Jack Malloch was Rhodesia’s principal pioneer in aviation. He was an aviator and entrepreneur who left his mark on Rhodesia in a number of ways. He introduced larger and longer range aircraft than anyone else and he used these aircraft to develop a business which reached into Africa and Europe during a time when Great Britain, the United Nations and others were trying to slam the door of commerce in the face of anyone from Rhodesia. In addition Jack had no hesitation about flying into war zones in Biafra which he did in his early days in order to keep this business afloat, and in his later days during the civil war which racked his country.
From humble beginnings Jack came a long way. In the 1950s he was flying a few hundred kilos of fish a month from the Mozambique coast to Salisbury, but by the 1980s he was at the helm of an air freight organisation carrying about a thousand tons a month of beef and other perishables from Salisbury to cities across Africa and Europe. The name Malloch was close to a household name among whites in Rhodesia, but he was also well known in other parts of the world for his work in circumventing sanctions, to the extent that the Times of London wrote a feature article about him and his exploits.
This story of Jack is told in the context of the last years of the British Empire and how the Rhodesians attempted to fend off the winds of change which drew them into a fifteen year long Bush War which sadly cost more than 20,000 lives.
Jack Malloch’s love for aviation culminated in his being the principle driver of a major project to restore a derelict Spitfire, the aircraft he had loved since his flying adventures during the Second World War and which he flew with great joy. It is sad to say that this Spitfire was the instrument of his death.