Jakkals Down

Colonel Phillip “Jakkals” Jäckel, SM, MMM

13559055_10153857123961775_7567838047535268356_o.jpg


Early in the morning on Tuesday 28 June 2016, I lost a colleague, fellow-paratrooper and friend. After a long, pain-wracked and debilitating battle, Jakkals finally succumbed to the vicious cancer that had so harassed and disfigured him. With the aggressive determination that characterises paratroopers in defence, he fought against the insurmountable odds that faced him to the end.

I mourn his passing. He and I walked a long road together.

We first met in January, 1978, when we were both somewhat elderly lieutenants at 1 Parachute Battalion in Tempe, Bloemfontein. I had already been a paratrooper for ten years, and was back at 1 Para Bn for the university recess before commencing with my final year at the Military Academy. But Jakkals was at that stage not yet a paratrooper. He was what was known as a “tiffie” (from the word “artificer”, applied to tradesmen), and had completed an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic in the Technical Service Corps (TSC). He then served in that capacity as a non-commissioned officer for some years. Recently commissioned, he was now posted to 1 Para Bn as the commander of the Light Workshop Troop, or LWT. This made him responsible for the servicing and repairs of all the battalion’s vehicles, weapons and most of its other non-signals, technical equipment.

I was an infantry officer, involved in training of National Servicemen conscripts who had volunteered to become paratroopers. So Jakkals and I did not work closely together in the battalion. But at the time we were both staying at the OFS Command Officers’ Mess with our young families, so we got to know one another and our wives, Ronel and Anne, became friends. Both families had a three-year old daughter and they played together. Little did we know that Michelle Jäckel and Melanie Alexander would both attend university at Stellenbosch 14 years later, travelling together between Stellenbosch and Pretoria for the vacations!

Jakkals was determined to gain his paratrooper wings. He was not one to serve in a parachute unit without being fully qualified. So, as a 30-year old officer, he successfully completed the paratrooper selection and parachute training, earning his wings, which he wore proudly thereafter. He went on to qualify as a despatcher (jumpmaster) and a tactical free faller.

After I completed my studies at the Military Academy, I returned to 1 Para Bn, and Jakkals and I formed part of a formidable group of captains in the battalion during the early 1980s: Leon Groenewald, Dawid and Johan Blaauw, Nic van den Berg, Vion Hattingh, Herby Pos, “Pale” van der Walt, Fanie “Schalkie” van Schalkwyk, Piet “Graspol” Nel, Gerrie Leiplodt, Dries “Rooies” Velthuizen and Kobus Human. Most of them went on to command battalions or other units, and two of them eventually became commanders of the parachute brigade.

During 1980, six of us from the battalion were on course together at the Army Battle School, training as combat team commanders. Jakkals and I were part of that course. Here I got to know a Jakkals who was the life and soul of a party, regaling us with stories that had us in fits of laughter and leading the singing of bawdy ballads around the braaivleis fire!

Back at the battalion, Jakkals fast became a prominent figure. Not only did the LWT perform phenomenal work under his command, but his stories in the officers’ tea room became legendary! In the tea room was a magnificent antique yellowwood barber’s chair. It was known as the “Geelstoel” (Yellow Chair). Nobody sat in that chair voluntarily! It was reserved for the person who told the biggest whopper during tea time! Every day, between 10h10 and 10h30, the activities in the battalion would come to a stop while everyone took a tea break. During the informal talk and banter that took place in the officers’ tea room, there would invariably be someone who would embellish a story with exaggerated hyperbole. If he failed to convince his peers of the veracity of his tale, he would be consigned to the Geelstoel to the accompaniment of howls of laughter. Jakkals, an inveterate and gifted storyteller, would frequently find himself seated in that chair!

Together, Jakkals and I despatched paratroopers on operations in Zambia and Angola, and we often jumped together. Together, we would run the weekly “Moller’s Marathon” every Friday afternoon with the rest of the battalion. The bond of camaraderie grew between us. I admired his skill in welding his tiffies into a team that produced some amazing items for operational use by the paratroopers. When the famous Colonel Jan Breytenbach approached the Officer Commanding 1 Para Bn, Colonel Archie Moore, to request that an air-droppable vehicle be produced for his Pathfinder Company, it was Jakkals who saw to it. Working with no budget, he and his tiffies stripped down an old, written-off Land-Rover in his workshop and built it up from scrap parts to turn it into a unique sabre vehicle according to Breytenbach’s specifications. Dubbed “Firefly”, he then successfully tested his prototype for delivery by parachute. Jakkals was also a qualified air supply despatcher, and this capability stood him in good stead. The Firefly formed the basis of a small fleet of vehicles then built by industry for Breytenbach.

