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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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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MUGABE ATROCITIES




These images are of an MDC supporter who was firebombed by Zimbabwean security forces when he took shelter from them in Zaka Zimbabwe.
Mugabe will never change and gives me faith that I did not fight for a lost cause. Ian Smith foresaw this. The absolute brutality will continue while the free world will continue to let atrocities like this continue like a lame duck. Nothing has really changed.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

FIREFORCE PROCEDURE

RLI trooper (MAG Gunner) photographer unknown, possibly Grand Reef circa 1978

TYPICAL RHODESIAN FIRE FORCE PROCEDURES

One hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the most skilful.
Subduing the other’s military without battle is the most skilful.
The Art of War…
Denma Translation

Fire force was an operational response to a terrorist sighting or incident in an operational area and was composed of a first wave of 32 troopers carried to a scene by three Alouette 3 helicopters and a Paradak (DC3) with a command gunship (K Car) armed with a 20 mm cannon and a crew of 3 which consisted of the Army commander (Sunray) pilot and Technician/gunner. The three troop carrying helicopters were known as G Cars and carried four troopers along with the pilot and technician/gunner.

The stick of four troopers was known as a stop or stop group. Stop 1 being in the lead G Car and the others following.
Each Stop consisted of four troopers one commander , with an A63 VHF Radio, a FN rifle with 100 rounds of .762 NATO ammunition, smoke and fragmentation grenades and basic medical aid kit, the troops would also carry a sleeping bag and basic ration pack food in case of having to remain at the contact scene overnight.

One member of the stop was a machine gunner armed with an FN MAG machine gun and carried 400 rounds. The remaining two were riflemen and carried an FN with 100 rounds, grenades, etc. (By 1972 one of these riflemen was also issued with a radio)
The Paradak carried five stops.

Once on the scene these eight stops would be known as the first wave and had a huge area to cover. There were normally three fire forces operating within Rhodesia at one time.

RHODESIAN INFANTRY

Picture from Soldier of Fortune magazine during the war.

ROLES OF INFANTRY BATTALIONS
The various Infantry Battalions of the Regular and Territorial Army are to train for and be prepared to take part in the following types of operations:-
Military assistance to civil power.
Internal Security operations, Urban and Rural.
Counter Insurgency operations (COINOPS)
Classical Warfare operations.
1 RLI
The unit’s tasks in classical warfare are:-
To operate in small, self contained patrols in any terrain by road or on foot for sustained periods by day and by night
The execution of rapid strikes against enemy targets in any type of country.
To undertake deep penetration patrols in enemy dominated areas.
To undertake long range reconnaissance tasks.
To operate from all types of land or water vehicles, helicopters and other troop carrying aircraft
The collection of specialized military intelligence.
The execution of demolition tasks
To operate in the normal infantry role if circumstances dictate.
1 Special Air Service Unit
1 SAS is to train for, and be prepared for, to take part in any of the operations and tasks mentioned in 1 RLI
Military assistance of civil power
Internal security operations
Counter Insurgency Operations
Classical warfare Operations
This unit must have the following capabilities:
Ability to cut off terrorists operating in the country from bases outside the country.
Small patrols capable of operating for long periods in any type of country.
Ability to cross any type of country or water.
Water patrols of rivers/Lakes.
Selous Scouts
The Selous Scouts are to be trained for and be prepared to take part in any of the above. In addition they are to provide Tracker Combat teams for units of the Security Forces in order to:
Follow up tracks
Undertake reconnaissance tasks.

Grey’s Scouts
The role of the Grey’s are:-
Long range patrolling and reconnaissance of rural areas.
Tracking and follow up on horseback
Deep penetration in support of Armoured cars.
To be prepared to act as dismounted Infantry.
Independent Companies
The role of the Independent companies are the same as for Infantry battalions

