Farewell to Old Soldiers - 2020

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Farewell to Old Soldiers - 2020

Jan 11, 2020, 12:16am

Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman (Guardian)

schooling at Britain’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and training with the Scottish Rifles Regiment in what was then West Germany

Jan 11, 2020, 11:57pm

Former Ivory Coast rebel leader 'Wattao' dies in New York (africanews)

Former Ivory Coast rebel leader and zone commander, Colonel Issiaka Ouattara, known under the alias Wattao, died on Sunday in New York at age 53. The former war chief was one of the major players in the politico-military crisis in the country, from 2002 to 2011...

Editado: Jan 16, 2020, 11:26pm

Christopher Tolkien has died aged 95 - see this thread on LT's Council of Elrond group.

From Wikipedia:

He entered the Royal Air Force in mid-1943 and was sent to South Africa for flight training, completing the elementary flying course at 7 Air School, Kroonstad, and the service flying course at 25 Air School, Standerton. He was commissioned into the general duties branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on 27 January 1945 as a pilot officer on probation (emergency). He was given the service number 193121. He briefly served as an RAF pilot. He transferred to the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve on 28 June 1945. His commission was confirmed and it was announced he was promoted to flying officer (war substantive) on 27 July 1945.

Jan 30, 2020, 12:09am

Last Battle of Britain flying ace Paul Farnes dies aged 101 (Guardian)

The last surviving ace who fought in the Battle of Britain has died, aged 101.

Wg Cmdr Paul Farnes was one of 3,000 Allied pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain, considered to be the first decisive battle to be fought entirely in the air. He died peacefully at his home on Tuesday morning, The Times reported. There are now just two surviving Battle of Britain pilots left.

Farnes, a Hurricane pilot, was the last surviving ace, an accolade referring to those who brought down at least five enemy planes. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, the highest honour in the air force for non-officers...

In the first month of the Battle of Britain, Farnes destroyed five enemy planes and damaged another. By the end of the war, he had destroyed six enemy aircraft, possibly destroyed another, and damaged a further six. His record led him to be presented with the medal in October 1940 and commissioned as an officer.

Farnes initially joined the RAF as a volunteer reserve in 1938, the year before the second world war broke out, but moved to Gloucestershire’s No501 Squadron in the regular RAF, with whom he fought in the Battle of France in May 1940.

Despite his achievements, Farnes recently said he had “no particular feelings” about the battle, adding that he “quite enjoyed it really”. He also dismissed claims that his fellow pilots were brave, saying: “I don’t think the average chap was brave at all. He was trained to do a job and did it well.”

Farnes went to serve in Malta, North Africa, and Iraq, and led two squadrons in the UK before retiring from the RAF in 1958...

Fev 2, 2020, 11:09pm

Mercenary 'Mad Mike' Hoare dies aged 100 (BBC)

Michael "Mad Mike" Hoare, widely considered the world's most famous mercenary, has died aged 100...

he led campaigns in the Congo in the 1960s that earned him fame at the time, and a controversial legacy years later. His career reached an embarrassing end in 1981, when he was jailed for leading a failed coup in the Seychelles...

After serving in the British Army during the Second World War and reaching the rank of major...

Fev 3, 2020, 10:25am

>5 John5918: I recognized Hoare's name right away. A number of years ago I was playing a computer wargame that had a mod which added the post WW2 conflicts in Africa and I started doing some research to prepare my own scenarios. I came across a number of books which mentioned Hoare and I actually got one of his books as well.

By the way, how do I change my text to italic? That would be handy.

Editado: Fev 4, 2020, 11:58pm

>6 jztemple:

I missed that era of Africa's mercenary-fuelled wars, as I didn't land in the continent until the mid-1970s. I lived through the 1983-2005 civil war in Sudan, and the Khartoum government definitely used mercenaries at times, including Iraqi, Libyan and Eastern European pilots, Iraqis and East Germans to train the national security organs, and white South Africans in some roles. The liberation movement possibly also used South Africans and Israelis. In more recent wars, Africa has produced copious amounts of its own home-grown mercenaries. South African mercenaries in large numbers have been active all over the world since democracy came to the country in 1994, with a whole generation of highly-trained, combat-experienced and usually highly-traumatised ex-soldiers looking for work - and the fact that a mercenary could earn in a few weeks what he could not hope to earn in a year in South Africa itself. Currently the Sahel region is producing a lot of mercenaries, fighting as far afield as Yemen, and some rebel groups which may once have had some ideological, political or other reason for rebelling have now really become just mercenaries for hire - the Lord's Resistance Army springs to mind.

To change the text to italics, use {i}your text{/ i} but replace the { and } symbols with the "less than" and "more than" symbols respectively - if I actually type those symbols they disappear. It should then look like your text.

For bold text use b instead of i, and I think u gives underlining. There are plenty of other tricks - have a look at The New How To Do Fancy Things In Your Posts Thread or Things Every Woman (and Man) Should Know About HTML and other techie questions answered.

Edited to add that Russian mercenaries (aka private military contractors) were spotted in Khartoum as recently as the beginning of last year.

Fev 3, 2020, 3:05pm

>7 John5918: Thanks for the info and the links.

Fev 5, 2020, 6:42am

Gene Reynolds: Tributes paid to Mash and Lou Grant co-creator (BBC)

Died aged 96. Served in the Navy during World War II.

Fev 5, 2020, 11:35pm

Kirk Douglas, Hollywood legend and star of Spartacus, dies aged 103 (Guardian)

He joined the United States Navy in 1941, shortly after the United States entered World War II, where he served as a communications officer in anti-submarine warfare aboard USS PC-1137. He was medically discharged in 1944 for war injuries sustained from the accidental dropping of a depth charge. (Wikipedia)

Fev 6, 2020, 12:45am

Australia launches inquiry into military veteran suicides (BBC)

Australia is to set up an independent body to investigate military veteran suicides, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced. The body, led by a permanent commissioner, will review more than 400 known cases of suicide since 2001...

