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Medal/Decoration Awarded To:

De Wet, Christoffel Hendrik., 2 Lt
2 Field Engineer Regiment, SAEC
SA Engineers Corps
SA Army


Year Awarded:
Not Given

Date of Action:

The first recipient of the Honoris Crux Gold. He was cited for clearing a road of landmines while under enemy fire in Angola during Operation Savannah. On 26 Dec 1975 a combat team of Battle Group X-Ray was attacked while lifting mines near a bridge that also had to be destroyed, across the Kasai River near the town of Satauma. Lts C.H. de Wet and J. van der Merwe, the engineer officers, were pinned by enemy fire, while unarmed. Cpl K.B. Piccione, in the frontmost armoured car, jumped out and ran the about 250m towards the bridge while under enemy fire, and hit nine of the enemy manning the machine guns across the river with 11 shots from his R1. Lt de Wet completed his task of lifting the mines, despite being under enemy fire, and they were all able to return safely. Lt C.H. de Wet was subsequently awarded the Honoris Crux Gold and Cpl K.B. Piccione the Honoris Crux Silver for their individual actions on this day.

Here we do not ONLY honour the recipient of the award, but also the circumstances and the other individuals without which the award would simply not have been possible. Even though we honour ONE PERSON's deeds, we must always remember that he did NOT operate alone and in isolation. Many unsung heroes made it possible for him to be there in those exact circumstances. So let us always remember ALL of them, especially those that paid with their lives and received no recognition. Please feel free to mention others that deserve to be remembered with, and as part of the actions of the recipient.

First recipient of the Honoris Crux Gold.
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