Farewell to Old Soldiers - 2023

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Farewell to Old Soldiers - 2023

feb 5, 5:57 am

Obituary: Pervez Musharraf (BBC)

Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's most recent military ruler who has died aged 79...

entering the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961. He served in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 and in the second conflict between the countries five years later, by which time he was a company commander. Musharraf rose to the top job in 1998 when Pakistan's army chief, Gen Jehangir Karamat, resigned two days after calling for the army to be given a key role in the country's decision-making process... In October 1999, Prime Minister Sharif attempted to dismiss Musharraf from his position, but the move was opposed by senior army officers. Musharraf, who was out of the country at the time, quickly returned to Pakistan and seized power in a bloodless coup - taking the title of chief executive. Pakistan's then President Rafiq Tarar remained in office until June 2001 when Musharraf formally appointed himself as his replacement...

mar 13, 1:55 pm

Bill Tidy: Cartoonist who appeared on Countdown and Countryfile dies aged 89 (BBC)

Bill Tidy, one of my favourite cartoonists, served in the Royal Engineers from 1952 to 1955

mar 14, 12:20 am

I flew in to Juba, South Sudan, on Monday of last week and the airport was jammed solid as people, including the President, paid their respects as the body of General Salva Mathok Gengdit was flown to his home area. He died after a short illness. He had formerly served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Presidential Security Advisor and Deputy Minister of the Interior, and was still a sitting member of the National Legislative Assembly (link).

mar 25, 11:44 am

Funeral of black second world war veteran moved as large crowds expected (Guardian)

The funeral of one of the RAF’s last black second world war veterans is to be moved as large crowds are expected to attend the service. Organisers were inundated with requests to attend the service for Ft Sgt Peter Brown, who died alone aged 96 in Maida Vale, west London... Born in Jamaica in 1926, Brown enlisted in the RAF Volunteer Reserve in September 1943. He trained as a wireless operator/air gunner and was posted to RAF Scampton. After the war ended, he re-enlisted in the RAF, working as a signaller...

Redigerat: apr 16, 12:16 am

Murray Melvin, actor, director and theatre archivist, dies aged 90 (Guardian)

He spent "two unhappy years of National Service in the Royal Air Force" (Wikipedia).

apr 23, 12:05 am

Last remaining Gurkha Victoria Cross recipient dies in Nepal aged 83 (Guardian)

The last remaining Gurkha recipient of Britain’s Victoria Cross has died in Nepal at the age of 83. Rambahadur Limbu was awarded Britain’s highest military decoration by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 1966 for gallantry during an attack on Indonesian troops on the island of Borneo during which he rescued two fellow soldiers. Limbu, then a lance corporal, carried out the mission in November 1965, part of the three-year “konfrotasi” conflict known as the Battle of Bau triggered by Indonesia’s opposition to the formation of Malaysia...

apr 26, 1:16 am

Harry Belafonte: Singer and civil rights activist dies aged 96 (Star)

he joined the Navy during the Second World War, working as a munitions loader at a base in New Jersey...

apr 27, 11:41 pm

France lets aged African army veterans finally 'go home' (France 24)

Three suitcases sit piled on top of one another in 95-year-old Yoro Diao's cramped studio apartment outside Paris. After nearly 20 years of living thousands of miles from his family so he could claim his French army pension, the old soldier is finally being allowed to return to live in his native Senegal... Hundreds of thousands of African soldiers fought for their colonial master France in the two world wars and against independence movements in Indochina and Algeria. But until this year, surviving veterans among the so-called "Senegalese Infantrymen" had to live in France for half the year or lose their pension. In January, the French state dropped the condition, saying they could return home for good and continue receiving their monthly allowance of 950 euros ($1,000). It would also pay for the flight and move of any veterans wishing to leave...

maj 7, 11:48 pm

Che Guevara: Bolivian General Gary Prado Salmón who captured revolutionary dies (BBC)

The Bolivian general who captured the Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and became a national hero has died aged 84. In 1967 Gary Prado Salmón led a military operation in Bolivia, backed by US secret service agents, that defeated a communist insurrection organised by Che Guevara. At the time Bolivia had a right-wing military government. An army officer executed Argentina-born Guevara a day after his arrest... After ambushing Guevara's guerrilla group Gen Prado was made a national hero for having defended the Bolivian military regime. He had led US-trained Bolivian Rangers in a remote jungle region... Since 1981 Gen Prado had been a wheelchair user, after a bullet fired accidentally hit him in the spine. He wrote a book about his 1967 triumph, called How I Captured Che. According to his son, "for him capturing Che was not the most important thing he did in his life - rather, it was to contribute to making the armed forces a democratic institution that would respect the constitution and laws"...

