The 1970s and 80s inspired a whole subculture of ‘Mercs.’ Americans had come back from the Vietnam War and a whole industry of magazines, schools and people who lied about their service came out of the woodwork. Soldier of Fortune Magazine was entering its heyday of popularity bringing attention to the conflicts in Southern Africa.

In the past, I have brought you articles and a book about the Rhodesian Bush War, and there is still more to come. Yet, there was another war south of the Rhodesian border, the South African Border War. It is an intricately complicated war that started in 1966 and ran officially into late 1989, some say ’till 1994.

Ken Gaudet served two combat tours in Vietnam, then with the Rhodesian Light Infantry and, in 1980, went to his third war with an elite unit known as the ‘Philistines.’ They were officially the Pathfinder unit for the 44th Para Battalion but were utilized in COIN operations. He has graciously spent time to give an interview on his experience.

Enjoy -Dan Tharp