Colonel (Retired) Bill de Pinho was born in 1959 in a small town known as Umtali, in the country known then as Southern Rhodesia – now known as Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Bill began his school career in Durban, then onto Salisbury and completed his high schooling by matriculating from St Martin’s, as head of school, in Johannesburg. During his high school years he excelled at sport, especially athletics and cross country. This is where his passion for nature and the environment was kindled. His university studies saw him out in the mountains (Barrier of Spears mainly) and this cemented his fervour for both mountains and water.
Bill joined the SA Air Force more than 40 years ago and specialised in photo reconnaissance and interpretation, as well as the collection of other information fields. He has served with a number of squadrons and units over the years – 2 Squadron and JARIC (Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre) provided him with a firm foundation. He was also involved in training, strategic planning and acquisition and has served with pride over the last 40 years. Bill completed two tours as Officer Commanding JARIC. He retired from the Air Force in 2019 as a Colonel and is currently serving as a Reserve Force Member.