Glen Syndercombe

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Glen Syndercombe
Glen Syndercombe.jpg
Born (1931-11-17)17 November 1931
Cape Town, South Africa
Died 18 July 2005(2005-07-18) (aged 73)
Cape Town, South Africa
Allegiance  South Africa
 South Africa
Service/branch  South African Navy
Years of service 1960 – 1989
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held
Other work Honorary Colonel

Vice Admiral Glen Syndercombe SSA SD SOE SM MMM SAN (Rtd) (17 November 1931 – 18 July 2005) was a former Chief of the South African Navy.[1]

Born in Cape Town, Syndercomb attended school in Sea Point. His nautical career began in January 1948 with a two-year cadetship at the SA Nautical College General Botha.[2]

Early career[edit]

His seagoing career began in the British merchant service in 1950 as a cadet, and his first command came 10 years later in South Africa's Department of Sea Fisheries when he was appointed master of the fisheries survey vessel, Sardinops.

In 1959 he managed to fit in a course of studies at the University of Southampton[1] before transferring from the merchant service to the SA Navy in 1960 as a junior officer.

His official portrait on display at the Naval Museum

Naval career[edit]

  • Joined S.A.Navy as Lieutenant in 1960.[3]
  • 1960 – 1963 Navigation Officer SAS Walvis Bay and SAS Good Hope.
  • 1963 – 1964 Long ND course, HMS Dryad.[1]
  • 1964 – 1966 Squadron Navigation Officer of 10 Frigate Squadron in SAS President Steyn (F147).
  • 1966 – 1969 Officer in Charge SAN Radar School in Durban.
  • 1969 – 1972 Project Officer. Promoted to Commander.

In October 1972 he became commanding officer of the destroyer SAS Jan van Riebeeck[1] for two years before being appointed Senior Staff Officer Operations on the staff of the Commander of Naval Operations.[4] This was followed by a one-year stint as a project officer for the Strike Craft project and then as commanding officer of the newly formed strike craft squadron from June 1976, in the rank of Captain. In 1979 he completed the Special Joint Staff Course at the South African Defence College and in January 1980 was appointed Director of Naval Operations and promoted to Commodore[1] In October 1982 he became a rear admiral and Chief of Naval Staff Operations.[1][5]

In 1985 he was promoted to Vice Admiral and appointed Chief of the S.A. Navy.[6]

Honours and Awards[edit]

His uniform on display at the Naval Museum

The following were awarded:[1][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hayes, S.V (ed) (1992). Who's Who of Southern Africa. Who's Who of Southern Africa C.C. p. 465. ISBN 0-620-15974-X. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The SADF: Supplement to the Financial Mail" (PDF). Financial Mail: 41. July 1987. 
  5. ^ "Vloot neem afskeid van hoof" [Navy bids farewell to chief]. Die Burger (in Afrikaans). NASPERS. 31 March 1989. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Englebrecht, Leon (21 January 2010). "Fact file: Chiefs of the South African Navy". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Meer presteerders nodig, sê SP" [More performers needed says State President]. Die Burger (in Afrikaans). NASPERS. 26 May 1989. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

See also[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Andries Putter
Chief of the South African Navy
1985 – 1989
Succeeded by
Andries Putter
Preceded by
Peter Tomlinson
Chief of Naval Operations
1982 – 1985
Succeeded by
James Sleigh