RHODESIAN HELICOPTER LOSSES DURING BUSH WAR


ALOUETTE LOSSES FROM 1970-1980


1/7/70 R5117 Cat 5 New Sarum Sqn Ldr Nettleton and Flt Lt Hill (both killed)
12/10/70 R7506 Cat 2 Rushinga ops Air Lt Cook and Sgt Smithdorff
4/11/70 R5074 Cat 2 Charara Camp Air Lt Roberts, Flt Lt Wrigley, W/O Tapping
17/1/72 R5077 Cat 5 Gwelo Air Lt Munton Jackson Flt Sgt Garden (both killed)
15/2/73 R7500 Cat 5 Rushinga Air Lt Smart and Sgt Smithdorff (both killed)
19/11/73 R5087 Cat 5 Mt Darwin Sqn Ldr Wilkinson and Flt Sgt Woods and Pax
18/7/76 R5076 Tech hit ground fire Flt Lt Borlace and Sgt P Graham (Pat Graham killed)
25/7/76 R7506 Cat 5 Rutenga Flt Lt Borlace and Sgt Graydon
1/9/76 R7524 Tech hit by ground fire Boli Flt Lt Harvey and Sgt Belstead (Beef Belstead killed)
19/10/76 R5723 Cat 4 Tail rotor failure Fort Victoria Flt Lt Borlace and Sgt Davel
22/12/76 R7524 Cat 5 Malapati Flt Lt Cook and Sgt Bellringer (Bellringer WIA)
17/3/77 R5172 Cat 5 Mrewa wire strike Flt Lt Mulligan and Cpl B Fletcher (both seriously injured)
18/05/77 R5725 Cat 5 Shot down while trooping Flt Lt Watt and SAC RAG Nelson (Rob killed)
Rob Nelson killed by jumping out of burning helicopter.
23/8/77 R5713 Cat 4 Ground fire damage E of Grand Reef Flt Lt Oborne and Sgt Robinson
10/10/77 R5176 Cat 5 Engine failure Air Lt Peacocke and SAC Watt
12/1/78 R5747 Ground fire Mtoko Flt Lt Maasdorp and Flt Sgt Jarvie (Henry Jarvie killed)
12/1/78 R5701 Ground fire Mtoko Air Lt Goatley and Flt Sgt Fleming (Flame Fleming killed)
28/7/78 R5177 Cat 5 Hit by RPG7 Chioco Flt Lt Du Toidt and Sgt K Nelson (both killed)
22/8/78 R5773 (SAAF 106) Cat 4 Bindura area Flt Lt Oborne and Cpl Brian Booth
20/10/78 R5731 Cat 5 Hit by AAA Zambia Air Sub Lt Dawson and Sgt R Oelofse
4/1/79 R5170 (The sting) Cat 5 Mid air in contact area Flt Lt K Fynn and Cpl B Cutmore (both killed)
4/1/79 R5701 Cat 5 as above Flt Lt R Bolton and Cpl Tony Turner Turner (killed)
26/9/79 R5705 Cat 5 Hit power lines Lake Alexander Flt Lt P Bate Sgt GR Carter with Major B Snelgar (all killed)
19/10/79 R5723 Cat 2 hit by ground fire Air SUB Lt Middleton and Sgt J Dent
25/12/79 R5876 (SAAF 36) Cat 5 Mount Darwin Drunk while flying Flt Lt A Senekal (killed)

BELL 205 LOSSES
10/2/79 R6807 Cat 5 Melsetter area Air Lt B Cocroft and SAC Kieron Meakin (Tail rotor failure while trooping)
3/9/79 R6098 Cat5 Mocambique Flt Lt D Paxton and SAC A Wesson (Alex Wesson killed)killed) Shot down by RPG 7 Rocket. (External operation).
11/12/79 R6805 Cat 4 Flt Lt Skinner Tail rotor failure
17/1/80 R6084 Cat 4 Flt Lt Vernon (Heavy landing while trooping)

ACCIDENT CATEGORIES

Category 1 Damage sustained is repairable on site by first line servicing crew
Category 2 Damage sustained is repairable on site by second line servicing crew
Category 3 Damage sustained is repairable but is beyond unit technical resources. Assistance from a repair and salvage unit or civilian contractors is required.
Category 4 Damage is not repairable on site and the aircraft must be removed to an established repair depot or civilian repair organization
Category 5 Damage is beyond repair or the aircraft is missing

SURVIVAL JERKINS INFO


STANDARD SCALE OF EQUIPMENT TO BE CARRIED BY ALL HELICOPTER CREWS IN SURVIVAL JERKINS

Copy of a circular sent to Seven Squadron members circa 1978.

It is proposed that the existing survival jerkins be scrapped and replaced by a stronger canvas version more in the form of webbing. The replacement version will do away with buttons and Velcro and instead pouches will be secured with metal studs. The front will be secured with metal rings thus ensuring that the jerkin will not open of its own accord so would be the case of Velcro.

Provision for two water bottle pouches will be made. A pistol holster will not be incorporated in the replacement jerkin and instead it is to be mandatory for helicopter crews to be issued with pistol holsters and belts. It will then be mandatory for pistols to be worn at all times in the bush. This situation will assist in improving base security.

