Information on research for a book I wrote about the experiences of a helicopter Technician/Gunner who flew operational sorties in Alouette Gunships on Fireforce during the Rhodesian Bush War. (Second Chimurenga war)
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011
JAMBANJA ERIC HARRISONS BOOK ON FARM INVASIONS IN ZIMBABWE - A MUST READ He didn’t say a word as Whitehat stepped forward. “We are the new owners of Maioio Farm.” He said menacingly, as he pointed to the other three. “You have got 24 hours to get off ... now move it!”Harry, a white Zimbabwean farmer, has fought to create a life out from under the shadow of war. From meagre beginnings he carves a successful citrus farm from the “Dirt” of a newly-built settlement, only to have it ripped away in a series of vicious and shocking attacks. His family, friends and faith are sorely tested as he struggles to fight back “by the book” - a book that has become a very sick joke in Zimbabwe.Eric Harrison has farmed in Zimbabwe for over 30 years. He recently relocated to Harare to continue his fight towards restitution of the rights, dignity and self respect of himself and the many affected families and staff, after losing his farm, “Maioio”.He was inspired to write Jambanja after realising how uninformed those outside Zimbabwe are about the thuggery and intimidation policies implemented by the government of Zimbabwe in the name of Land Redistribution. Author Eric Harrison Cover Type Paperback ISBN-10 ISBN-13 978-1-920169-82-4 No of Pages 237 Size A5 Publication Date 10 April 2008 Lulu ID 2344202 Available fro Just Done Productions -Publishing -
BEAVER SHAW LOGBOOK K CAR 5701 18/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW SALISBURY –BINDURA K CAR 5701 18/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW BINDURA – MANGULA K CAR 5701 19/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW MANGULA TO ASSEMBLY AREA MANA POOLS K CAR 5701 19/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW K CAR TOP COVER EXTERNAL OPERATION ZAMBIA APPROX 200 CT KIA 3 SORTIES FLOWN K CAR 5701 19/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW WITH REPORTER MANA POOLS TO RECOVERY BASE MAKUTI K CAR 5701 20/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW MAKUTI TO MANA POOLS ASSEMBLY AREA K CAR 5701 20/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW TOP COVER WAS LEAD BUT DUE TO LACK OF SPEED MARK DAWSON TOOK LEAD AND ON PASSING WE TOOK AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF FLAK FROM CT AAA GUN POSITIONS ON THE GROUND THE SKY WAS GREEN AND RED WITH TRACER 23 MM CANNON SHOTS AT HELICOPTERS NO STRIKES. MARK DAWSON AND ROELF OELOEFSE SHOT IN TAIL ROTOR GEARBOX CRASHING IN FRONT OF FORMATION. THE K CAR IN WHICH THEY WERE FLYING BROKE ITS BACK AND THREW ROELF OUT CAUSING BACK INJURY. MARK SUSTAINED HEAD INJURIES AND WAS FOUND UNCONCIOUS BY BEAVER SHAW AND MIKE SMITH WHEN THIER K CARS LANDED TO ASSIST. BEAVER SHAW AND MIKE SMITH REMAINED IN THE CRASH AREA AFTER LOADING THE WOUNDED CREW ONTO THEIR RESPECTIVE K CARS. DUE TO WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS THE K CARS COULD NOT GET OUT OF THE LZ WITH ALL THE CREWS ON