Today, 18 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

18 May 1973: 05535174E Staff Sergeant Kevin Everitt Potgieter from 1 Parachute Battalion was killed in a parachute accident at Tempe. Kevin had been given a steerable reserve chute by his father that he decided to test. To do this, he had to first discard his main chute before using the reserve chute. After discarding his main parachute, he deployed the reserve chute but it became entangled in the buckles of his main chute and wrapped itself around him, causing him to plunge to his death. He was 27.

18 May 1980: Four members from 41 Battalion were Killed in Action during a contact with a numerically superior force of SWAPO/PLAN insurgents in Northern Owamboland. The casualties were:

  • 79872750SD Rifleman Hendrik Balie. He was 21
  • 79872172SN Rifleman Dawid Goliath. He was 29
  • 79870663ST Rifleman Vincent Sekopomashe. He was 25
  • 79870580SH Rifleman Joseph Tjipuna. He was 22

18 May 1982: 81953747HO Rifleman Likambo Zecks Maxwell from 701 Battalion SWATF was killed after suffering multiple shrapnel wounds in an accidental mortar bomb explosion at Nkongo Base. He was 21.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1974 – Field Reservist John Vivian WHITEHEAD, PATU, BSAP, killed on active service. Died in a vehicle accident in Fort Victoria, whilst returning from PATU training. His funeral was held at Fort Victoria on 24 May.

1976 – Corporal Stephen Peter "Steph" YOUROUKELIS, 3 (Independent) Company, Rhodesia Regiment, KIA. Died in Andrew Fleming Hospital from multiple injuries sustained in a vehicle ambush on 4 May 1976, Inyanga, Op Thrasher, aged 20. The 45 they were travelling in was hit by an RPG7 just below the driver's window, killing Anthony Vrachas instantly. Steph, blown out of the truck by the blast and in deep shock, ran off down the road in the opposite direction. As a casevac helicopter was about to lift off with another casualty, an African was spotted carrying the severely wounded Steph towards the aircraft. Emergency care was given and the men casevaced to Umtali. Buried at Warren Hills, Salisbury.

1977 – Extension Assistant German KAGORO, ADF, Intaf, murdered. Killed by CTs in Umzingwane, Op Tangent.

1977 – Senior Aircraft Technician\Gunner Robert George "Rob" NELSON, No. 7 Squadron, Rhodesian Air Force, KIA. Killed by ground fire. Alouette III R5725. The G-Car, manned by pilot Roger Watt and Tech/Gunner Rob Nelson, came under heavy small-arms fire as they took off after dropping two trackers in a contact LZ. Watt banked the chopper to allow Nelson an opportunity to use his twin Brownings against the CTs on the ground. The chopper took several hits and Watt performed an emergency landing as the cab filled with flame and smoke. Watt managed to land the chopper safely in a ploughed field.

1979 – Constable William MUSOROWEMBUDZI, Support Unit, BSAP, KIA. Died from wounds received in a CT action in 1976, which had left him paralysed from the waist down. He had been discharged from the force on medical grounds and was 26 years old at the time of his death. His semi-military funeral took place at Warren Hills Cemetery, Salisbury, on 18 May.

1980 – Constable Saul MATARUSE, Support Unit, BSAP, killed on active service. Died in a vehicle accident at the age of 22.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • May 18, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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