Neall Ellis

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Neall Ellis
Neall Ellis.jpg
Birth nameNeall Ellis
Nickname(s)Nellis, Gunship Ace
Born(1949-11-24)24 November 1949
Johannesburg, South Africa
Years of service
  • ?-1971 (Rhodesia)
  • 1971-1992 (South Africa)
  • 1996-2004 (Sierra Leone)

Neall Ellis is a South African military aviator and mercenary. Raised in Bulawayo, he joined the South African Air Force after a brief stint in the Rhodesian Army. As a helicopter pilot he was awarded the Honoris Crux decoration in 1983, and later attained field rank. After retiring from the SAAF he contracted for various private military corporations, including Executive Outcomes and Sandline International. During the civil war in Sierra Leone, he and his crew held off Revolutionary United Front (RUF) forces almost single-handedly. [1] He also provided fire support for British troops during Operation Barras.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

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Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe, and the largest city in the country's Matabeleland. The city's population is disputed; the 2012 census listed it at 653,337, while the Bulawayo City Council claimed it to be about 1.2 million. Bulawayo covers an area of about 1,707 square kilometres (659 sq mi) in the western part of the country, along the Matsh' Amhlope River. Along with the capital Harare, Bulawayo is one of two cities in Zimbabwe that are also a province.

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The South African Air Force (SAAF) is the air force of South Africa, with its headquarters in Pretoria. The South African Air Force was established on 1 February 1920. The Air Force has seen service in World War II and the Korean War. From 1966 the SAAF was involved in providing infantry support in a low intensity war in Angola, South-West Africa (Namibia) and Rhodesia. As the war progressed, the intensity of air operations increased until in the late 1980s, the SAAF were compelled to fly fighter missions against Angolan aircraft in order to maintain tactical air superiority. On conclusion of the Border War in 1990, aircraft numbers were severely reduced due to economic pressures as well as the cessation of hostilities with neighbouring states. Today the SAAF has a limited air combat capability and has been structured towards regional peace-keeping, disaster relief and maritime patrol operations. During the apartheid era, it was known by its Afrikaans name of Suid-Afrikaanse Lugmag, a moniker which has since been depreciated.

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  1. la Guardia, Anton (18 June 2000). "Airborne adventurer keeps Freetown free". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2019.