BOARD. THE K CARS ARRIVED LATER TO UPLIFT THEM. THE WRECK WAS LATER BLOWN UP BY THE SAS. K CAR 5701 20/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW MANA POOLS TO MAKUTI K CAR 5701 21/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW MAKUTI TO MANA POOLS ASSEMBLY AREA K CAR 5701 21/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW COLLECT PARACHUTES FROM OPERATIONS AREA 20 MM CANNON REMOVED 4 SORTIES 6HRS 30 MIN K CAR 5701 21/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW MANA POOLS TO MAKUTI K CAR 5701 22/10/1978 IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW MAKUTI TO SALISBURY
FROM AIRSTRIKE BY PROP GELDENHUYS AIR TASK 887 OP GATLING EXTERNAL ZAMBIA 19/10/1978 ZIPRA CHIKUMBI CAMP AT WESTLANDS FARM –GREEN LEADER FAME A/T 1521 CHRIS DIXON AND MIKE RONNE TED BRENT AND JIM RUSSELL GREG TODD AND DOUG PASEA GLENN PRETORIOUS AND PADDY MORGAN TONY OAKLEY JR BLYTHE WOOD DAVE BOURHILL ALF WILD JIM STAGMAN GRAHAM CRONSHAW MARK DAWSON AND ROELF OELOFSE CHAZ GOATLEY AND MIKE SMITH IAN PEACOCK AND BEAVER SHAW COCKY BENECKE TOL JANECKE VARKY VARKEVISSER VAMPIRES EX FYLDE COMMAND DAKOTA NORMAN WALSH SEE WINDS OF DESTRUCTION PAGE 499 PRIDE OF EAGLES P 626 BEAVER SHAW RECALLS AT LEAST 200 CT KILLED IN HIS LOGBOOK 226 KILLED AND 629 WOUNDED SEE PB PAGE 501 JR AND VARKY TWO SORTIES
AIR TASK 888 OP GATLING EXTERNAL ZAMBIA 19/10/1978 AIRSTRIKE ON MKUSHI A/T 1521 120 SAS PARATROOPERS CANBERRA X 2 HUNTER X 3 VAMPIRE X2 G CARS X11 K CARS DAKOTA X6 47 ENEMY KILLED AND ZIPRA LOGISTICS OFFICER MOUNTAIN GUTU CAPTURED SEE WINDS OF DESTRUCTION PAGE 502
AIR TASK 889 OP GATLING 20/10/1978 CGT-2 CAMP 100 KM SE OF LUSAKA VARKY VARKEVISSER COCKY BENECKE MARK DAWSON AND ROELF OELOFSE SHOT DOWN BOTH WIA NIGEL LAMB AND FINCH BELLRINGER CHAZ GOATLEY AND MIKE SMITH IAN PEACOCKE AND BEAVER SHAW JR BLYTHE WOOD VAMPIRE X 3 K CAR X 3 HUNTER DAKOTA MARK DAWSON AND ROELF OELOFSE SHOT DOWN K CAR CAT 5 BOTH CREW WIA HEAD BACK AND LEG INJURIES CREW RESCUED BY MIKE SMITH AND BEAVER SHAW –SEE RECOMMENDATION BY G. CRONSHAW TO BEAVER REF CRASH. WRECKAGE OF K CAR DESTROYED BY SAS. TOTAL CASUALTIES FOR THE THREE OPERATIONS WERE 396 KILLED 719 WOUNDED AND 192 CT MISSING.
OPERATION GATLING K CAR GUNNERS ACCOUNT Canberra’s carrying out aerial reconnaissance in Zambia pinpointed Westlands Farm and Chikumbi Freedom Camp to house in the region of 4000-6000 terrorists who were undergoing training at that time.
I had just arrived back at the Squadron from a spot of R and R at home in Fort Victoria and was told in the Sergeants mess that night that all Squadron members were to assemble in the Squadron briefing room for a briefing. I knew that something was up because the mess was full of Seven squadron people who had just flown in from the various forward airfields in the country.
The next morning we filed into the briefing room and were briefed that we were to fly by various routes to Mana Pools to an assembly area there where we would be carrying out external operations and raids into Zambia against ZIPRA terrorist camps. I was tasked to fly with Ian Peacocke in a K Car 20 mm gunship, and set about getting it sorted for the forthcoming operation.
