South African Military 
History Society


Newsletter No. 443
January 2013

Contact: Ken Gillings 031 702 4828
Bill Brady 031 561 5542
Society's web site address:

The only talk for the December meeting was a 30 minutes Darrell Hall Memorial Lecture ('DDH') which was presented by guest speaker Colonel Steve Bekker on "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Office".

Steve started the presentation by using overhead slides to depict various aircraft models, their capabilities and otherwise. Some cartoon figures are also displayed to highlight the impressions some of the airmen had of their senior and other ranking officers. Steve emphasised that he rarely had problems when flying in the Harvards, it was always with Kudu aircraft (the flying coffin). He talked at length of engine failure, tail wing stabiliser falling off and parachute snagging which gave the poor jumper a panoramic view of dams and golf courses.

On one occasion he was made to force land on a dirt road and the left wheel got in the thick sand on the road side and careered into a thatch roof building, hence the Kudu with a thatched roof. The owners sued the SAAF for a new roof and bicycle.

Steve then told the story of the Kudu and the swastika and the Kudu and the dam busters. The former had nothing to do with the infamous Nazi emblem; it was a graphic description by a colleague of the manner in which the survivors of a Kudu accident ran to escape a Kudu crash.

Following a lively question and answer debate, including even more humour, the vote of thanks was presented by Captain Brian Hoffman who congratulated our speaker on an outstanding presentation. Those members present then met socially for snacks and refreshments.

THE SOCIETY'S NEXT MEETING: 19h00 for 19h30. Venue: Murray Theatre, Dept of Civil Engineering, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.
'DDH' refers to the Darrell Hall Memorial Lecture, named in tribute to a former National Chairman of the Society, Maj Darrell Dickon Hall.

17th January - THIRD THURSDAY
DDH - "The DUKW" by Roy Bowman.
Main - "9th Frontier War" by Steve Watt

FUTURE SOCIETY DATES: February - April 2013:

8th February
DDH -"The Raid on St. Nazaire". By Bill Brady.
Main - "Military History Travels". By Robin Smith.

14th March
DDH - "The Prince Imperial's Last Journey". By Ken Gillings.
Main - "Being a Peace Keeper in Africa". By Maj Peter Williams.

11th April
DDH - "Trench Raids on the Western Front." By Captain Brian Hoffman.
Main - "Gen Ignatius Ferreira (1844-1900) - my father." By Gerhardt Buchner.

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South African Military History Society /