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
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,
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
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
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
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."