Today, 14 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 

14 Nov 1975: 72211717BA Gunner Christo Retief from 4 Field Regiment was Killed in Action when their Temporary Base in Southern Angola was attacked by enemy forces. He was 18.

14 Nov 1975: 71205629BA Rifleman Adam Johannes Hendrikus Schonveldt from the Tactical Platoon of the SADF Horse and Dog Centre was based at M'pacha in the Eastern Caprivi Strip at the time of his death. He and his Labrador Tracker Dog Rinty were attached to a patrol from 6 SAI and were Killed in Action my enemy machine gun fire when their Patrol walked into a PLAN ambush during a night-time follow-up operation tracking fresh insurgent spoor in the Eastern Caprivi. He was 20.

14 Nov 1975: K-9 Labrador Tracker Dog W991 Rinty from the SADF Horse and Dog Centre was Killed in Action in a PLAN ambush while executing his duty in the Eastern Caprivi together with his Handler 71205629BA Rifleman Adam Johannes Hendrikus Schonveldt. A Plaque was unveiled at the SADF Horse and Dog Training Centre honouring his memory.

14 Nov 1976: 68448117BT Warrant Officer Class II Michael Grahame Craul from Regiment Algoa Bay was shot dead at Ondangwa by a guard on duty. During the night, communications were lost with an Observation Post and it was suspected that the guards may have been asleep. Warrant Officer Craul and 2 others went to investigate but took the wrong route ending up at the trip wire. Apparently the guard on duty saw a person behind some bushes and challenged him twice without a reply after which he opened fire on automatic. Only then did the others identify themselves. At the subsequent enquiry it was found that the field telephone used for communication was faulty. He was 24.

14 Nov 1978: 71387971BA 2/Lieutenant Roelof Nicolas Britz from 32 Battalion was Reported Missing after being attacked by a crocodile while swimming in the Kavango River near Buffalo. He has no known grave and remains unaccounted for. He was 23.

14 Nov 1978: 76927276SP Rifleman P.P. De Amorim from 32 Battalion was Killed in Action during a contact with enemy forces near Omutwewondjaba in Southern Angola. He was 27.

14 Nov 1978: 75270926BG Rifleman Patrick Charles Wolmarans from 4 SAI was killed when his Buffel Troop Carrier overturned in Northern Owamboland. He was 19.

14 Nov 1984: 81561078PC Corporal Paulus Gouws from the South African Cape Corps was Killed in Action when his Buffel Troop Carrier detonated a TMA-3 “Cheese” Anti-Tank Mine. When thrown out of the vehicle by the force of the explosion, his head struck the vehicle roll bar killing him instantly. He was 21.

14 Nov 1985: 81225880BG 2/Lieutenant Willem Stephanus van der Merwe from 1 Parachute Battalion died of multiple shrapnel wounds in 1 Military Hospital after an accidental mortar bomb explosion during a weapons demonstration on 22 October 1985. He was 20.

14 Nov 1987: 81559502PS Captain Andre Anthony Stapa was based at Air Force Base Ondangwa as a Station Pilot. He was subsequently Reported Missing when his Atlas MB326KM Impala Mk II, Serial No. 1024 failed to return from attacking enemy positions near Cuvelai in Southern Angola. The aircraft impacted the ground while pulling out after firing on the enemy positions and it is thought that the Pilot may have misjudged his altitude and flown into the ground. The possibility that his aircraft may have been hit or damaged by hostile ground fire was also not ruled out. He has no known grave. He was 30.

14 Nov 1987: 83481465BG Rifleman Andre Taylor Veltman from 1 Parachute Battalion was killed in a private motor vehicle accident near Fouriesburg while on a weekend pass. He was 20.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1978 – Capt James William "Jim" HARDY, Spt Coy, 1st Bn, RAR, was killed in the Mtoko area, Op Hurricane. On that morning, elements of 1RAR Fire Force were deployed by helicopter from Mtoko, guided by a PRAW aircraft, to a sighting of CTs. Following a Frantan strike by a RhAF Lynx, the troops deplaned near a dry riverbed, which 40-50 well-armed CTs had been seen entering. With stop groups in place, troops cautiously conducted a sweep along the riverbed, and in doing so drew fire from CTs. Jim was shot in the head and killed. It would have been his last day with the battalion before being posted to Army HQ. As a private, Jim had first served with the 1st Bn Royal Australian Regiment, seeing service in Vietnam from March 1968 to February 1969. He then undertook officer training at the Officer Cadet School Portsea in Victoria, and upon receiving his commission, was posted to 2nd Bn Royal Australian Regiment. In the mid-1970s, Jim resigned this commission and left for Rhodesia where he enlisted with the RAR

1978 – CA Norman MAFUNGA, ADF, Intaf, was murdered by CTs.

1978 – DSA Jaison PATROL, Kp Prtn, Intaf, died on active service.

1979 – Cst Simon SIBANDA, SU, BSAP, died in an accident while on active duty, at the age of 22.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • November 14, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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