My heart was in my mouth and I was worried about the forthcoming raids but there was nothing to do but make sure that we were prepared for the next few days of fighting. I hated externals into Zambia as the ZIPRA terrorists were more aggressive and well trained than their ZANLA counterparts. We made our way to the Mana Pools assembly area night stopping in Mangula via Bindura where tents had been erected for us outside the Mangula Sports club. The Assembly area at Mana pools was like an international airport with so many helicopters and the whole of Four Squadrons Lynx area were there.
The operation began with diversionary attacks on ZANLA camps along the Pungwe River in Mocambique and then an attack on Westlands Farm about 3 miles north of the Capital Lusaka at 0830 on the morning of the 19 Th October 1978.
The attack was timed precisely for this time because the ZIPRA terrorists would parade precisely at this time every day. The Rhodesian Air Force fixed wing attack aircraft tasked to carry out the initial attacks consisted of four Canberra bombers from 5 Squadron based at New Sarum which would be Green Section, eight Hunters from 1 Squadron which were divided into two of Red Section and four of Blue Section and two of White Section.
Four Alouette K Cars armed with 20 mm cannons and a Command Dakota call sign Dolphin 3 would take part in the initial attack on Westlands farm. Ian Peacocke and I were not on the first wave of the raid. The Command Dak known as a Warthog was equipped with HF, VHF, UHF and teleprinters which were capable of decrypting messages to and from Milton Buildings in Salisbury, (Air HQ), The Rhodesian Air Force and Defence Headquarters.
The Warthog had the Air Force Director of Operations, Group Captain Norman Walsh, the Comops Commander, General Peter Walls and the Commander of the Special Air Service, Major Brian Robinson on board. While we were being briefed on Seven Squadron other briefings took place at the Parachute Training School at New Sarum.
SAS and RLI troops who were to take part in the operation had been briefed two nights before the operation and had been given their targets and battle orders. They were also shown a huge model in a sandpit showing enemy positions in detail. We were briefed that the first phase of the attacks would begin with the Air Force strike on Westlands Farm which was a ZIPRA base 3 miles out of Lusaka.
The second phase would be an attack by the SAS on a ZIPRA Base at Mkushi which was located 125 km north east of Lusaka. This attack would be simultaneous with the Westlands Farm attack.
The third phase would consist of an attack by the RLI on CGT-2 Camp (Communist Guerrilla 2 Camp) which was a ZIPRA Camp located near the Great North Road 15 km out of Lusaka. The first wave of K Cars took off from the FAF in Kariba where they headed for a refuelling point where Jack Mallock had dropped fuel with his DC 6 Aircraft. Rhodesian troops had been parachuted in to secure this refuelling station which was located about half way to Lusaka. The K Cars would be the third wave of the initial attack, running in after the Hunters and Canberra’s. Timing was very important in this attack. Green Section (Canberra’s) took off from New Sarum carrying their deadly load of Alpha bombs (300 Bomb lets to an aircraft).
The Hunters took off from Fylde Air base near Hartley armed with Golf bombs,68 mm Matra rockets and 100 gallon Fran together with their 30 mm four barrelled Aden unpacks and set course for Makuti which was on the Rhodesian side of the Zambezi Escarpment. The Hunters then flew on to the border at 20,000 feet before descending over Mana Pools where they joined up with the Canberra’s.
This formation then flew to an IP at 1500 feet AGL, the IP was situated 320 km north west in Zambia, they reached the IP and turned due West towards Lusaka. Their course was planned to avoid overflying the Zambian Air Force Base at Mumbwa. The Blue Section Hunters broke formation at a pre determined point and climbed to 14,000 feet – they went into an attack pattern and struck the ZIPRA terrorists who were standing on parade, their attack went in from the north with the Hunters rolling in on steep dives.
The four Hunters in Blue Section had been tasked to attack the parade assembly and mark the target for the Canberra’s which were rapidly approaching. Red Section was tasked to orbit the main Zambian Air Force Base at Mumbwa and shoot down any Zambian Air Force Aircraft which attempted to take off.
