George Boakye

Air Vice-Marshal George Yaw Boakye
Member of the Supreme Military Council
In office
1976 – June 4, 1979
President Fred Akuffo
(Head of state)
Personal details
Born 25 December 1937
Died 26 June 1979
Accra, Ghana
Nationality Ghanaian
Spouse(s) Beatrice Afua Boakye
Children 5
Profession Soldier
Military service
Allegiance Ghana
Branch/service Ghana Air Force
Years of service 1959 - 1979
Rank Air Vice-Marshal
Commands Chief of Air Staff

Air Vice-Marshal George Yaw Boakye (December 25, 1937 – June 26, 1979) was an airman and politician. He is a former Commander of the Ghana Air Force (November 1976 - June 1979) and member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) in Ghana. He became a member of the SMC in November 1976 by virtue of his position as the Commander of the Ghana Air Force. He was executed by firing squad on June 26, 1979.

Early life and education

AVM George Yaw Boakye was born on the 25 December 1937 at Ejisu in the Ashanti Region of Ghana to the late Albert Yaw Boakye and Madam Sarah Akua Ampofowaa of Aduman in the Kwabere District. He started his primary education at the St. Joseph's school in Kumasi in 1943, and then proceeded to enter the Opoku Ware Secondary School in 1953 where he graduated in 1957 with a West African School Certificate.

After graduation, he entered the Kumasi College of Science and Technology (now known as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology ) with the intention of pursuing a career in mechanical engineering. However, the authorities of the school felt he was one of the right materials for the newly established Faculty of Architecture, and thus steered his path toward a career in architecture. This career change did not go down well with him, and this made him leave the university altogether in 1958. From his cherished dream of becoming a mechanical engineer, he soon became one of the first intakes of the Ghana Air Force Officer Corps in July 1959. He was married to Mrs Beatrice Afua Boakye, an educationist, and had five children.

Military career

Air Vice-Marshal George Yaw Boakye had his basic Military Training at the Teshie Military Academy and attended the Flying Training School in Takoradi, Ghana. He was commissioned on January 20, 1961 by the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana. From 1961-1963, he was attached to the No. 2 Squadron in Takoradi flying Caribous. He was later transferred to the Air Force station in Accra, Ghana, as a VIP Pilot flying Herons from 1963 to 1965. Later, he proceeded to attend the Junior Command and Staff School in the United Kingdom from January, 1966, until March, 1966.

Between July 1965 and July 1967, he was the Squadron of the Air Force Station in Accra, Ghana. From December 1967 to December 1968, he attended the Royal Air Force Staff College, Andover, Hampshire, United Kingdom. In December 1969, he became the Squadron Leader of Air Force Plans at the Air Force HQ in Accra, Ghana. He held this position until August 1970. In that same month, he became the Senior Air Force Staff Officer at the Air Force HQ; a post he held until July, 1971. From July, 1971, until January, 1974, he was the Air Staff Officer and Chief Staff Officer. In January 1974, he proceeded to attend the National Defence College, in New Delhi, India; he completed the program in November, 1974.

In January 1975, he became the Commandant of the Military Academy and Training Schools in Ghana. He served in that role until November, 1976, when he became the Commanding Officer of the Ghana Air Force. Throughout his life and career, AVM Boakye was known amongst his peers and visiting dignitaries as the ultimate definition of an officer and a gentleman.

Politics

By virtue of his position as Commanding Officer of the Ghana Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal George Yaw Boakye became a member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC). He held this position until his execution by firing squad on the morning of June 26 1979.

Execution

On the morning of June 26, 1979, AVM Boakye, together with five other senior military officers (including two former Ghanaian heads of state), was executed by a firing squad at the Teshie Military Range, Ghana. After the morning execution, the bodies of the executed Generals and Colonel were unceremoniously buried at the Nsawam Prisons Cemetery in Adoagyiri, near Nsawam in the Eastern Region.[1] A Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate atrocities during the Rawlings years and preceding military regimes established that, the executed Generals and Colonel were not tried before their execution. In 2001, the remains of the executed senior military officers were exhumed by the government of President John Addo-Kuffuor.

Reburial

In 2001, the widows of the executed Generals and Colonel petitioned to President Kuffuor who ordered that their remains be exhumed. On December 27 2001, the skeletal remains of the three Ghanaian military heads of state, Generals and Colonel, were returned to their families at a military chapel; 22 years after the Generals were executed in one of the West African country's bloodiest episodes since independence. The ceremony in the capital Accra, attended by more than 2,000 people wearing black and red mourning clothes, was part of efforts by the then President, John Kufuor, to draw a line under a dark chapter in the former British colony's history.[2] On December 27, 2001, Air Vice-Marshal Boakye and Major General Kotei, lying in caskets draped in the national flag, were buried with full military honours at the Osu Military Cemetery in Accra.[3]

References

  1. ^ "Rawlings To Defend Executions At NRC". Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  2. ^ "Ghana reburies past in quest for reconciliation". General News of Friday, 28 December 2001. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  3. ^ "Two Ex- military generals re-buried at Osu cemetery". General News of Friday, 28 December 2001. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
Military offices
Preceded by
C Beausoliel
Chief of Air Staff
November 1976 - June 1979
Succeeded by
F W Klutse

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