Many readers will recall, it was major news then, that on 8 July 1981 Mozambican Air Force Lieutenant Adriano Francisco Bomba defected to South Africa with his MiG-17 Fresco C. He was intercepted by two Mirage F1’AZs from Air Force Base Hoedspruit, I believe, that was on a training flight. Bomba landed at Hoedspruit and asked for political asylum which was granted. The airframe was later returned to Maputo by road but not before extensive examination and flight testing. The SAAF, South African Air Force test pilots were not impressed with the maintenance of the aircraft, stating that it should not be on flying status. That is the official version to this very day and might be true. Nevertheless, as I wrote Code Name July 27, published on 27 July 2019 (and discussing the two SA Special Forces raids, Kerslig and Nobilis), I discovered a few discrepancies… let me quote from the book:
“Okay, nice official view. What really happened?”
If anyone would know, Angelique (the South African Secret Service Head of Counterterrorism and Counterespionage, SASS) would, from her files.
“There are many odd things about the official version, Foxtrot. Whatever statements the SAAF made regarding the MiG’s flying status they did fly it and so you must wonder if that was a ruse to cover something else. The SAAF long had a tradition to never fly on Wednesdays and use the day as ground training before going to sports days. Thus, the two interceptors ought not to have been flying on that day, it is distinctly abnormal. Also, the Mirages were the ground-attack version of 1 Squadron and not the air superiority CZ which would have been a more logical choice to intercept the MiG. Therefore, some say, they did not expect the incoming MiG to start a dogfight. That particular MiG had the number 21 painted on it leading some to speculate that it was a MiG-21 but it was not. Then, the MiG-17 Fresco C was never a threat to the SAAF and the flight testing done proforma almost. When it was returned by road the wings were removed in such a way that the airframe would never fly again. Many thought then and now that the intelligence agency (that would be National Intelligence, not SASS that came much later, GMJ) was trying to get hold of a MiG-21 in the same way as the Israelis did with their Operation Diamond where an Iraqi MiG-21 defected (1966). At that time the MiG-21 was new and perceived as unbeatable. But no, I doubt if we were involved from the intelligence side but we could have been, I was a junior agent and overseas…”
So we are left somewhat bemused and wondering what really happened in the background. In Code Name July 27 we then looked at the 1966 Iraqi MiG-21 defection called Operation Diamond. That was something else. Several Mossad agents were caught and executed for their efforts. However, they got their MiG-21, and from that came the opening of US arsenals towards the Jewish State. The Israeli Air Force switched to US airframes (the McDonnell Douglas Phantom II) and away from the French Dassault Mirage III that they made famous during the Six-Day War by adding two 30mm DEFA 552 cannon with 125 rounds per gun.
Yes, we love military history in GMJ Books and they are filled with them. Especially South African military history which is virtually unknown, sadly so. We also look at history from other angles than what mainstream might do.
* I noticed a lot of interest in this blog from across the world. Okay, if you enjoyed the above which was told to me by two SAAF officers then read Code Name Blue Tang where we discuss the history of the Mirage F1 in South African service besides the best SRAAM in the world, the Denel V3E Agile Darter. A missile that is so advanced that it outperforms any other anywhere in the world. You might also like this blog on South African submarines, https://www.georgemjames.com/post/torpedoing-a-helicopter-in-angolan-waters-reposted.
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I would recommend you to also read the new GMJ book, OATH OF EVIL - The War on Protestantism, where a lot more is revealed, i.e. that the USA is a hijacked country taken over by the Papacy - as predicted in the Bible. We are seeing it playing off right in front of us. A complimentary electronic copy of the 700-page book is available at the bottom of the home page of this website. You need to subscribe to receive it in either EPub or Mobi format. You can unsubscribe later. It is a gift from me. Please read it and spread the word.
* All 51 GMJ books deal with modern military subjects like espionage, counterterrorism, military strategy, military history, and exposing mainstream media lies/propaganda. The GMJ books are a delight for lovers of military history with content to be found outside the schoolbook-approved histories. What is revealed in the GMJ books is shocking to the uninitiated. Prepare to find out the true state of affairs that no mainstream outlet will publish. If you wish to read about Covert and Special Forces Operations in sub-Saharan Africa, the new battleground where the radicals are to be found, the GMJ Books are the place to start. You will learn about covert operations, Special Forces techniques, and military history not known outside the select few.