Fev 8, 2020, 12:56am

Hundreds of strangers attend funeral after appeal made for RAF veteran who died with no family (Telegraph)

Hundreds of strangers turned out on Thursday to say farewell to one of Britain's most decorated war heroes after he died with no surviving family.

Bomb aimer Jim Auton, MBE, who was awarded 19 medals for his exploits in the RAF during the Second World War, died aged 95 on January 18.

He was believed to have been the last British survivor of the Warsaw Air Bridge, the perilous operation to drop supplies to fighters of the Warsaw Uprising...

Editado: Fev 9, 2020, 11:25pm

Veteran actor Orson Bean hit and killed by car in Los Angeles (Guardian)

In 1946 he joined the US Army and was stationed in Japan for a year (Wikipedia)

Fev 25, 2020, 6:17am

Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian president ousted during Arab spring, dies at 91 (Guardian)

From Wikipedia:

On 2 February 1949, he left the Military Academy and joined the Air Force Academy, gaining his commission as a pilot officer on 13 March 1950 and eventually receiving a bachelor's degree in aviation sciences.

Mubarak served as an Egyptian Air Force officer in various formations and units; he spent two years in a Spitfire fighter squadron. Some time in the 1950s, he returned to the Air Force Academy as an instructor, remaining there until early 1959. From February 1959 to June 1961, Mubarak undertook further training in the Soviet Union, attending a Soviet pilot training school in Moscow and another at Kant Air Base near Bishkek in the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic.

Mubarak undertook training on the Ilyushin Il-28 and Tupolev Tu-16 jet bombers. In 1964 he gained a place at the Frunze Military Academy in Moscow. On his return to Egypt, he served as a wing commander, then as a base commander; he commanded the Cairo West Air Base in October 1966 then briefly commanded the Beni Suef Air Base. In November 1967, Mubarak became the Air Force Academy's commander when he was credited with doubling the number of Air Force pilots and navigators during the pre-October War years. Two years later, he became Chief of Staff for the Egyptian Air Force.

In 1972, Mubarak became Commander of the Air Force and Egyptian Deputy Minister of Defense. On 6 October 1973, at the breakout of the Yom Kippur War, the Egyptian Air Force launched a surprise attack on Israeli soldiers on the east bank of the Suez Canal. Egyptian pilots hit 90% of their targets, making Mubarak a national hero. The next year he was promoted to Air Chief Marshal in recognition of service during the October War of 1973 against Israel...

Fev 25, 2020, 5:27pm

A member of the Navajo Nation, Sophie Yazzie joined the US Army Air Corp in 1942. She died February 22 at the age of 105. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/01/26/us/female-navajo-veteran...

Fev 26, 2020, 11:22pm

Nexhmije Hoxha, widow of Albania's dictator, dies aged 99 (Guardian)

From Wikipedia: In November 1941 she joined the newly founded Albanian Communist Party (ACP) and a year later was elected to the General Council of the Albanian National Liberation Movement. During the rest of World War II she fought in the 1st Division of the National Liberation Army.

Editado: Abr 3, 2020, 10:26am

Duplicate post

Mar 2, 2020, 11:19pm

Air Chief Marshal Sir David Evans, Second World War pilot and Cold War senior officer – obituary

Air Chief Marshal Sir David Evans, who has died aged 95, flew fighter ground-attack missions in the latter stages of the Second World War and held senior operational commands during the Cold War.

After flying Spitfires in the Middle East, Evans joined No 137 Squadron to fly Typhoons from an advanced airfield in Holland. In March and April 1945 he attacked railways and road transports with rockets.

Anti-aircraft fire was still intense and casualties were high. Shortly after his squadron arrived at Lüneburg he recorded in his logbook: “Bags of Panzer flak, got a railway engine and clobbered a strong point. Good show and Army very pleased”...

Editado: Mar 9, 2020, 9:47am

Freeman Dyson obituary (Guardian)

Not sure if this counts. The physicist Freeman Dyson, who has died aged 96, "in 1943 became a civilian scientist with RAF Bomber Command, which experienced hideous losses with each raid over Germany. Dyson and his colleagues suggested that the Lancaster bomber’s gun turrets slowed the plane, increased its burden and made it more vulnerable to German fighters: without the turrets, it might gain an extra 50mph and be much more manoeuvrable." This claim has been disputed (RAF Bomber Command was right to ignore Freeman Dyson’s foolish idea).

Mar 10, 2020, 12:52am

Max von Sydow, actor, died aged 90.

Von Sydow served for two years in the Swedish military with the Army Quartermaster Corps (Wikipedia).

Mar 14, 2020, 12:38am

David Ware obituary (Guardian)

At the age of 18 David was called up for national service, training as a radar operator in Cyprus...

Mar 20, 2020, 12:38am

Astronaut Al Worden, who circled the moon and once earned record for 'most isolated human being,' has died (CNN)

Before joining NASA, Worden was a test pilot, instructor and colonel in the US Air Force

Abr 2, 2020, 12:37am

Ex-soldier's death casts light on Spaniards who helped liberate Paris (Guardian)

The death from coronavirus of a 99-year-old former soldier who was the last surviving member of a company of predominantly Spanish troops who helped liberate Paris from Nazi occupation has thrown a spotlight on one of the lesser-known events in French history.

Rafael Gómez Nieto, who fought against Franco in the Spanish civil war before joining the allied war effort, died after contracting Covid-19 in a nursing home in Strasbourg...

After fighting as part of the republican forces in the civil war – and seeing action in the four-month Battle of the Ebro, considered to be the conflict’s longest and bloodiest battle – he crossed the border into France along with about 500,000 of his compatriots.

Following a brief internment he travelled to north Africa, where he joined the 9th company of the Régiment de Marche du Tchad, part of the 2nd Armoured Division, commanded by Gen Philippe Leclerc. Not for nothing was the company known by its Spanish name – La Nueve or La Española.

One hundred and forty-six of the company’s 160 men were Spanish and, despite serving in the French army and under a French commanding officer, they were permitted to stitch the red, yellow and purple flag of Spain’s second republic on to their uniforms.

