Today, 3 August, we salute and honor the following men 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 

03 Aug 1974: 6458861 Lieutenant Henri Cornelius Lotz from 41 Squadron was killed when his AM-3C Bosbok, Serial No. 937 crashed near Johannesburg. . He was 25.

03 Aug 1978: 66364316PM Captain Anthony Howard Brinkworth from 24 Squadron was Reported Missing when his Buccaneer SMk.50, Serial No. 423, flown by Captain Dries Marais suffered a double flame-out and crashed into the sea 28 miles off Green Point near Scottburgh and exploded on impact with the water. The aircraft was flying in a formation of three Buccaneers for a night attack on a Naval Strike Craft that was towing a LARNE-splash target off the coast of Scottburgh, Natal and the attack started well. Under the light of a NATAC flare that burned for almost 4-minutes, each Buccaneer could re-attack the splash target towed at some 15-knots and shoot rockets or drop bombs on the moving target – something only the Buccaneers ever did. At the end of the attack, Captain Dries Marias called in and said that he had a flame out in one engine and was diverting to Durban International Airport. Not long after, he called in a second engine failure and the formation saw the flames of the two rocket ejection seats as they ejected from Buccaneer 423. Captain Dries Marias was rescued from the sea and where he confirmed that they had not transferred the bomb door fuel to the main fuel tank. Captain Brinkworth’s parachute and harness were found floating in the water and they had been undone, indicating a safe and conscious landing in the sea he was never found and the search was called off after two days. He has no known grave and remains unaccounted for. For administrative purposes, he was officially declared dead on 14 August 1979. He was 27

03 Aug 1980: Two members from 32 Battalion were Killed in Action in Southern Angola when they triggered a booby trap inside an enemy bunker during Operation Vastrap. They were:

  • 69430775PE Corporal Michael Christian Coetzee. He was 26
  • 76466374PF Corporal Daniel Heinrich Grobler. He was 20.

03 Aug 1983: 74468430BT Rifleman Adriaan Jacobus Booysen Thirion from the Boksburg Commando was killed in an accidental mortar bomb explosion during operations in Southern Angola. He was 25.

03 Aug 1985: 82559279BG Rifleman Mark John Littrell from 1 Parachute Battalion Died of Wounds accidentally sustained while based in the Northern Operational Area. While "C" Company 1 Parachute Battalion were out on Patrol, he remained behind at the base camp. It appears that a lit candle fell over inside a tent causing the tent to catch fire. While trying to extinguish the blaze, a mortar bomb inside the tent exploded, critically wounding him in the stomach. He succumbed to his wounds a short while later. He was 19.

03 Aug 1986: Three members from Durban Regiment were killed when their Buffel Troop Carrier overturned in Durban. The casualties were:

  • 76506955BT Lance Corporal Robert Dennis Sterling. He was 26
  • 77233849BT Rifleman Trevor Reginald William Holland. He was 24.
  • 79568903BT Rifleman Eric Cornelius Koekemoer. He was 21.

03 Aug 1990: 74241829PE Flight Sergeant Phillipus Daniel Viljoen from Air Force Base Waterkloof was killed in a private motor vehicle accident between Pietersburg and Johannesburg on the N1 highway, while on official duty. He was 31.

03 Aug 1991: Two members from 7 SAI were burnt to death when the kitchen accidentally caught alight at Vhembi Base. The members were sleeping in the Base kitchen to deter thieves. The casualties were:

  • 89441992BG Rifleman Bruce Albert van Heerden. He was 17
  • 88611645BG Rifleman Roan Myburgh. He was 19.

    RHODESIAN BUSH WAR 

    03-Aug-73 Radio Fitter Joseph Campbell New Sarum RhAF KOAS Died in Salisbury Central Hospital after being electrocuted. Born in Zambia, he died at the age of 22.

    03-Aug-73 Cpl Kembo 1st Bn RAR KIA from a gunshot wound, Mukumbura, Mt Darwin, Op Hurricane. Died aged 31.

    03-Aug-77 Ext Asst Willie Muyotcha ADF Intaf Mrd by CTs.

    03-Aug-78 FR Benjamin Huntsman "Hunty" Williams PR BSAP KIA Killed in a vehicle ambush, north of Lupane, Op Tangent. An RPG rocket struck his vehicle, injuring his arm at the shoulder, resulting in a fatal loss of blood. Hunty excelled at cricket, playing for Rhodesia Country Districts against a New Zealand touring team. In 1964 he represented the Orange Free State in the Currie Cup, later going on to make his debut for the Rhodesian National XI against Australia in 1966. Upon completing his agricultural studies, Hunty joined his father on Portwe Estates, Inyati, where he established a world record for groundnut production. After his national service demob in 1966, he joined PATU where he served for four years before joining the Field Reserve

    03-Aug-78 Cst Joseph Breza Uniform BSAP Mrd by CTs whilst on leave, aged 40 years.

    03-Aug-79 Pte Musikwa Rubwa D Coy, 1st Bn RAR KIA by a landmine explosion.

    03-Aug-79 FR Ephraim Volker PATU BSAP KIA Killed by a landmine whilst on a motor-cycle follow-up, Op Hurricane, at the age of 44. 

    † Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †  

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    • August 03, 2017
    • Piet Fourie
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