The two Hunters from White section were to attack the Westlands camp with Frantan prior to the K Cars running in on the third wave of the attack. The ZIPRA terrorists were taken completely by surprise by the Air Force attack; they experienced the wrath of 1000 pound bombs and Golf bombs and as they attempted to recover from the initial attack were hit by the Canberra strike with the Canberra’s flying four abreast and dropping their deadly load of Alpha bombs on target.
Any survivors found themselves being attacked by Hunters dropping Frantans and carrying out strikes with their deadly Aden 30 mm cannons. The K Cars from Seven Squadron led by Squadron Leader Graham Cronshaw arrived like vultures taking on the remnants of the ZIPRA terrorists. Due to the age of the 20mm cannons the Seven Squadron technicians experienced stoppages which they managed to clear in record time.
While the K Cars were cleaning up Green Leader made his famous transmission to Lusaka Tower. In brief Chris Dixon who was flying Green Lead called Lusaka Tower, the banter goes as follows: “Lusaka Tower, this is Green Leader” “Green Leader, Lusaka Tower” “Lusaka Tower, this is Green Leader. This is a message for the Station Commander at Mumbwa, from the Rhodesian Air Force. We are attacking the terrorist base at Westlands Farm at this time. This attack is against Rhodesian dissidents and not against Zambia – Rhodesia has no quarrel, repeat no quarrel with Zambia or her Security forces. We therefore ask you not to interfere or oppose our attack. However we are orbiting your airfield at this time, and are under orders to shoot down any Zambian Air Force Aircraft, which does not comply with this request and attempts to take off. “Did you copy all of that?” “Copied” “Roger. Thanks. Cheers”.
The Zambian Air Traffic controller asked Green leader permission for an International aircraft arriving from the north to land, Green Leader told the controller that permission to land was refused, and the aircraft to make an orbit of Lusaka airfield, thus delaying touchdown.
The International flight was a Kenyan Airways aircraft and the Kenyan pilot asked tower “Who is in control –You or the Rhodesians?” “Well I think the Rhodesian’s do at this time” retorted the Air Traffic controller. Soon after this radio banter, Dolphin 3, the command Dakota with Norman Walsh on board returned command to the Zambian Air Traffic controller.
It was not long after the initial Strikes on FC CAMP that wounded ZIPRA cadres were arriving in large numbers at Lusaka’s hospitals for assistance. The first wave of K Cars returned to Mana Pools to refuel and re-arm for the next round of action. At 1140 am the camp at Mkushi was attacked with Hunter and Canberra strikes going in first. A wave of six Dakota’s came in dropping 120 members of the SAS in the west and northern boundaries of the Mkushi base camp.
K Cars including Ian Peacocke and myself flew around the Mkushi River to the east of the target area. Sticks consisting of 44 SAS troopers were put down in the contact area by 11 G Cars to the south east of the camp. Once the SAS troops moved into position and began to sweep and making contact with the terrorists, they found themselves taking on female cadres. These women were dressed in camouflage and khaki uniforms and fought back at the Rhodesians with aggression. By this time there were many grass fires in the area and I sat behind the 2omm Cannon looking for targets, the camp area was dotted with foxholes and Russian style zig zag trenches. At first there were very few targets to engage, however things quickly changed. I was sitting eating some bully beef from a rat pack surveying the ground below me and watching raptors flying in front of the grass fires emanating from the strike area, suddenly as if by magic my eyes adjusted to the scene below, I saw movement and it was in front of the bushfires which were burning slowly. The area in front of the fire was riddled with terrorists who were slowly crawling away from the camp in front of the fire.
I went cold, the adrenalin began to pump and I had to get a grip of myself before telling Ian what I had spotted. “Boss – get ready-I’ve spotted a shit load of gooks. From the river –go three hundred meters-in front of that grass fire, they’re armed and crawling in front of the fire.”