Jakkals and I served together at 1 Para Bn for more than five years before I was sent to Spain to do a two-year staff course. While I was away, he was in considerable demand as an operational LWT commander, often detached to other battalions, including the renowned 61 Mechanised Battalion Group, for extended combat tours during the war in Namibia and Angola. He proved himself an exceptional soldier on combat operations, keeping the wheels rolling under tough and demanding conditions.

While on Operation ASKARI, deep inside Angola, Jakkals heard of his promotion to major and his transfer away from 1 Para Bn. But he would continue to wear the maroon beret that he was so proud of for many more years. His new posting was as the Technical Staff Officer (TSO) at Headquarters, 44 Parachute Brigade. It was here that Jakkals was to really make his mark as a legendary paratrooper.

When I arrived at 44 Para Bde as the SO1 Operations (effectively, the chief of staff) early in 1986, I found myself appointed as the Evaluation Officer for Project JONKHEER, the selection of a suitable air-droppable vehicle for the brigade. Jakkals was the Project Leader. He had already helped produce several interim vehicles since the Firefly, which had been found to be simply too big. It took up far too much space inside a C-130 or C-160 aircraft, and as our Air Force had limited numbers of these machines, we needed a smaller vehicle. The Firefly derivatives had also been used primarily as combat vehicles, but the airborne requirement was for a logistic vehicle that could be used to transport ammunition, water and rations, or to tow heavier weapons.

Together with a team of experts from Armscor, Jakkals and I worked closely for more than a year on the project. We whittled down the field of commercial contenders for the contract by subjecting their prototypes to intense evaluation under extreme conditions and in rough terrain that closely approximated what would be encountered on operations almost anywhere in Africa: bush, sand, rocks, mountains, rivers, forest, dongas, swamps and eroded tracks. They were dropped by parachute, floated across dams and slung by helicopter. The only vehicle that survived this brutal selection was then refined and put through even more demanding trials in the field. It was also tested on the Gerotech Vehicle Testing Grounds outside Pretoria. All this was done under the close scrutiny of Jakkals. It was Armscor policy to name the vehicles that they produced after animals of Southern Africa. In an unusual gesture that was an indication of the high esteem in which they held Project Officer Jakkals, they selected the name “Jakkals” (Jackal) for the airborne vehicle when it went into production.

By no means the ideal airborne vehicle, under the circumstances of sanctions at the time, the Jakkals did fill an important gap in the airborne requirement. This is apparent from the fact that, despite the introduction of the more modern Gecko vehicle in recent years, the Jakkals continues to be used in the air-landed role 30 years after it went into production. This alone, is a tribute to the technical skill and operational experience of “Jakkals” Jäckel!

My good friend Jakkals went on to become, over and above his appointment as TSO, the Research and Development Officer of 44 Para Bde. At about this time he was promoted to commandant (lieutenant colonel). During a detailed analysis of the airborne assault on Cassinga in 1978 (the largest airborne operation carried out by the SADF), certain shortcomings in both the planning and the execution had been identified. Where these could be ascribed to equipment, weaponry or vehicle issues, they became projects for Jakkals to undertake.

One of the crucial shortcomings had been the inability of the paratroopers to send out an anti-tank capability to conduct reconnaissance and to carry out delaying tactics on armoured counter-attacking forces. What was needed was a light armoured vehicle: air-droppable, highly mobile and equipped with a potent anti-tank capability that could move out in the direction from which a counter-attack was expected, provide early warning, engage the enemy at a distance, force them to deploy and thereby win time for the paratroopers within the airhead. Effectively, a “shoot ‘n scoot” capability that would not stand and fight, but would withdraw along stop lines, delaying the enemy.

There was no money available in the Defence budget for an expensive project to produce a vehicle from scratch for the relatively small numbers required by the brigade, so this presented something of a headache. As SO1 Operations, it was my problem as much as it was Jakkals’ problem. Together, we combed through Army equipment inventories and visited technical stores.

We discovered large numbers of Eland armoured cars, now obsolete and discarded by the Armoured Corps in favour of the Ratel 90. We also found a huge collection of almost new Ferret scout cars in storage in Grahamstown. They too, were regarded as obsolete. But research showed us that they were still in use in several countries, including the UK, where they were fitted with anti-tank missiles. Colonel “Touwtjies” Venter at Army HQ made several of the Eland and Ferret vehicles available, and Jakkals and I put them through tests similar to those that the Jakkals had been subjected to. The Eland soon fell out of contention, partly because of its much higher profile, making it difficult to air-drop.

