Nesre Makonnen (Prince Makonnen), Addis Ababa, 1933. This aircraft is coloured Dark Green overall. The serial number and Amharic script appear in White with a Yellow shadow effect. The Lion of Judah symbol is painted in Light Brown and Yellow with Black detailing. No markings were carried on the wings of rudder at this stage, but by the time of the Italian occupation rudder stripes had been added and the inscription and Lion of Judah removed. Rudder stripes consisted of equal horizontal stripes of (from top) Green, Yellow and Red. Other aircraft in the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force carried a rectangle on the wing surfaces in Green, Yellow and Red, but it is not known if the Potez 25s did.
Ethiopia began the formation of a small air arm in 1929, with the delivery of a Potez 25 A2 to the capital Addis Ababa on 18 August 1929. A Junkers W.33c followed on 5 September. This small nucleus was built upon in the next few years to a force numbering 13 aircraft.
A few transport aircraft were also acquired during 1934-35 for ambulance work. The Air Force was commanded by a French pilot, Andre Maillet, who delivered the first Potez. He was succeeded by another Frenchman, Paul Corriger, who remained until the Italian conquest of Ethiopia in 1935, when the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force ceased to exist.
A new Imperial Air Force was created with American and British assistance in 1946, after the liberation of Ethiopia from Italian occupation.
Artist: © Wojciech Sankowski
Source: Lotnictwo z Szachownica, issue 14, No.3, 2005. Ilustrirowany magazin milosnikow historii lotnictwa polskiego. ISSN 1643-5702