About Me

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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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Saturday, July 5, 2008

THE CHIMURENGA CONTINUES the old and the new assault on white farmers

Mugabe's mission to eradicate Zimbabwe of white farmers known to the racist Mugabe thugs as mlungu,mabunu or boers has not changed from the days of the bush war.

Mike Campbell aged 75 and his wife Angela were were abducted by a gang of Zanu-PF supporters and savagely beaten and tortured by the Zanu thugs for several hours
Mike is the lead plaintiff out of a group of 77 farmers are suing Robert Mugabe at the regional Southern African Development Community tribunal in the Namibia, seeking to have Zimbabwe's seizures of white-owned land declared illegal.
The proceedings, known as Campbell v Mugabe, are a clear challenge to Robert Mugabe.
Ben Freeth, their son in law, was also beaten with rifle butts. He has a badly swollen and totally closed eye. His feet were severely beaten. Beating people on the soles of their feet is a form of torture that is widespread in Zimbabwe and is known as “falanga”. Falanga can leave a victim permanently unable to walk normally.

"It just makes me want to go more," he said defiantly in his hospital bed in Harare, where he is being treated for concussion, a broken collarbone, and broken fingers.
"I know that our case is a thorn in the government's flesh. It's an embarrassment to the president. Anything that's an embarrassment to the president pleases me greatly.
"What option have we got? We can choose two ways of handling it, either run away or you stick it out. I think we have got to the stage where we are very close to the turning point on the sticking it out bit."
Campbell, arrived in Zimbabwe 34 years ago from South Africa, where an ancestor of his, a captain in the Dutch East Indies Company settled in 1713, described the country's decline as "such a tragedy".
"Mugabe has used his position to remain in power in a racialist way," he said. "Mugabe keeps on playing this race card, he knows it's a good one. He wasn't like that at the beginning. There are some good guys in Zanu-PF but they have been horribly misled.
"He has turned the whole thing around and turned them into a bunch of thugs."
Mr Campbell has no memory of the assault, but Mr Freeth, 38, described how when the three were dumped tied up on the ground at a militia camp, there were "probably 50 or 60 people all singing Chimurenga songs and kicking us", referring to the war against Ian Smith's regime.
Over and over again, they were told they would be killed. "They seemed to be pretty serious about it," he said. "I was thinking, 'well if they are going to kill me then we all have to die at some stage. I know where I'm going, I'm a child of God and Jesus by His blood has saved me, so I will be with Him today'. So I wasn't actually fearful, the fear was taken out of me, amazingly.
"We just carried on praying though this whole thing. When they didn't kill me in some ways it was quite a relief, I have got three young children and a wife to look after."
Nonetheless he has a seriously injured eye, bruising, and a large bandage around his head is testament to the severe concussion he suffered.
As they were driven away from the camp, the gang demanded that Mr Campbell sign a declaration he was abandoning the SADC tribunal case, he added. "His fingers were broken so he couldn't do anything so they got my mother-in-law to sign a thing withdrawing the case," he said.
"They said if she did it then they wouldn't kill us, so under extreme duress she signed it."
But he too will continue with the case. "We're obviously concerned about what's happened but we feel it's important to try and bring law and order back into Zimbabwe," he said.
"As Zimbabweans all we want to do is be able to live in peace, it doesn't matter who we are, whether white farmers, black farmers, people in town, we all just want to be able to live in peace. What's happening at the moment is not peaceful."The motivation for the attack is tied to the farmers’ engagement in a SADC tribunal challenging the Zanu PF regime’s efforts to compulsorily take their farms.
Mike and Ben are the architects and at the forefront of the SADC Tribunal litigation. Fourteen farmers in the Kadoma/Chegutu farming community spearheaded the joinder applications with the Campbell Mount Carmel case in SADC.
They were viciously beaten and tortured until they agreed, under extreme duress, to sign a formal withdrawal of the Campbell Case from the SADC Tribunal.
The case is due to be heard in Windhoek from 16th July onwards.
We are so grateful the Campbells are alive and have been found. It must be kept in mind that thousands of Zimbabweans have been abducted and their whereabouts and their safety is still unknown

Once again the rest of the world stand as casual onlookers -no one has the balls to take Mugabe on?

Clearly Britain the EU and the United States are toothless giants, Mugabe has them bent over on their knees.(in submission?)

