Des Lynch SD, SM, MM

Des Lynch SD, SM, MM

Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)
Brig Gen Des Lynch SD, SM, MM
Born 1940s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [private sister (1940s - unknown)] and [private sister (1950s - unknown)]
[children unknown]
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Account confirmed 21 Dec 2018 | Des's 8482 contributions | 103 thank-yous received
Profile last modified 23 Sep 2019 | Created 21 Dec 2018 | Last significant change: 15 Sep 2019
02:01: Pip Sheppard posted a message on the page for Des Lynch SD, SM, MM. [Thank Pip for this]
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Name: Desmond William Kelly Lynch. Prefix: Brig Gen. Given Name: Desmond William Kelly. Surname: Lynch. Suffix: SD, SM, MMM. A Given name was found in addition to a first name in the NAME tag. The suffix SD, SM, MMM is non-traditional and may be too long for the WikiTree suffix.

Baptism: 1946 Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa. Note: Godparents were Bill and Winnie Park.

Education: 1952 White River, Eastern Transvaal, South Africa. BET 1953 AND 1958. Voortrekkerhoogte, Pretoria, Transvaal. 1957 Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. BET 1959 AND 1963. Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. for a BMil Degree. BET 1967 AND 1969. Saldanha, Western Cape, South Africa. Master of Business Leadership. BET 1987 AND 1990. Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa.

