Did You Know?

Did You Know


The name ROOIPLAAS refers to the mother unit  1 Parachute Bn and 44 Brigade

Henry Haupfleish – Paratrooper – did more than 5000 jumps

Colin Deysel – Now Retired, Veteran paratrooper was the official Boxing Coach in the Para Unit since the 1970`s onward

The original colour of the British Paratrooper beret is red. When the first group of qualified SA Paratroopers returned from England after completion of their para training they found the red beret was allocated to SA Medical Services. The nurses then donated their maroon capes to be utilized as material to manufacture the berets for our paratroopers.

The Jumper boots originates from the British paratroopers. It was later manufactured in South- Africa

The Smock Jacket and trousers was originally utilized to wear over battle fatiques and kit to ensure the parachute rigging lines cannot get hooked during exit and opening of the parachute

The first SAVIAC MK 1 was the round shape parachute known as a ” Pampoen” — Pumpkin due its shape

The PT 10 parachute was known as SAVIAC ( South African Aviation Centre)

PISA a Johannesburg Company ( Parachute Industries of South Africa) manufactured 1 Para Bn parachutes

The first 16 men to do Para Training overseas left on 27 Sept 1960

Col. Jan Breytenbach wrote 5 books –:Eden Exile — Buffalo Soldiers — Forged In Battle — They Lived By The Sword  — The Plunderers

A Handgrenade delay time is 4,5 seconds

Col Jan Breytenbach was Off Commanding 44 Para Brigade from 24 Sept 1980 – 31 Dec 1982

The First Regimental Seargent- major of 1 Para Bn was SM P J Grove 1962

Col Jan Breytenbach is the most highly decorated soldier in the SADF and was born 14 July 1932

The first Military Jump in SA was on 04 Aug 1961

The first Qualified Paratroopers jumped at Tempe was out of a Sikorsky helicopter on 5 January 1962

The first 1 Para Bn ceremonial parade was in Cape Town 1962 with opening of Parliament

The R1 rifle Magazine took 20 rounds

“Staaldak” was referred to your Helmet

The R1 rifle calibre was 7,62 mm

A “Varkpan” was a stainless steel plate used to serve food in .. translated as a ” pigplate”

Dixies was two square metal containers used to serve food in

The” Pakhuis” was a building in the unit lines of 1 Para Bn where the parachutes were repacked and troops were chased around the building. The cut off time was 90 Seconds

Fire Force meant Paratroopers reaction force

A ‘Dac’ or `Dak’ was referred to the Dakota DC 3 Plane

A “Flossie” was a aeroplain carrying troops to the Operational Area – C 130 Hercules and C 160 Transall

General Constand Viljoen  : Previous Chief Commander of the South African Army is a qualified Paratrooper

2 Lt Johan Blaauw was the first Honoris Crux Medal receiver for bravery in the Battalion — 17/12/1975

A Fire Bucket was a Metal Holder to keep your water bottle in

A Tiffy is a Mechanic

A Chopper refers to a Helicopter

Tempe is the Military Base area in Bloemfontein

Oom Ronnie Claassen Co-Writer of the book Rooiplaas was the RSM of 1 ParaBN in 1978

Nick Bester — Comrades Runner and winner is a qualified Paratrooper

Rondies was a tuck shop and cinema theatre for recreational purposes opposite 1 Para Bn

Today in 44 Reg.. a PSM is Parachute Regiment Seargent Major

On 05 December 1986 — the first HALO Course started … High Altitude Low Opening   —  Freefall

The first 1 Para Bn reaction force started operating from Ondangwa in 1976

A Super Frelon was a Helicopter carrying approx. 22 men

The Puma helicopter was later upgraded and renamed Oryx

The first Paratroopers send to the SWA Namibia border was during 1973

44 Para Brigade was established in 1976

Over Border operations started during 1974

The singer Randell Wicomb is a qualified Paratrooper (R.I.P.)

The well know actor Johan Scholtz is  qualified Paratrooper

Danie Gerber – Great Springbok Rugby Centre is a qualified Paratrooper

In 1961 — The first jumper boots were in use

On 13 May 1974 .. Johnny Kieser made history to celebrate 1 ParaBn 100 000 th Jump

The obsticle Course was opened at 1 Para Bn Bn on 01 April 1977

The green light after standing in the door means — Go  ……  Jump !!!!!!

The first T10 type parachute arrived in the Battalion in 1962

Before jumping out of a plane .. the red light means, to STAND IN THE DOOR

The “Bokkop” metal badge of a Springbok head was used in 1969 on the red baret

“Die Mollers” was a traditional run on a friday afternoon before troops went on weekend leave and was named after Col Hans Moller

The red Baret was issued to troops in the battalion in 1969 . The same year as the first banner was unfolded

The “Bokkop” refers to the head of a Springbok metal badge on a baret referring to SA Infantry

The Parachute Battalion —-  1 Bn was established 01 April 1961

A Puma in SA Warfare was a helicopter and in South America a Leopard Specimen

Kol Hans Moller was Commanding officer 1972 – Okt 1974

The Basic wing colour is blue and white with a Bronze wing

FNLA Battalion – Bravo Group from Angola became 32 Battalion (Buffalo Battalion)

The first training of SA Parachutists started on 03 October 1960 at Royal Air Force Parachute Training School ..Abington in Oxfordshire

Com. W P Louw was the first commanding officer of 1 Para Bn and his 2 IB second in command Maj T J Renfree

Basic Parachute wings will be awarded after 8 jumps

The first chosen colour for the Baret was red

The Mark 2 Parachute was called a stearable

The term “Skaapdra” means to carry your fellow soldier over your shoulders

A C130 Hercules plain dropped 64 paratroopers


The current commanding officer 2015 at 44 Para Regiment is Col. V S Mahlasela

The South African Paratroopers took part in more than 80 battle operations

The R4 rifle carried two tipes of magazines, 30 rounds and 50 rounds

The 47 of the AK 47 refers to the date 1947 when it was designed

A ” Valkgroep” was a pelatoon of paratroopers

The R4 rifle originated from Israel

The old R 1 rifle …. the R 1 referred to as Republic one and replaced the old FN

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