SAAF hosts memorial service for fallen heroes


The South African Air Force (SAAF) in partnership with the South African Air Force Association (SAAFA) hosted a memorial service on 20 May at the Bays Hill Memorial site in Swartkop.

The memorial service was hosted in order to commemorate the fallen heroes of the SA Air Force, reports Sergeant Tshimolloyabotshelo Matsha, Ad Astra magazine journalist. “The purpose of the memorial was to strengthen the bond between the deceased families and the SA Air Force. We remember their efforts and the might they had while they served in the SA Air Force,” said the Chief of Air Force, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo.

Chaplain Thibedi Ndala of SA Air Force Headquarters led the memorial service. “These soldiers who have perished in the line of duty will forever be remembered by the SA Air Force. They have fought a fight of survival no one has fought before,” said Ndala.

The SA Air Force choir graced the audience with songs while the wreaths were being laid. The following members laid wreaths:
• Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo – Chief of the South African Air Force;
• Colonel (ret) Mike Louw – The National President Of the South African Air Force Association;
• Family members of the Late Major Ntokozo Ntshangase and Sergeant Vusimuzi Mabena;
• Commander Chu Woo Park – Defence Attache Of The Republic Of Korea On Behalf Of The Korean People;
• Lieutenant Colonel Anton le Roux – The South African Military Intelligence Association;
• Wing Commander Harrison – Area Vice President Of The Royal Air Force Association, Gauteng;
• Mr Martin Urry – Chairman Of The Warsaw Flights Commemoration Committee and Chairman Of The Alpine 44 Group;
• Mrs Debra de Billot – National Secretary Of The South African Legion Of Military Veterans, On Behalf Of The South African Legion Of Military Veterans;
• Dr Charl Schmahl – Representative of SAMVOZA;
• Mr Maloba – On Behalf Of Old Mutual
• Colonel Palazzi – Defence Attaché Of Italy
• Lieutenant Colonel Omur Tshelik – Representative Of Turkish Armed Forces and
• Members Of The Spousal Forum.

Colonel (ret) Mike Louw, the National President of the South African Air Force Association, mentioned that, “Such memorabilia of our fallen heroes makes us and the new fresh ones in the organisation aware of the sacrifices that they have encountered. It really does not matter how they lost their lives, what matters is that they served for the love of their country.”