Military 1964 Voortrekkerhoogte, Pretoria, Transvaal. 1966 Dunnottar, Eastern Transvaal, South Africa. BET 1970 AND 1978. Southern Africa. 5 DEC 1978. Rundu, Okavango, Namibia. Note: In 1978 I was based at Maritime Air Command at Silvermine as an Ops Officer while I waited for my transfer to 35 Squadron and Shackletons. In many ways it was quite a hectic year in my life but little was I to know that it was just the beginning of things to come! During that year I did a tour of duty as Ops1 at Grootfontein and almost immediately, on my return, a Search and Rescue course with the US Coast Guard on Governor’s Island in New York. This course included Combat Search and Rescue which was to stand me in good stead in the month’s to come. As I was at Command, I soon became aware of the decision to withdraw the Shackleton from service and decided that going to 35 Squadron was no longer an option. Brig Theo de Munnink, OC Maritime Air Command, was to be transferred to South West as OC 301 Air Component and I decided to volunteer for OC AFB Rundu. On 5 December 1978, I disembarked at Rundu in the heat with my wife and two sons, one aged 20 months and the other 5 months. That morning Lt Gen Bob Rogers had left Rundu on his farewell visit to SAAF Bases. What a start, the vehicle we were given ran out of fuel halfway to Rundu town, leaving us stranded in the heat! The next thing I was summoned to Windhoek with my predecessor, Maj Jinx Botes, for a dressing down by Brig Blackie de Swart on the poor show with Bob Roger’s farewell. The pilot of the Cessna 185 in which we flew to Windhoek was Lt Graham Chisholm.  He had been involved in an incident the previous week in which his aircraft had been hit by small arms fire north of Ondangwa. When I debriefed him he was adamant that the incident had taken place south of the border even though ground intelligence were not convinced that there had been an incursion. I took his work and reported accordingly to Windhoek. On the flight down I repeatedly asked to see his map but was fobbed off each time with some excuse. I finally demanded to be given the map only to find that he did not have one! I was livid. On arriving at Eros in Windhoek I gave him a good dressing down and instructed him to be ready at 07:00 the next morning with CFS Dunnottar type map preparation. At Windhoek I was informed that the CAF visit to Rundu had not been great; it seemed that the biggest sin was that when Clare Rogers wanted scrambled eggs that had been whisked with a beater this had not been possible as there was no beater! Anyway, I got the feeling that Rundu was not going to be a walk in the park. This feeling was confirmed when I was at Eros the next morning for my 07:00 departure; my pilot was nowhere in sight. Eventually at 10:00 I caught a lift with a Dakota to Grootfontein and waited there. Later that afternoon Lt Graham Chisholm arrived, looking very much worse for wear. We proceeded to Rundu in a stiff silence. I arrived home to find my wife up in arms. Jinx Botes had allowed his St Bernard to live in the house and my sons were covered in ticks. In fact, everything was covered in ticks. She left on the next aircraft back to the RSA while I undertook to fumigate the house. Needless to say, the tongues wagged in the small community as to how my family had walked out on me. The next night in the pub I met the SAAF Component of AFB Rundu in the pub and discovered that all of my pilots, including those who were on duty, were enjoying an alcoholic beverage! I was a long distance runner; so, the next morning, I had all the pilots dropped with me 10 km down the Grootfontein road for a nice run in the December heat back to the base. This did a lot for my peace of mind, especially seeing Graham Chisholm crawl through the gate as sick as a dog! I did not drink for the next two years to prove a point but my team never let me down again. The unit soon helped me fumigate and repaint the house in town and soon Liz and the boys were back. Not long after that we moved into a Gemini mobile home on the base which was very pleasant indeed and ensured that I was always available for the Secret and Top Secret signals that arrived at the most inconvenient times. My permanent pilots, who were also there with their families, were Capt Hugh Paine on the Puma and Lt Mike Bell on the Alouette. Mike was later replaced by Lt Johan Merts. Ziegfried Hoebel (Ziggy) was the Flight Engineer on the Puma and Theo Munro on the Alouette. Kudu and Puma co-pilots rotated over the next two years but Graham Chisholm stayed with me for the full tour; he currently serves on 15 Squadron as a Maj and I have the greatest respect for him after our shaky beginning. Most of our flying was air support to the Army in Rundu. Col Gert Nel became OC after his tour at 32 Battalion. I became good friends with “Blikkies” Blignaut and Mo Oelschig; both parabats and keen runners. We spent many hours on the road together. After a while it became obvious that Mo was not sharing much information as to what he was actually doing at Rundu. Soon we met 5 Recce Officers in Hannes Venter and Bert Saxsa. The SAAF Pub appeared to be more popular than that of the army and they spend most of their leisure time there. It was only after an abortive attempt to destroy the runway on the other side of the Kavango that I found out that Mo and 5 Recce were part of what was to become “Ops Silver”; support on the UNITA effort. We lost a soldier that day and after that I was included in the planning of all operations which ensured that we were combat ready when needed. The supply dropping by 28 Squadron with C130 and C160 aircraft increased in intensity and AFB Rundu provided the Combat SAR in the event of any problems. I briefed the crews at Grootfontein initially and after we had established a pattern it became business as usual. We would position at Omauni with a CessnaKudu as Telstar and a Puma. The Cessna would circle at 10,000 feet to extend the radio contact of the low flying transport aircraft. Often the young Dominee would fly along with the CessnaKudu pilots; I have often wondered what they talked about at 10,000 feet in the dark in the middle of nowhere! Fortunately none of these missions ever experienced a mishap. Far more nerve racking was the recovery of the parachutes.These missions were also launched from Omauni. UNITA would prepare a LZ for the Puma and it would then penetrate and collect the chutes. Often fuel was critical and minimal time was spent on the ground with the engines idling. Then the return flight; these flights were conducted low level with no navigation facilities. On ETA I would launch a 1,000 ft flare and there was great relief when it was spotted by the Puma crew. After refuelling the team would return to Rundu and nobody would be any the wiser (or so we thought anyway). We supported 32 Bn in most of their operations, most significantly Savate. “On 21May 1980, under the code name Operation Tiro-Tiro, 32 Battalion attacked and routed a FAPLA brigade at Savate, a small Angolan town 75 kilometres north of the border with South West Africa.” Well, if only it had been as simple as that! “Fifteen members of 32 Battalion were killed in the action and many more wounded. It was the highest South African casualty rate in a single skirmish since the start of the Border War. Overall, however, Savate was a significant victory for 32 Battalion. FAPLA suffered heavy casualties and the invaders captured a great many vehicles, weapons, ammunition and other equipment.” The Bn 2IC, Eddie Viljoen, spent most of the day circling overhead in the Cessna with Graham Chisholm. Johan Merts and Theo Munro were requested to use the 20mm cannon to slow down the fleeing FAPLA when it was suspected that they had captured a white soldier. In this process the Alouette took small arms fire but the crew were unarmed and the aircraft was able to fly back to base. Once it was certain that Savate was taken the Puma casevaced the wounded back to Rundu; more than one trip was needed! The Bn OC, Deon Ferreira, Mo Oelschig and I, the MAOT for the Operation, stayed the night with the dead. It was a very sober experience although Mo produced a bottle of red wine to keep away the ghosts. A similar type of Operation was conducted with 31 Bn but UNITA never arrived at the RV. They had been ambushed. Once again I was MAOT with Mo Oelschig and Col Hall, OC 31 Bn. We were also discovered and ambushed on our way south to the cutline. The Impalas from Mpacha were flown to Rundu and placed on standby for our recovery but were fortunately not needed. We managed to evade the pursuers. Three of the 31 Bn Bushmen were missing after the ambush but they managed to return to Omega on their own in almost the same time as the vehicles. These were interesting times indeed; I can remember meeting Jonas Savimbi on more than one occasion. One meeting stands out, Jonas Savimbi, Jannie Geldenhuys and his team and the Administrator Danie Hough met in Rundu. It was a fascinating experience for me as a young major to be exposed to the strategic geopolitical discussions that were postulated that evening. And now, all of it is history.The Cubans were defeated and Cold War ended but the world remains a confused place. Almost to the day two years later I handed over Command of AFB Rundu to Maj Charlie van Wyngaardt. The only thing I regret about the whole experience is beating Graham Chisholm at a boat race on my last night. After that all the pilots wanted a go at me and, after having been on the wagon for two years, I was a sorry sight the next morning!.         1 JAN 1981. Valhalla, Gauteng, South Africa. Note: On completion of my tour at Rundu I was promoted to Lt Col and appointed Ops Coordinator of AFB Swartkops. My Officer Commanding was Col Hans Conradie with whom I had a good working relationship. I enjoyed the tour but the once good idea of doing the SA Army Staff Course caught up with me and I learned that I was due to do the course the following year. Hans kindly agreed to keep my post open.

