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"The Saints"
Sacrificial Lambs of the U.S.


The old hymn, "For All the Saints," was sung by a few voices on Saturday, July 19, 2008, inside the Emmanuel Lutheran Church at Hide Away Hills, Ohio. Some of the men who attended this memorial had been members of a military force who had been referred to as "The Saints," Just across the road from the church is a hillside cemetery which contains the mortal remains of a young Christian Soldier for the Cross, Cpl. John Alan Coey. Corporal Coey had served as a medic and was truly one of "The Saints."

To understand the significance of this memorial service, one must think back to the years between 1965 and 1980. There existed in a far distant African country a war being waged against both the black and white population. The enemies attacked from Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique. These radical black forces were aided by China and Russia. The U.S. and Britain were attempting to secretly destroy this white-ruled country. These two powerful English-speaking countries placed sanctions upon this far-off land populated by their own people.

Landlocked Rhodesia put up a desperate struggle against the communists Marxists who brutally executed missionaries and mutilated black or white Rhodesians. The echo of Rhodesiaís wounded cries were heard by the world, but those cries for help were ignored. Dedicated young men volunteered from eighteen different countries to battle for Rhodesian freedom against the forces of darkness and oppression.

These young men who faced the foe were often strong anti-communists and Christians who felt the need to aid a friendly country that was in dire need. Some of these volunteers gave their all while others were wounded and disabled for life. John Alan Coey, an American gave up his life in Rhodesia as the first American to die in that dirty little-known war. Another six American volunteers would breathe their last in that foreign land. Two of the Canadian volunteers were killed in action during bloody encounters with black guerrillas.

The date of July 19, 1975, has a special significance to three different families as three young soldiers each from a different nation were killed in Rhodesia on that one day. One soldier was from South Africa, one a native of Rhodesia and another soldier was from Hide Away Hills, Ohio, U.S.A. The memorial of July 19, 2008, was the first ever reunion held in the U.S. to recognize all of "The Saints" who had served in the highly decorated Rhodesian Light Infantry battalion.

The Rhodesian Light Infantry existed from 1961 until 1980. From 1965 until 1980 the unit was involved in a fifteen year war. The battalion headquarters were in Salisbury at the Cranborne Barracks. The forces of the R.L.I. were trained to parachute into the bush at low altitudes. Paratroopers were dropped into the bush to do battle with black insurgents and it was dangerous work.

The Rhodesian Light Infantry officers taught their foreign volunteers a type of fire force warfare developed especially for fighting in the African veldt. These foreign volunteers were not soldiers of fortune or mercenaries. They received the same pay packet as the Rhodesian soldiers. They fought side by side with the native-born soldiers some of whom were black. The foreigners were required to sign a three years contract with the military. Cpl. John Alan Coey had volunteered for five years service with the R.L.I.

The Rhodesians and foreign volunteers fought a strong military defense, but were unable to fight off the overwhelming forces and the political intrigue. Rhodesia fell upon its knees due to the underhanded efforts of the U.S. government which always claims to be opposed to communism. President Jimmy Carter presided over the birth of Zimbabwe and was the midwife of that monster, Robert Mugabe.

How many times must the Americans be led down the garden path? We have been led to believe that the U.S. despises Marxism, and yet the U.S. has aided in the creation of cruel Marxist regimes. This has been achieved by the use of U.S. sanctions, secret backroom deals, bribery and outright lying to the American people.

Zimbabwe and the "never-ending presidency" of Mugabe are a direct product of U.S. interference in Rhodesiaís internal affairs. We would not allow a white-ruled country to survive. The U.S. worked for its destruction even though the Rhodesian government did not practice apartheid. Our government also operated with deception in its treatment of the sovereign country of the Republic of South Africa. Just look at the current black Marxist leaders of African countries brought to life by our leadersí spawn!

During this July, 2008, the U.S. President George Bush and his cronies were congratulating Nelson Mandela upon his birthday. How can our "democratic" U.S. President give such recognition to a convicted terrorist and a Marxist leader? Our political poltroons with the assistance of the Zionist media will celebrate while Mandelaís bandits continue to terrorize innocent white farmers. The truth about the criminal acts perpetrated by Mandela both in his past and in the present have been totally whitewashed.

I read about the planned memorial for Corporal Coey in the July edition of The First Freedom newspaper. It only gave me a few days to contact Phyllis Coey, Johnís mother, and make arrangements to travel to Ohio for the service. John had one sibling, G. Edward Coey, who is an older brother. Ed drove up from Alabama to give the eulogy at the church service and at the cemetery.

Rich Byrne from Pennsylvania helped to co-ordinate the memorial. His uncle, Trooper Joseph Patrick Byrne, was killed in Rhodesia on October 26, 1978. Emily Dwyer Barda drove to the memorial from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her uncle, Trooper Stephen M. Dwyer, was killed in action on July 16, 1979.

