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South African Parachute Infantry (PARABATS)

Ex alto vincimus - We Conquer From Above

SA Parachute Infantry
The Parachute Infantry

Parachute Infantry is specialised infantry that is transported by aircraft and parachute dropped or air-landed and moved by MPVs to conduct motorised operations. The parachute infantry has, over and above the normal characteristics of the motorised infantry, the following characteristics:

  • Airborne assault operations can be executed by dropping personnel and equipment by parachute.
  • Objectives within the radius of action of transport aircraft can be occupied quickly despite terrain obstacles.
  • The short reaction time and wide choice of air routes ensure that security can be maintained and surprise achieved.
  • A parachute force can threaten a wide front of objectives during day and night. This disrupts the planning and deployment of enemy forces.
  • The aggressiveness and fighting ability of the parachute soldier can have an adverse effect on enemy morale.
The Parabats

The Parabats were elite airborne soldiers in the South African Defence Force. During the SWA/Namibian border war, the Bats (short for Parabats) took part in several cross border operations into Angola and provided airborne Fireforce back-up to counter insurgency units on the ground. The esprit de corps in this unit is legendary.

44 Parachute Brigade

44 Parachute Brigade was a parachute infantry brigade of the South African Army. It was founded on 20 April 1978,[2]:5 following the disbandment of 1 SA Corps. Upon formation, the brigade was commanded by Brigadier M. J. du Plessis, who was assigned the task of establishing the unit with the assistance of the Parachute Staff Officer, Colonel Jan Breytenbach. At the time du Plessis was the commanding officer of the Orange Free State Command (OFS Cmd) and had previous experience serving in 1 Parachute Battalion. Breytenbach had also been a member of 1 Parachute Battalion and had also founded the South African Special Forces Brigade and 32 Battalion. The location that was chosen for the brigade's headquarters was in the lines of the OFS Cmd Headquarters, next to the old Tempe Airfield in Bloemfontein.

The brigade's units initially consisted of two Citizen Force units, 2 and 3 Parachute Battalions, that were manned by paratroopers who had completed their initial national service in 1 Parachute Battalion.[3] Shortly after formation, it was realised that these two battalions, being infantry units only, were not capable of providing an effective and balanced force for conventional operations. An all-arms formation with an airborne capability was needed, and as a result, later on the brigade was expanded with various arms including engineering, artillery, signals, anti-aircraft, anti-tank, and maintenance and workshops units.

The brigade remained in existence until 1999 when it was reduced in size and re-designated 44 Parachute Regiment. Prior to this, 44 Parachute Brigade undertook a number of operations in Angola during the South African Border War as well as counter insurgency operations inside South Africa.