The K Car jinked as Ian spotted the terrorists. I brought the heavy cannon to bear as Ian adjusted his orbit to suit and I yelled “K Car’s firing!” as I began to double tap the heavy cannon at the numerous targets on the ground. It was like a duck shoot at first as the terrorists were reluctant to run as the surrounding bush was open savannah and any break out would have been put down immediately from the deadly blast of my 20 mm HEI rounds. We flew along the fire line taking out many targets both trying to hide on their own or bunched up in groups. I also saw tracer coming out of some of the foxholes and put a round of 20 mm HEI into them as well. The game was on and we were culling gooks like a well oiled machine. There was a fair amount of small arms fire coming back at us but a lot lighter than we expected.
After some time in the orbit we were relieved by another K Car and flew to an “Admin area about eight clicks to the southeast. Fuel had been paradropped at this assembly point for our helicopters which was in a grassy plain known to Zambian’s as a dambo, as I was refuelling we had to “take cover!” as a fuel drop took place, there were drums dropping all over the place with some of them having broken their harness come screaming down and hitting the ground with a bang, the impact sending the drum lids spinning wildly into the surrounding bush! While we were refuelling a few G Cars arrived carrying captured female terrorists who were wearing khaki uniforms, they were quickly taken to a secure area. While we were refuelling a radio message came over the net to warn us of an enemy aircraft which was seen stooging around the area but nothing came of it.
On the third day of the attack the SAS were preparing to return to Rhodesia when they were alerted of an armed patrol Mkushi camp. They ambushed this patrol which consisted of the Zambian police and army with ZIPRA terrorists in their midst’s. This contact resulted in 47 Zambians and terrorists being killed and the ZIPRA Logistics officer, a Zambian soldier was also captured in this action.
These two, together with five female captured ZANLA terrorists were flown back to Rhodesia. The ZIPRA Logistics officer turned out to be a terrorist known as Mountain Gutu and would be good for the Rhodesian intelligence soon afterwards as he gave the Rhodesians intelligence on other ZIPRA Logistics bases which were attacked by fixed wing aircraft on 2-4 November.
I can also recall that we recovered to Mana Pools after each day and after debriefing were sent to various places to spend the night. We spent one night at Makuti with some game rangers who took it on themselves to take care of us. We had a magnificent night with them braaing (roasting) meat over a wood fire and beers flowing, we were exhausted but the adrenalin was still flowing. I can recall singing the Engineer’s song ,”A Prick of steel” with Dick Paxton with our dicks wrapped in tin foil!
During the trips from Mana Pools to the night stop points we were asked to carry camera men (not sure where they came from) who wanted to film everything, we sat in the K Cars with our visors set firmly down as not to be recognised!
On the 20 October as things seemed to be winding down all the K Cars based at Mana Pools were tasked to attack CGT-2 (Communist Guerrilla Training Camp). Which was 100 km south –east of Lusaka and was thought to house in the region of 4000 terrorists in training?
Four Rhodesian Air Force Vampires together with four Lynx aircraft has attacked this target. During the attack a Lynx flown by Cocky Benecke came under tremendous AAA fire and was hit, in the fuel tank and elsewhere forcing him to return to Rhodesia. The K Cars ran into the attack on the target which seemed to be on the sides of two large kopjes, running along a long ridgeline, Ian and I were in the lead K Car but were making a hard time of getting enough speed as our K Car was underpowered, Mark Dawson called on the net to say that he was taking lead and accelerated past us.
When his G Car overtook us we began to take on an unbelievable amount of AAA and small arms fire from the camp, our flight was at about 2500 feet AGL, and on returning fire from that altitude it seemed like there was no effect. Suddenly I heard Chas Goatley and Ian Peacocke yell over the net to Mark “You’re tail rotor has stopped!” “Fuck this!” I looked forward to see the K Car in front of me begin to spin uncontrollably towards the ground, everything seemed to be happening at once, the AAA fire was intense with red and green tracer whipping past us, and some of the tracer seemed to be coming right at us. Ian pushed the collective lever down as we followed the stricken K Car down. The K Car hit the trees showering the area round with branches, leaves and debris, striking the ground on its side. The main rotor blades severed part of the tail boom off. The K Car then came to a rest with the cannon’s barrel pointing in to the ground. Two K Cars put down simultaneously Ian and I and Nigel Lamb with Mike Smith, Chas Goatley provided top cover.