They were also allowed to paint the flag on their vehicles, which rolled into Paris emblazoned with names such as Guernica and Don Quichotte (Don Quixote). Spanish was the common language within the company and all had fought during the liberation of French north Africa.

The company, led by the Spanish Lt Amado Granell, was the first to enter Paris on 24 August 1944 through the Porte d’Italie, in the south of the city. As they awaited the official surrender of the German governor of occupied Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz, La Nueve troops were sent to occupy public buildings and those taken over by the German military command, as well as Place de la Concorde.

Granell entered City Hall at about 8.40pm local time and met with the head of the national council of the French resistance. Captain, later colonel, Raymond Dronne, the commander of La Nueve, wrote in his memoirs that he fell asleep in the early hours of the morning to the sound of Spanish songs.

Allied troops led by Gen Charles de Gaulle entered Paris the following day. More than 50 members of La Nueve received the Croix de Guerre for bravery...

Abr 3, 2020, 10:24am

Dr William Frankland, allergy scientist pioneer, dies aged 108 (BBC)

As a British army doctor in World War Two, he spent three-and-a-half years in Japanese prisoner of war camps...

Editado: Abr 6, 2020, 12:37am

Lord Bath dies aged 87 after contracting coronavirus (Guardian)

he was commissioned into the Life Guards as a lieutenant in 1951 (Wikipedia)

Abr 8, 2020, 12:24am

Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read obituary (Guardian)

Metropolitan police detective who brought the Kray twins to justice...

He was called up in 1943, joining the Royal Navy, from which he was demobbed in 1946 with the rank of petty officer...

The Krays and Nipper Read were well known names to Britons of a certain generation, particularly in East London.

Editado: Abr 17, 2020, 12:06am

Flight Lieutenant Bob Barckley, Second World War flying ace – obituary (Telegraph)

Shot down over France, he escaped via Spain and later shot down 12 V-1 flying bombs, flipping one over with his wing tip...

Died on 28th March aged 99.

Brian Dennehy: All-round American actor dies at 81 (BBC)

Five years of service in the US Marines.

Editado: Abr 19, 2020, 2:17pm

Medal of Honor winner for his actions in Vietnam, Bennie G Adkins fought his last battle against coronavirus and died on April 17 at the age of 86. He wrote A Tiger Among Us: A Story of Valor in Vietnam’s A Shau Valley. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.military.com/daily-news/2020/04/19/charisma-son...

Editado: Abr 20, 2020, 6:08am

A reminder perhaps that not all those who "soldier on" during wars are officially soldiers...

Fr Frank Caffrey of the Irish Catholic Missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) has died aged 86.

He was among the brave cohort of priests and nuns expelled from Nigeria for their efforts to feed and protect people from government forces during the Nigerian-Biafran war, the civil war that was fought between the government of Africa’s most populous nation and the secessionist State of Biafra from July 1967 to January 1970...

In July 1967 Nigerian troops invaded Biafra where there was a higher concentration of Holy Ghost Fathers than anywhere else in Nigeria. Amongst them was Fr Caffrey who was then serving in Obube, a locality in Owerri North Local Government of Imo state.

The outbreak of violence interrupted the usual work of the local people so that the planting season passed without crops being sown. Inevitably starvation followed and Fr Caffrey with his helpers tried as best they could to feed up to 6,000 children twice a week and another 1,000 or so children four times a week in a desperate attempt to keep them alive. Children were given priority but arrangements were also put in place to feed widows and the elderly, both of which groups were also extremely vulnerable in the war-torn territory of Biafra.

All of this relief work went on while the Civil War was in progress. Fr Caffrey had to take evasive action on several occasions to avoid the menacing attention of Nigerian airforce planes. An Irish colleague, Sr Cecilia of the Presentation Nuns, was a martyr of the Biafran War, shot and killed when a car in which she was travelling was attacked by a Nigerian fighter plane.

In January 1970 the Biafran Army resistance collapsed and the Nigerian Army took control of the Eastern part of the country. Missionaries living or working in Biafra were arrested and confined under house arrest. These included Fr Caffrey who was detained with 28 fellow Missionaries including nine nuns and Bishop Joseph Whelan...

All were charged with illegal entry into Nigeria and working in that country without permits. Fines were imposed but although the fines were paid the Missionaries were kept in detention... Fr Caffrey and his colleagues were eventually taken from the prison and brought to the local airport where on the instructions of the Police Inspector General they were flown to Lagos from where they were deported from Nigeria...
(ACI Africa)

The Catholic Church organised humanitarian relief airlifts into war-torn Biafra, and other well known Spiritan priests involved in it include the late Frs Jack and Aengus Finucane. It could be said to be the first modern international relief operation, and Jack Finucane influenced both Bob Geldof and Bono in later humanitarian crises such as Ethiopia in the 1980s.

Abr 20, 2020, 9:50am

Richard Wadani: Austrian Nazi deserter dies aged 97 (BBC)

An Austrian who deserted Nazi Germany's armies and switched to the Allied side in World War Two has died aged 97.

Richard Wadani was drafted into the German army but escaped on his second attempt in 1944, going on to serve in a British-led unit...

Abr 24, 2020, 12:38am

Elizabeth Warren's oldest brother dies of coronavirus: ‘He was a natural leader’ (Guardian)

Don Reed Herring, a Vietnam war veteran, died on Tuesday evening in Oklahoma...

Abr 27, 2020, 12:28am

Tribute to comrade Edward Lino Wuor Abyei (Sudan Tribune)

Edward Lino was a commander in the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), and later head of internal security. This article focuses on some of the campaigns in which he was involved with the SPLA Commando unit in the late 1980s and early '90s. I knew Edward personally for many years, from the mid-90s.

Editado: Maio 1, 2020, 12:33am

'A giant has fallen': anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg dies aged 87 (Guardian)

Although known mainly for his political activism and his 22-year imprisonment after the Rivonia trial, according to Wikipedia Goldberg was a technical officer in Umkhonto we Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation", or MK), the armed resistance against the apartheid regime.

