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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2011, 15:35 
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011, 15:19
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Hello Everyone,

I am writing a book about pilots. I have photographed and interviewed 15 WWII pilots including some famous ones like General Gunther Rall and two SAAF pilots from that time.

I have also interviewed Col. Johan Radloff and photographed and interviewed B. Gen. Dick Lord - both really nice guys who did extraordinary things during the cold war era.

I am very keen to get in touch with some Rhodesian or South African helicopter pilots who saw service in the southern African bush wars - it doesn't matter what rank. I live in Hermanus, so anyone local to me would be great (Cape Town to Bredarsdorp).

If you contact me I can give you the link to my website so you can see photos of "my" pilots and get a feel for what I'm doing.

Best regards and many thanks in advance.
John Martin Bradley


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2011, 16:37 
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Hi John

Wishing you all the best with your project!

The final manuscript for my Voices of the SAAF book is being submitted to the publisher as we speak. :P

The book contains in excess of 200 submissions from SAAF members for the period WWII, Berlin Airlift, Korea, Rhodesia, Border War to current, most of them from aircrew.

Please let us know your website. :smt023


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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2011, 17:29 
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I have received the following from viewer Christo:
Quote:
I have read the post by John Martin Bradley on chopper pilots in the Bush War(s).
The following is related to his research:

Alpha and Omega: CUITO CUANAVALE

My contribution today is a request for help!

I need to complete a picture, but cannot find a few crucial answers relating to South Africa's involvement in the War in Angola.

It is a historical fact (not widely published and also not known to many) that South Africaâ?Ts military involvement in Angola started in Cuito Cuanavale in 1967 and for all practical purposes also ended in Cuito Cuanavale in 1988. Operation Savannah was not the â?ostartâ? of direct military involvement by the SADF in Angola!

This brought me to the question of who was the first South African war casualty in Angola? The only information available is that it was a Alouette III pilot from the 1st Air Component based in Rundu, but operating from the Joint Air Support Centre at Cuito Cuanavale on a mission for the Portuguese military against UNITA. This operation was launched in April 1968 by the T-6Gâ?Ts and the Harpoons from the two newly established â?oDCâ? airfields (Destacamento de Cooperacão) build at Cago Coutinho and Cuito Cuanavale (today the Cuito Cuanavale Airport).

Until 1968, only the South African Police, who concluded a secret agreement in July 1962 with the Portuguese government in Tsumeb were allowed to liaise with the Police and Military in Angola. Formal links and cooperation between the SAP and the South West Africa Police was established in terms of this agreement concluded between the Police and the â?oPolícia Internacional de Defesa do Estado,â? PIDE.

Formal military cooperation was only established later on in a process which involved the Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Army, General Camara Pina, and the then Chief of Joint Operations of the SADF, Lt.-gen. Alan (Pop) Fraser. Also involved in these negotiations, were the South African Consul-general in Angola, Mike Malone, and his deputies, later both generals Jannie Geldenhuys and Ben de Wet Roos. Only in February 1968, Minister of Defense, P.W. Botha announced to his Portuguese counterpart, General Gomes de Araújo that South Africa would donate five Alouette III helicopters and 33 Panhards as well as 283 radio sets to the Portuguese Army in Angola. In May 1968, P.W. Botha also announced further aid to the Portuguese in the form of eight Alouette IIIâ?Ts and four Cessna aircraft, but that these aircraft were to remain at the 1st Air Component at Rundu. All South African aircraft were, however, operating in Portuguese Air Force Markings.

In June 1968 the first liaison officers from both countries were exchanged at Rundu and at Cuito Cuanavale and all South African military staff in Angola were forced to wear FAP uniforms. Very soon pilots, air crew, technicians and â?oother militaryâ? personnel were stationed permanently in Angola and in August 1968 Brig-genl. Ben de Wet Roos (then a major who just left the diplomatic Corps) was appointed the first senior liaison officer at Serpa Pinto with the Cuando Cubango province as his field of responsibility. About 80 South African pilots were deployed in Angola during the two years up to 1970 while a large number of â?ologisticalâ? army personnel also served in Angola under this agreement.