But the Ferret proved to be a highly suitable vehicle, and Armscor modified it on a shoestring budget to fit our needs. Equipped with either the 106mm recoilless rifle or the Milan missile system, it was a potent addition to the paratrooper arsenal, providing hitherto unheard of mobility, armour protection and fire power. Though viewed with scepticism by most mechanised infantry and armoured corps soldiers, it was a vast improvement in the defensive capability of the vulnerable paratroopers. Much of the success of this project must be ascribed to the innovative thinking of Jakkals.

There were many other smaller projects, involving weapons, ammunition, air supply and parachute equipment. Jakkals oversaw the successful dropping of the Ferret vehicle by means of the pinpoint accurate LAPES air-supply technique (Low Altitude Platform Extraction System). When the SADF air supply capability was threatened by disaster because of poor management, it was placed under command of 44 Para Bde and Jakkals was appointed as the first commander to sort out the mess. Within a year, working closely with the Air Force’s 28 Squadron, he had built it into a highly professional unit that was capable of fully supporting a parachute battalion group in operations.

As a dispatcher of many years’ standing and a paratrooper who was constantly testing equipment for parachuting and air-supply, both by means of static line and free fall, Jakkals welded a team together with the Air Force. The transport aircraft crews, and especially the pilots, were not only colleagues, but were close friends of Jakkals.

When, after taking over command of the brigade, I was tasked by the Chief of the Army to cross-train the parachute brigade for amphibious operations, there were many technical matters that needed sorting out. Jakkals became my right-hand man, testing, modifying and even building equipment items for the new role. This required close co-operation with the Navy, and Jakkals forged firm relationships with the crews of SAS Tafelberg and SAS Drakensberg. There was deep mutual respect on both the professional and personal level. He made lasting friendships with Naval officers, and it is not surprising that his son, Franz, joined the Navy after leaving school.

Jakkals left the brigade to attend the Army’s year-long Senior Command and Staff Course in 1990. He accepted a transfer to the SA Military Health Service, was promoted to colonel and served his last years in the SADF with the medics, commanding units and conducting training. His success in this line is a further indication of the flexibility and versatility of this remarkable officer.

After his retirement he ran the family farm in the Soutpansberg in Limpopo Province, before finally moving down to Kleinmond in the Western Cape, where he lived quietly with his beloved wife Ronel, building and flying radio controlled aircraft and spending time with their children, Michelle and Franz.

Jakkals made a lasting impact on the military in South Africa. He was one of those rare officers who was fully accepted on both a personal and professional level by the Army, Air Force, Navy and Medics. Always an officer and a gentleman, despite his sometimes rough exterior, Jakkals had a subtle and penetrating sense of humour. He was a raconteur of note, who could tell a story with an absolutely straight face, that would have his listeners screaming with laughter. His sayings were legendary – but then, the man was the stuff of legend!

Thousands of paratroopers who never knew him are unknowingly indebted to him for his dedication to developing, testing, improving and constructing items that they may have taken for granted, but which made their lives easier and their operational performance better. Frequently, he would personally carry out the testing of equipment items, parachuting with them and running the risks that this entailed. He was a “hands on” officer who did not expect others to do what he was not prepared to do himself.

Jakkals was a “back room boy” who did not take credit for the inestimable contribution he made to the phenomenal airborne capability that the SADF had built up by 1990. He avoided the limelight and the glamour; but he worked like a Trojan for the paratroopers that he was so proud of. He did what he did for others, not for himself. He was a man truly worthy of the famous maroon beret!

I extend my deepest condolences to Ronel, Michelle and Franz. May you find comfort and peace in the knowledge that your husband and father was a man among men. Jakkals, my comrade and friend, you may be gone, but your rich life and your precious memory remain, standing as a monument to the man that you were. Thank you for adding value and meaning to my life!

McGill Alexander
2 July 2016
 
A lifetime of service and achievement.

Rest in Peace.
 
A very good man, and an excellent pilot of his R/C "toys" (as he himself called them).

Rest in Peace.
 

Subsunk

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Thank you for sharing the story of this extraordinary man on here.
 
