at AFC, is known as the Gremlin’s Grotto and the  monthly newsletter is the Gremlins Herald.

The term ‘Gremlin’ first surfaced in the Royal Airforce in 1939 and it described a mischievous imp which was both very sophisticated technologically and at the same time possessed an intimate knowledge of aerial sabotage.   They usually confined themselves to minor annoyances and only occasional serious trouble and even then it was never malicious or with any evil intent.  By the end of the war the Gremlins were credited with bringing many a pilot safely home..

There have been numerous published descriptions of the physical appearance of Gremlins.  Those most commonly encountered by airmen during the second world war were considered to be between six and eighteen inches tall, and either blue or green in colour.  Some writers maintain that they have horns, like incipient devils, others that these are merely large ears which are covered by a rudimentary growth of hair. Their feet were reported to be large, and may have some special kind of suction grip which enables them to walk in safety all over aircraft .         Gremlins are very sophisticated technologically.  Navigators claim they are capable of moving mountains,, although this more accurately represents the state of confusion they can produce in an aviator’s mind rather than a talent for earth moving.

Gremlin
Gremlin