In November 1968, the Portuguese General Chief of Staff, general Venâancio Augusto Deslandes, authorized South African Police Units to conduct â?ohot pursuitâ? operation on Angolan soil.

These agreements were almost derailed in 1972 when information leaked out to a South African freelance journalist about the death of a South African pilot on Angolan soil during operations against Unita. The South African government denied this and claimed the death of this unidentified pilot in an accident inside South Africa. These news articles, its sources and the outcome, are not freely available. Historians and writers on the War in Angola and especially the operations of the SAAF are also silent about this and the initial deployment of the SADF in Angola almost six years before Ops. Savannah.

Which units were involved from 1968? Where did they come from? Exactly how many SADF members were in Angola? What operations were hey involved in with the Portuguese Army at that stage?

Surely there must be some of those veterans still alive today!

Is there anyone out there who can shed more light on this?


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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2011, 19:55 
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Until 1968, only the South African Police, who concluded a secret agreement in July 1962 with the Portuguese government in Tsumeb were allowed to liaise with the Police and Military in Angola. Formal links and cooperation between the SAP and the South West Africa Police was established in terms of this agreement concluded between the Police and the â?oPolícia Internacional de Defesa do Estado,â? PIDE.

This agreement would be only with the South African Police (SAP) As the South West African Police were taken over by a contingent of 300 SAP members on 1st June 1939 due to fears connected to the Nazi Party by the SA government and SWAPol was only reformed again 1st April 1980


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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2011, 22:56 
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Quote:
Until 1968, only the South African Police, who concluded a secret agreement in July 1962 with the Portuguese government in Tsumeb were allowed to liaise with the Police and Military in Angola.

Correct.

Going on memory .... The then SAP had several bases in the Caprivi strip along the banks of the Kavango river. Two such were Singelanwe and Chishuma (spelling?) which were both attacked in the late 1960's. Choppers for operational purposes and their crews seldom spent the night at these SAP bases and were mainly based at either Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Mpacha airstrips in the Caprivi. Those who may know which SAAF helicopter units (Alouette 111) participated must now be in their 60's and 70's age wise. Had they still been alive and willing to share their knowledge, the likes of General Hendrik van den Bergh (Lang Hendrik) and Brigadier Theuns Swanepoel (Die Rooi Rus) could provide many answers to these questions. These two police Officers were very involved in much of the fledgling Bush War of the late 1960's. Legend had it that Brig. Swanepoel (at the time a junior Officer) always took a box of hand grenades on the Alouette 111, much to the dismay of the crew, so as to have some aerial bombardment capability!

Quote:
These news articles, its sources and the outcome, are not freely available. Historians and writers on the War in Angola and especially the operations of the SAAF are also silent about this and the initial deployment of the SADF in Angola almost six years before Ops. Savannah.

Not sure whether the SADF was actually directly involved in Angola in the late 1960's. Possibly covertly.

However, the only man that could and would shed light on this was Colonel Jan Breytenbach - one of the SADF's most inspiring combat commanders and Officers. Bear in mind there was much rivalry between the SADF and the COIN (COunter INsurgency) units of the SAP in those early days of the Bush War, to the extent that Gen. vd Bergh was accused of creating a private army by the SA Army hierarchy. The two forces would not have been happy neighbours in the early days!
The books by Col. Breytenbach 'Forged in Battle' and 'They Live By The Sword' tell of the early liaison and later full co-operation, between the SADF and the Angolans in the mid 1970's, but no mention of anything pre Ops Savannah.
Scope and Huisgenoot magazines had lengthy articles at times on these early days of the Bush War and the Police members involved.
The photo journalist Al J Venter also made various contributions to publications regarding the Bush War.