I was particularly interested in this event as I had lived in the Republic of South Africa in the 1970s. After returning home to Louisville, Kentucky, I kept in touch with events occurring in Rhodesia. More recently, I read and reviewed Johnís book "A Martyr Speaks" which is still available for sale. The first publishers of Johnís book attended the memorial service. Pat and Richard Brooks drove up from North Carolina with some Christian books written by Pat. They kindly offered them for anyone to take and read.

In Louisville, three of us formed a group which we called The Friends of South Africa. We organized several protests against the African National Congress which has always been a communist front. We attempted to awaken our fellow Kentuckians to the subterfuge created by the U.S. government about their motives for supporting the leftist Marxist leader, Nelson Mandela. While the Zulus were the majority tribe in South Africa, they remained ignored by the U.S. The Zulus were represented by Buthelezi who was a moderate; therefore he was not allowed a visa to enter the U.S. in order to speak!

The parents and brother of John Alan Coey were subjected to discrimination in a variety of way after John volunteered to fight for Rhodesia. During this period, the U.S. government could have refused John the right to keep his American citizenship or refused to allow him to return to his home. At the very same time the American Jews could hold two passports, one U.S. and the other Israeli. Jews could fight against Palestinians for Zionist Israel while retaining their U.S. citizenship.

When John was killed, the Coey family was financially assisted by Rhodesians in their travel expenses to Rhodesia for the funeral. John received a military funeral and he was buried in Que Que, Rhodesia. It seems that John had been planning to break his five year military contract after having completed more than three years as he had become engaged to a Rhodesian young woman. He was looking forward to returning to the U.S., but God had other plans for John Alan Coey.

In 1979, when it was apparent that Rhodesia could not hold on and would fall to the black barbarians, another kind of hero stepped forward. Rt. Hon. Viscountess Patricia Malvern, a Rhodesian, generously financed Johnís reburial in Ohio. It is due to her courage and generosity that he now rests in the Hide Away Hills of his youth.

The highlight of the memorial service was the opportunity to actually meet four of "The Saints" who traveled long distances to be at this service. Michael McDonald, a Canadian, attended with his Rhodesian wife, Rhona. Michael and Rhona live in Toronto, Canada. Michael almost lost his left hand after being shot in an encounter in the bush. His wife told me that she felt "fortunate" to have been raised in Rhodesia. Sadly, Rhodesia is now just a ghost in the mist of the past.

Jeremy Hall served in Rhodesia as a South African volunteer. Jeremy studied art in South Africa. He made many low-altitude parachute jumps while serving in the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Jeremy also now resides in Canada with his Rhodesian wife.

Craig Bone, a Rhodesian, studied art along with Jeremy in Durban, South Africa. Later on, both Craig and Jeremy wound up serving in the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Craig is a renowned African wildlife artist. His military career came to an end after he was seriously wounded in combat. Craig drove up to Ohio from his home in Florida.

Keith Nelson, an American, served in Viet Nam and after it fell in 1975, he volunteered to fight for Rhodesia. Keith was a R.L.I. medic and lost both legs after stepping on a mine. He is married to Mary, a Rhodesian woman. She also attended the service. Keith remained in Rhodesia for six years and became a Doctor. He and his wife live near Cincinnati and he has recently published a war novel entitled "Shadow Tracker."

These four men showed physical evidence of their sacrifices. "The Saints" were indeed the sacrificial lambs who were slaughtered or mutilated with support from our corrupt government. Some of their wounds are probably emotional scars from being in combat, losing their homeland, and realizing the betrayal of their own governments. This is the legacy left to these brave soldiers.

After the church service was finished, we marched across Hornsmill Road and walked up the hill to the spot where Cpl. John Alan Coey is buried next to his father, George Coey. We carried the Rhodesian flag and sang "The Saints Go Marching In." This was the passing out song for the R.L.I. and the origin of the appellation "The Saints." Lovely floral arrangements had been brought to the service and they were placed at the gravesite.

Seven American flags, each one to represent an American soldier, were placed in the ground. One additional flag was left there to represent all those who served in the Rhodesian Light Infantry. A bugler played "Taps."

We returned to the church basement for fellowship. Phyllis had planned for everyone to have lunch at the church. Melody Gordon, a member of the church prepared a fine meal for those in attendance. We looked at books and letters and articles and probably thought of how things might have been or should have been.

This is the list of the seven Americans killed in Rhodesia by date of their death:
Corporal John Alan Coey, July 19, 1975
Trooper George W. Clarke, May15, 1977
Sergeant Richard L. Biederman, December 6, 1977
Trooper Frank P. Battaglia, March 6, 1978
Trooper Joseph Patrick Byrne, October 26, 1978
Trooper Stephen M. Dwyer, July 16, 1979
Sergeant Hugh McCall, July 16, 1979

This was the first time members of the Rhodesian Light Infantry have had a reunion in the States. Letís hope there will be yearly reunions in order that their heroism and history will not be forgotten.

God Bless the Rhodesian Light Infantry (1961-1980) and all "The Saints."

Nancy Hitt
hunleyhitt@earthlink.net
2008