Major Joe Schofield, MBE

One of the last great warriors of his generation, Major Joe Schofield, MBE who joined the SAS in 1941 and finally retired in 1979 has died at the age of 90.

Joe was one of the originals who served alongside David Stirling and Paddy Mayne in North Africa, operating behind the German lines to gain intelligence, destroy enemy aircraft and attack their supply and reinforcement routes.  He was still serving 32 years after the end of Word War Two when SAS ‘observers’ joined members of the West German counter-terrorism group GSG9 to storm Lufthansa Flight 181 in Mogadishu, rescuing all 86 passengers on board.

I wonder what Joe made of this collaboration with former adversaries? Although, in retirement, he was tireless in organising visits to France to lay wreaths on the graves of those members of the SAS who had been killed (and, in some instances, executed), I’m sure he recognised it as a sign of progress.

Rest in Peace, Joe.

SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.


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