Today, 25 March, we salute and honour the following men & woman who sacrificed their lives whilst standing in the defence of what they held dear at the time and against evil and tyranny.

SOUTH AFRICAN BORDER WAR

25 Mar 1966: 01488493R Lieutenant Francois Theron Mentz from Central Flying School Dunnottar was killed when his AT-6 Harvard, Serial No. 7724 crashed after flying into rising ground during low level flying near Middelburg. He was 22.

25 Mar 1976: 68278852BT Trooper Reginald Edward Smith from the Natal Mounted Rifles died in Northern Owamboland from a gunshot wound as a result of an accidental discharge of a fellow soldiers rifle. He was 23.

25 Mar 1976: 70304316BT Lance Corporal Willem Christoffel Swanepoel from 2 Parachute Battalion was Killed in Action during a contact with PLAN insurgents north of Oshikango. He was 30.

25 Mar 1977: Five members from Regiment Westelike Provinsie were killed and 71 injured on when a goods train loaded with iron ore collided with their stationary troop train at the Keetmanshoop station. The Casualties were:

  • 70310743BT Rifleman Gary Albert Bricknell. He was 22.
  • 65764292BT Rifleman Petrus Johannes Jacobus Holtzhausen. He was 27,
  • 66338310BT Rifleman Wilhelm Hugo. He was 26.
  • 66338328BT Rifleman Hermanus Johannes Uys. He was 25.
  • 68438340BT Rifleman Paul Kady Donavan van Zyl. He was 24.

25 Mar 1978: Rifleman R. Desenga from 31 Battalion was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow soldier in Northern Owamboland. He was 20.

25 Mar 1980: Two members from 42 Squadron were killed when their AM-3C Bosbok, Serial No. 923 crashed near Potchefstroom while carrying out low level flying. The crew were:

  • 75452961PE Lieutenant Edwin Johannes le Roux. He was 20.
  • 73387391PK Lieutenant Pieter Frederick Smit. He was 22.

25 Mar 1980: Two crewmembers from 44 Squadron including a SAAF female Personnel Officer (passenger), were killed when their C-47 Dakota, Serial No. 6851, based at Air Force Base Grootfontein, crashed between Tsumeb and Grootfontein while carrying out unauthorised low level flight. It appears that during the flight, the aircraft executed a steep turn causing the aircraft to stall from which the Pilot was unable to recover due to insufficient altitude. The casualties were:

  • 74369828PM Lieutenant Johan Heinrich Leeuw. He was 22.
  • 74307778PE Lieutenant Cornelis Johannes Wessels. He was 21.
  • 76011261PE Candidate Officer (Miss) Elna Susan Swart, Personnel Officer detached for duty to Air Force Base Grootfontein. She was 23.

25 Mar 1982: Two members of Witwatersrand Command Headquarters were killed in a Military Vehicle Accident in Houghton. They were:

  • 78358314BG Rifleman Johannes Theodorus Lombard. He was 21
  • 78261146BG Rifleman Ivan John van Heerden. He was 20.

25 Mar 1985: 79448395BG Rifleman Colin Graham Dockerill from 6 SAI, detached to the Equestrian Centre, was killed instantly in Northern Owamboland while returning from a waterhole when he fell off his galloping horse and hit a tree trunk, breaking his neck. He was 20.

25 Mar 1988: 83067686BW Rifleman Nicolaas Jacobus Vermeulen from 54 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces in Southern Angola. He was 23.

25 Mar 1988: Rifleman Simon Haindula from 101 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces in Southern Angola. He was 22.

25 Mar 1994: 87727293PE Lance Corporal Phiti Joel Mokgolo from 7 SAI was killed in a motor vehicle accident near Rustenburg. He was 27. 

    RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

    1978 – Pte Royal MPOFU, C Coy, 1st Bn RAR, died of gunshot wounds received in a CT action. 

    † Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

     

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    • March 25, 2017
    • Piet Fourie
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