Friday, July 4, 2008


I have been inundated with e-mails requesting copies of Choppertech when it gets published.
The book is nearly completed now and I am just checking on a few dates and incidents to ensure the information is as correct as I can get it to be after all these years.
I am presently in Spain on a firefighting contract with Abu Dhabi Aviation and on my return to South Africa in early November 2008, will begin negotiations with different publishers.
I have heard bad stories from fellow Rhodesians on their attempts to get their books published and experiences of publishers taking advantage of them, so in the end I will have to be cautious in my dealings.
I hope to have the book edited by the end of December 2008 and published early in 2009.
For any further enquiries or if you require a signed copy please e mail me in good time.
Beaver Shaw


Pilots playing cards and waiting for a call -out. Extreme left Luigi Mantovani Seven Sqn pilot

Fireforce Bikita

Peter Platt Beaver Shaw and Keith (Pop's) Rayne Bikita in very Guti weather, we were picked up later that evening by my father who was an AHI with the Vetenarary department taken to his Government rest camp in Bikita village for dinner and a few chibulies (beers). Our pilots declined Dad's offer for supper and went to the Police club to attend a party being held by the Member in Charge BSAP. That night we were attacked by a groupof terrorists from the surrounding hills. This story is recorded in Choppertech together with the fireforce actions the following day.

Pete Platt was killed in a motorcycle accident towards the end of the war and Pops Rayne is retired and living on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Brown Job in the Rain

Brown Job In The Rain lyrics

Brown job in the rain
Tra la la la la
There's a brown job in the rain
Tra la la la la la la
Brown job in the rain
Tra la la la la
He looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum
Show me your motion
Tra la la la la
Come on show me your motion
Tra la la la la la la
Show me your motion
Tra la la la la
He looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum
All had water run dry
Got no way to wash my cloths
All had water run dry
Got no way to wash my cloths
I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and Johnny-cakes
I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and Johnny-cakes
Beng-a-leng .bang bang
Beng-a-leng ,bang bang
Brown job in the rain...
We had fried fish and Johnny-cakes
All had water run dry
Got no way to wash my cloths
All had water run dry
Got no way to wash my cloths
Brown job in the rain
Tra la la la la
There's a brown job in the rain
Tra la la la la la la
Brown job in the rain
Tra la la la la
He looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum

This is a song we adapted from Boney M "Brown girl in the ring" -we were based with Major Don Price in Beitbridge when one of his call-signs out on a relay station experienced a severe storm and pleaded for assistance as they were being overwhelmed by a delue of rain, hail, lightning and wind. All we could do was to play this tune to them with everyone singing at the tops of thier voices.


I see the bad K Car arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin.
I see bad times for gooks today.

Gandangas dont go around tonight,
Well, its bound to take your life,
Theres a bad K Car on the rise.

I hear Big Bad Beavers airborne.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

All right!

Hope you got your things together.
Gooks I hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like youre in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

This is a song I used to enjoy and would often hum the tune to myself when flying on operations in Rhodesia.
The lyrics of the song were adapted by us from Bad Moon Arising by Creedence Cleawater Revival
There is another K Car adaption -from Relient K Car as follows:-
Is it just a gunship or is it so much more? It's a superstar with the Jet A1 to the wall. Zero to ninety in remarkable time. Its the helicopter that's top of the line. We got a k car on the road of life. We're gonna get far if the driver's Christ. Is it just a k car or is it so much more? It's a superstar with the Jet A1 to the wall. In a pylon race all the others fall and Mugabe just gave us a call.

Henry Jarvie and Flame Fleming KIA

Phil Tubbs rt

Henry Jarvie was a huge influence on our lives on Seven Squadron, he had a sense of humour second to none and when mixed up with his best friend Phil Tubbs the shit really hit the fan with the antics those two got up to. No one was exempt from thier tricks to the extent that the Squadron Warrant officer would send them to different FAF's in order to keep the peace from irate Camp Commandants.
These two guys were legends on fireforce and in the Air Force.
I would be grateful for any amusing stories about this duo to add to the book.

Henry and Flame Fleming both Choppertechs were killed in the same action just outside Mtoko on the 2/1/1978 with Henry crewed with Norman Maasdorp in G CarR5701 and Flame with Chas Goatley in K Car R5177 which I had handed over to him the previous day.
This action is in my book Choppertech.
I would be grateful if anyone who was there could e mail me any additional information on the air action and subsequent events.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Rob Nelson was killed in action

on May 17 -1977 in Gokwe flying with Roger Watt -the story of my best friend Rob's death is recorded in my book Choppertech- Rob's brother Kevin was also killed in action on an extenal operation into Mocambique. This page is dedicated to thier memory. Rest in Peace my friends.

