Register  Login
..::  »    Medals » Decoration Details ::..

Medal/Decoration Awarded To:

Wessels, David Eric, 2 Lt
2 Field Engineer Regiment, SAEC
SA Engineers Corps
SA Army


Year Awarded:
Not Given

Date of Action:

During Operation Savannah, David Eric Wessels (2 Field Engineers Regiment) had been one of Chris de Wet's instructors at Bethlehem. They had both arrived as Second Lieutenants in Angola and worked on Bridge 14, until Wessels left to join Fighting Group Alpha near Novo Redondo. The group divided into two task forces, red and blue, to attack a bridge outside Conda and they bivouacked behind a high hill nearby. Some 15 of the enemy's vehicles had been left on the South African side of the destroyed bridge. At night they would crossover and sue their vehicles in operations. For two days a battle raged, and then the South Africans decided to remove or destroy the enemy vehicles. Wessels led a party and brought some back; then he heard that one of his black FNLA comrades had been left behind, wounded. He ran back to the bridge and under fire he carried the man to his ten-tonner and drove him to safety. Later that afternoon Wessels returned to fetch a tanker. He connected the ignition wires to start it and as he drove away machine-gun bullets hit him. His lower left leg spurted blood from a severed artery as he leapt from the cab. Wessels couldn't walk and he was soon covered with petrol from the riddled tanker. Constantly under fire, he crawled about 170 metres until two captains, Hunter and Grobler, ran to help him. He and the FNLA soldier were then flown by light aircraft to Cela. Wessels was operated on, but gangrene set in and after a few months his left leg was amputated below the knee. He was awarded the Honoris Crux Gold and later promoted to Captain. (Dave Wessles was murdered on his plot at Viljoenskroon in the early hours of 25 October 2020)

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.

No Notes available at this time
Facebook Comments

@ 2007 War In Angola - Veridical Solutions