During this year I was fortunate to attend the Safety Officers and Accident Investigation Course presented by the Systems Management Faculty of the University of Southern California at SAAF College. This 6 week course was presented by Professors from the faculty and was the formal beginning of greater safety programme professionalism in the SA Air Force. This initiative was thanks to Col AT Kruger who I was destined to replace in 1987. BET 1983 AND 1985. Voortrekkerhoogte, Pretoria, Transvaal. Note: Attending the SA Army Command and Staff Course 1/82 was a real challenge for Liz and I. I was away from home for the entire year; resident in the SAAF Rondavel at the Army College while Liz maintained our home, worked at the CSIR and saw to the upbringing of our two sons. She was the hero of the year!. Best laid plans are often easily overturned by events and before I could return to Swartkops I received a telephone call one Sunday morning from the then Chief of the Air Force, Lt Gen Mike Muller, which did just that! He informed me that Chief of the Army, Lt Gen Jannie Geldenhuys, had requested that I be transferred to the SA Army College as the first SAAF member of the Directing Staff (lecturer). He, Mike Muller, thought this was a good idea!.

Thus ended my flying career. Needless to say, Col Hans Conradie was not amused and, I am afraid, suspected that I had been complicit in this transfer!.

The three years as DS at the SA Army College were not a wasted experience. I enjoyed my colleagues and, I believe, earned the respect of our OC, Col Wessel (Renosterlip) Kritzinger. I gained valuable insights into military planning and strategic management. Lt Gen Jannie Geldenhuys regularly used the DS team as a sounding board for the military and political issues facing our country during those turbulent 80s.

I was pleased to be awarded the Southern Cross Medal for my contribution to the SA Army College during my tenure.

1986 Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. Note: Given my safety officer status over the years and the fact that I was due for a staff post at Headquarters it should have been no surprise that I was appointed Staff Officer Accident Investigation under Col AT Kruger who was SSO Flying Efficiency and hwaded up the SAAF's safety programme. We worked on the 11th floor of the building and reported to Brig Gen Pierre Steyn (later Secretary for Defence in the SANDF). The 11th floor was called "Megawatt Park" by some; in their opinion it was where all the power was generated!.

