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Willem Petrus Louw
File:Willem Louw.jpg
Born (1920-11-24)24 November 1920
Died 7 April 1980(1980-04-07) (aged 59)
Place of birth Bloemhof, South Africa
Allegiance South Africa South Africa
Service/branch South African Army
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Chief of the Army

Lieutenant-General Willem Petrus Louw SSA SM (Bloemhof,[1] 24 November 1920 – 4 July 1980[2]) was a South African military commander. He joined the South African Army in the Special Service Battalion in 1938,[3] and served in Italy in World War II.

Military career

After enlisting as a private he served as a NCO in the T Service Corps (SAOC)[1] and was seconded to the South African Infantry. In 1943 he attended a Candidate Officers course and was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the South African Armoured Corps. He was transferred to the 6th Armoured Division and deployed to the Middle East and Italy.

After the war he served in various posts and in 1959 became Officer Commanding North West Cape Command[1] In 1960 he attended a Parachute Instructors course in England. He was promoted to Commandant (Lieutenant Colonel) in January 1961 and in April 1961 became the founder and first commanding officer of 1 Parachute Battalion. Later, he served as OC Northern Transvaal Command and Chief of the Army from 1967 to 1973,[4] and as Inspector-General of the South African Defence Force from 1973 to 1975.

See also


Military offices
Preceded by
Charles 'Pop' Fraser
Chief of the South African Army
1967 – 1973
Succeeded by
Magnus Malan

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