|Rudolph Christiaan Hiemstra|
|File:Gen Rudolph Hiemstra.jpg|
|Born||10 March 1912|
|Died||26 July 2007(aged 95)|
|Place of birth||Lydenburg, South Africa|
|Place of death||Pretoria, South Africa|
|Service/branch||South African Air Force|
Star of South Africa |
Southern Cross Medal
Hiemstra joined the South African Air Force in 1931. He did not serve in World War II because of his political opposition to South Africa's involvement in the war and was transferred to the civil service, from which he returned to the defence force when the National Party (South Africa) government came to power in 1948.
He served as Adjutant-General, interrupted by his attendance at the Imperial Defence College, as Inspector-General from 1959 to 1960, as Deputy Commandant-General from 1961 to 1965, and as Commandant-General, i.e. head of the SA Defence Force, from 1965 to 1972.
In 1966 the Commandant-General was appointed Secretary for Defence over and above his appointment as head of the SA Defence Force.
During May, 1967, the dual title of Commandant-General and Secretary for Defence was dispensed with by the elimination of the title "Secretary for Defence". The Commandant- General, as permanent head of the Department of Defence as well as of the South African Defence Force filled the post of Commandant-General, SADF, which post embraced the functions signified by the former dual title. At the same time the rank of Commandant-General, instituted in September, 1956, was changed to that of General.
Awards and Decorations
He died on 26 July 2007 aged 95 in 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria.
He is survived by six children, sixteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Among his influential brothers are Dr Louis W Hiemstra who made his in mark in the field of journalism and Judge Victor Hiemstra of Pretoria.
- Who's Who of Souther Africa 1959. Ken Donaldson (Pty) Ltd.. 1959. pp. 290.
- Britz, Elretha (27 July 2007). "Oud-weermaghoof RC Hiemstra sterf" (in Afrikaans). Beeld. Media24. http://www.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2154901,00.html. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- STRATFORD, DO (December 1968). "The Office of Secretary for Defence". Johannesburg: South African Military History Society. SA. http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol013ds.html. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
|Chief of the General Staff of the South African Defence Force
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