Maio 4, 2020, 12:38am

Algerian singer Hamid Cheriet - Idir - dies in France at 70 (BBC)

A recording career, however, had to wait until he had completed his military service.

Maio 9, 2020, 12:04am

Battle of Britain veteran Terry Clark dies aged 101 (BBC)

One of the last survivors of the Battle of Britain, Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, has died aged 101... Mr Clark served as a radar operator during World War Two, defending the UK against Luftwaffe attacks...

Maio 10, 2020, 8:03am

'You are still a soldier to me': The forgotten African hero of Britain's colonial army (Guardian)

In a crowded, Zambian slum on VE Day, a family gathered to bury one of the last veterans of Britain’s colonial army. Jaston Khosa of the Northern Rhodesia Regiment was laid to rest on the day the world commemorated the end of the war in which he fought.

The 95-year-old great-grandfather was among 600,000 Africans who fought for the British during World War Two, on battlefields across their own continent as well as Asia and the Middle East. Although their service has largely been forgotten, the mobilisation of this huge army from Britain’s colonies triggered the largest single movement of African men overseas since the slave trade...

From his home in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, Khosa enlisted and was sent to Somaliland in East Africa to rout Italian forces...

Editado: Maio 16, 2020, 6:44am

A little late posting this: Lord Graham of Edmonton obituary (Guardian)

Ted Graham, Baron Graham of Edmonton, died on 21 March 2020.

died aged 94... joined up with the Royal Marines. In 1944, training for D-day on the English south coast, he was seriously injured when he was accidentally caught in a hail of machine gun fire. His life was saved by an American military surgeon in a US army field hospital.

Maio 25, 2020, 12:15am

The British Jews who fought postwar fascism on London's streets (Guardian)

43 Group’ battled rightwing thugs who continued to torment them even after defeat of the Nazi regime...

Maurice Podro, died earlier this month...

Maio 28, 2020, 4:11pm

Former Texas Congressman Sam Johnson died May 27 at the age of 89. He was a fighter pilot in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars before being shot down in 1966 and spending 7 years as a POW alongside the late John McCain in the Hanoi Hilton. https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/homenews/house/499858-former-texas-rep-...

Jun 7, 2020, 11:30pm

Not a soldier, but...

Irene Triplett, last person to collect an American civil war pension, dies at 90 (Guardian)

The last person to receive a US government pension from the American civil war has died.

Irene Triplett was 90 when she died last Sunday in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Her father, Mose Triplett, fought for the Confederacy and the Union in the civil war, which began in 1861 and ended with the defeat of the slave power in 1865. He applied for his Union pension 20 years after the war and in 1930, when his daughter was born, he was 83...

Jun 8, 2020, 10:38am

Mieczyslaw Stachiewicz, Polish Second World War bomber pilot– obituary (Telegraph)

He flew on the first 'Thousand Bomber' raid, attacked industrial cities during the Battle of the Ruhr and once had to make a crash landing.

Colonel Mieczyslaw Stachiewicz, who has died aged 102, escaped from his native Poland following the German invasion, and after reaching England joined a Polish bomber squadron...

Editado: Jun 10, 2020, 9:15am

Jim Jarvis was the oldest survivor of the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. He died on June 6 at the age of 98. With his death 9 survivors remain. When the Japanese torpedoes struck he grabbed a life vest and went overboard. He and fellow sailors drifted for four days. Before being rescued they survived one of the worst shark attacks in history. In later life he sometimes wore a t-shirt that said “U.S.S. Indianapolis swim team.” https://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/jim-jarvis-1921-2020-oldest-remaini...

Jun 14, 2020, 12:38am

William Sessions, FBI director fired by Bill Clinton, dies aged 90 (Guardian)

Enlisted in the United States Air Force, receiving his commission October 1952. He served on active duty until October 1955 (WIkipedia).

Editado: Jun 15, 2020, 11:38pm

Bangladeshi fighter pilot who destroyed Israeli planes (Anadolu Agency)

Fabled pilot Saif-ul-Azam, passed away in Dhaka, is recalled in the Middle East for shooting down Israeli planes in 1967 war. Legendary Bangladeshi-origin fighter pilot Saif-ul-Azam, who passed away Sunday morning, evokes memories of his courage, steadfastness, and bravery in the Middle East, far away from his home. He will go down in history, perhaps the only pilot who piloted fighter planes for four countries -- Jordan, Iraq Pakistan, and Bangladesh. He also holds the unique record of destroying fighter planes of two different air forces -- India and Israel. The retired group captain died at the age of 80 in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Sunday after suffering from various old-age complications...

Jun 16, 2020, 2:05pm

John Golds obituary (Times)

Golds was district commissioner in Wajir county, northeast Kenya, in the months leading up to independence in 1963. “I had to control an area the size of Great Britain with a staff of 200 regular police, 185 tribal police and a camel corps of 35,” he recalled, adding that his beat included the 1,000-mile border with Somalia and Ethiopia, where there were frequent skirmishes. “It was a real battle {and} we were ambushed frequently.”

On one rainy day a border post was attacked and Golds flew there in a single-engine aircraft to offer support. He was accompanied by six of his tribal police, who had never flown before. “As we landed, the plane turned upside down on the slick, waterlogged strip,” he recalled. “No sooner had we extracted ourselves from the plane than we were attacked”...

In 1952 the Mau Mau rebellion began against British rule. A state of emergency was declared and a call went out for volunteers. Golds applied to be a district officer with the Kikuyu Guard, a government paramilitary force, and was based at Kiambu, in the northern suburbs of Nairobi. On his first night their station was attacked...

