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Author Topic: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.  (Read 120683 times)

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Offline gser

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Re: Bikesquad - How I got selected for Bikesquad.
« Reply #260 on: December 16, 2015, 06:27:07 pm »
Doen PT oor !
 

Offline The Badger

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Re: Bikesquad - How I got selected for Bikesquad.
« Reply #261 on: February 04, 2016, 10:55:53 am »
Thanks for all the lekker posts everyone.

Sorry for the long gap but I have been working out the country with limited Internet.

Dan and Jurie, nice insights .... thanks :thumleft:  We all seem to have unique experiences of getting into a very unique unit. I feel privileged  :deal:

Here are some pics and army badges relating to our unit Berede and SWASPES. Thanks to to Barry from the SWASPES  page.

After this I will start on our training.
Good friends and fresh mud......

It is not about what you ride...... but WHO you ride with !
 

Offline The Badger

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #262 on: February 04, 2016, 11:02:03 am »
Some more.
Good friends and fresh mud......

It is not about what you ride...... but WHO you ride with !
 

Offline CUZZY

Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #263 on: July 05, 2016, 12:07:49 pm »
First time I've come across this thread. Excellent. I was in Bike Squad Platoon 6 and 7, July 79 to June 81 intake. I am still in contact with a number of guys that were in our intake. A couple of us have met up on a few occasions and forced a few Lion Lagers down when they were available! I was part of the section that stayed in camp the day Swannie was killed. Was bleak times. Especially knowing we would be riding out on those same roads and paths. Peter Fourie who lives in Windhoek seems to have a large collection of photos. I will try and get him to email me some and post them. We had an absolute jorl on the bikes and were totally out of control. Senior rank hated us. For me the funniest day of my life was the first time that our group rode in the very soft sand from Oshivello heading out towards Tsinsabis as part of our border orientation. At that stage I was one of the few that could ride soft sand. The crashes and falling off and riding into fences was a sight to behold. I nearly died laughing. I think the ranks threat was that if you couldn't ride soft sand you were out of bike squad. Most learned real fast!!
I think our favourite wheely spot  was outside the air force base where we got maximum audience! Many many fond memories!
 
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #264 on: October 04, 2016, 08:59:04 am »
Hi Cuzzy!

You were then with my brother's intake, Francois Winterbach. Remember Juan Van der Spek?

We also had as one of our 1st trips, the Tsintsabis route and this is where I saw with my own eyes how a guy [think it was Gobie] gets hung up in a thorn tree that his feet is nt touching ground. Much hilarity from the rest of us over his misfortune. This was about July 1979, on Honda XL350's.
 

Offline steveindar

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #265 on: October 25, 2016, 01:07:16 pm »
Anyone know where I can get a complete engine for an XR500RE?? Have posted in wanted but not much success. Cheers

Steve
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Offline CUZZY

Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #266 on: April 11, 2017, 12:53:06 pm »
Come boys! We need more stories! And a reunion of sorts!
 

Offline Snuggles

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #267 on: August 14, 2019, 07:11:19 pm »
Great fred, revive it, I owned 2 XR500's bought on the army auctions in the 90's, a good friend of mine still has a few on his farm in a shed, also from the army auctions, covered in that k@k nutria paint, please share more memories guys.
Look for good in everyone, if you struggle to see it, add some.
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #268 on: January 06, 2021, 05:34:53 am »
Some memory was scratching at me all day, just remembered why at 8 pm.

Probably few people care anymore, but as long as someone remembers, it's OK. It's 40 years ago today that L/Cpl. Pieter Swanepoel hit a cheese mine near Oshigambo on a XR 500. He would have been 60 in three weeks.

I'm one of those who remember Swannie, because it's the same day that I arrived at bike squad at Potch. 5 January 1981. When I went to the weapons store a few days later to draw a R4, the clerk showed me his R4, and I handled it. There's a photo or two of it around. The barrel was bent, everything except the body was gone, and that was scorched. 

Then, two years later after I returned from a year in the bush I met Patrick Devy, who was my best mate until he died in Uganda on 5 May 2019. He was riding behind Swanepoel that day, he was blown off his bike and afterwards picked up pieces of him. Actually, 'covered with sand' is more accurate. He told me lots of detail, but the one thing he remembered clearly was Swannie's two boot soles next to the hole, as if he'd stood over the mine when it went off. 

Anybody who was in bike squad knew about the mine incident, but only 8 were there.

Below is a photo of his grave. It's in the cemetery at Fochville, between Joburg and Potch. It's on the west side of the cemetery, next to the building.

If you're out riding in the area, stop by, it's not a cheery thing but it is a small bit of bike history.   
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 05:38:27 am by Whethefakawe »
You been using dogsh*t for toothpaste, Mullet?
 
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Offline EssBee

Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #269 on: January 06, 2021, 07:17:33 am »
Thanks for sharing! Very sad, but an interesting read.

