Today, 4 November, 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

04 Nov 1975: 73436537BA Private Kevin Edward Laidlaw from 15 Squadron SAAF was asleep on his bed in his tent at Rundu when a fellow Private came into the tent on returning from guard duty and threw his UZI sub-machine gun onto the adjacent bed. As the weapon hit the bed, a shot went off and the bullet struck Kevin in the head, killing him instantly. He was 18.

04 Nov 1980: 68394394BG Lieutenant (Doctor) Peter William Geddes from the Medical Training Centre was Killed in Action while attached to 53 Battalion at Okotopi. A group of medical Doctors arrived at Grootfontein in the late afternoon to commence with their 3-month Operational Duty Tour. They were posted out to their relevant Units and had to reach their destinations before dusk as they were travelling in the back of unescorted Bedford vehicles. The Bedford vehicle in which Lieutenant Geddes was travelling, drove into a SWAPO/PLAN ambush before reaching destination and he was killed in the subsequent fire-fight. He was 28.

04 Nov 1981: 74503004BG Corporal Johan Louis Potgieter from 1 SAI, attached to 61 Mech was Killed in Action during Ops Daisy while carrying out an act of heroism about 2km's south of Bravo Battalion's HQ in the Chitequeta district in South-eastern Angola. A small group of FAPLA/SWAPO snipers had pinned down a Ratel platoon for at least 10 to15 minutes, killing two UNITA soldiers traveling with them and wounded three more. Corporal Potgieter selflessly saved the wounded Rifleman Boorsma by diving onto him in the face of heavy enemy automatic rifle and mortar fire and while protecting the wounded man with his own body, he was able to indicate to his Lieutenant where the SWAPO/PLAN and FAPLA snipers were firing from thereby enabling own forces were able to successfully neutralise the enemy position thus saving many more lives. He was unfortunately shot and killed by an enemy sniper fire during this process. He was 23.

04 Nov 1981: Rifleman A. Dala from 201 Battalion SWATF was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces in Ops Daisy. He was 22.

04 Nov 1981: 74556416PE Lieutenant Gerrit van Zyl from 61 Mech was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces during Ops Daisy. He was 23.

04 Nov 1982: 78247814BG Rifleman Lionel Gerald Brown from 3 SAI was killed in a private motorcycle accident in Port Elizabeth while on pass after he rode into the railings on a bridge at high speed. He was 20.

04 Nov 1991: 89251813BG Gunner Grant Mann from 14 Artillery Regiment was accidentally killed while at 10 Artillery Brigade when the split rim of a Samil 100 Gun Tractor wheel became dislodged and exploded into his face while he was busy preparing vehicles for training. He was 21. Gunner Cameron Guy Milton was also critically injured in the same incident but he survived.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1977 – L/Cpl Nicholas John COOM, 6th Bn, RR, died on active service.

1978 – Aux Cst Abraham MOYO, BSAP, died an accidental death by electrocution, aged 21 years.

1979 – DC Mike J. SHALOVSKY MSM (Post), regular Intaf, died in a vehicle accident near Mudzi, while driving a Puma which hit another Puma in the dark - the second Puma had been damaged in a previous landmine explosion. Op Hurricane.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • November 04, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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