Pin those medals upon my chest, tell Ian Smith I did my best!” - Sergeant Hugh C. McCall, a “Crippled Eagle” in the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Killed in action, 1979
“Crippled Eagles” Roll of Honor:
Corporal J.A Cooey, RSAS and RLI, KIA 1976 - first American to be killed in Rhodesia
Trooper G.W Clarke, RLI, KIA 1977 - USMC Vietnam veteran, Purple Heart recipient
Trooper Frank P. Battaglia, RSAS and RLI, KIA 1978 - US Army Vietnam and Spanish Foreign Legion veteran
Trooper Joseph Patrick Byrne, RLI, KIA 1978 - The tragic circumstances of his death noted in Chris Cocks’ book “Fireforce”
Sergeant H.J McCall, RLI, KIA 1979 - US Army Vietnam veteran
Trooper S.M Dwyer, RLI, KIA 1979 - USMC veteran, killed rushing to the aide of the morally wounded Sergeant McCall
This patch is Fireforce Ventures’ tribute to the “Crippled Eagles”, the nickname for the American volunteers who served in the Rhodesian Bush War. The name was coined by author Robin Moore, who offered his house as a meeting place for Americans who had volunteered for service in Rhodesia.
Some of these young men would become Rhodesia’s most decorated soldiers, having already seen combat in Vietnam. Despite many attempts to defame their heroics as “mercenary work”, every single one of these men came voluntarily, enlisted, underwent basic training and received a regular army pay. There were no “Rambo” delusions in Rhodesia for these men, they went to fight international communism.
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