(Authors note: Winds of Destruction and A Pride of Eagles say that Nigel was flying with Finch Bellringer, this is not true, and Nigel was with Cpl. Mike Smith. In a Pride of Eagles it states that Nigel’s was the only helicopter to carry out this rescue, this is also not true as two K Car’s were involved. See Memo written to me after the Raids by Sqn. Ldr Cronshaw)
Both Mike Smith and I unbuckled from our monkey belts and tore off to the wreckage of Mark Dawson’s K Car to rescue the downed crew. Roelf had been thrown out of the back sliding door (pilot’s side) on impact and was lying dazed in the bush about six meters away from the K Car, Mark was still strapped in his armoured seat and was unconscious, and making snoring type noises and having difficulty to breathe. There was foam coming out of his mouth and blood coming out of both his ears and nose.
Mark seemed to be worse off so Mike assisted me in unstrapping him and placing him into one of the K Cars and when this was done we raced over to Roelf who was concussed and acting strangely, he refused to be helped until we could find his revolver (which he obviously cherished as much as Clint Eastwood!) Once we had both crew on board our helicopters we attempted to get airborne but due to the heat of the day and our fuel status our pilot’s indicated that Mike and myself must remain on the ground until the K Car’s returned from dropping off their casualties.
We grabbed our weapons and an army radio from my K Car and took cover as our helicopters pulled out of the LZ. I am not sure how long the aircraft took to return but it seemed like a lifetime. We could hear the AAA guns going off nearby and the noise from all the gunfire was tremendous with the odd round zipping through the trees, over the position in which we had taken cover.
Mike and I said nothing to each other as I think we were past being terrified; I remember seeing both of our hands shaking virtually uncontrollably. Chas stayed overhead faithfully until the two K Cars arrived back from Rhodesia to uplift us. That was fucking close; my heart was in my mouth as we both emplaned into our respective aircraft. Ian pulled everything we had and got airborne from a really tight LZ, I saw wisps of leaves being nicked by our blade tips as we blasted our way out of that LZ and set course at full power out of the target area.
I recall that after he was hit Cocky kept warning us not to take on that target and asked the Panzer from Red section if he could assist; possibly he was out of fuel or ammunition at the time. To me I still wonder if it was not an air ambush. Time plays a lot of tricks on one’s mind and as I mentioned earlier looking back to those days is like looking through shattered glass. When we returned to New Sarum sometime after this incident Mike Smith and I received the following memo which is posted in the photograph pages of this book. The Memo was from Sqn. Ldr Cronshaw and handwritten saying the following: From OC 7 Squadron To: Sgt. Shaw Beav, I want to express my personal thanks and commendation for the part you played during the recent accident involving Air Lt. Dawson and Sgt. Oeloefse. The assistance you gave is creditworthy and noted –Well done. Yours G. Cronshaw
From reading the accounts in other publications I can only guess that Graham must have thrown the creditworthy note away or misplaced it? The SAS were tasked to blow up the wreckage of Mark Dawson’s K Car. Roelf and Mark were flown to Andrew Fleming hospital with Roelf suffering from back injuries which he recovered from. Mark Dawson has never fully recovered from his injuries and battles to make a living to this day.