Colonel Phillip “Jakkals” Jäckel, SM, MMM

13559055_10153857123961775_7567838047535268356_o.jpg


Early in the morning on Tuesday 28 June 2016, I lost a colleague, fellow-paratrooper and friend. After a long, pain-wracked and debilitating battle, Jakkals finally succumbed to the vicious cancer that had so harassed and disfigured him. With the aggressive determination that characterises paratroopers in defence, he fought against the insurmountable odds that faced him to the end.

I mourn his passing. He and I walked a long road together.

We first met in January, 1978, when we were both somewhat elderly lieutenants at 1 Parachute Battalion in Tempe, Bloemfontein. I had already been a paratrooper for ten years, and was back at 1 Para Bn for the university recess before commencing with my final year at the Military Academy. But Jakkals was at that stage not yet a paratrooper. He was what was known as a “tiffie” (from the word “artificer”, applied to tradesmen), and had completed an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic in the Technical Service Corps (TSC). He then served in that capacity as a non-commissioned officer for some years. Recently commissioned, he was now posted to 1 Para Bn as the commander of the Light Workshop Troop, or LWT. This made him responsible for the servicing and repairs of all the battalion’s vehicles, weapons and most of its other non-signals, technical equipment.

I was an infantry officer, involved in training of National Servicemen conscripts who had volunteered to become paratroopers. So Jakkals and I did not work closely together in the battalion. But at the time we were both staying at the OFS Command Officers’ Mess with our young families, so we got to know one another and our wives, Ronel and Anne, became friends. Both families had a three-year old daughter and they played together. Little did we know that Michelle Jäckel and Melanie Alexander would both attend university at Stellenbosch 14 years later, travelling together between Stellenbosch and Pretoria for the vacations!

Jakkals was determined to gain his paratrooper wings. He was not one to serve in a parachute unit without being fully qualified. So, as a 30-year old officer, he successfully completed the paratrooper selection and parachute training, earning his wings, which he wore proudly thereafter. He went on to qualify as a despatcher (jumpmaster) and a tactical free faller.

After I completed my studies at the Military Academy, I returned to 1 Para Bn, and Jakkals and I formed part of a formidable group of captains in the battalion during the early 1980s: Leon Groenewald, Dawid and Johan Blaauw, Nic van den Berg, Vion Hattingh, Herby Pos, “Pale” van der Walt, Fanie “Schalkie” van Schalkwyk, Piet “Graspol” Nel, Gerrie Leiplodt, Dries “Rooies” Velthuizen and Kobus Human. Most of them went on to command battalions or other units, and two of them eventually became commanders of the parachute brigade.

During 1980, six of us from the battalion were on course together at the Army Battle School, training as combat team commanders. Jakkals and I were part of that course. Here I got to know a Jakkals who was the life and soul of a party, regaling us with stories that had us in fits of laughter and leading the singing of bawdy ballads around the braaivleis fire!

Back at the battalion, Jakkals fast became a prominent figure. Not only did the LWT perform phenomenal work under his command, but his stories in the officers’ tea room became legendary! In the tea room was a magnificent antique yellowwood barber’s chair. It was known as the “Geelstoel” (Yellow Chair). Nobody sat in that chair voluntarily! It was reserved for the person who told the biggest whopper during tea time! Every day, between 10h10 and 10h30, the activities in the battalion would come to a stop while everyone took a tea break. During the informal talk and banter that took place in the officers’ tea room, there would invariably be someone who would embellish a story with exaggerated hyperbole. If he failed to convince his peers of the veracity of his tale, he would be consigned to the Geelstoel to the accompaniment of howls of laughter. Jakkals, an inveterate and gifted storyteller, would frequently find himself seated in that chair!

Together, Jakkals and I despatched paratroopers on operations in Zambia and Angola, and we often jumped together. Together, we would run the weekly “Moller’s Marathon” every Friday afternoon with the rest of the battalion. The bond of camaraderie grew between us. I admired his skill in welding his tiffies into a team that produced some amazing items for operational use by the paratroopers. When the famous Colonel Jan Breytenbach approached the Officer Commanding 1 Para Bn, Colonel Archie Moore, to request that an air-droppable vehicle be produced for his Pathfinder Company, it was Jakkals who saw to it. Working with no budget, he and his tiffies stripped down an old, written-off Land-Rover in his workshop and built it up from scrap parts to turn it into a unique sabre vehicle according to Breytenbach’s specifications. Dubbed “Firefly”, he then successfully tested his prototype for delivery by parachute. Jakkals was also a qualified air supply despatcher, and this capability stood him in good stead. The Firefly formed the basis of a small fleet of vehicles then built by industry for Breytenbach.

