Today, 9 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. 


09 Aug 1981: 78520228 BG Gunner Leon Philip Levin from 14 Field Regiment was accidentally shot dead at Potchefstroom when he crept up on a sentry during the night in order to give him a fright. Mistaken for an intruder when he failed to identify himself, the sentry opened fire and Levin was fatally wounded. He was 19. 

09 Aug 1982: Three members from 31 Squadron and twelve members from 1 Parachute Battalion were Killed in Action during Ops Meebos when their Aerospatiale SA330C Puma, Serial Number 132 was shot down by enemy ZPU-1 14,5mm anti-aircraft guns south-east of Cuvelai in Southern Angola. The bodies and the wreck of the Puma were recovered from Angola and later returned to South Africa. A touching memorial to the helicopter crew and the Paratroopers was fashioned from scrap metal in a field workshop and erected at the site of the original crash. This memorial was later removed by SADF Forces to Ondjiva before being taken back to AFB Ondangwa. When the war in South West Africa (Namibia) came to an end in 1989, the South African Air Force brought the memorial back to South Africa where it was later donated to the SAAF Museum where it is in safe custody. It will be displayed to the public once a suitable display case has been procured for its protection. The remains of the 12 Paratroopers were cremated and now lie interred in the Paratroopers Memorial at Tempe, Bloemfontein. The casualties were: 

31 Squadron Helicopter Crew:  

  • TWADDLE 73275349PK Captain John Guy (Pilot & Aircraft Commander) 31 Squadron
  • PIETERSEN 7635461PE Lieutenant Christian Wilhelm (Co-Pilot) 31 Squadron
  • GROBLER 67428813PE Flight Sergeant Coert Nicolaas (Flight Engineer) 31 Squadron

 1 Parachute Battalion Passengers:  

  • BARRETT 77419422BG Rifleman Russell Hilton (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • DE KLERK 79232518BG Rifleman Alan (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • HOARE 78366077BG Lance Corporal Stephen Richard (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • KRUGER 76275536BG Rifleman Anton (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • KRULL 78457256BG Rifleman Grant William (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • LE ROUX 76336700BG Rifleman Martin (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • LOMBAARD 78345949BG Corporal Esuas Philluppus (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • MALLON 77255379BG Rifleman Shane Patrick (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • MARSHALL 78456035BG Rifleman James Thomas (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • MOODY 78473790BG Rifleman Craig Andrew (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • VAN NIEKERK 78412871BG Rifleman Andries Hermias (1 Parachute Battalion)
  • WOLMARANS 78567005BG Rifleman Andre (1 Parachute Battalion)  

09 Aug 1982: 80217755BG Lance Corporal David John Nel from 1 Construction Regiment was Killed in Action near Eenhana. Assigned to an escort detail that was to protect a Water Works JCB that was tasked to repair the water pipeline between Charlie Tower at Engela hospital and Eenhana. On the way there the JCB got stuck in the mud on several occasions and eventually, Nel and his buddy Reyneke, got off the armoured vehicle and stayed close to the JCB with the intention of assisting it through the mud whenever it got close to getting stuck. From this point on, the going was really good until the JCB detonated a land mine with one of its rear wheels. Nel was killed instantly in the explosion. He was 18. 

09 Aug 1985: 80208879BG Rifleman William Raymond Luiters from 61 Mechanised Battalion was accidentally shot dead by own forces during anti-insurgent operations in Southern Angola. He was 21.


1968 – Sgt Sewenzo (Colonial Police Long Service Medal – 1965), Uniform BSAP, KOAS. Died in Umtali Hospital from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident five days before. Sergeant Sewenzo, on duty, was returning to his station when the bus in which he was travelling left the road and crashed down a hillside. 

1969 – PO Graham Lankshear (aged 21), Uniform and PATU BSAP, KOAS. Died in Salisbury Central Hospital from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident two days earlier. 

1974 – Dip Att Ben Makachi (aged 65), ADF Intaf, Murdered. Shot and killed by CTs at Matope Kraal, Mt Darwin, Op Hurricane. 

1977 – Pte Wereki Kufakowenyu, 1st Bn RAR, KIA in an ambush.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †  

  • August 09, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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  • March 17, 2020
  • Keith o'brien

I heard that the 12 Paras which included a very dear friend of our family and super guy, Russell Barrett , were shot down by an RPG . I knew his parents very well. What a loss and what for ??.

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