Operation AGILA - 656 Sqn Lecture

656 Squadron Army Air Corps’ involvement supporting the Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Rhodesia’s (now Zimbabwe) transition from civil war to black majority rule.

Hear 656 Squadron's Bob Thorpe, who commanded Scout Flight, and Séan Bonner, one of the flight's senior pilots,  talk about their experience on Operation AGILA; the bravery of the soldiers on the ground monitoring the ceasefire; the standoffs between the Rhodesian Security Forces (RSF) and the Patriotic Front (PF) into which they had to intercede; the tense situation for the whole operation especially in the few days before and after the election and the comic moments, they still laugh about today.

This lockdown lecture focuses on 656 Squadron’s remarkable achievement as part of the Commonwealth Monitoring Force (CMF) providing a lifeline to the British and Commonwealth troops on the ground.  The Squadron flew over 2000 hours in two and a half months over often hostile territory and in a situation of complete mistrust between PF, RSF and CMF.

Originally broadcast at 7pm on Monday 9 November, followed by a live Q&A. Watch the archived lecture and recorded Q&A below.

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