The Search for Puma 164

Operation Uric and the Assault on Mapai

Neill Jackson, Rick van Malsen

September 6, 1979; a lone Puma helicopter flies northward, leaving behind the desolation of the battle for Mapai, in Mozambique's Gaza Province. Huddled in the cabin, two weary soldiers sit silently immersed in their own thoughts, contemplating their difficult duties ahead.
Publication date:
June 2011
Publisher :
30 Degrees South Publishers
Language:
English
Illustration :
200 colour & b/w photos, sketches, maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781920143572

Dimensions : 234 X 153 cm
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£24.95
Unfortunately, due to sales rights restrictions, we cannot offer The Search for Puma 164 for sale in your country.

Overview
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• 30 years on from a devastating attack that left 16 men dead, Rick van Malsen returns to the scene to pay proper tribute to the fallen men

September 6, 1979; a lone Puma helicopter flies northward, leaving behind the desolation of the battle for Mapai, in Mozambique's Gaza Province. Huddled in the cabin, two weary soldiers sit silently immersed in their own thoughts, contemplating their difficult duties ahead. WOII Graham Enslin, CSM, Support Commando, is struggling to come to terms with the death in action that morning of his younger brother Brian; the other, Lt Rick van Malsen BCR, 2IC, 1 Commando, works through the list of names in his hand, names of the 16 men who died with Trooper Brian Enslin when a South African Air Force Puma was shot out of the sky during the assault on the Frelimo and ZANLA stronghold at Mapai. It will be his job to send out the official death notices and to advise the next of kin that the bodies of the three South African airmen and 14 Rhodesian soldiers were not recovered.

Both men vow that night, each for reasons of his own, to one day return to the scene of the crash to pay proper tribute to the fallen men. And so it was, almost 30 years later, that Rick van Malsen returns to the scene of that horrendous battle, to search for the crash site of the downed Puma, in an effort to achieve closure for the relatives of the dead. This is a story of courage and devotion to duty but, above all, it is a story of comradeship and loyalty undimmed by the passage of time, of a band of brothers bonded together in war, united still in peace.

About the Authors
Neill Jackson was born in Malta in 1953, where his father was stationed with the Royal Marines and his mother the WRENs. The family moved to Rhodesia in 1956. Rick van Malsen was born in Kenya in 1954 and emmigrated to Rhodesia in 1960.