Jakkals and I served together at 1 Para Bn for more than five years before I was sent to Spain to do a two-year staff course. While I was away, he was in considerable demand as an operational LWT commander, often detached to other battalions, including the renowned 61 Mechanised Battalion Group, for extended combat tours during the war in Namibia and Angola. He proved himself an exceptional soldier on combat operations, keeping the wheels rolling under tough and demanding conditions.

While on Operation ASKARI, deep inside Angola, Jakkals heard of his promotion to major and his transfer away from 1 Para Bn. But he would continue to wear the maroon beret that he was so proud of for many more years. His new posting was as the Technical Staff Officer (TSO) at Headquarters, 44 Parachute Brigade. It was here that Jakkals was to really make his mark as a legendary paratrooper.

When I arrived at 44 Para Bde as the SO1 Operations (effectively, the chief of staff) early in 1986, I found myself appointed as the Evaluation Officer for Project JONKHEER, the selection of a suitable air-droppable vehicle for the brigade. Jakkals was the Project Leader. He had already helped produce several interim vehicles since the Firefly, which had been found to be simply too big. It took up far too much space inside a C-130 or C-160 aircraft, and as our Air Force had limited numbers of these machines, we needed a smaller vehicle. The Firefly derivatives had also been used primarily as combat vehicles, but the airborne requirement was for a logistic vehicle that could be used to transport ammunition, water and rations, or to tow heavier weapons.

Together with a team of experts from Armscor, Jakkals and I worked closely for more than a year on the project. We whittled down the field of commercial contenders for the contract by subjecting their prototypes to intense evaluation under extreme conditions and in rough terrain that closely approximated what would be encountered on operations almost anywhere in Africa: bush, sand, rocks, mountains, rivers, forest, dongas, swamps and eroded tracks. They were dropped by parachute, floated across dams and slung by helicopter. The only vehicle that survived this brutal selection was then refined and put through even more demanding trials in the field. It was also tested on the Gerotech Vehicle Testing Grounds outside Pretoria. All this was done under the close scrutiny of Jakkals. It was Armscor policy to name the vehicles that they produced after animals of Southern Africa. In an unusual gesture that was an indication of the high esteem in which they held Project Officer Jakkals, they selected the name “Jakkals” (Jackal) for the airborne vehicle when it went into production.

By no means the ideal airborne vehicle, under the circumstances of sanctions at the time, the Jakkals did fill an important gap in the airborne requirement. This is apparent from the fact that, despite the introduction of the more modern Gecko vehicle in recent years, the Jakkals continues to be used in the air-landed role 30 years after it went into production. This alone, is a tribute to the technical skill and operational experience of “Jakkals” Jäckel!

My good friend Jakkals went on to become, over and above his appointment as TSO, the Research and Development Officer of 44 Para Bde. At about this time he was promoted to commandant (lieutenant colonel). During a detailed analysis of the airborne assault on Cassinga in 1978 (the largest airborne operation carried out by the SADF), certain shortcomings in both the planning and the execution had been identified. Where these could be ascribed to equipment, weaponry or vehicle issues, they became projects for Jakkals to undertake.

One of the crucial shortcomings had been the inability of the paratroopers to send out an anti-tank capability to conduct reconnaissance and to carry out delaying tactics on armoured counter-attacking forces. What was needed was a light armoured vehicle: air-droppable, highly mobile and equipped with a potent anti-tank capability that could move out in the direction from which a counter-attack was expected, provide early warning, engage the enemy at a distance, force them to deploy and thereby win time for the paratroopers within the airhead. Effectively, a “shoot ‘n scoot” capability that would not stand and fight, but would withdraw along stop lines, delaying the enemy.

There was no money available in the Defence budget for an expensive project to produce a vehicle from scratch for the relatively small numbers required by the brigade, so this presented something of a headache. As SO1 Operations, it was my problem as much as it was Jakkals’ problem. Together, we combed through Army equipment inventories and visited technical stores.

We discovered large numbers of Eland armoured cars, now obsolete and discarded by the Armoured Corps in favour of the Ratel 90. We also found a huge collection of almost new Ferret scout cars in storage in Grahamstown. They too, were regarded as obsolete. But research showed us that they were still in use in several countries, including the UK, where they were fitted with anti-tank missiles. Colonel “Touwtjies” Venter at Army HQ made several of the Eland and Ferret vehicles available, and Jakkals and I put them through tests similar to those that the Jakkals had been subjected to. The Eland soon fell out of contention, partly because of its much higher profile, making it difficult to air-drop.