Redigerat: jun 18, 7:21 am

>9 John5918: Those interested in more details about the demise of Guevara might want to check out Comandante Che. The interesting thing to me is that while the US-trained rangers got most of the glory, the Bolivian army as a whole just had the bit in their teeth and were prepared to engage in the hard slogging just to keep Guevara on the run; it's a commentary on just how rotten the Cuban military of the Bautista era was.

maj 26, 12:19 am

Hundreds attend London funeral for second world war veteran Peter Brown (Guardian)

Hundred of mourners gathered for the funeral of a second world war veteran to pay their respects to an “inspiration” who had “selflessly” dedicated his life to Britain. Peter Brown, a retired flight sergeant who was born in Jamaica, died alone aged 96 in his home in Maida Vale, west London... Brown was born in 1926 and is believed to have enlisted in the armed forces when he was 17, in 1943. He was trained as a wireless operator and air gunner, according to the RAF, and took part in missions in Palestine, Tripoli, Egypt and Malta before leaving the forces in 1950. He was passionate about cricket and, for 30 years until 2016, was a member of Marylebone Cricket Club...

Redigerat: maj 28, 7:40 pm

Australian WWII veteran Frank McGovern died May 24 at the age of 103. He was an able seaman on the HMAS Perth when it was sunk by a Japanese convoy in 1942. He was subsequently a POW in the Thai/Burma highway, sunk by a US sub in the Philippine Sea, and bombed while worked in Kawasaki as a forced laborer. https://www.smh.com.au/national/world-war-two-s-great-survivor-dies-at-103-20230... 🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

jun 9, 12:02 am

Pat Robertson obituary (Guardian)

Pat (Marion Gordon) Robertson, evangelist, businessman, broadcaster and politician, born 22 March 1930; died 8 June 2023...

He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Marines, but his claims to have seen combat with the First Marine Division in Korea came back to haunt him during his run for the presidential nomination. His Republican rival, Congressman Pete McCloskey, who had served with Robertson, said Robertson’s father had used influence to keep him out of combat, and that his primary responsibility had been to keep the officers’ clubs stocked with liquor. Robertson denounced this, and allegations by fellow Marines that he had consorted with prostitutes, as attempts to discredit him...

jun 18, 1:09 am

Daniel Ellsberg: Pentagon Papers whistleblower dies aged 92 (BBC)

But espionage charges against Ellsberg were ultimately dismissed. "Daniel was a seeker of truth and a patriotic truth-teller, an anti-war activist, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, a dear friend to many, and an inspiration to countless more. He will be dearly missed by all of us," Ellsberg's family said in a statement... he was a Marine Corps veteran...

jul 3, 1:04 pm

Last survivor of D-Day’s only French unit Leon Gautier has died at the age of 100. https://www.lemonde.fr/en/france/article/2023/07/03/leon-gautier-last-survivor-o...

jul 22, 3:07 pm

The last of The Monuments Men has died. Richard Barancik died July 14 at the age of 98. He served as driver and guard for the rescue of Nazi looted art. After the war he became an architect. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/22/world/europe/richard-barancik-dead.html

jul 23, 3:38 am

John Goodenough: World's oldest Nobel Prize winner dies at 100 (BBC)

He served as a meteorologist in the US army during World War II (Wikipedia).

Redigerat: aug 3, 7:53 pm

Vincent J. Speranza died August 2 at the age of 98. Pvt. Speranza fought at The Battle of the Bulge, and served as a machine gunner at the Siege of Bastogne. He received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and Presidential Unit Citation. He became a teacher after the war but continued participating in war related events such as parachuting into North Brabant for the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden in 2019. He wrote Nuts: A 101st Airborne Division Machine Gunner at Bastogne . https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Speranza

Redigerat: aug 17, 2:41 pm

Sir Michael Parkinson: Chat show host dies aged 88 (BBC)

Two years in the British army.

And according to the Guardian, "promoted at the age of 20 to be one of the youngest captains in the British army" during the Suez crisis.

aug 18, 10:35 am

Russia’s Former Top Commander in Ukraine Dies After ‘Long Illness’ (Daily Beast)

A top Russian general who was in charge of the country’s troops in Ukraine during fierce fighting last year has died in Moscow at the age of 57. The death of Colonel General Gennady Zhidko was announced by a regional Russian governor on Wednesday who said only that he had died after a “long illness.” Zhidko previously commanded the Eastern Military District, served as deputy defense minister, and according to numerous reports, was the top man in charge in Ukraine for several months last summer...

aug 20, 12:10 am

French general in charge of Notre-Dame rebuild dies in mountain fall (Guardian)