Source: Wikipedia
 
Some Parachute Units of the SADF

















 
SA Parachute Infantry Links
 
Members of the SA Parachute Infantry on the Roll of Honour
YearForce NumberRankNameDate Of DeathUnit
1962P22770 Cpl Wolmarans J.G 1962/11/181 Parachute Battalion
1964P49773RfnKrogh P.J.1964/05/131 Parachute Battalion
197305535174E SSgt Potgieter K.E. 1973/05/181 Parachute Battalion
197370252598NRfnHolm J.G.1973/05/261 Parachute Battalion
197467486977BC Rfn Pienaar H.M. 1974/02/271 Parachute Battalion
197568276666BTRfnBate A.T.1975/11/262 Parachute Battalion
197565361446BTSgtHuman D.J.1975/11/262 Parachute Battalion
197670304316BTCplSwanepoel W.C.1976/03/252 Parachute Battalion
197672541816BGCplBroodryk A.K.1976/04/131 Parachute Battalion
197670495775BA Rfn Blaauw A.J. 1976/07/171 Parachute Battalion, 2 Parachute Battalion
197871384234BTRfnBackhouse E.J.1978/05/043 Parachute Battalion
197870510813BT Rfn De Waal J.C. 1978/05/042 Parachute Battalion
197865383390BTRfnHuman A.P.1978/05/043 Parachute Battalion
197868546134BTRfnKaplan M.1978/05/042 Parachute Battalion
197875398263BG Cpl Du Bois P.J. 1978/08/121 Parachute Battalion
197874440124BG Rfn Greyling J.B. 1978/08/121 Parachute Battalion
197874445370BG Rfn Van der Nest C.F. 1978/08/121 Parachute Battalion
197865658270PEMajGrundling L.G.1978/09/071 Parachute Battalion
197872570344BGCplDavis T.1978/12/152 Parachute Battalion
197975249631BGRfnGolden D.C.1979/03/281 Parachute Battalion
197974426362BGCplBell E.L.1979/07/061 Parachute Battalion; Sector 70 Headquarters
198077513844BGRfnUys J.P.1980/01/061 Parachute Battalion
198070523410BTRfnGrobler L.1980/02/272 Parachute Battalion
198173484347BGRfnTruter L.1981/01/151 Parachute Battalion
198175339440PESgtWessels L.T.H.1981/01/151 Parachute Battalion
198178395324BGRfnBeukes E.J.N.1981/03/281 Parachute Battalion
198178442050BGPtePieterse P.J.1981/03/281 Parachute Battalion
198177518702BGPteVan der Westhuizen J.D.1981/03/281 Parachute Battalion
198178397122BGL/CplPettit E.A.C.1981/04/021 Parachute Battalion
198176244718BGRfnHarvey G.J.1981/06/011 Parachute Battalion
198177254266PE 2 Lt Taylor C.P. 1981/06/021 Parachute Battalion
198174290719BTRfnCromhout J.C.1981/12/292 Parachute Battalion
198278561545BGRfnVan Wyk A.A.1982/01/101 Parachute Battalion
198270596960BTRfnDe Sousa F.J.G.1982/01/193 Parachute Battalion
198279613162BGRfnMason M.1982/02/181 Parachute Battalion
198277317840BGL/CplGouche G.G.1982/04/261 Parachute Battalion
198279482527BGRfnStorm H.J.1982/05/011 Parachute Battalion
198272481708PECaptVan Wyk L.1982/05/021 Parachute Battalion
198277419422BG Rfn Barrett R.H. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198279232518BG Rfn De Klerk A. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198278366077BG L/Cpl Hoare S.R. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198276275536BG Rfn Kruger A. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198278457256BG Rfn Krull G.W. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198276336700BG Rfn Le Roux M. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198278345949BG Cpl Lombaard E.P. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198277255370BG Rfn Mallon S.P. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198278456035BG Rfn Marshall J.T. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198278473790BG Rfn Moody C.A. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198278412871BG Rfn Van Niekerk A.H. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198278567005BG Rfn Wolmarans A. 1982/08/091 Parachute Battalion
198277363927BG Rfn Spence D.A. 1982/09/241 Parachute Battalion
198380214372BGCplSteytler G.L.1983/06/241 Parachute Battalion
198379218343BGL/CplTucker A.J.1983/07/071 Parachute Battalion
198479429882BGRfnSmith H.J.1984/02/171 Parachute Battalion
198478368115BTRfnVenter D.S.1984/04/071 Parachute Battalion
198479331542BG Rfn De Lange G.E. 1984/07/221 Parachute Battalion
198480449242BGRfnBadenhorst S.1984/08/081 Parachute Battalion
198481113730BGRfnTaljaard P.1984/09/121 Parachute Battalion
198581290850BGCplHall J.P1985/01/241 Parachute Battalion
198582559279BGRfnLittrell M.J.1985/08/031 Parachute Battalion
198579517090BGCplFidler B.A. HC (Posthumous)1985/09/157 Medical Battalion Group; 1 Parachute Battalion
198581267130BGRfnSmuts N.W.1985/11/051 Parachute Battalion
198581225880BG 2 Lt Van der Merwe W.S. 1985/11/141 Parachute Battalion
198680250376PECplClaase J.N.1986/07/041 Parachute Battalion
198682535154BG Rfn Knipe R.A. 1986/07/041 Parachute Battalion
198679303806PE Cpl Janse van Rensburg T.W. 1986/11/151 Parachute Battalion
198783249417BGL/CplBenecke M.A.1987/09/061 Parachute Battalion Pathfinders
198782513110BG Rfn De Rose H.N. 1987/10/311 Parachute Battalion
198782437369BG Rfn Ewels W.V. 1987/10/311 Parachute Battalion
198781033292BG L/Cpl Light R.M. 1987/10/311 Parachute Battalion
198783219139BG Cpl Olivier N.S. 1987/10/311 Parachute Battalion
198783247502BG Rfn Van Rooyen D.W. 1987/10/311 Parachute Battalion
198783271031BGRfnSchuurman J.M.1987/11/011 Parachute Battalion
198781309981BT Rfn Breytenbach P 1987/12/2444 Parachute Brigade
198884506179BGSprLelong S.E.1988/02/221 Parachute Battalion Combat Engineering Unit
198886265451BGRfnVan Dyk P.L.H.1988/03/111 Parachute Battalion
198883207522BTCplSteward G.M.1988/03/2044 Parachute Pathfinder Company; 44 Parachute Brigade
198879346797BTCplVan der Merwe J.D.G.1988/07/203 Parachute Battalion
199291659672ARRfnKhoathela A.M.1992/12/2944 Parachute Regiment
1993.SSgtNieuhaus R.1993/07/1944 Parachute Regiment

Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET

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