I had Tyro Vorster transferred to HQ to run the Nyala, the SAAF Safety Magazine, which became a good safety read underscoring the safety programme's improving image in the organisation. Maj Leo Theron, a Navigator who became a lifelong friend also served on my staff.

In October of that year all hell broke loose when Mozambican President Samora Machel was killed in an aircraft accident in the Eastern Transvaal. The investigation into the crash of the Russian Tupolev 134 was one of the most demanding experiences of my career. I was seconded, at the request of Rennie van Zyl, Dir Civil Aviation of the Department of Transport, along with two of my colleagues to be part of the investigation team. I ended up doing the analysis of the CVR in Moscow with the Soviet technicians and presenting the Human Factors part of the report at the Margo Commission in 1987. 1987 Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. Note: I was promoted to full Colonel and took over from Col AT Kruger as SSO FE. The year began with the Human Factors presentation to the Margo Commission. It was a harrowing experience getting ready for this but the preparation paid off; we consulted with John Nance who was satisfied with my approach to the court. I was later congratulated by Frank Borman, the Astronaut, and was awarded the Southern Cross Decoration for my contribution to the accident investigation.

Later I was fortunate to accompany Lt Gen Dennis John Earp and his wife Beth to Taiwan and South Korea. This was a wonderful if nostalgic experience as Gen Earp had been a fighter pilot with 2 Sqn prior to being shot down in a Mustang. He was a prisoner of war of the Chinese for 23 months and developed an abiding hatred of Communists. We travelled to Punmunjong and he was able to stand at the border with North Korea as well as visit the infamous "Bridge of No Return" over which they were repatriated. It was on the journey home that he met Beth in Italy, she was an Air Hostess with SAA! The rest, as they say, is history!.

It became obvious towards the end of the year that the post of Officer Commanding Ysterplaat was likely to become available; my applications for this post were not received that well by the career guys on the 7th floor. I decided to stake a claim with Maj Gen James Kriel who was Chief of Air Force Staff at the time; I am not sure what resulted in my being appointed OC Ysterplaat, but I was thrilled to be given the opportunity.

We must have been quite a spectacle as we boarded the train to travel to the Cape. We delivered the cars which were going on the train and while I dashed off to buy some books for my 2nd year from a bookstore nearby; Liz paraded across the platform with a trolley of luggage, two school boys in tow, water for Mickey, my canine running mate, who brought up the rear. She also carried my WO father's retirement sabre in one hand which had somehow failed to be packed with the furniture.

I slept like a log on the train only to be woken in Kimberley by the crowds of folk on the platforms wishing travellers a happy New Year! 1988 had arrived!. BET 1988 AND 1993. Ysterplaat, Cape Province, South Africa. Note: This was probably the happiest period of my non-flying time in the SAAF. Ysterplaat was a unique combination of operational and lodger units and we did some great things!.

It was a difficult time for the SAAF, squadrons were being closed and financial consolidation was the order of the day. To ensure that we stayed focussed we competed for the Sword of Peace, which we won 3 times in a row during my tenure. We offered to take over the basic training of Cape Coloured recruits which was turning into a disaster in conservative Valhalla/Pretoria. This proved to be a massive success and passing out parades soon became lively family oriented events as opposed to the staid affairs they could be. This thanks to a young Maj Visser van Antwerpen. Shackleton 1722 was made airworthy by my Logistic Coordinator Dirk Brits and WO Pottie Potgieter and their team. It was a sight to behold when this grand old lady took to the skies once more! In 2018 the aircraft, no longer airworthy, was still being brought out on special occasions by the Museum and those wonderful Griffon Engines started up along with sunset cocktails!.

It was an interesting time politically as well. Lt Gen James Kriel had completely embraced the New Democracy and wanted the SA Air Force to readily adapt to the changes that would bring. I acted as Aide de Camp to Mrs de Klerk at the opening of Parliament on the 2nd of February 1990 and, I am proud to say, was the first to congratulate Mr FW de Klerk after the speech which he released Nelson Mandela.