The French army general appointed by Emmanuel Macron to oversee the reconstruction of the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame Cathedral has died while hiking in the Pyrénées... Macron tweeted on Saturday: “With the death of General Jean-Louis Georgelin, the nation has lost one of its great soldiers, France one of its great servants and Notre-Dame the master manager of its renaissance.” Georgelin, a graduate of France’s elite Saint-Cyr military academy, first joined the infantry then a parachute regiment before returning to the infantry... served in Algeria, Lebanon and Bosnia; and oversaw French military operations in Ivory Coast and Afghanistan. He was the military chief of staff and special adviser to the then French president Jacques Chirac...

aug 23, 3:19 pm

Commander of Australian troops at Long Tan Lt. Col. Harry Arthur Smith died August 20 at the age of 90. He wrote Long Tan : the start of a lifelong battle and The Battle of Long Tan: The Company Cammanders Story .

aug 24, 12:18 am

I suppose it's worth mentioning Yevgeny Prigozhin. He was arguably an old soldier, albeit only of the mercenary variety.

aug 24, 12:46 pm

>23 John5918: I’m not 100% that it’s not some sort of trick. Maybe he kept away from windows and prepped his own food.

aug 27, 12:05 am

Bob Barker, longtime Price is Right host and animal rights activist, dies aged 99 (Guardian)

He was in the United States Navy Reserve during World War II (Wikipedia).

aug 31, 11:57 pm

Canada’s oldest Second World War veteran laid to rest in British Columbia (Global News)

“How so very, very proud he was to have served his country. Whenever I asked him, ‘What’s your best accomplishment, dad?’ I always thought maybe it would be us kids. Serving his country, that was his proudest accomplishment.” Sinclair was already 31 by the time he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. He served as a trainer, teaching bomber pilots to land in the dark on blacked-out runways... “I didn’t have to (go to war) but I felt it was my duty,” Sinclair told Global News in a 2021 interview...

sep 7, 12:02 am

Not sure whether a Bletchley Park codebreaker counts as an "old soldier", but they certainly played their part in the Allied military victory.

‘She played it down’: Bletchley Park codebreaker dies aged 99 (Guardian)

One of the last surviving female Bletchley Park codebreakers, who worked helping to decipher enemy communications during the second world war, has died aged 99. Margaret Betts, of Ipswich, Suffolk, was 19 when she was headhunted by “men from the ministry”, having performed well at school, her son Jonathan Betts, 68, said. He said she agreed to help, explaining: “She had recently lost her brother because his ship had been sunk by a German U-boat...

sep 25, 11:38 pm

David McCallum of The Man from UNCLE and NCIS fame dies aged 90 (Guardian)

He left school at age 18 and was conscripted for National Service. He joined the British Army's 3rd Battalion the Middlesex Regiment, which was seconded to the Royal West African Frontier Force. In March 1954 he was promoted to lieutenant

Redigerat: okt 17, 8:25 am

Former German naval captain and engineer Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Grade died in October at the age of 107. He joined the Kriegsmarine in 1935. During the war he was chief engineer of the U-Boats U96 and U183. He was the last living person with firsthand knowledge of their operations. He joined the post-war German navy retiring in 1974. He assisted in the revision of the novel Das Boot and published his own wartime diaries in 2017. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Grade

Here’s a brief story about the diaries. Apparently it was considered treasonous for a German officer to be keeping a diary during the war. https://www.subsim.com/radioroom/showthread.php?t=228635

okt 22, 12:22 am

Sir Bobby Charlton, Manchester United legend and World Cup winner, dies at 86 (Guardian)

He did his National service with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (Wikipedia).

nov 8, 5:52 am

Farewell to Fred, the Royal Marine who pinned down Germans on D-Day (Royal Navy)

The Royal Marines family and number of men who witnessed D-Day first-hand is one smaller today with the passing of Frederick ‘Fred’ Fitch. Barely 19, on June 6 1944 the marine machine-gunned German strongpoints on Sword Beach to provide cover for British troops on his landing craft...

Redigerat: nov 11, 7:40 am

Frank Borman: Nasa astronaut who led Apollo 8 moon mission dies (BBC)

Frank Borman's career began in the Air Force in 1950, serving as a fighter pilot, operational pilot and instructor. His talents led to him being selected by Nasa to instruct at the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, California...

Igår, 2:12 am

Henry Kissinger, secretary of state to Richard Nixon, dies at 100

The towering diplomat and Nobel prize winner shaped decades of US foreign policy but was seen by critics as a war criminal...

Henry Kissinger obituary

in 1943... he was conscripted. He was with the US army in Germany for the Nazi surrender and the first months of occupation. He won a bronze star for his role in capturing Gestapo officers and saboteurs in Hanover...

Both from the Guardian