Lest we forget.
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #270 on: January 06, 2021, 07:25:15 am »
I "klaared out" of Bike squad sometime during December 1980, and I cannot recall Swannie, but my brother was there.

I'll have to double check, but apparently Swannie just went slightly off-line when he hit the mine, as he was not riding at the front of the line of bikes.
 

Offline Kamanya

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #271 on: January 06, 2021, 07:49:05 am »
You'd have thought that a bike would have gotten away with it? Am I remembering it wrong that it took a couple of hundred kg's to set off an anti-tank mine?

In anycase, RIP.
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Offline steveindar

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #272 on: January 06, 2021, 09:05:01 am »
You'd have thought that a bike would have gotten away with it? Am I remembering it wrong that it took a couple of hundred kg's to set off an anti-tank mine?

In anycase, RIP.
RIP to all the victims.
I had to wonder at your comment. I seem to remember a favourite trick was to stack an AT with AP's in case anything with low ground pressure passed over. Happened with our mine detector vehicle, Pooky I think it was called. Ran fat takkies low pressure. Some still got wacked because of the above trick.

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Offline Whethefakawe

Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #273 on: January 07, 2021, 05:30:10 am »
Patrick wrote me a 6-page recollection of the incident many years ago. I'll be publishing it, and the stories I've had recorded since 2006, soon.

He said they left Oshigambo in a rush, Lionel (De Lema, I think from listening to his recollections) was in front, lifting the tracker. He couldn't remember if the tracker was Kevin O'Neill or Sergeant "Rooibaard". (That may have been another Swanepoel, a tracker PF sergeant we worked with at Spes in 1982). Patrick was 2nd out of the gate, Swannie was behind him, then Johan le Roux, then CP Nell, Olwage and ??

Shortly after leaving the gate Swannie passed Patrick, then signalled slow down/spread out, Johan le Roux was up his (P's) arse.

I never went near Oshigambo, so don't know the landmarks, but he talked about the Delta pipeline close by and the "bus route". They were turning onto the bus route when Swannie overshot the corner, went onto a parallel track and hit the mine.

Re. the weight: if I remember right, it took around 220 kg to set off a cheese mine. It didn't seem like a bike could set it off, until you start adding up the numbers.

The 1979/80 XR 500 "bigwheel" weighs 135 kg wet, according to spec sheets. The extra "protection" the SADF welded onto it, probably 15 or 20 kg. The fucking steel bash plate alone was probably 10 kg. Rider, say 80 kg, plus R4, seven full magazines, grenades, flares, food, water, tools, Swannie probably carried an A53 VHF radio........adds up to easily over 250 or 260 kg total weight.

In 1982 a Platoon 11 oke rode over the edge of a cheese mine, crossing the cutline one day and popped it out of the sand like a frisbee on a beach. It wasn't his turn that day. We had a saying, "jou beurt is jou beurt" haha........... We had many close calls with mines in 1982, I used up two of my 9 lives that way. Wasn't my turn, either.

Time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

Cheers 
You been using dogsh*t for toothpaste, Mullet?
 
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #274 on: January 07, 2021, 07:09:14 am »
What Swapo did in a number of cases is to plant a anti-personnel mine on top of a cheese, or even a double-cheese mine [I don't blame them for trying to not carry these things too far] so that even a pedestrian

would set off the TM46, which usually required around 360kg to be triggered.

This may have been the case with Swannie, as the bike and rider combination should not have set off the vehicle mine.
 

Offline frankmac

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #275 on: January 07, 2021, 07:37:39 am »
You'd have thought that a bike would have gotten away with it? Am I remembering it wrong that it took a couple of hundred kg's to set off an anti-tank mine?

In anycase, RIP.

RIP.

Most of the anti-tank mines we encountered in Nam/Angola (TMA2 & 3 and TM 46 & 57) had an activation weight of circa 250 kg.

There was a troopie on a horse who set off one in the early 80's as well as another troopie who jumped down from the Buffel.

We heard reports of anti-personnel mines being linked to anti-tank mines with detonating cord but don't recall ever encountering it ourselves.

The late Frans Conradie checking for AP's next to a TM 57 the locals had pointed out to us.

Bat Buffel driver contemplating his vehicle after a mine hit. Fortunately no serious injuries.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 07:45:46 am by frankmac »
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Bikesquad - Unit Nostalgia. Training Process to follow.
« Reply #276 on: March 10, 2021, 03:53:43 pm »
@Whethefakawe great to see you back. Heck, we could do a few more solid conservatives on this forum. :thumleft:

I doubt the total weight of a fully kitted rider (~250kg) would set off a AT mine unless he was maybe on the back wheel. 250 over two wheels would be <175kg on the rear. The practice of placing an AP mine on top of AT mine is one the Russians were fond of doing since WWII, so likely also a practice in SWA & Angola?
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