Comments And Feedback
Please leave your comments and feedback below. I have added some that were received via my previous website but you are welcome to leave comments an addition to these.
From Linnea K Lynch
We are searching for our cousin, one of the survivors of The Hunyani Disaster.
Do you perhaps know of the whereabouts of all of the survivors?
From Chuck Osborne
Ruth Rainey’s sister, Fiona Lancaster, is living in Juliasdale if you would like to contact a victim’s family. Ruth survived the crash and was subsequently murdered.
From Torty King
Well done Keith…its about time an in depth publication wasdne on the tragedy.I personally knew Brenda Pearson ,one of the air hostesses murdered and her parents were good friends of my family. I look forward to reading your book.
From A Palmer
We need to keep these atrocities documented for our children’s children. We were never beaten, just betrayed, ‘we shall remember them, lest we forget’
From Don Callow
If you are compiling a list of the passengers, I would like to put forward names that were on the flight. My brother & fiance were victims.
From Eileen Underwood-Clements
My Brother Sgt John Underwood was Killed in Action wth his pilot, on 2nd September 1977. The pilot of the Lynx was Leon Duplessis. Leon’s father was the pilot of the Viscount that went down in 08. My school friend was a hostess on that plane as well. Both families lost a brother, and a son exactly a year apart. My father died the next month in October 78. My mother followed in January 1980 all from heartache. I will never foget. What a waste of lives when one looks at the country today.
From Kat Chaning-Pearce
My twin was on the other Viscount that was shot down. We were never allowed to visit the site to lay flowers or anything. Any information you may have on that downing would be most gratefullly received!! Thank you for not letting these events die!!
From Mike Rook
I was Vice-Chairman of the Quill Club at the time Air Rhodesia’s Flight RH 825 flying between Kariba and Salisbury in 1978 was shot down by a SAM7 missile. The Quill Club based in Rhodesia’s capital city Salisbury was the country’s official press club. A victims of this horrendous act was a fellow social member of the Quill, the late Roger Seaton. Roger was employed by Rhodesian Breweries in Salisbury as their Public Relations Officer. Every Friday evening we would raffle cases of ‘dumpy’ beers supplied courtesy of Roger Seaton. He is still fondly remembered and sadly missed. To manage the passenger volume there were two flights out of Kariba that day. Those with red boarding cards were to leave first on the doomed Umniati, and those with green boarding cards were informed they would leave fifteen minutes later. Lt.-Gen. Peter Walls Commander of Rhodesian Combined Operations and his wife were amongst those returning from Kariba to Salisbury, and they happened to be holding the colour green.
From John Hill
Well done!I had the honour and privilege of looking after a DC3 in Mozambique captained by Robin Hood in 1990.His brother is well remembered.
John Hill. Intake 152.
From Douglas Smith
I am the Father in law of Patrick Viljoen who’s mother and sister were blown out of the sky whilst returning from a holiday. You and your associate have brought long awaited justice WELL DONE!!!!
From Brian Cornish
Well done for creating this website and for showing the world exactly why we were fighting the war we were. It is also an excellent tribute to those innocent people that were just trying to get on with as normal a life as possible in the circumstances. Congratulations, and thank you for preserving our heritage.
From Capt. Don Van Dyke
Keith, Well done on getting this story out. I flew for Comair (South Africa) for many years and wrote of the Hunyani in my book “Fortune Favours the Bold” published by Xlibris earlier this year. I reported to Capt Peter Marx who was with Air Rhodesia at the time and was the first called out for SAR of John Hood. Feel free to contact me if you feel I can contribute more. Don.
From Bernard Ecklin
I am interested in anything that touches to Vickers Viscount Series 700.
Beside that I am a fervent admiror of Rhodesia and share the sadness of an entire country let down by a corrupt bunch of criminals of which the worst is the actual president. Thank you for the interesting synopsis of the book.Keith,
When I was first informed that a family member was killed & they didn’t say who it was, my first thought was Alan & Judy as they were always flying off somewhere, they both worked for Air Rhodesia & it was one of the perks they had, in actual fact they had gone to Victoria Falls for the weekend & had just got home when June called them. They came straight over & were a tower of strength to all of us. Alan & Judy lost so many friends on both the Viscounts; working for AR they knew all the pilots & flight attendants etc. I never for one minute thought of my sister when I was told there was a family connection to the crash. Denise was a fun & loving person & is sadly missed to this day.
