A German of French descent shot down by a South African of German descent in a country occupied by Italy ….

Another amazing and very human story about one of our World War 2 South African heroes. This one where two former enemies became close friends long after they met in the skies of North Africa during Word War 2. A German and a South African pilot fought to the death, the South African shooting down the German, later only to become friends.

The colorised image is Stuka pilot Lt. Heinz-Georg Migeod, shot down in Libya, 11/11/1942 by SAAF fighter pilot DB “Hoefie” Hauptfleisch (in the black and white portrait insert).

After the war Heinz relocated to South Africa where he met Hoefie and they became good friends. Hoefie passed away in 2009 and Heinz in 2010.

Tinus Le Roux was fortunate to have met Heinz. He once said to Tinus that the incident on 11 Nov 1942 was very funny: “a German of French descent was shot down by a South African from German descent in an African country occupied by Italy”

Now that is sheer irony.

With thanks to Tinus Le Roux for the colorised image and story as well as the families of Heinz Migeod and Hoefie Hauptfleisch for their stories, pictures and memories.

Image copyright – Tinus Le Roux

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