Sunday, December 14, 2014

For The Record

Eric Thomson and Harold Covington, Matopos Hills, Rhodesia - 1976

I attested into the Rhodesian Army in September of 1974, as a regular soldier and not a "mercenary". If I was, I was one of the lowest-paid mercenaries in the business; I got roughly $200 Rhodesian dollars per month, after deductions. I entered with the rank of corporal due to my previous service in the United States Army. My serial number was #726818. 

I was assigned to 1 OS Company at Llewellin Barracks, Bulawayo. I spent the first part of my time there working in the Ordnance and Supply depot as a supply clerk, hardly glamorous, nor have I ever made any claims to the contrary. Later on I worked at the Ammunition Depot at Llewellin Barracks. In December and January of 1975-76 I served in 1 Air Supply Company out of New Sarum Air Force Base in Salisbury, sorting and loading and flying supplies to the UNITA group in Angola, who were supposedly "anti-Communist" as opposed to the FNLA and the MPLA.

I also did several runs up to the lesser-known "sharp end" around Wankie and Mana Pools. My combat experience, such as it is, consists largely of getting shot at.

In February of 1976 I was deported for my activities with the Rhodesia White People's Party (RWPP), along with my fellow Americans Eric Thomson and Jeff Spencer. I was told this was done on the personal orders of Ian Smith, who being a British veteran of WWII had a dim view of National Socialists, but I had no way to confirm this.

To serve that small but gallant White nation before it perished from the face of the earth, even in the limited capacity I did, was the greatest honor of my life.

-Harold A. Covington


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your service Harold, we appreciate all the foreign help we received in Rhodesia and South Africa. Unfortunately in the end it was our leaders who sold us out.

Boer greetings
Johan V

2:45 PM  
Blogger brian boru said...

I did my SAS selection course in the Matopos in 1977. Tough landscape to walk over in the heat with a heavy pack. I used to have a photo of myself resting by Rhodes' grave but it's lost now. I read where recently the munts want to have his remains disinterred and sent to the UK. Apparently, their witchdoctor is telling them that the remains are causing the latest drought. Rhodesia used to be a wonderful place, even in the middle of the war. I located what used to be RLI barracks where I did my basic training on Google Earth recently and noted that it's been let go to ruin. No surprise there I suppose. Wankie game park used to be one of the finest in Africa in those days. I believe that most of the animals have been killed and eaten by the apes. Hopefully, they'll start eating each other soon.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A great honor it is! All are in the mix for any duty, but few end up as the tip of the spear. Been there, done that. Hero one day, rear reinforcements the next day. The luck of the draw.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an experience :)

12:38 PM  

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