Editado: Jun 18, 2020, 12:30am

Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Beavis, flew a Vulcan non-stop from England to Australia – obituary (Telegraph)

Died 7 June 2020 (aged 90)

Beavis joined the Royal Air Force in 1947 and was commissioned two years later. In June 1961 Beavis set the record for the fastest non-stop flight from the UK to Australia which he established by flying a Vulcan from RAF Scampton to RAAF Richmond in just over 20 hours. He became Officer Commanding No. 10 Squadron flying VC10s in 1966 and Group Captain Flying at RAF Akrotiri in 1968. He was appointed Assistant Director of Defence Policy at the Ministry of Defence in 1971, Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters RAF Germany in 1976 and Director General of RAF Training in 1977. He went on to be Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Bracknell in 1980, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at Support Command in 1981 and Deputy Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe in 1984 before retiring in 1987 (Wikipedia)

Jun 18, 2020, 11:07am

Dame Vera Lynn, singer and 'forces' sweetheart', dies aged 103 (Guardian)

Perhaps not strictly a soldier, but she was a member of ENSA (Entertainments National Service Association) and toured Egypt, India and Burma to perform for the troops, and was awarded the Burma Star (Wikipedia).

Editado: Jul 1, 2020, 12:25am

Carl Reiner: US comedy star dies at 98 (BBC)

In 1943, Reiner was drafted into the Army Air Forces and served during World War II, eventually achieving the rank of corporal. He had initially trained to be a radio operator, but after spending three months in the hospital recovering from pneumonia, he was sent to Georgetown University for ten months of training as a French interpreter; it was here that he had his first experience as a director, putting on a Molière play entirely in French. In 1944, after completing language training, he was sent to Hawaii to work as a teleprinter operator. The night before he was scheduled to ship out for an unknown assignment, he attended a production of Hamlet by the Special Services entertainment unit. Following an audition for actor... he was subsequently transferred to Special Services. Over the following two years, Reiner performed around the Pacific theater, entertaining troops in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima until he was honorably discharged in 1946... (Wikipedia)

Editado: Jul 2, 2020, 12:26am

'Our hero': West Indies legend Sir Everton Weekes dies aged 95 (Guardian)

In 1943 Weekes enlisted in the Barbados Regiment and served as a Lance-Corporal until his discharge in 1947 (Wikipedia)

For those not lucky enough to live where cricket is played, he is famous as a cricketer!

Editado: Jul 2, 2020, 9:39am

Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope emeritus Benedict, dies in Regensburg (Vatican News)

Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of the Pope emeritus, died Wednesday morning, aged 96.

During World War II, in the summer of 1942, Ratzinger was drafted to the Reichsarbeitsdienst and the same autumn to the Wehrmacht. On 12 June 1944, he was shot through the arm during a fight in Bolsena, Italy. At the end of the war, he was a prisoner of war of the U.S. Army in the vicinity of Naples, but was soon released... (Wikipedia).

Jul 8, 2020, 12:08am

Denis O'Brien obituary (Guardian)

Denis O’Brien, who has died aged 94 of Covid-19, was a lifelong socialist who loved sharing a beer with friends while discussing the idiosyncrasies of life. He believed passionately that society could be a better, fairer and kinder place...

He did his national service with the Royal Corps of Signals just after the second world war, and in 1947 was posted to Berlin, where he became skilled in the operation of the undulator, a high-speed radio transmitter... On leaving the army Denis joined British Rail... He joined the Labour party in 1944...

Jul 11, 2020, 3:40am

Air Commodore Jerry Witts obituary (Times)

Tornado pilot with a broad smile who was decorated during the Gulf War and wrote a vivid account of his first taste of combat...

Air Commodore Jerry Witts, DSO, pilot, was born on June 18, 1950. He died from pneumonia on June 3, 2020, aged 69

Jul 21, 2020, 12:53pm

Peter Barlow, railway manager who saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War – obituary (Telegraph)

40 per cent of his company was dead or wounded and he saw his best friend's head blown off, but he liberated one of Hitler's bow ties...

Peter Barlow, who has died aged 94, experienced some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War, from Gold Beach in Normandy, through the battle for Eindhoven, to a shoot-out with the SS and German marines in Hamburg...

Jul 26, 2020, 12:20am

Regis Philbin, iconic US TV host, dies aged 88 (BBC)

Served in the United States Navy (Wikipedia)

Jul 27, 2020, 7:45am

Roy George obituary (Guardian)

died age 92... In 1945, aged 18, he began his national service with the Royal Navy, spending VJ Day in Mumbai...

Olivia de Havilland, Golden Age of Hollywood star, dies at 104 (BBC)

During the war years, she actively sought ways to express her patriotism and contribute to the war effort. In May 1942, she joined the Hollywood Victory Caravan, a three-week train tour of the country that raised money through the sale of war bonds. Later that year she began attending events at the Hollywood Canteen, meeting and dancing with the troops. In December 1943 de Havilland joined a USO tour that travelled throughout the United States and the South Pacific, visiting wounded soldiers in military hospitals. She earned the respect and admiration of the troops for visiting the isolated islands and battlefronts in the Pacific. She survived flights in damaged aircraft and a bout with viral pneumonia requiring several days' stay in one of the island barrack hospitals. She later remembered, "I loved doing the tours because it was a way I could serve my country and contribute to the war effort". (Wikipedia)

Ago 8, 2020, 12:26am

Brent Scowcroft, longtime US security adviser, dies aged 95 (BBC)

Lt Gen Brent Scowcroft, USAF, "Scowcroft served in a variety of operational and administrative positions from 1948 to 1953" (Wikipedia).

Editado: Ago 8, 2020, 8:38am

Russell LeeRoy Pickett enlisted in the US Army at the age of 18 during WWII. He was one of the few to survive the first wave of the assault on Normandy. He was knocked from the boat during the assault injuring his back. He was dragged to shore. Unable to walk, he lay on the beach while his fellow soldiers died around him. He recovered from that injury and returned to active duty. He was wounded in battle two more times before the end of the war. He died on August 2. https://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/russell-leeroy-pickett-2020-one-of-...

Ago 13, 2020, 2:38am

Sumner Redstone, media mogul who led Viacom, dies aged 97 (Guardian)

Redstone served as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army during World War II with a team at the Signals Intelligence Service that decoded Japanese messages (Wikipedia).

Ago 18, 2020, 8:39pm

Floyd Welch was serving on the USS Maryland in December 7, 1941. He was in the shower when the attack began. He was instrumental in cutting through the hull of the Overturned USS Oklahoma saving many sailors. He received many decorations and served On the Maryland throughout the war. He died August 17 at the age of 99.

