Today, 17 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

17 May 1981: Signaler Albert Peter Jordaan from the Army Signals Training Centre at Heidelberg was killed in a private motor vehicle accident between Heidelberg and Grootvlei, on the N3. He was travelling home on weekend pass after standing guard duty the whole night. He was 18.

17 May 1991: 89749535PD Rifleman Antonio Joao Sampaio from 32 Battalion was Killed in Action after being struck in the neck by an AK-47 bullet fired from an unknown gunman while he was on patrol in Tokoza Township. He was 34.

17 May 1993 84605062BT Lieutenant Michael Dennis Nixon from the Kaffrarian Rifles was killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned during a patrol in the Kubusi Forrest near Stutterheim.. He was 25

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1967 – Private SWONDO, 1st Battalion, RAR, killed on active service. Died in a vehicle accident.

1975 – Field Reservist Peter James Osborne KNIGHT, Police Reserve, BSAP, KIA. Killed in a contact in the Lomagundi area, aged 58.

1976 – Rifleman Nicolau Antonia "Nick " DA SILVA-CALHEIROS, MFC (Ops)(Post. 29/10/76), A Company, 1st Battalion, Rhodesia Regiment, KIA. Died from gunshot wounds in a vehicle ambush at the 116.5 km peg on the Ft Victoria/Beitbridge road, Nuanetsi district. Da Silva was driving the lead vehicle in a 5-vehicle convoy when they came under heavy rocket, machine gun and rifle fire. His vehicle took most of the hits, killing B.J. Edwards and wounding Da Silva. Da Silva refused help from his platoon commander stationed next to him, and continued to drive out of the ambush zone. He later died from his wounds. His courage in doing so prevented further casualties. Died aged 23. Buried at Warren Hills, Salisbury. He was awarded the MFC (Ops) for his actions.

1976 – Corporal Brian John EDWARDS, A Company, 1st Battalion, Rhodesia Regiment, KIA. Died aged 22. Buried at Warren Hills, Salisbury. See DA SILVA CALHEIROS above.

1976 – Captain Leonard Paul "Len" PITCH, attached to 13 Troop, 3 Commando, 1st Battalion, RLI, KIA. Died in Andrew Fleming Hospital from a gunshot wound received on 15 May in a contact in Karuyana, Mt Darwin, Op Hurricane, at the age of 35. Elements of 3 Commando Fire Force, reacting to a reported sighting of CTs, were deployed from Mt Darwin to the Karuyana African Purchase Area. As members of 13 Troop were dropped by helicopter next to the Karuyana River, heavy small arms fire directed at the aircraft confirmed a CT presence in thick bush on the riverbank. The alighting troops immediately engaged the CTs at almost point blank range, and in the fire fight, Len was shot in the chest. Buried at Warren Hills, Salisbury.

1977 – Rifleman Kenneth Allan "Ken" PITTAWAY, H Company, 1st Battalion, Rhodesia Regiment, KIA. Killed in a contact near Pachanza, Mt Darwin, Op Hurricane. His stick, under Sgt Sid Versveld, had engaged a group of terrorists and was on a follow up when one of them lobbed a grenade at the Rhodesian troops. Ken died on the spot and three other soldiers were injured. Jo’ van Tonder, bore the brunt of the explosion and was seriously wounded.

1979 – Rifleman Robert Charles MILLER, National Service, Rhodesia Defence Regiment, KIA. Killed in a CT action, aged 21. Buried in Lady Stanley Cemetery, Bulawayo.

1979 – Lance Corporal Gift MUNYORWA, D Company, 2nd Battalion, RAR, KIA. Killed in a CT action.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

1
  • May 17, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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1 Comments
  • January 31, 2017
  • Josh milner

“Len” pitch was my grandpa