But the Ferret proved to be a highly suitable vehicle, and Armscor modified it on a shoestring budget to fit our needs. Equipped with either the 106mm recoilless rifle or the Milan missile system, it was a potent addition to the paratrooper arsenal, providing hitherto unheard of mobility, armour protection and fire power. Though viewed with scepticism by most mechanised infantry and armoured corps soldiers, it was a vast improvement in the defensive capability of the vulnerable paratroopers. Much of the success of this project must be ascribed to the innovative thinking of Jakkals.

There were many other smaller projects, involving weapons, ammunition, air supply and parachute equipment. Jakkals oversaw the successful dropping of the Ferret vehicle by means of the pinpoint accurate LAPES air-supply technique (Low Altitude Platform Extraction System). When the SADF air supply capability was threatened by disaster because of poor management, it was placed under command of 44 Para Bde and Jakkals was appointed as the first commander to sort out the mess. Within a year, working closely with the Air Force’s 28 Squadron, he had built it into a highly professional unit that was capable of fully supporting a parachute battalion group in operations.

As a dispatcher of many years’ standing and a paratrooper who was constantly testing equipment for parachuting and air-supply, both by means of static line and free fall, Jakkals welded a team together with the Air Force. The transport aircraft crews, and especially the pilots, were not only colleagues, but were close friends of Jakkals.

When, after taking over command of the brigade, I was tasked by the Chief of the Army to cross-train the parachute brigade for amphibious operations, there were many technical matters that needed sorting out. Jakkals became my right-hand man, testing, modifying and even building equipment items for the new role. This required close co-operation with the Navy, and Jakkals forged firm relationships with the crews of SAS Tafelberg and SAS Drakensberg. There was deep mutual respect on both the professional and personal level. He made lasting friendships with Naval officers, and it is not surprising that his son, Franz, joined the Navy after leaving school.

Jakkals left the brigade to attend the Army’s year-long Senior Command and Staff Course in 1990. He accepted a transfer to the SA Military Health Service, was promoted to colonel and served his last years in the SADF with the medics, commanding units and conducting training. His success in this line is a further indication of the flexibility and versatility of this remarkable officer.

After his retirement he ran the family farm in the Soutpansberg in Limpopo Province, before finally moving down to Kleinmond in the Western Cape, where he lived quietly with his beloved wife Ronel, building and flying radio controlled aircraft and spending time with their children, Michelle and Franz.

Jakkals made a lasting impact on the military in South Africa. He was one of those rare officers who was fully accepted on both a personal and professional level by the Army, Air Force, Navy and Medics. Always an officer and a gentleman, despite his sometimes rough exterior, Jakkals had a subtle and penetrating sense of humour. He was a raconteur of note, who could tell a story with an absolutely straight face, that would have his listeners screaming with laughter. His sayings were legendary – but then, the man was the stuff of legend!

Thousands of paratroopers who never knew him are unknowingly indebted to him for his dedication to developing, testing, improving and constructing items that they may have taken for granted, but which made their lives easier and their operational performance better. Frequently, he would personally carry out the testing of equipment items, parachuting with them and running the risks that this entailed. He was a “hands on” officer who did not expect others to do what he was not prepared to do himself.

Jakkals was a “back room boy” who did not take credit for the inestimable contribution he made to the phenomenal airborne capability that the SADF had built up by 1990. He avoided the limelight and the glamour; but he worked like a Trojan for the paratroopers that he was so proud of. He did what he did for others, not for himself. He was a man truly worthy of the famous maroon beret!

I extend my deepest condolences to Ronel, Michelle and Franz. May you find comfort and peace in the knowledge that your husband and father was a man among men. Jakkals, my comrade and friend, you may be gone, but your rich life and your precious memory remain, standing as a monument to the man that you were. Thank you for adding value and meaning to my life!

McGill Alexander
2 July 2016
Hats off to the man.

28th June - tragic and historic in so many ways: Field of Blackbirds defeat for the Serbs in Kosovo; Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo; signing of the Versailles Treaty in 1919, and the signing of the French surrender to Adolf Hitler at Compiegne in 1940.

Doubly a black day when you lose someone close.
 
A wonderful life and a tragic ending. A thumbs up seems so little.
 
What a beautifully written tribute, Lards.
He undoubtedly thought as highly of you.
 
D

Deleted 15653

Guest
A well written tribute to a formidable man. My glass is raised to his achievements.
 

Latest Threads

Top