A Rhodesian government minister has demanded vengeance against black nationalist guerrillas who shot down an Air Rhodesia Viscount aircraft on February the twelfth, killing fifty-nine people.
SV: Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and wife arrive for memorial service at Salisbury crematorium.
GV AND SV: service in progress with single coffin lying in state under purple drapes, and mourners watch (3 shots)
GV: clergymen leaving and mourners walking towards coffin.
GV: Ian Smith and wife leaving, pausing at coffin and walking past.
GV: mourners surrounding coffin, weeping women comforted. (2 shots)
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Background: A Rhodesian government minister has demanded vengeance against black nationalist guerrillas who shot down an Air Rhodesia Viscount aircraft on February the twelfth, killing fifty-nine people. Mr William Irvine told the Parliament in Salisbury that the guerrillas hit the airliner with a Soviet-made heat seeking missile. A memorial service was held on Tuesday (20 February) for the victims of the crash at a crematorium in Salisbury.
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Ian Smith arrived at the crematorium with his wife and party to join the eight hundred mourners. Family members, soldiers, Air Rhodesian hostesses, Rhodesians and foreigners came to mourn the dead.
They all gathered around a single coffin, containing the charred remnants of the victims. Most of the passengers and crew were burned beyond recognition when the Viscount crashed in northern Rhodesian bushland. The Anglican Dean of Salisbury called it the coffin of the "unknown passenger", drawing a comparison to the tomb of the unknown warrior.
This is not the first memorial service for innocent victims of the six-year old Rhodesian guerrilla war that Mr. Smith had attended. In September, last year, black nationalist guerrillas claimed responsibility for the crash of another Air Rhodesia Viscount -- forty- eight people die in that crash.
Because Rhodesia has lost two commercial airliners in five months to guerrilla attacks, the only foreign airline that flies to and from Rhodesia - has cut back service. Government ministers say Air Rhodesia may start using World War Two DC-3's because they are less prone to missile attack.
But none of the plans to prevent future attacks can console the families and friends of the victims of the Viscount tragedy. Many wept bitterly as they passed by the coffin of the "unknown passenger". Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army, claimed responsibility for destroying the airliner, and black nationalist guerrillas attacked Salisbury airport only hours before the memorial service here.