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Roll of Honour Member:
Year of DeathForce NumberName and RankDate of DeathUnitServiceViews
1982 Claasen F.A.F., Sgt1982/04/20South West Africa Police Counter-Insurgency Wing: Ops-K Division (KOEVOET)South West African Police1313
Grievously burned during Operation Yahoo while flying as a passenger with Maj Kessler in support of Koevoet anti-insurgent operations in the Elundu area. The PA28-235 Cherokee Pathfinder aircraft, Registration ZS-EXT had been fitted with 2 x AKM Assault Rifles under the wings that could be operated from inside the cockpit and a grenade launching tube was fitted between the pilots legs. His aircraft suffered engine failure (Bent Valve) while assisting Koevoet in a follow-up operation and he had to carry out a forced landing in a mahangu field. Unfortunately, the aircraft undercarriage dug into the furrows and the aircraft flipped over. Primed hand grenades that Major Kessler had placed into the launching tube fell back into the cockpit area when the aircraft flipped over and exploded. Major Kessler was killed instantly but the grievously burned Claasen was successfully extricated from the wrecked aircraft. He sadly succumbed to his injuries in hospital on 20 April 1982.
 
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