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With his reputation already made from leading an earlier band during the Katangan secessionist revolt-in which Tshombe had been a participant-Hoare had no trouble training a 300-man unit of mostly South African ‘mercs’ that he dubbed 5 Commando.

Hoare, often called ‘Mad Mike’ by those who knew him, enforced only two rules among his men-that they shaved and refrained from drinking before battle.

Events of Thanksgiving week of 1964 in Africa were the direct results of years of political unrest in the Congo, which began within days of Belgium’s declaration of Congolese independence in 1960.

An outbreak of fighting in the newly independent country led to United Nations intervention as USAF transports under the control of the 322nd Air Division, U. Air Force Europe (USAFE), airlifted a peacekeeping team made up of military personnel from several nations to Leopoldville.

The rebels began making threats that the hostages would be killed if the United States did not withdraw its support for the Congolese government. Less than a year later, after having sent his wife and four children to safety in the Central African Republic, Carlson was seized by the Simbas because (1) he owned a radio, (2) he was an American and (3) the rebels wanted hostages. Paul Carlson’s name would be featured in the world’s headlines.

In late October the rebels accused an American medical missionary, Dr. With the fate of the white hostages in doubt, the United States and Belgium tried to negotiate with the rebels.

A fourth C-130 was part of Leo, a ‘Talking Bird’ communications package that allowed long-range radio communications between the task force and Strike Command headquarters at Mc Dill AFB. aid was a mercenary air force made up of North American T-28 Trojans and Douglas B-26 Intruders flown by Cuban expatriate pilots in the employ of a civilian corporation under contract to the Central Intelligence Agency.

For a time the whites were treated relatively well.

But later, with additional American-supplied firepower and airlift support, the Congolese army made steady gains against the rebel forces.

She has been brought up in a deeply Christian family and her parents have tried to make sure she and her ten brothers and sisters have grown up protected from the sins of the outside world.

Deborah is a bright, confident girl who has big ambitions for her life and the film spends a summer with her as she ventures out in the world to see what life outside her family could be and starts putting her beliefs forward to a wider audience.

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