Regrettably it is impossible to issue all pilots and techs with the full standard requirement of kit to be carried in the jerkins. The aim is for all helicopter pilots to be fully equipped and for techs to get together as much of the kit as possible. Obviously a downed crew will stick together if possible so that for rescue purposes, it will be known what the standard survival equipment that crew has in its possession.
As regards 7 Sqn aircraft, the standard aircraft packs to be removed and the crews of these aircraft are only to carry the standardized survival jerkin. 8 Sqn. Aircraft are more likely to be involved in long range external operations and as a result these aircraft will continue to be equipped with aircraft survival packs.
Listed below is the standardized scale of kit to be carried in survival jerkins. Until such time as the replacement jerkins are in hand it will be necessary to continue in the best possible way with the existing item.

ITEM QTY
RT60B 1
Mini Flares 1pack up
Nite Flying torch 1
Day Nite distress flare* 1
Heliograph* 1
Marching compass* 1
Knife clasp* 1
Label code emergency* 1
Dayglo Panel 32cmx32cm* 1
Personal first Aid Kit 1
Boxes matches* 2
Tablets water purifying 1 bottle
Water bottles 2
FN Magazines 2

NOTE: - The items asterisked are issued together in a sealed plastic pack up on a personal loan basis and it will be an offence to make use of these items unless for obvious emergency

RHODAF BASES AND STRENGTH 1980


RHODESIAN AIR FORCE BASES
Main Operating Bases
New Sarum –Salisbury
Thornhill –Gwelo
Forward Air Fields (FAF)
FAF 1 Wankie
FAF 2 Kariba
FAF 3 Centenary
FAF 4 Mount Darwin
FAF 5 Mtoko
FAF 6 Chipinga
FAF 7 Buffalo Range
FAF 8 Grand Reef
FAF 9 Rutenga

Two strategic airfields were built in 1970 at Fylde and Wankie. These were completed with a control tower, aircraft shelters and blast revetment. These bases also had sophisticated underground fuel storage farms. FAF 1 was at Wankie town and not at the strategic airfield. The Air force used other airfields in the country as required.

Strength of Rhodesian Air force in 1980
Hunter FGA 9 9
Vampire FB 52 4
Vampire T11/55 3
C47 Dakota 12
BN-2A Islander 5
DC 7C 1
Cessna 421 1
AL-60B Trojan 6
F337G Lynx 17
Canberra B2 2
SF 260C Genet 16
SF 260W Genet 13
Alouette 3 26 (Excluding 16 SAAF)
Alouette 2 6
AB 205A Cheetah 8

SEVEN SQUADRON SONG


THE SEVEN SQUADRON SONG

Don’t give me a posting to “ONE”
Their Bulldust is boring and dumb
Whilst up in the air,
Every bullet they fear,
It’s” Bale Out” and home on the run

CHORUS
No! Give me good old Seven
The Squadron that’s earning its pay
Fighting the war
And settling the score,
We wear out two arseholes a day

Don’t give me a posting to
“TWO”
I’d rather do time in the loo
Their broken down ships,
Give their pilots the shits,
But they’ll never get anything new

CHORUS

Imagine a posting to “THREE”
‘Mongst old men who fly the “Gooney”
Theyr’e never on ops
As pilots they’re flops
But they sure can collect S and T

CHORUS

Don’t give me a posting to “FOUR”
‘Cos they drive a noisy old whore,
When they make a pass,
They get shot up the ass
Keep flying clubs out of the war

CHORUS

“Lookout” here’s faithful old “FIVE”
‘Neath bushes and rocks troopies dive,
Have courage there men,
AAH Shit, they’ve done it again,
They sure make it hard to survive

CHORUS

I forgot there’s a squadron called “SIX”
In op’s they don’t know the tricks,
As everyone knows,
They’re a squadron of “SCHMOES”
A cadet is all they can fix.

CHORUS

They say they’re the brains of HQ
But mister, I’ve got news for you,
They don’t give a fuck
They just pass on the buck
From you, down to me, back to you.

CHORUS

Note: The Seven Squadron motto was” Fight anywhere and everywhere”.

CHOPPERTECH


THE LYNX IN ACTION RHODESIA

FOUR SQUADRON IN ACTION




Grant Domney and Les 1 GN
GN

VAMPIRES











Some pictures of the venerable old beast. I used to carry out inspections and repairs on the Goblin engines with Glenn Evans and Hennie Terblanche in ERS with Chiefy Bill Savage otherwise known as Galoob looking down at us. Wonderful days. 1973.

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.