4 Artillery Regiment (South Africa)

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4 Field Artillery
SADF era 4 Artillery Regiment emblem v2.jpg
SANDF 4 Artillery Regiment emblem
Active1945 to present
Country South Africa
Allegiance
Branch
TypeRegular artillery
RoleMedium (self propelled) Artillery (G6)
SizeRegiment
Part ofSouth African Army Artillery Formation
Army Conventional
Garrison/HQPotchefstroom, Northwest Province
PatronSt Barbara
Motto(s)Always in support
ColorsThe launchers
Anniversaries29 June
EquipmentGV6 155 mm self-propelled howitzer
EngagementsWorld War II
South African Border War
Battle honoursSouth-West Africa
Insignia
Collar BadgeBursting grenade with seven flames
Beret ColourOxford Blue
Artillery Battery EmblemsSANDF Artillery Battery emblems
Artillery Beret Bar circa 1992SANDF Artillery Beret Bar

4 Artillery Regiment is based at Potchefstroom, responsible for the training of soldiers allotted to Field and Medium Artillery.

History[edit]

SADF era 4 Artillery Commemorative Letter 1991

Origins[edit]

Under the UDF[edit]

On May 28, 1945, authority was granted for the formation of 4 Field Artillery as a full-time regiment with effect 1 April 1945.

Successor to 4 Field Brigade[edit]

4 Artillery was the successor to 4 Field Brigade, which had made a name for itself at Combolcia, Dessie and Amba Alagi in Ethiopia. The regiment served at El Alamein under its own name – as part of 1 SA Division – and in Italy as part of 6 SA Armoured Division, notably at Monte Stanco.

In May 1946 the unit became part of the Permanent Force's 11 Armoured Brigade. When the latter was disbanded in 1951, the unit continued on as 10 Field Battery.

4 Field Training Regiment[edit]

Based in Potchefstroom, it became 4 Field Training Regiment in 1953 with 10, 11 and 12 Field Batteries at Potchefstroom, Bloemfontein and Oudtshoorn respectively. It was disestablished as a training institution in November 1967.

Under the SADF[edit]

Border War[edit]

The Regiment reactivated in 1975 and took part in most operations since Operation Savannah in 1976. It was back in action in August and September 1981 in support of Operation Protea. In 1983 the Regiment became part of 10 Artillery Brigade (with 14 Artillery Regiment) and was renamed 4 Artillery Regiment the next year. By 1987 4 Artillery was structured as:

  • 41 Battery
  • 42 Battery
  • 43 Battery and
  • 1 Medium Battery

In 1987 the Regiment took part in Operation Moduler and in 1988 in Operation Hooper, Operation Displace and Operation Prone. In 1989, the Regiment was part of the Merlyn Brigade based at Grootfontein, returning home after Namibian independence. The Artillery Brigade and 14 Artillery Regiment disbanded on January 1, 1993.

4 Artillery was part of the Sector 10 response to the Cuban buildup and SWAPO incursions, known as the Merlyn Forces in 1989 South West Africa

Internal operations[edit]

In 1985 and 1986 the unit had tours as provisional infantry in Soweto, Tembisa, Alexandra and in the KwaNdebele homeland.

Under the SANDF[edit]

Organisation[edit]
Cavallo transporter with a G6 self-propelled gun

The regiment is currently organised as a composite unit and has a growth capability for the establishment of additional regiments if required:

  • 4 Regimental Support Battery (4 RSB)
  • 41 Battery 120mm mortar
  • 42 Battery G5
  • 43 Battery G2
  • 44 Battery MRL Mk2
  • 45 Battery G6

Regimental Colours[edit]

In March 1973 the unit broke with artillery tradition, which recognises the unit’s guns as its colours, and took possession of a regimental colour, becoming the first artillery regiment to be presented with a regimental colour and claims to be the first to have appointed an honorary colonel.

Insignia[edit]

Previous Dress Insignia[edit]

SADF era 4 Artillery Regiment insignia

Leadership[edit]

  • Col (Hon) Johann Oosthuizen 1984 – 2012
  • Lt Col Nick Bierman CBE 1946 – 1947
  • Lt Col Bob Meintjies DSO 1950 – 1953
  • Cmdt Sarel Buijs 1991
  • Col Deon Holtzhausen 1994 – 1997
  • Lt Col Victor Khasapane 2006 – 2010
  • Lt Col Jongile Maso 2014 – 2016
  • Lt Col Mimy Matimbe 2017 – current

Freedom of the City[edit]

The regiment was awarded the Freedom of Potchefstroom in 1984.

References[edit]