Bill Sykes, in A Pride of Eagles states the following with regard to Mark: One outcome was a change in the design to the armoured seat. When the original seat had been designed, the back of the seat was only up to the pilot’s shoulders, and the guide for the shoulder straps was positioned at the level of the pilot’s shoulder blades. In Mark’s case, he had slumped forward because the shoulder straps were ineffective in holding his body in the upright position. As a result, his neck was hard against the top of his flak jacket, cutting off the air supply. When the seat was re-designed with additional protection for the pilot’s head, the strap guide had remained in the same position. A simple modification was carried out so that the shoulder strap guide was cut at the height of the pilot’s neck. This ensured that the pilot’s shoulders were now held firmly back, with no chance of injury from the flak jacket even in the case of a high velocity vertical impact. Bill Sykes in A Pride of Eagles (Authors Note: When Ray Bolton was involved in the Air to Air collision in Selukwe his flak vest caused a broken jaw and other injuries even though his seat had been modified, however his head was saved from being crushed by the seats head protection extension.)
To make things worse, once the Commanders had decided to wrap up the operation it was decided that the K Cars would have to assist the G Cars in bringing back parachutes used in the raids. I was at Mana Pools at the time and could not believe my ears when we were told to unbolt the floors of our K Cars and remove the gun mounts to give space for parachutes. We would have to use our FN s as protection and sit on the floor. “Fuck!” after all I had been through I thought that they were insane, but we did the job with no problems from ZIPRA. I reluctantly removed the gun platform and within a few minutes was flying into Zambia feeling very vunerable with my trusty FN for protection. We did not run into any problems with bringing back the parachutes. Another night was spent at the assembly area and the next day our K Car returned to Salisbury after refuelling in Mangula. It was a proud moment when we made contact with Salisbury tower and the praise being relayed to us from anyone who could read us on the radio. When we flew over Salisbury heading for New Sarum we could see many people waving at the helicopter formation as it overflew them. Once back at base the duty crews took over our helicopters and we all headed straight to the Monomatapa hotel where we spent the rest of the day drinking and recounting our experiences. It was an incredible day to experience. I felt ill from drinking bracken water in Zambia but ignored it as I did not want to miss being with my mates that day. Everyone was praising us and we could not buy a round as beers were on the civilians that day.
THE SUNDAY MAIL SALISBURY OCTOBER 22, 1978 CLIPPING HUNDREDS DIE IN 12 RAIDS ON ZAMBIA The following is the full text of a communiqué released last night by Combined Operations Headquarters: Combined Operations headquarters announce that in addition to the attack on FC Camp, near Lusaka, operations have been carried out against two other major ZIPRA terrorist complexes and nine satellite camps. The deepest penetration was to a camp situated 150 km north-east of Lusaka.
In addition to the casualties inflicted in the attack on FC Camp a minimum of 500 ZIPRA terrorists were killed in these attacks. This includes numbers of trained, uniformed and armed female terrorists. Because of the widespread nature of these operations, an accurate casualty count was not possible but it is assessed that there were hundreds more killed. This is substantiated by Zambian estimates that terrorist casualties, excluding FC Camp are in excess of 1500 dead.
Large quantities of arms explosives and equipment were seized and destroyed. Whilst returning to Rhodesia yesterday October 20, one helicopter crashed in difficult terrain and was destroyed by our own forces. The crew, Air Lieut. Dawson and Sergeant Roelf Oelofse, who were injured in the accident were picked up by another helicopter and brought back to Rhodesia.
During the entire operations into Zambia, every effort was made to avoid clashing with Zambian forces but on one occasion, a Zambian Patrol led by terrorists, engaged a small detachment. In the ensuing contact 37 of the attackers were killed. There were no Rhodesian casualties in this clash.
Concurrent with these operations in Zambia, security forces continued their self defence operations against ZANLA terrorist bases in the Chimoio area of Mozambique. Successful attacks were made against Pungwe 3 base, where the survuivorssurvivors of our previous operations had grouped.
This was a continuing operationtooperation to disrupt ZANLA forces command and control. Casualties were inflicted, but we are unable to give any details. All forces have been withdrawn to Rhodesia from both Mozambique and Zambia. In the course of all these operations security forces sustained two casualties. Lance-Corporal Jeffery Donald Collett aged 19 years and single, from Goromonzi, was killed in actionandaction and Warrant Officer Laing was wounded. Next of kin have been informed.
