Alf Hutchison

(8/7/1943 / South Africa)


To the memory of the Rhodesian Helicopter Pilots and
the 20mm cannon Gunner.Two men one helicopter;
known as K-car…..Killer-car.
A formidable force in the Rhodesian Bush War.


‘Chopper’ pilot calmness,
Cannon gunner’s skill,
Two minds in perfect harmony,
Flew in now for the kill,
Ten comrades in arms,
Pinned down by enemy fire,
Ambushed and compromised,
Their backs now to the wire.

One pilot and one gunner,
Men who knew no fear,
S.O.S. came through to them,
Urgent… but so clear,
“K-car, Call sign Bravo, ”
“Contact, contact, contact”!
Pilot with nerves of steel,
And veraciously exact,

“We have you visual, four o’clock”,
Crackled in the pilot’s ear
He responded calmly “Roger
Call sign Bravo… illuminate a flare”
Flare lit up and in they flew,
Oblivious of the danger;
Twas deaths turn to roll the dice,
With life their coin of wager.

Two hands upon the cannon grips,
One finger on the trigger,
Gunner’s eye took a site,
Through peep site to the jigger;
Bullets ripped into the cockpit,
Of that killer-car machine,
Barely two year out of school,
K-car gunner… aged nineteen

Fire Force airborne pilot,
Turned cannon to the smoke,
Gunner pressed the trigger,
And the dragon now awoke;
Twenty millimeter cannon,
Boomed forth volcanic life
Spewing deadly rounds,
Of instant death and strife.

No place for enemy to hide,
From this matchless opponent;
Terrorists now in full flight,
Were gunned down in a moment.
The Kill-car hovered overhead,
Just six foot off the ground,
Two enemy lay screaming,
But from thirty dead…no sound.

Most men of war, whom I knew then,
Have turned now to the Lord,
They have turned into plow shears,
Their weapons and their sword.
Lord please teach us here in Africa,
Love for one another;
Take xenophobic intolerance from us,
Teach us to love our brother.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Edited: Saturday, July 04, 2009

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Comments about this poem (K-Car by Alf Hutchison )

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  • Carol Gall (6/24/2009 3:48:00 AM)

    excellent poem war is a terrible thing i too pray africa and all the world finds
    acceptance and tolerance (Report) Reply

  • Chitra - (6/18/2009 10:48:00 PM)

    fantastic tribute..through your refelction I could actually feel the war scene (Report) Reply

  • Dr Hitesh Sheth (6/18/2009 12:49:00 PM)

    Again a good war poem from you.............keep it up..................a good write............... (Report) Reply

  • Susan Bagley (6/18/2009 10:30:00 AM)

    I do beleive poetry about war and battle to be one of the most difficult to write. You do an outstanding job and not just with meter and rhyme but with feeling and philosophy.
    I like this very much and I am learning much from reading your work.
    thank you,
    Susan (Report) Reply

  • Ernestine Northover (6/18/2009 8:44:00 AM)

    A great write Alf, kept me enthralled all the way through. One was there with these two brave men. Very well produced and a pleasure to read. Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
    Love and hugs Ernestine XXX (Report) Reply

  • Tia Maria (6/17/2009 1:26:00 PM)

    A very difficult time to write of and you have - Outstanding! Yes as it is written one day all weapons will turn to ploughs - how I pray with you this comes soon & all this madness is replaced with peace. God bless you Alf :) 10/10 Luv T (Report) Reply

  • Ency Bearis (6/17/2009 1:11:00 PM)

    fantastic tribute write...well narrated to the utmost point into poetic presentation..great piece...10 (Report) Reply

  • Gus Mason (6/17/2009 1:49:00 AM)

    Aaah Alf, how well you remember. How brilliantly you reflect. Well written my old friend. And what about our new CO. How great is he... (Report) Reply

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