Today, 9 June, 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

09 Jun 1976: 70388129PE 2/Lieutenant Kevin Roy Winterbottom HC (P) from 4 Squadron. Immediately after take-off from Air Force base Waterkloof in his Atlas MB326KM Impala Mk II, Serial No. 1022, the aircraft suffered a bird strike that resulted in catastrophic engine failure. The Pilot was immediately faced with the situation that the runway was beyond gliding distance, there was a busy road ahead of him and the aircraft was losing height rapidly. At that stage he could have ejected safely but chose to remain with the aircraft and turn to the left and away from the road, a manoeuvre which set him up on a heading directly for the built-up area of Monument Park. Realising this and although extremely low, he persisted with his left turn in a final effort to avoid damage to property and injury or death to persons on the ground. The aircraft was by this time so low as to exclude the possibility of ejection and it hit the ground just as it cleared the built-up area, disintegrating on impact and killing him instantly.

There can be no doubt that he sacrificed his own life in his courageous effort to ensure that the crippled aircraft would cause no harm to persons or damage to property on the ground. This display of personal bravery by putting the interests of others above his own at the cost of his own life, not only distinguished this deceased young officer, but made him a worthy recipient of the Honoris Crux. He was 21.

RHODESIAN BUSH WAR

1975 – Acting Sergeant Peter Albertus O'REILLY, General Services Corps, Rhodesian Army Service Corps, killed on active service. He died in Wankie Colliery Hospital of multiple injuries sustained in a vehicle accident, aged 23 years. Buried in the Athlone Cemetery, Bulawayo.

1976 – Trooper Alexious Tamirepi MAPANYURE, Selous Scouts, KIA. Died aged 34 from gunshot wounds in a contact, Mt Darwin, Op Hurricane.

1977 – Guard V. DZINGAI, Protected Village Protection Group, KIA. Killed in a CT action.

1977 – Trooper Carl MEYER, Squadron, Grey Scouts, KIA. Killed in a vehicle ambush whilst on guard duties with transport resupply from the base camp at Nyala, in the Ghona-re-Zhou National Park, to Rutenga, Op Repulse.

† Their names and sacrifices have not been forgotten †

 

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  • June 09, 2017
  • Piet Fourie
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