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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

DECEMBER 1979


If anyone can assist with more information on this incident I would be very gratyeful. This is Rory Halse description of events that fateful night.


This is how I remember the evening of 24 December 1979.

We all gathered in the pub as was usual and had a good few beers before dinner which as always was really good. I had brought some Coco Rico from South Africa and after dinner we decided to make a bucket of Hooligan Juice, mixing this Coco Rico with Ice move was of course Andre. As you will see from the photos he was at this stage still in a fairly merry mood. The party continued and as the evening wore on and the booze started taking effect Andre seemed to get rather quiet. He did at some stage mention that he was missing his girlfriend (I think her name was Yvonne)t. Nobody worried at that stage as we had all had a fair amount to drink. We continued with the party and all of a sudden we heard the sound of an Alouette winding up. Very surprised, I remember myself and an engineer (I think it was Whitey van Heerden SAAF) as well as a lot of other half pissed people running down to the helicopters and we found Andre in his Alo with the blades turning. I remember opening the passenger door and pulling his fuel flow back and cutting the motor. Andre was very emotional and said that he was going back to bright lights(New Serum ) He was fairly pissed and between us we managed to calm him down and got him back to the pub. He kept saying he wanted to be back in Serum for Christmas. He never wanted another drink and kept wanting to go back to the helicopter. At this stage (I am not sure who it was but I think it was a Rhodie (Philistine) Officer ,could have been Denzil White as he was also there.) decided to lock Andre in his room. This was done and we all thought that he would go and sleep it off.

AND THE PARTY CONTINUED…….The next moment we once again heard the wining of an Alo motor. Again everyone rushed down to the line but as we got there we saw the Alo lifting and moving forward. We were too late this time. It was Andre and he was alone. As he moved forward his nose wheel hooked up on the concertina barbed wire that was surrounding the helipad. He obviously felt it and pulled into a fairly high hover and tried to shake a roll of this barbed wire which had snagged on the nosewheel. It was clearly visable as he was using the landing light at the time. After about two minutes he decided to set course for Salsbury and off he went. We heard the chopper disappearing and then all of a sudden there was silence. I can remember getting into a vehicle with Denzil White and some others and driving from the camp in the general direction of where Andre had headed. There was a tar road and about two Km from the camp we smelt jet fuel. We stopped and found the wreckage of the Alo probably 40 metres on the right hand side of the road. The helicopter was trashed and Andre was still sitting in the armour plated seat. His face had been completely mangled by the armour on the left hand side of the seat and he was dead and must have died instantly on impact….


Beaver that’s all I can remember .I am sure Denzil White and any of the other guys that were there will be able to give you more details on the story…The Menu and photos are what makes me remember this of all nights.

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I welcome comments from everyone on my book Choppertech.
I am interested especially on hearing from former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants who also have thier story to tell.