EYEWITNESS SURVEYS MKUSHI DEVASTATION –JACK DEWES VERSION Corpses, large quantities of communist small arms and literature, camping equipment and boots by the hundred lay strewn among bomb craters and smouldering mud and thatch barracks of the Mkushi terrorist training centre headquarters north-east of Lusaka, which was attacked by Rhodesian security forces on Thursday. Shots rang out nearby while newsmen were being introduced to a senior security forces spokesman who said his men were patrolling the camp dealing with terrorists in the vicinity. “We are 129 km into Zambia” the spokesman said “On Wednesday security forces mounted an attack on Pungwe 3 Camp (in Mozambique) At this moment these operations are still continuing. On Thursday we launched an air attack on FC Camp, 20 km north of Lusaka, at Westlands farm. The attack was successful. Airmen saw terrorists running in all directions, carrying weapons. There have been news reports that the University hospital in Lusaka is full of women and children.Theychildren. They are in fact terrorists. It is difficult to assess, but we think that several hundred terrorists were killed at FC Camp. “At 1100 hours yesterday (Thursday) air and ground forces attacked Mkushi.
Here too it is difficult to say exactly what the terrorist casualties are but we know that that they died in their hundreds and many more have been wounded. The spokesman then said that it has been learned from documents found at Mkushi that trainees constantly listened to Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation reports on how many terrorists were dying at the hands of security forces. “We were then shown a large quantity of communist rifles, both Russian and Chinese landmines, grenades and rocket launchers”. Asked whether any SAM missiles were found at the camp, the spokesman said that there were none. RUSSIAN STAR He showed us several barracks lying in ashes, and one which seemed to have been a special building, perhaps where section leaders consulted with Comrade Moses Pinda, the commander of the camp. The walls still standing were made of ochre and brown mud decorated with the hammer and sickle emblem and the Russian star. At a newly erected barracks seven corpses were seen lying on the verandah. They – and other bodies found all over the camp – were invariably of young men and women, scarcely out of their teens. Next we were shown a blackboard on which was written a breakdown of various classes of personnel in the camp. It was dated 18 October at 0800 hours. The details were: administration 6; instructors, 9; trainees, 51; training personnel 645; security, 204; trainees 1082; old age 39 Totals 2036 These figures were for the main camp and ten other camps in the vicinity, an area covering about 20 km. Among the blackened and smoking walls of the barracks were 13 large canvas marquees full of clothing and modern camp beds. The spokesman remarked that Mkushi was better supplied with amenities such as these than any camp he had seen. At this point a prisoner a young woman wearing slacks and a khaki jacket was brought before the officer. On Friday at 11 Am., exactly 24 hours after the Rhodesians attacked, I as a Herald reporter was among a small party of invited news media men aboard Rhodesian Air Force helicopters that landed on the dusty parade ground at Mkushi and set out to inspect this camp in the Zambian bush. CLIPPING ENDS
THE SUNDAY NEWS BULAWAYO OCTOBER 22, 1978 THE MORNING OF DEATH FOR TRAINEE TERRS BOMB SCARE Zambian military bomb disposal experts on Friday blew up 11 unexploded bombs they said were left behind at Chikumbi by Rhodesian “invading forces “on Thursday. The series of explosions heard throughout the city nearly plunged Lusaka into panic again as residents thought the Rhodesians had returned. A Government spokesman quickly dispelled their fears with the explanation that the explosions were harmless. He said that the unexploded bombs were found at “Chikumbi “refugee” camp, razed by the Rhodesians. Meanwhile, emergency relief aid had begun to arrive in Lusaka, including medicines, blankets and other help for victims of the raid. The Red Cross has contributed, so has the Yugloslav community of Lusaka. . SN – Own Corr.