Our sons attended Rondebosch Boys High; the School choir was going to sing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika at a Mayoral Function to which the OCs of 22 and 35 Squadrons had been invited because these squadrons enjoyed the Freedom of the City, a singular honour for a Military Unit. Unfortunately, the Brig Gen in Command of Southern Air Command was opposed to this, he and his fellow SA Army and SA Navy counterparts had walked out of a previous Mayoral Event and had been lambasted in the media. I had myself invited to the event and accompanied my Sqn Officers Commanding. The following year Mayor Gordon Oliver attended the AFB Ysterplaat Memorial Service, something the Mayor's Office had not done for years! We were learning slowly....

I completed my MBL and was pleased to have Hans Conradie, now in Defence HQ involved in improving the efficiency of the SADF, visit with an invitation to join what was known as "Project Bullion"! 8 Officers Commanding in the SADF were going to be invited to accept the challenge to run a portion of their discretionary budgets themselves. For example, Ysterplaat had 5 Messes; we were able to purchase food directly from suppliers and pay them immediately. The quality shot up and we were able to negotiate discounts. We were soon flush and able to make improvements to the living conditions of our men and women. This brought me to the attention of the Higher HQ and when the Director of Computer Information Systems was caught illegally tendering for and producing software in his kitchen; I was on my way up country again!. BET 1993 AND 1997. Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. Note: The massive Defence and Armscor Headquarters in Pretoria looked like something out of a Star Wars movie so I called it "Battlestar Galactica" which was not always well received. It was a very different environment to that of an Air Force Base! Many of the senior officers were far more concerned about personal career politics than for the troops on the ground, in my opinion.

I enjoyed working with Infoplan, there were some good folk on my team, including Leo Theron. We made steady progress in cleaning up the environment but the shadow of transition and the shuffling for appointments in the SANDF created a toxic environment.

My boss, Chief of Staff Logistics, Lt Gen Philip du Preez, neatly snookered me behind the black. Unfortunately for him, he made some silly comments about me the night before in the pub about which more than one person was prepared to testify. I thus declined the post offered to me the next morning by Mr Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Defence. This left me in limbo! Pierre Steyn then called for me to see him and I informed him that I was going to request a redress of wrongs! I was given the opportunity to take early retirement; I accepted and became a civilian at the end of April 1997 after 32 years and 11 months in the SA Air Force!.

Occupation: Quality Manager and Business Analyst. BET 1997 AND 2007. Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

Residence BET 2008 AND 2014. Bathurst, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Note: The way in which we found ourselves building a house in Bathurst is a long and winding story! Suffice to say I had wanted to build it with sandbags but Liz would have none of that; we did do the dry-walling, laying the laminate floors and cladding the walls in Rhino Board as opposed to tiles. It became a stunning home set in the country with a wonderful garden.

When night came it was dark, without streetlights to dim the stars! Scops owls and the Fiery-necked Nightjar would call at night and there were stunning birds in the garden all day. Needless to say, there were snakes aplenty and Liz photographed some beautiful Boomslangs.

I was sad to leave but it was obvious that we were not getting any younger and when I became Head of Training at 43 Liz said it was time to return to the mountains of the Western Cape. We sold the house to the first buyer!.


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Des is a Wiki Genealogy Volunteer following these tags:
My paternal great grandmother was a Mandy
My Gran was an Olivier from Calitzdorp; this set me off researching the Oliviers of the Langkloof.
My paternal grandmother was a Patrick
My focus is the South African part of the family

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On 15 Sep 2019 at 02:01 GMT Pip Sheppard wrote:

Des, thank you for each of your more than 1000 contributions to our Shared Tree for the month of August 2019. All of your work makes our Tree all that much better.

Pippin Sheppard

WikiTree’s Appreciation Team

On 1 Jul 2019 at 19:52 GMT Pip Sheppard wrote:

Hello, Des!

Very well done on your making 1,000 or more contributions to WikiTree in June 2019! We commend and appreciate all of your time and effort in helping to grow and perfect our Shared Tree. Keep up the great work!