_________________
My Airplane Pictures on A-P.net
http://www.airplane-pictures.net/member ... php?p=6981


Last edited by Tally-ho on 02 Aug 2011, 08:44, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 01 Aug 2011, 23:16 
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I have contact with alot of fellow ex-SAPolice members who spent time or were stationed in the Operational area during this time period. Some of them retired as Generals / Brigadiers / Colonels and worked with Rooi Rus and crew. Rooi Rus is so named as it is said he taught himself Russian in a very very short time period.

In 1968 these chaps went to France for "interogation" training
"Rooi Rus" Swanepoel; Major JJ “Blackie” de Swardt; Hans Gloy; Roelf van Rensburg and Dries Verwey

The SAP at this time had no COIN units as such, it was just Plod from the station who had done his COIN course and was on a six month Border duty, was shortened to three months later due to the strain it was putting on the home front for alot of married members. The Riot Units in these days were called Mobile Units and were not permanent Units the members only got together for operations and training days. Alot of the chaps involved in Operation Blouwildebees were from Durbans Mobile Unit, some are still around.

Maleoskop COIN training facility outside Groblersdaal opened officially in 1970 but chaps had been training there before hand and also around Pelindaba based in the Police College in Pretoria West


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2011, 09:50 
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W407594F, Tally-Ho and Dean,

Thanks for the responses. You are absolutely right. The South West Africa Police (SWAPOL) was only established in 1980 through a proclamation by the then Administrator-general.

At the time of the agreements with the Portuguese in Angola, the only Police Force in this country was the SAP. But at that stage the Commander of the Police (SAP) in South West Africa was refered to as the Commanding Officer, SWA Police. The initial discussions between the SAP and the Portuguese was led by Col. Prinsloo of the Security Branch of the SAP in 1960. You also rightly pointed out that General Hendrik van den Bergh played a key role in all these negotiations and he was also part and parcel of the 1968 South African delegation that met with the Portuguese government in Lisbon. General Van den Bergh was also (after that meeting) appointed the Special Advisor on State Security and in that capacity he operated on the same level as the Chief of Joint Operations of the SADF, General "Pop" Fraser.

It is also a fact that the SAP was involved in Angola on a very covert level from 1960 onwards. BUT permission from the Portuguese authorities to conduct "hot pursuit" on Angolan soil came only after the November 1968 announcement by General Vencio Deslandes (Chief of Staff of the Portuguese Army) to curb SWAPO infiltration from Zambia into the Cuando Cubango Province in Southern Angola. You must also remember that there was a joint Police Operation between South Africa and Portugal shortly after the attack by Maj. Swanepoel on Ongulumbashe to find the Swapo group responsible for the attacks on the Oshikango border post and the attack on the shop of a Portuguese trader and that was in 1966. Police helicopters were also used during this Ops. The SADF's involvement and more specifically the role of the SAAF during that period long before Ops. Savannah, however, remains very vague.

With your contributions and this debate, we may very well know within days who were the first SAAF contingent based at Cuito Cuanavale. Just imagine the scene: A group of Blue Jobs in Portuguese uniforms parading the dusty streets of Cuito Cuanavale when it was nothing more than an airfield base with maybe one or two buildings!!! The story of these guys must be told


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PostPosted: 02 Aug 2011, 11:49 
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The attack on On was led by Major "Rooi Roos" Swanepoel by the officer in overall command of the whole Operation was Brigadier P.J Dillon.
Eight SAAF Alouette III choppers were supplied for this operation.

Brigadier Dillon was from a farm in Van Reenens Pass area, his brother was killed in an aircraft accident during WWII at Collandale East London on 16.05.1941 in Hawker Hart # 363

2nd Lt L.P Temple-Thurston 103322 Pilot SAAF 21 † Sefton Farm Burial ground Marico South Africa
A/Sgt T.R Dillon 102529 Pax SAAF 26 † Waterfall Farm Burial plot Harrismith South Africa


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