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Rhodesian War Casualties and Air Force MemorialsRhodesian Air Force Operations

Winds of Destruction
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Winds of Destruction

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Peter Petter-Bowyer is Rhodesian-born, 70 years of age and now lives in Norfolk. He manages the Rhodesian Air Force Association (northern hemisphere).
PB, as he is best known, commenced his flying career in the Royal Rhodesian Air Force in 1957. He served as an operational pilot on a variety of piston-engined aircraft, jets fighter-bombers and helicopters. His piloting experience on bomber and heavy transport aircraft was very limited.
Operationally involved throughout 13 years of Rhodesia’s counter-insurgence war, PB was instrumental in developing a number of successful techniques, including visual reconnaissance that accounted for many of the enemy’s numbers. He was also the leading light in saving the country huge amounts of precious foreign currency by developing a range of Rhodesian-manufactured air weapons systems that were better suited to bush-warfare and the available strike aircraft than most imported weapons.
As Director of Operations at Combined Operations Headquarters in the rank of Group Captain, PB was appointed Rhodesia’s Cease-fire Commissioner to deal directly with the command elements of the British led Commonwealth Monitoring Force and the Nationalist military leaders of ZIPRA and ZANLA. Following the 1980 victory of ZANU at the polls and the installation of Robert Mugabe as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, PB took immediate early retirement.
PB has written his autobiography, which is used as a vehicle to tell of his experiences within the RRAF and RhodAF as well as with the RLI, SAS, RAR, Selous Scouts, BSAP, SB and PRAW. No opportunity has been lost in expressing personal opinions of political situations that eventually led to ZANU (PF) gaining control of the wonderful country that Rhodesians fought so hard to preserve in responsible hands. As the officer appointed to represent Rhodesia's armed forces on the Lancaster House induced Ceasefire Commission, PB has much to say. His book is entitled 'Winds of Destruction' published by 30 Degrees South in Johannesburg and Trafford Publishing in Canada.


Product Details - Trafford
• Paperback: 600 pages
• Publisher: Trafford Publishing (June 30, 2006)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 141201204X
• ISBN-13: 978-1412012041
• Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 1.2 inches
• Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
• Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
• Sales Rank: #497,268 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books


Product Details - 30 Degree South publishing

Paperback with gatefolds
P&P ex SA: R70 local, R395 international
ISBN: 978-0954849-03-0
392 pages
260 x 220 / 8¾ x 10½
300 b/w photos, 12 maps


By  Dr. J. R. T. Wood  (South Africa) - See all my reviews

Peter Petter-Bowyer offers the world a unique airman's story of the Rhodesian Bush War. PB not only established and led the highly successful aerial reconnaissance effort but was not safisfied with it. Blessed with an enquiring, inventive mind, and without any engineering background, he not only improved the aircraft he flew but also invented a new range of weapons for them. He was and is also a well-loved and admired leader of men. He has provided us with an enthralling story.



The following write appeared in ORAFs Peter Petter-Bowyer's career - with thanks to Eddie Norris: Born in Southern Rhodesia in 1936, Peter Petter-Bowyer (PB) grew up in an idyllic world virtually unaffected by the intense preparation for war of airmen in many Rhodesian Air Training Group stations around the country. The presence of so many aircraft greatly interested him, though his aim in life was to become a medical surgeon. PB moved from The Eagle Preparatory School in the Vumba to complete his schooling at Umtali High School. For parental reasons this did not materialise and a switch in interest led PB into a flying career. In 1957 he commenced his pilot training course with the Royal Rhodesian Air Force and was granted a Royal Commission into full time service in 1959. A regular career path included squadron service on propeller and jet-driven aircraft as well as helicopters. Married with two children, PB enjoyed a wonderful life both as squadron pilot and flying instructor on piston aircraft and helicopters. He taught Prop Geldenhuys to fly Provost aircraft. Limited operational periods were spent on the Nyasaland Emergency, at RAF Aden and the Congo Emergency. It was in April 1966 that PB was involved in the first offensive action that marked the start of Rhodesia War. Except for a year at the South African Air Staff College in 1971, PB was actively engaged in operations in which air and ground forces were closely associated. Through this, PB established close and vitally important relationships with leading players of Rhodesia's Army and Police forces. What set PB apart from his fellow pilots was an inventive talent that led him to introduce aircraft improvements and create new-found operational techniques. His objection to conventional warfare air weapons also led him to developing a whole range of air weapon systems that improved strike capability whilst affording Rhodesia considerable savings in foreign currencies. His final post in the rank of Group Captain was to be the Rhodesian representative on the British-led Cease Fire Commission. Due to Marxist Robert Mugabe ascension to power, PB took an early retirement and emigrated to Britain. His best-selling book "Winds of Destruction" is his autobiography of a Rhodesian born pilot covering the Rhodesian War of 1967 - 1980. His final word? Please God, save the Queen!

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