June & I spent a couple of days in Bindura with my Mom & Dad, Darren & Paula were also with them. We all returned to Salisbury , my Mom & Dad were shattered, it is hard to lose a loved one but you can never replace a child or a mother, we all comforted each other as best we could. Paula, who was only 7 years old at the time, but even then a very smart girl was very quiet & was reading every detail in the newspapers & of course there was TV. We all felt it was a good thing for her to know exactly what was happening & not try to keep anything away from her or Darren. Our hearts went out to her & Darren, they were both so quiet, and it was unreal.
We all attended various memorial services, but the one that really got to us was the one held in Norton, Denise was on that plane with a number of other women from Norton who had gone to Kariba by plane to join their husbands who drove to Kariba towing a boat, for a weekend of fun. The ladies flew because the men thought it would be safer for them…..
At the Norton Memorial Service, Darren stood next to June, she says he didn’t cry at all just concentrated so hard on what the Minister was saying & sang his heart out.
After the service a lot of the folks there came back to our house in Salisbury for lunch.
I am so glad you are doing this, it is a wonderful thing.
I only had ten days before I had to return to finish my stint in the army.
Pls find info attached – (on 1999 trip to the Umniati crash site).
At the time the school headmaster was very welcoming and took us from his house to the crash site is adjacent to his land.
He was only too happy to take us there and was very hospitable.
The people I initially contacted for assistance at the time were:
The person I initially made contact with was Rob & Sian Rickards
He was an ex Air Zim pilot who at the time was flying for Qantas. Not sure if he still is.
He put me in touch with Claire who had a wealth of info to share.
Claire Turner (nee Dardagan)
Her parents were on the Umniati and they were part of the initial group that found the site and laid a marble plaque at the site (see pic attached)
Sadly I did not get to meet her when I did my trip due to time constraints and my priority then was to try and make it to the crash site.
My dad and I went on our trip in April 1999. A very different journey for both of us. For him, I think to find closure after all these years. For myself, to gain an understanding and peace within for myself of something that I was possibly too young to understand at the time – I was only 7yrs old when it happened.
At the same time we also visited the Anglican Cathedral and paid tribute to the plaque placed there and names listed thereon (see pics attached).
Ironically the crash site is situated in the most peaceful and beautiful surroundings along the river. And despite some of the wreckage still been strewn all over the place (see pics attached) as a reminder of the tragedy that took place so many years ago, don’t think it could’ve been a more suitable setting. May they all rest in peace.
Ps. The small plaque I placed at the crash site says:
Go home my friends,
and shed no tears,
I must rest here till God appears,
Short was my life,
Long be my rest,
God took me home when he thought best.
Your loving daughter – Paula
From Patrick Viljoen
I will never forget the day when as a 19 year old recruit on guard duty at Kabrit Barracks I received a phone call which went as follows:
“Is that Patrick Viljoen”
“I’m phoning from Police HQ and have some bad news for you”(can’t remember the person’s name)
“Yes what is it”
“Your Mom and sister were killed in the viscount that was shot down earlier today near Kariba”
The rest of the conversation was a bit of a blur.
The next few days were an absolute roller coaster of emotion, anger and sadness. The worst was when Charlie Buchan the then SAS Adjutant and I met my Dad at the airport on his arrival in Salisbury. He was a broken man which was extremely difficult to deal with as he has always been my hero. He had flown up from Kamativi where we lived at the time.
The funeral service with the single coffin was very surreal and quite numbing to tell the truth.
It was very difficult to imagine that they were gone (the mind plays plenty of games at a time like this)
Denise my 17 year old sister and one of my best mates wasn’t coming back. She is remembered to this day by all who met her to be one of the most beautiful, kind, considerate and compassionate people you could ever wish to meet. It was a privilege for me to have had the time I did with her.
Then there was my Mom Joan, who was undeniably one of the greatest providers a child could hope for. We were extremely well looked after and dressed to the T ( thanks Mom the girls always liked the fancy clobber). She was a very talented musician and horsewoman which was evidenced by the many trophies in our cabinet. “Miss you Mom-wish I could have shown you my family. Bye, bye and rest in peace”
They were on their way to Salisbury to get Denise into College to get involved in fashion design.
From Nola Walker (nee Seaton)
My dad, Roger Seaton, was board the first flight that went down. We waited for days to hear whether he had survived. The worst days of my life. I have never recovered.
From Gail Unger (nee Wakeford)
I’m an ex Air Hostess who lost close friends in these Viscounts. After all these years the wounds are still raw. Thank you for writing about it.