Ago 23, 2020, 8:19pm

Sometimes you find heroes in your own hometown that you never knew were there. Jozef Machnik was a 20 year old Polish soldier when Poland was invaded and WWII began. He died August 9 at the age of 100. He was at home on leave when it began and escaped on foot to Hungary where he was imprisoned. He escaped and received help from the Polish embassy in Budapest receiving a fake identity and making his way to France. The Polish embassy In France gave him back his true identity and rank and he joined Polish volunteers in the French Army. When Germany broke the Maginot Line he made it to the coast to board a ship for Britain. He joined the first Polish Army unit In Scotland. He started learning English and made 2nd Lieutenant. He then volunteered for the RAF. After the war he immigrated to Canada then the US. His memoir was called My Life Journey. https://hickoryrecord.com/obituaries/machnik-j-zef/article_f87404f4-bac6-5ade-b4...

Ago 28, 2020, 1:18am

Spy becomes first woman of south Asian descent to get blue plaque in London (Guardian)

A spy who operated in occupied France for months during the second world war before being captured by the Gestapo and later executed has become the first woman of south Asian descent to be given a blue plaque in London. Noor Inayat Khan received the George Cross for her exploits in Paris, where she volunteered as a radio operator, and now her former family home in Bloomsbury has been recognised by English Heritage...

Not a recent death, but in the news because of the recent decision to memorialise her.

Editado: Ago 28, 2020, 7:16am

>62 John5918: There is a great bio about her by one of her relatives, Spy Princess: the Life of Noor Inayat Khan.

Ago 28, 2020, 7:29am

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Ago 29, 2020, 3:11am

Another unveiling of a memorial plaque, this one for an Australian former soldier who died last year.

Tim Fischer memorial plaque unveiled at Albury Train Station (ABC)

As well as being a parliamentarian, diplomat, author, rail enthusiast, farmer and soldier Tim Fischer was also a broadcaster...

Set 8, 2020, 11:46pm

Forrest Fenn, who said he hid treasure in Rocky Mountains, dies aged 90 (Guardian)

Fenn served in the air force, including decorated service as a fighter pilot in Vietnam...

Set 9, 2020, 11:58pm

George Bizos, Nelson Mandela’s lawyer and anti-apartheid icon, dies at 92 (Guardian)

George Bizos is rightly known "an anti-apartheid icon and renowned human rights lawyer" - a great man indeed. I had the privilege of meeting him about 20 years ago. But lesser known is the small role he played in World War II as a teenager in the Greek resistance movement. Wikipedia tells us: In May 1941 at the age of thirteen, Bizos and his father helped seven New Zealand Army soldiers... who were hiding in the hills to escape the Nazi-occupied Greek mainland to Crete.

Set 15, 2020, 11:17am

Squadron Leader Allan Scott, Spitfire ‘ace’ who saw fierce fighting in the siege of Malta – obituary (Telegraph)

Squadron Leader Allan Scott, who has died aged 99, shot down at least five enemy aircraft over Malta, making him a Spitfire “ace” – one of the last of the Second World War...

Set 15, 2020, 4:41pm

Further on Allan Scott - his obituary in Tha Times tells of an incident over Malta when Scott shot down a bomber but used all his ammunition. He was then attacked by two Me109s. After much tight manoeuvring the German pilots realised his situation and took formation on either side of him, waggling their wings in salute. He was, needless to say, very moved.

His last flight in a Spitfire was in 2015 in a 2-seat version from Biggin Hill. He had booked the same flight next year for his hundredth birthday - shame he didn’t make it.

Set 21, 2020, 1:34am

The unsung bravery of Polish airmen who helped win the battle of Britain (inews)

"I was just one of many. I’m nobody special.”

Set 23, 2020, 11:45pm

Juliette Gréco, face of chic postwar Paris, dies aged 93 (Guardian)

She was arrested by the Gestapo when she was just 16 after her older sister and her mother – a member of the French Resistance – were sent to a concentration camp... During the second world war both her parents were active in the resistance, and she was only spared deportation to Germany because of her age. Her wartime experiences sealed her lifelong alliance to the political left...

Editado: Out 3, 2020, 12:06am

Group Captain Ken Parfit, Lancaster bomber navigator with the wartime Pathfinder Force – obituary (Telegraph)

Group Captain Ken Parfit, who has died aged 96, flew 29 missions in Lancasters, the majority with the Pathfinder Force... In 1974 he was station commander at RAF Episkopi in Cyprus when Turkish forces invaded...

And not a recent death, but another of the many African soldiers who has never really been remembered:

August Browne: The Nigeria-born man who joined the Polish resistance (BBC)

Among the hundreds of thousands of patriots that Poland celebrates for serving in the resistance movement in World War Two there is one black, Nigeria-born man. Jazz musician August Agboola Browne was in his forties, and had been in Poland for 17 years, when he joined the struggle against Nazi occupation in 1939 - thought to be the only black person in the country to do so. Under the code name "Ali", he fought for his adopted country during the Siege of Warsaw when Germany invaded, and later in the Warsaw Uprising, which ended 76 years ago this month. Astoundingly, he survived the war... and died in 1976.

Out 6, 2020, 12:14am

Last Spanish anti-fascist survivor of Nazi concentration camp dies aged 101 (Guardian)

The last survivor of 7,500 Spaniards who were sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria has died at the age of 101, just weeks after his heroic anti-fascism efforts were finally recognised by his homeland.

Juan Romero, who was born in Córdoba in 1919, was a teenager when the Spanish civil war broke out and went on to fight for the republicans in some of the bloodiest battles of the conflict, including the Battle of the Ebro, where he was wounded.

After crossing the border into France alongside 500,000 fellow republican exiles in 1939, Romero joined the French Foreign Legion. He was captured by the Nazis in the summer of 1940 and eventually sent to Mauthausen, where 5,200 “stateless” republican Spaniards were murdered or worked or starved to death... Romero survived and settled in France, where he was awarded the Légion d’honneur in 2016...