I would be grateful if anyone could e mail me a photograph of Kevin Nelson


Here is an excellent picture of the lads on a Mountain Flying course kindly submitted to me by Nick Goodman

L/R Willem (Windows)Joubert Nick Goodman and Dave (Killer )Curwen
I will attempt to post pictures of the lads on a regular basis, for those ex Seven Squadron people please e mail me pictures if you can and I will post on the blog.
I am also looking for photographs to add to my private collection and will not post if you don't want them shown.
my e mail address is in my profile.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Landmine Incident

We were minding our own business and heading for our Airfield FAF 8 when the radio suddenly burst into life and the local relay station Oscar Alpha 3 came onto the net relaying a call from a Bailiff (Police) call sign Bluebell 33 alpha who had just struck a boosted landmine in his Crocodile (a mine protected Isuzu) near Birchenough Bridge which was about thirty nautical miles to the East of the present track of our G Car. Nigel my pilot listened to the chatter for a while and put the G Car into a climb to get better communications with both Oscar Alpha 3 and Bluebell 33 alpha.
After a while we heard Bluebell 33 alpha calling us, the signal was about strength three and fairly distorted by static but we could make out what he was saying. The vehicle had been moving a number of civilians to a Keep in the area and had struck a boosted landmine on the road, they needed assistance fast as there were injured, dying and dead people spread all over the area as the vehicle had rolled after hitting the mine spilling its occupants into the surrounding bush.
Nigel did a quick fuel calculation and decided to set course directly to the incident area asking Oscar Alpha 3 to relay his intentions to FAF 8. After we set a heading Nigel remained in contact with Bluebell 33 alpha getting his loc stat and attempting to find out how many casualties we had to deal with. At this time we were flying at low level with the Mopani trees below making a swishing noise as we swept overhead, it felt as if I could touch the foliage with my feet if I wished to do so.
As we approached Bluebell 33 alpha’s loc stat Nigel climbed into a high orbit above the scene so that we could clear the area of any lurking terrorists and to assess the situation. As we looked down we could see the smoking wreckage of the Crocodile lying on its side alongside a gravel murram road with both its front wheels blown off. There was some movement around the vehicle with bodies lying strewn everywhere; it looked like a real mess.
After clearing the surrounding area and making sure we were not being set up for an attack Nigel positioned the G Car to land to the west of the wrecked crocodile. We put down in a fairly clear LZ without difficulty and Nigel shut down the G Car while I jumped out unclipping my monkey-belt and pulling out our two stretchers. I ran over to a policeman who seemed to be running the show and it was obvious that he was severely shocked from the blast, there was blood coming out of his ears and I had to shout to him in order for him to understand me. I looked around me and saw people lying in all sorts of positions, some groaning with broken limbs, others obviously dead and mutilated by the force of the explosion. Fuck... fuck... what a fucking mess... I was not even trained in first aid but it was obvious that I would have to do something. By this time Nigel had shut the G Car down and had joined me, there was no time to waste we assessed who was the most seriously injured and began to apply bandages, put in a drip here and there and stem some horrific injuries. One old man was lying on his stomach and I could clearly see that his backbone had been severed; he was still alive and screaming in agony. There was no medic... shit man... I pulled out a phial of Sosegon and injected it into his neck... how the fuck am I going to move him. Nigel and I pulled out a poncho and rolled him onto it, he was screaming like a banshee in his agony. We gently set him on to a stretcher but not gentle enough, he was wailing and writhing in pain and there was nothing much I could do other than try and gently load him onto the floor of the G Car.
We moved on to other casualties, it was horrific, some had severe head injuries, an old woman it seemed had brain matter coming out of her ear and she was grinding her teeth with wildly masticating jaws, her eyes open in the horror of it all.
The policeman was in such shock his whole body seemed to convulse, his uniform was tattered and covered in dust and coagulated blood. He was of no use to us but two constables were great and set about rendering assistance where they could. We managed to get two lying stretcher cases into the G Car and three walking wounded those with shattered limbs, one man with his shin bone sticking out another with his right hand almost severed and wrapped in strips of blanket.
We left all the water we had with the constables and got airborne for the nearest Mission station where we dropped off the wounded and set course back to the incident scene. We managed to do three trips before having to refuel at the local Police station where we uplifted a doctor to the scene.
The day seemed to roll on in blood and pain, it was mind blowing and horrible, but we just had to keep flying and dropping off the dead and wounded. The last trip we landed and uplifted the Policeman and his Constables leaving trackers and a stick of troops at the mine scene and set off for FAF 8 as the sun set.
What a fucking day................


