Willem Louw

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Willem Petrus Louw
Willem Louw.jpg
Born (1920-11-24)24 November 1920
Bloemhof, South Africa
Died 4 July 1980(1980-07-04) (aged 59)
Buried Gauteng, Pretoria, VOORTREKKERHOOGTE, New Military cemetery[1] (25°46′53″S 28°07′18″E / 25.78148°S 28.12166°E / -25.78148; 28.12166Coordinates: 25°46′53″S 28°07′18″E / 25.78148°S 28.12166°E / -25.78148; 28.12166)
Allegiance  Republic of South Africa
Service/branch  South African Army
Years of service 1938 – 1975
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held
  • Inspector General of the SADF
  • Chief of the Army
  • Northern Transvaal Command
  • SA Military College
  • 1 Parachute Battalion
Battles/wars World War II

Lieutenant-General Willem Petrus Louw SSA SM (Bloemhof,[2]:255 24 November 1920 – 4 July 1980)[1] was a South African military commander. He joined the South African Army in the Special Service Battalion in 1938,[3]:94 and served in Italy in World War II.

Military career[edit]

After enlisting as a private he served as a NCO in the Technical Service Corps (SAOC)[2]:255 and was seconded to the South African Infantry. In 1943 he attended a Candidate Officers course and was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the South African Army Armoured Corps. He was transferred to the 6th Armoured Division and deployed to the Middle East and Italy.[3]:94

After the war he served in various posts and in 1959 became Officer Commanding North West Cape Command[2]:255 In 1960 he attended a Parachute Instructors course in England. He was promoted to Commandant (Lieutenant Colonel) in January 1961 and in April 1961 became the founder and first commanding officer of 1 Parachute Battalion. He was promoted to Colonel in 1964 and appointed OC of the Military College in Voortrekkerhoogte.[2]:255 In 1966 he served as OC Northern Transvaal Command[3]:94 as a Brigadier and Chief of the Army from 1967 to 1973,[4][3]:94 and as Inspector-General of the South African Defence Force from 1973 to 1975.[3]:94

After a re-organisation of the SADF the position of Inspector General was abolished and he retired on 31 March 1975.[2][3]:94

Awards and Decorations[edit]


  1. ^ a b "LOUW Willem Petrus 1920-1980". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Els, Paul J WO1 (2010). We conquer from above. PelsA Books. ISBN 978-0-620-46738-4. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Nöthling, C.J.; Meyers, E.M. (1982). "LEIERS DEUR DIE JARE (1912-1982)" (Online). Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies (in Afrikaans). 12 (2): 89–98. ISSN 2224-0020. doi:10.5787/12-2-631. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fact file: Chiefs of the SA Army". defenceweb.co.za. Defence Web. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 

See also[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Maj Gen Fritz Loots
Inspector General of the SADF
1973 – 1975
Post Abolished
Preceded by
Charles 'Pop' Fraser
Chief of the South African Army
1967 – 1973
Succeeded by
Magnus Malan
Preceded by
Brig JH Burgher
OC Northern Transvaal Command
1966 – 1967
Succeeded by
Brig FJ van Deventer
Preceded by
Col JH Burgher
OC South African Military College
1964 – 1966
Succeeded by
Col JW van Niekerk
New creation
Regiment Founded
OC 1 Parachute Battalion
April 1961 – 1964
Succeeded by
Jan Fourie