Gunship over Angola by Steve Joubert
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Publication Date: 04/19
“Seconds later, the clear blue sky into which we had been heading erupted in a hellish scene of smoke, flame, exploding rocket-prpelled grenades and tracer bullets. Had we continued on that path our aircraft would almost certainly have been blasted from the southern Angolan sky.”
Growing up in surburban Pretoria, Steve Joubert dreamed of a career as a pilot. After undergoing SAAF pilot training, a freak injury put an end to his hopes of flying fighter jets. Instead he learned to fly the versatile Alouette helicopter.
He had barely qualified as a chopper pilot when he was sent to the Border, where he flew missions over Namibia and southern Angola to supply air cover to troops on the ground. As a gunship pilot, Steve saw some of the worst scenes of the war, often arriving first on the scene after a contact or landmine attack.
He also recalls the lighter moments of military life, as well as the thrill of flying. A born maverick, his lack of respect for authority often got him into trouble with his superiors.
His experiences affected him deeply, and led him eventually to question his role in the war effort. As the Border War escalated, his disillusionment grew. This gripping memoir is a powerful plea for healing and understanding.
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