Anticipation, the need to piss followed by the hollow feeling of a knotted stomach, my throat burns as it tries to lubricate my dry mouth. Dear God not today, look at the tracer hosing into the sky, streaking red and green dots which look like angry bees as they pass by. No time for fear as adrenalin kicks in.
The helicopter approaches the landing zone at an alarming rate blowing dust and debris in all directions its main rotor blades clipping the surrounding vegetation takka takka takka, green leaves and twigs spinning wildly away from the threshing blades as the G Car bounces on to the rough Rhodesian terrain disgorging a stick of troops. Suddenly there is the chatter of small arms fire as a group of terrorists fire everything they have at the helicopter, red tracer hoses into its airframe with a clatter as the rounds strike the airframe, chunks of Perspex fly into the surrounding bush as the helicopter shudders from the impact of the red hot tracer rounds. I can hear the pilot screaming on the intercom that we are taking fire.
Everything slows down to slow- motion, the troopers who have just been deployed begin firing back at the unseen enemy. The air is thick with gunfire, in the background the chatter of K Car’s 20 mm cannon and the roar of the Lynx ground attack aircraft as it swoops overhead. I see it release its bomb canister containing Frantan explosive, the fran tumbles slowly towards the thick bush to my east, “whooomp”, it strikes the ground in a brilliant red and yellow explosion with flames exploding into the surrounding bush as the napalm strikes its target, then thick oily black smoke emits from the strike area with screams from the flames as the terrorists in the target area are engulfed with the sticky flaming gel.
Our shattered G Car attempts to pull out of the contact area as as we go through transition we are surrounded by the sights and sounds of battle. To our west a Dakota runs in disgorging its paratroopers who leap into the abyss their chutes opening with a sickening jerk as the static chord is pulled away. Then silence followed by a thump as they strike the ground and roll into the grass. There is gunfire ahead and they need to get out of the harness as quickly as possible and join up into a sweep pattern.
The K Car commander is talking excitedly yet with a controlled tone as he guides his troops into the contact area, maps are shown to mark positions as the chess game of battle commences. There is no time for fear now, switch on and move slowly ahead, shape, shine ,shadow and silhouette, watch your front, snap shoot double tap the rifle-don’t take a chance. There’s a body laying ahead its guts and entrails glistening in the sun, rifle lying broken nearby, no time to stop, move on man....up that Gomo (rocky-hill)and then on some more...
The air is thick with the smell of, Napalm, smoke and the smell of burnt flesh and cordite. We are surrounded by the sounds of war, the whine of the helicopter as the G Car whizzes over the trees at low level, the chatter of the K Car rotor blades as it circles ahead spitting deadly fire which sounds like thunder as the rounds strike the earth splattering deadly shrapnel in all directions.
Suddenly the bushveld erupts as a white phosphorous grenade spreads its beautiful but deadly white tendrils of flaming magnesium in a wide arc, an anxious voice reports that someone has been hit in one of the sticks and needs a casevac. Red smoke id popped and our G Car heads back into the valley of death. We land once again in a cloud of dust and debris, back into the chatter of gunfire and streaking tracer a world of radio, smoke, confusion and gunfire, intense gunfire, but there’s no time to reflect just unclip the monkey belt grab the stretcher and run to the wounded and dying, this time it’s a trooper headshot, his brains mixed with blood and saline, his body jerking in spasms as it struggles to maintain life, everything a blur as the vital signs shut down. Where is that fucking drip, sosegon for fucks sake where’s the morphine. The trooper makes a rattle in his throat as he dies in the hot, humid, dusty contact area. Leave the dead and care for the living another trooper is lying on his back his arm and eye smashed by an AK burst, there is blood and gore everywhere. A quick field dressing water poured over the bloody gore of his wounds from a water bottle handed over hurriedly. He is dragged through the bush and thrown onto the back of the screaming helicopter and once again dust and smoke as we pull everything we have as we head for the nearest hospital.
The trooper is screaming in pain, gobs of bright red blood and foam spitting from his tortured lips. Hold on... man we will make it, take the pain, and take it man, you’re ok. Blood and gore blow in the wind and settle on the Perspex windshield like a fine spray matting everything. There is a smell of shit, vomit and fear mixed with Jet fuel.
The helicopter decelerates, its rotors sound like thunder, scything everything in its path....I try to run away but my legs won’t move... Fuck this try....they won’t move..... I wake up sweating.... it was just a dream... like yesterday... and the day before..... When will it stop....then...Just the accusing silence of the dead?