Out 7, 2020, 8:35am

One of the last of the Tuskegee Airmen Rudolph “Val” Archer died October 4 at the age of 91. He tried to enlist when he was 15 but was told to come back when he was 18. Following WWII he continued his military career through the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was the recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal for his service. https://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/rudolph-val-archer-1929-2020-tuskeg...

Out 11, 2020, 11:20pm

Brigadier Mark Noble, Royal Marine helicopter pilot and adept staff officer – obituary (Telegraph)

His wit, charm, keen intellect and tact enabled him to circumvent obtuse senior officers and obstinate civil servants... died aged 62...

Out 20, 2020, 8:55am

US Army Technical Sergeant Jim Feezel Of the 12th Armored Division drove his Sherman tank through the front gate in the liberation of Dachau on April 29, 1945. He died October 15 at the age of 95. https://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/jim-feezel-1925-2020-wwii-hero-who-...

Out 26, 2020, 12:17am

Frank Bough, host of BBC's Grandstand, dies aged 87 (Guardian)

Bough did his national service in the Royal Tank Regiment.

Joan Hocquard, Britain’s oldest person, dies aged 112 (Guardian)

Joan Hocquard drove ambulances during the second world war.

Editado: Out 27, 2020, 12:22am

Saddam Hussein’s right-hand man dies after years as fugitive (Guardian)

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri was an old soldier with the rank of Field Marshal.

Out 27, 2020, 6:24am

Norman Thrower obituary (Guardian)

Norman Thrower, who has died aged 100... joined the British army aged 21. His artillery division was redeployed to India, where he trained as a cartographer at the Survey of India to draw topographic maps in support of the war effort in Europe. The maps were based on aerial photographs taken over Europe then flown to India, with the return flights bringing back the completed maps. This covered the period of Operation Crossbow, one of the goals of which was to identify V-1 launch ramps using binocular imaging, including in northern France before D-day...

Editado: Out 31, 2020, 11:14am

Sean Connery: James Bond actor dies aged 90 (BBC)

In 1946, at the age of 16, Connery joined the Royal Navy... He trained in Portsmouth at the naval gunnery school and in an anti-aircraft crew. He was later assigned as an Able Seaman on HMS Formidable. Connery was later discharged from the navy age 19 on medical grounds... (Wikipedia)

Nov 3, 2020, 10:20pm

Michael Booth obituary (Guardian)

Michael Booth, who has died aged 87, was called up for national service in the Royal Navy in 1952 and enjoyed it so much that he took on a permanent commission, spending most of the rest of his working life as a navy officer...

Editado: Nov 6, 2020, 11:03pm

As Time Goes By actor Geoffrey Palmer dies aged 93 (Guardian)

He served as a corporal instructor in small arms and field training in the Royal Marines during his National Service from 1946 to 1948. (Wikipedia)

Nov 12, 2020, 11:06pm

Former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings is dead (Star)

Died aged 73 of COVID-19 complications.

Rawlings was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the the Ghana Air Force in 1969, winning the coveted "Speed Bird Trophy" as the best cadet in flying the Su-7 ground attack supersonic jet aircraft as he was skilled in aerobatics. He earned the rank of Flight Lieutenant in 1978 (Wikipedia).

Nov 15, 2020, 1:24pm

Des O’Connor, singer and comedian, has died aged 88. He did his his national service in the Royal Air Force.

Editado: Nov 20, 2020, 11:17pm

Jan Morris obituary (Guardian)

Journalist, travel writer and historian who reported the first ascent of Everest in 1953 and wrote a social history of the British empire... The greatest distance travelled by Jan Morris, who has died aged 94, was not across the Earth’s surface but between extraordinary identities: from being the golden-boy newspaper reporter James Morris to the female voyager and historian Jan Morris. James became Jan when what was then called a sex change was unexplored territory, from which she boldly sent back an early dispatch in 1974...

Colour blindness prevented him from joining the navy during the second world war, so he signed for the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers and a commission as intelligence officer, celebrating his 21st birthday onboard a troop train from Egypt to Palestine...

Obituary: Jan Morris, a poet of time, place and self (BBC)

As a teenager, training as a newspaper reporter in Bristol involved interviewing the victims of bombing raids at the height of the Second World War. Morris tried to join the Navy but was ruled out by colour-blindness, instead joining the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers. A spell at Sandhurst was followed by a posting as an intelligence officer that led to stints in Italy and Palestine by way of two more cities that came to be inspirations: Venice and Trieste. Demobbed in 1949...

Nov 20, 2020, 11:15pm

Daniel Cordier, one of last heroes of French resistance, dies aged 100 (Guardian)

He and 16 friends immediately set off aboard a ship from Bayonne to join De Gaulle in London, landing in Falmouth seven days later. Cordier underwent military training in the UK and then transferred to the secret intelligence service of the Free French, learning sabotage, radio transmission and parachuting. He was parachuted into France in 1942, aged 22, with the codename Bip W, and ordered to make contact in Lyon with a man known only as “Rex”. The man he made contact with was, in fact, Moulin, who had organised and unified the Conseil National de la Résistance (National Resistance Council).

For a year he was Moulin’s right-hand man, drafting his correspondence and liaising with other resistance leaders. Moulin died after he was arrested by the Gestapo in July 1943, having been betrayed to the Nazis and tortured. He died onboard a train to Germany. Cordier continued to rally and organise resistance fighters while dodging the Germans himself, finally fleeing over the Pyrenees where he was arrested and interned before being transferred to London in May 1944...

Nov 21, 2020, 11:10pm

Serbia: Thousands mourn Patriarch Irinej (BBC)

Patriarch Irinej tested positive for coronavirus early this month and died on Friday, aged 90.

He enrolled at the University of Belgrade's Theological Faculty and served in the army after graduating. After military service, he was tonsured a monk in 1959 (Wikipedia).