Pip Sheppard ~ WikiTree Appreciation Team

On 20 Jun 2019 at 17:09 GMT Roni Kitching wrote:

Hi Des.

Welcome. My grandmother was also an Olivier from Calitzdorp. Hester Petronella, daughter of Benjamin Vredeman Oliver and Cornelia Van Greunen.

On 3 Jun 2019 at 21:17 GMT David Selman wrote:

Hi Stephen,

Thank you for self-certifying for the Pre-1700 badge! Participation in a Pre-1700 Project is strongly encouraged for those wishing to edit Pre-1700 profiles. Collaboration is essential because pre-1700 ancestors are shared by many descendants.

It looks like the South Africa Project would be a good fit with the tag you entered. Adding the tag South Africa will help you get updates about activity for that project.

Do you have any questions? Let me know. I'm happy to help! :-)

David ~ Pre-1700 Greeter

On 23 Mar 2019 at 16:03 GMT Chantel (Bougard) Walberer wrote:

Oh my word, Des! We are related. My grandfather and your grandmother are siblings. This is such a small world!!!

On 25 Feb 2019 at 17:28 GMT Karen Lynch wrote:

Thank you for the fascinating Lynch info. I was dearly hoping we are related but not really sure. I’m investigating my 2ggpa Michael J Lynch born 1831 in Co Clare, possibly Kilrush? At any rate, he died here in the States in Pennsylvania.

I follow the Lynch Wiki feeds and thoroughly enjoy reading the success of others. Yours in particular was a very enjoyable read. Well done!! My brick wall persists but I’m encouraged to try different tactics and to continue when I see others success.

Wonderful bio, by the way. I am also prior military, 15 years, both Gulf Wars. (In the rear with the gear.) I was a Combat Medic and have been a nurse for 30 years.

Keep writing, we enjoy reading it! Best, Karen Lynch, Oregon, USA

On 20 Feb 2019 at 22:51 GMT Helen (Coleman) Ford wrote:

Hi, thank you for adding the death date of Joseph Edkins, I did have more information but hadn't got round to adding to that branch.

I would ask though that when adding information you don't remove things already there.I had to revert the biographies of both he and his wife in order to restore the inline referencing and the full transcript of a baptism. Have a look at to see what I was doing. The other thing is we try to use the names of the country as it was then, not as on the drop down list.This is a useful cribsheet Its all very complex though when new .Presumably you have some relationship to my husband whose mother was an Edkins so perhaps we are related by marriage. (PS know about Shackletons, my brother in law was a navigator on them, my husband was also an RAF officer!)

On 4 Jan 2019 at 17:04 GMT Mindy Silva wrote:

Hello Des

Thanks for joining us! I hope you're enjoying our site and our community. I just wanted to check in and see how things are going. Have the New Member How-To pages been helpful or left you with questions?

It's great to have you on board. Enjoy your time here, and good luck growing your branches. If you need help just click on my name you'll be transferred to my profile where you can post a message or send me a private message.

Mindy ~ WikiTree Mentor

PS Nice bio!

On 21 Dec 2018 at 13:58 GMT Rick San Soucie wrote:

Greetings !

I am happy to congratulate you for becoming a full member of the WikiTree community! To help save you time, energy and frustration, please start with our New Member How-To pages.

Click the green Tag on your top right of your profile page and see others following the same things you are researching. The more Tags (20 is the maximum) you add that include locations, periods of history or other genealogical interests, the more links to the community research options.

Welcome to the WikiTree family! Please ask if you have any questions as I am always happy to help.

Rick ~ WikiTree Greeter

PS If links do not work in an email from WikiTree, try them from the comment section of your profile page.

On 21 Dec 2018 at 13:57 GMT Rick San Soucie wrote:


This is just a note to say hi and to let you know that I'm available to answer questions about joining WikiTree.

To contact me, click the link to my name above, then send a private message or post a comment on my profile page.

Rick ~ WikiTree Greeter

P.S. If links do not work in an email from WikiTree, try them from the comment section on your profile page.

Des is 24 degrees from Tanya Lowry, 25 degrees from Charles Tiffany and 23 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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