Today, 15 May, 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

15 May 1973: 71385405N Private Harry Cornelius Theron from 1 Maintenance Unit was accidentally shot dead by a fellow soldier at the 1 Maintenance Unit weapons store while they were in the process of cleaning and checking firearms. He was 18.

15 May 1980: 76375658BG Rifleman Glen Andrew Paul from 8 SAI was critically wounded after receiving multiple shrapnel wounds in an accidental hand grenade explosion at Okalongo in Northern Owamboland on 14 May 1980, he unfortunately succumbed to his wounds on 15 May 1980. He was 20.

15 May 1981: Rifleman Willie Elefante from 201 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN Insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 22.

15 May 1984: 81514242HD Rifleman Malekudu Johannes Nkada from 113 Battalion was killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned while on patrol near Messina. He was 23.

15 May 1985: Special Constable K. Tjindunda from the South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K Division (Koevoet) was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. He was 27.

15 May 1986: Lance Corporal Isaac Londo from 101 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action in a landmine explosion in Northern Owamboland. He was 26.

15 May 1993: 89527600BG Lance Corporal Roberto Guiseppe Condo from 12 SAI was killed when his Samil 50 overturned on the Abel Erasmus Pass between Bourkes Luck and Gravelotte. He was 20.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1976 – Corporal Marthinus Johannes KELLY, 9th Battalion, Rhodesia Regiment, KIA. Died in Andrew Fleming Hospital, Salisbury, from a gunshot wound to the abdomen, received in a vehicle ambush on 12 May 1976, at the age of 23. His company was on its way home to Brady Barracks, travelling along the Tshiturapadzi to Chikwarakwara road when the ambush occurred, and as the troops debussed to defend their position, Rifleman Frederick Bint, Rifleman Pieter Blignaut and Corporal Theunis van Tonder were fatally wounded. Buried in Zvishavane.

1977 – Trooper George William CLARKE, Support Commando, 1st Battalion, RLI, KIA. Killed in a contact near the Rogogo airfield, east of Mayo, Makoni district, Op Thrasher. Fire Force had been deployed by helicopter and Dakota to a suspected ZANLA camp, situated among large rocks and boulders. Stop groups 2 and 3 engaged and killed three CTs but, in the fire fight, George was badly wounded. He died in the helicopter whilst being casevaced to Mtoko. Late that afternoon, a Canberra bomber neutralised the CT stronghold. He was a Vietnam veteran, serving in the United States Marine Corps, and was twice decorated with the Purple Heart during his Marine career. Aged 28 when he was KIA. Trooper Earl MacDonald was killed in the same action.

1977 – Trooper Earl Angus Cecil MACDONALD, Support Commando, 1st Battalion, RLI, KIA. Killed in a contact near the Rogogo airfield, east of Mayo, Makoni district, Op Thrasher. Fire Force had been deployed by helicopter and Dakota to a suspected ZANLA camp, situated among large rocks and boulders. Stop group 1 met stiff resistance from two CTs, and in the engagement, Earl was shot and killed. Having previously worked in the bush canteens only, being too young for active duty, he died days after turning 18 on this his first active bush trip. Trooper George Clarke was killed in the same action.

1978 – Guard Efias JOEL, Protected Village Protection Group, KIA. Killed in a CT action. 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 – Lieutenant C.H. Olivey, 4th Battalion, Rhodesia Regiment, murdered. Killed by terrorists.

1979 – Trooper Michael John "Mike" CHANCE, 11 Troop, 3 Commando, 1st Battalion, RLI, KIA. Killed by ‘friendly fire’ in a contact, Mtoko TTL, Op Hurricane. Stop groups had been flown in by helicopter just south of Mtoko, where CTs had been sighted. With one stop in the centre, two sticks conducted a sweep on either side in an attempt to flush out any CTs. It was late afternoon and the bush was very thick, making visibility difficult and, in spite of warnings from the orbiting K-Car and stick commanders to be very careful not to fire on their own troops, a sudden firefight took place. Mike sustained major gunshot wounds to his body and right arm. Charlie Warren tried to save Mike as he was being casevaced to Mtoko by helicopter, but his wounds were too severe and he died en route.

1979 – Patrol Officer Peter MCDONALD, Support Unit, BSAP, died on active service. Died of leukaemia in Andrew Fleming Hospital, Salisbury, aged 19 years. His semi-military funeral was held at Warren Hills Cemetery, Salisbury, on 18 May.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • May 15, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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