Editado: Nov 29, 2020, 8:45am

The historian Carlo d'Este, a name that many here will be familiar with, passed away last week:


Dez 2, 2020, 10:37pm

Obituary: Valéry Giscard D'Estaing (BBC)

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, France's president from 1974 to 1981, has died at the age of 94...

He was just a teenager when he joined a French resistance group in occupied Paris before enlisting in a tank battalion in 1944, earning the Croix de Guerre in the last months of the war...

Dez 3, 2020, 1:57pm

>89 John5918: Although he (Giscard D-Estaing) voiced his opposition to the death penalty, he refused to commute three of the death sentences passed during his term, and the last use of the guillotine in France took place in 1977.

Dez 4, 2020, 11:03pm

'General Suhaila': Afghanistan's famous female surgeon dies at 72 (BBC)

Suhaila Siddiq, Afghanistan's only female lieutenant general and one of a small number of women to hold a ministerial post in the country, died in hospital on Friday at the age of 72. She had Alzheimer's disease for about six years...

Dez 8, 2020, 9:04am

Retired US Air Force Brig. General Chuck Yeager died December 7 at the age of 97. The WWII Ace was the first man to break the sound barrier and served in four wars. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chuck-yeager-world-war-ii-pilot-dies-97-sound-barri...

Dez 12, 2020, 11:05pm

Country superstar Charley Pride dies aged 86 (Guardian)

He was drafted into the US Army in 1956. After basic training, he was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, where he was a quartermaster (Wikipedia).

Dez 13, 2020, 11:03pm

David John Moore Cornwell, who wrote spy novels under the name John le Carre, has died aged 89.

In 1950, he joined the Intelligence Corps of the British Army garrisoned in Allied-occupied Austria, working as a German language interrogator of people who crossed the Iron Curtain to the West. In 1952, he returned to England to study at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he worked covertly for the British Security Service, MI5, spying on far-left groups for information about possible Soviet agents... becoming an MI5 officer in 1958. He ran agents, conducted interrogations, tapped telephone lines and effected break-ins... In 1960, Cornwell transferred to MI6, the foreign-intelligence service, and worked under the cover of Second Secretary at the British Embassy at Bonn; he was later transferred to Hamburg as a political consul... In 1964, le Carré's career as an intelligence officer came to an end as the result of the betrayal of British agents' covers to the KGB by Kim Philby...


Dez 19, 2020, 11:04pm

Minnesota State Sen. Jerry Relph Dies After Contracting COVID-19

He was a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam.

Dez 25, 2020, 11:17pm

John Edrich, former England and Surrey batsman, dies aged 83 (Guardian)

He began his cricketing career playing "four first-class matches for Combined Services in 1956 and 1957, whilst doing his national service in the British Army" (Wikipedia).

Dez 26, 2020, 9:04am

George Blake: Soviet Cold War spy and former MI6 officer dies in Russia (BBC)

George Blake, the former MI6 officer and one of the Cold War's most infamous double agents, has died aged 98...

worked for the Dutch resistance during World War Two, before fleeing to British-controlled Gibraltar. He was later, due to his background, asked to join the intelligence service...

Editado: Dez 26, 2020, 5:08pm

I have always respected you John. I can only hope you mentioned this piece of shit because of his resistance work. I really HATE
that band of traitors. Philby...et al

ETA. I hardly ever use the word HATE. In this missive I mean it.

Editado: Dez 27, 2020, 12:36am

>98 guido47:

Thanks, Guido, and the respect is mutual. The title of the thread is "Farewell to Old Soldiers", not any moral or political judgement on those old soldiers. I would say that his work with the Dutch resistance, the Royal Navy and SOE* during World War II makes him an old soldier, and his death is worth noting as such, but your reflection on him is helpful in evaluating his place in history.

* The Guardian adds that after his escape to Britain:

He was called up, joined the Royal Navy and trained to operate two-man mini-submarines... His language skills led to an approach from MI6, and he worked in the agency’s Dutch section and with the Special Operations Executive, tasked with sending agents and supplies behind enemy lines in support of resistance movements in Europe. After the war, Blake worked for naval intelligence, interrogating German U-boat commanders in Hamburg, and helping to set up a network of agents in East Germany.

Editado: Dez 31, 2020, 11:26pm

Tommy Docherty - manager of many clubs, quips, anecdotes and one-liners (BBC)

Tommy Docherty, who has died at the age of 92, will be remembered as one of football's great characters....

He was called up for National Service in 1946 in the Highland Light Infantry. While completing his National Service, Docherty represented the British Army at football. (Wikipedia)

Jan 1, 1:49am

Well >99 John5918: John, if an old SS General (OK they are too old, say a colonel?) died would you mention him in this post?
or say one of Mao's people who killed Aussies in Korea say...

Just asking?

I really don't know!


Editado: Jan 1, 8:41am

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Jan 1, 8:41am

>101 guido47:

Yes, I would. An old soldier is an old soldier, regardless of nationality, politics or behaviour. I do not interpret the thread title as involving moral value judgements, simply recording that someone who has died was once an old soldier.

NB: Deleted and reposted >102 John5918: as for some reason the edit function wouldn't work.

Jan 1, 6:32pm

>103 John5918:

For once (?) I don't agree with you. There is a moral aspect of being a Soldier

I was called up for the Vietnam War, I couldn't vote (under 21 yo.) but I was still required ...
And I agreed cos I hated Communism But I like to think I am a Socialist

NO I didn't serve O'Seas but...

Guido. Nothing is that obvious.

Editado: Mar 21, 9:17am

Only just come across this death from November 2020, mentioned in the December 2020 issue of the Railway Magazine in the UK, p 10.

Major John Poyntz (1938-2020)

A retired Army major who enjoyed a second career as a member of Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate died on November 2... was in the Army for 35 years, serving with the Royal Engineers and later the Royal Corps of Transport. He had spells oversees in Borneo, Cyprus and later West Germany, where he was responsible for movements of British Army trains. After military service, he joined the Railway Inspectorate, a move he viewed as an honour and privilege to follow in the footsteps of a number of military predecessors. In fact he became the last Royal Engineer to take such a route into the inspectorate...