Neall Ellis HC is a South African military aviator and mercenary. Raised in Bulawayo, he joined the South African Air Force after a brief stint in the Rhodesian Army. As a helicopter pilot he was awarded the Honoris Crux decoration in 1983, and later attained field rank. After retiring from the SAAF he contracted for various private military corporations, including Executive Outcomes and Sandline International. During the civil war in Sierra Leone, he and his Mi-24 crew held off Revolutionary United Front (RUF) forces almost single-handedly.[1][2] He also provided fire support for British troops during Operation Barras.

Neall Ellis

Neall Ellis.jpg
Birth nameNeall Ellis
Nickname(s)Nellis, Gunship Ace
Born(1949-11-24)24 November 1949
Johannesburg, South Africa
Years of service
  • ?–1971 (Rhodesia)
  • 1971–1992 (South Africa)
  • 1996–2004 (Sierra Leone)
AwardsHonoris Crux (1952) HC


Pilots Wings
2500 plus hrs
Black on Thatch beige, Embossed
National Coat of Arms with large wings enclosed by two black rectangles


  1. ^ la Guardia, Anton (18 June 2000). "Airborne adventurer keeps Freetown free". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  2. ^ Combat & Survival magazine 12/06 September 2000 pp. 26–32 with photos

External linksEdit