Today, 29 October, 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. 


29 Oct 1962: Three members from Central Flying School Dunnottar were killed when an AT-6 Harvard, Serial No 7717 that was executing a spin recovery in the General Flying area, was involved in a mid-air collision with another AT-6 Harvard, Serial No 7677 that was flying as part of a three-ship formation in the same area. Both aircraft crashed out of control near Dunnottar. The casualties were:

  • Harvard 7717: T/6122961 Air Mechanic (Pilot Under Training) Hendrik Jacobus Burger was killed instantly in the initial collision. He was 18.
  • (His Instructor, Lieutenant M.C.H. Copeland managed to successfully bale out of the stricken aircraft and landed safely by parachute)
  • Harvard 7677: M/9367 Air Mechanic (Pilot Under Training) Jakobus Schabort Bischoff. He was 22.
  • P/20960 Lieutenant (Instructor) Jan Jacob Christiaan van Zyl. He was 23.

29 Oct 1968: 05572722PE 2/Lieutenant Charles Frederick Du Toit from 1 Squadron was killed when his Canadair C13L Sabre, Serial No 366 crashed into rising ground near Bandolierkop while on a routine low level navigation training flight from AFB Pietersburg. He was 21

29 Oct 1975: Four members from the SADF, one pilot and three passengers, were accidentally killed when their UNITA supplied Beechcraft Baron known as "Dinky Toy", crashed 6km north of Norton de Matos in Central Angola while carrying out aerial observations for Battle Group Foxbat in the Silva Porta area during Operation Savannah. The aircraft had been checked out by SAAF ground technical personnel at Rundu prior to the flight and found to be fully serviceable. The SADF investigation team was unable to determine the exact cause of the crash. The four casualties were:

  • 01488550PE Major Pieter Benjamin Uys (Pilot) (17 Squadron). He was 34.
  • 01217066PE Colonel Desmond Brian Harmse (101 Task Force). He was 46.
  • 01211440PE Major Nicholas Jacobus Visser (1 Reconnaissance Regiment). He was 37.
  • 72324213N Corporal Neville Roland Beechey (1 Special Service Battalion). He was 19.

(NOTE: Colonel Harmse and Corporal Beechey were being utilised as liaison officers because they could both speak fluent Portuguese. The son of Colonel Harmse, Captain Louis Harmse from 1 SAI was Killed in Action on 25 August 1981 in Southern Angola during Ops Protea).

29 Oct 1977: 70398011KT Rifleman Johannes Ferdinand Baum from the East Park Commando accidentally drowned in the Chobe River near Mpalela Island. He was 20.

29 Oct 1984: Rifleman J. Paulus from 101 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with SWAPO/PLAN insurgents near the Cut-Line. He was 23.

29 Oct 1987: 82470287BG Private Erwin Benade from the Headquarters Unit, Logistics Base Grootfontein, died from a gunshot wound apparently self-inflicted. He was 21.. 


1966 – TPR Geoffrey Paul BAILEY, 1st Bn RLI, died in a motorcycle accident at the 10-mile peg on the New Sarum Road, Salisbury. He was 18 years old.

1978 – 2Lt John C.I. BROWNLEE, RR attchd SchInf, was killed in a CT action.

1978 – Aux Cst John DIMINGO, PR, BSAP, was killed in a CT action.

1978 – Pte Godfrey TOMBORAYI, Demo Coy, SchInf, was killed in a CT action.

1978 – Cst Augustine Isaiah ZIMBANGO, Uniform, BSAP, was killed in a vehicle ambush near Renco Mine in the Ft Victoria area, at the age of 29. Augustine died of burns when the Hyena he was travelling in caught fire during the ambush.

1979 – Pte Stone SHADRECK, A Coy, 9th Bn, RR, died from head injuries.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †


  • October 29, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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