Today, 13 April, 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

13 April 1974: Two members of 11 Squadron SAAF were Killed when their Cessna 185D, Serial Number 743, crashed shortly after take-off from Mpalela Island in Eastern Caprivi during a ration re-supply flight for the South African Police. The casualties were:

67280784E 2/Lieutenant (Pilot) Jacobus Hendrik Louw Bonthuys. He was 23
71222913BT Private Johan Hugo Human. He was 19.

13 April 1976: 72541816BG Corporal Anton Leon Broodryk from 1 Parachute Battalion Died of Wounds received in a landmine explosion in Southern Angola while on patrol near the Cut-line. He was 20.

13 April 1976: 69154888KV Captain Granville Duvenhage from Benoni Commando suffered a fatal heart attack while on duty at Leydsdorp and died shortly afterwards. He was 26.

13 April 1976: 72430465BA Rifleman Eugene Medhurst from 5 SAI was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces in Southern Angola. He was 19.

13 April 1979: 76245679BG Corporal Rian Rix from 11 Commando Regiment was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents near Okatope Base south of Ondangwa. This was his last patrol before going home from the Border. He was 18.

13 April 1982: 79339602BG Rifleman Eugene James Ashford from 8 SAI was accidentally shot dead during live firing exercises at Riemvasmaak. He was 18.

13 April 1987: 85352708BG Private Frederick Wayne Childsmith from the Provost School was killed while standing in a "Ride Safe " zone on his way back from Weekend pass after completion of Basic Training when he was run over by an South African Police vehicle driven by an underage scholar (the Senior Police Superintendant's son) who was not authorised to drive the vehicle. He was 18.

13 April 1988: 78402195PE Captain H Pienaar from the South African Infantry Corps, attached to Group 70 Headquarters at Katima Mulilo was killed instantly after suffering fatal head injuries while driving to Windhoek to attend an Information/Intelligence Conference. The prop shaft of his military vehicle broke and dug into the road surface, causing the vehicle to immediately flip over approximately 30km outside Rundu. He was 25. 

    RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

    1978 – Field Reservist Shadrick DICK (not his surname), PATU, BSAP, KIA. Killed in a contact in the Shamva district, Op Hurricane, aged 28 years. His semi-military funeral was held on Lion’s Den Farm, Shamva, on 17 April. This would almost certainly not have been his surname, but his first name - a not uncommon habit back then of clerical "errors." Sadly, we may never know his surname, which is so important in tracing our black soldiers' tribal background.

    1978 – Extension Assistant Cleophas G. MHAKA, ADF, Intaf, murdered. Killed by CTs.

    1978 – Section Officer Ronald Peter TYRER, PATU, BSAP, killed on active service. Killed in a shooting accident when his stick walked into a "frozen" area near Nkai, Op Tangent, at the age of 38. His semi-military funeral was held in Bulawayo on 17 April. Buried in the Athlone Cemetery, Bulawayo. Service number also listed as 8774.

    1979 – Junior Commandant Dennis I. PHILIPS, RHQ Echo, Op Grapple, Guard Force, KIA. Philips and Keep Commander Twig Titlestad, together with two guards, were killed when the Land Rover they were travelling in was ambushed, at 14:45 hours, on Mr Ivor Wilkinson's Londown Farm in the Lower Gwelo area, Op Grapple.

    1979 – Keep Commander Twig TITLESTAD, RHQ Echo, Op Grapple, Guard Force, KIA. Twig and Junior Commandant Philips, together with two guards, were killed when the Land Rover they were travelling in was ambushed, at 14:45 hours, on Mr Ivor Wilkinson's Londown Farm in the Lower Gwelo area, Op Grapple.

    1979 – Rifleman Manfred Josef WOLLNER, B Troop, 4th Battalion ('Q' Cars), Rhodesia Regiment, KIA. Died from bullet wounds received when the vehicle he was travelling in was ambushed. The CTs were in an elevated position and were, therefore, able to fire into the open-topped armour protected vehicle. He was serving with B Troop Special Forces at the time of his death. 

    † Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

     

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    • April 13, 2017
    • Piet Fourie
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