31 Oct 1987: On Saturday 31 October 1987 a 101 Battalion Battle Group supported by members of 5 Reconnaissance Regiment together with D Company, 1 Parachute Battalion, attached to 5 Reconnaissance Regiment attacked PLAN positions at Nindango in Southern Angola. The Operation was known as Ops Firewood and it became clear from the start that PLAN had been expecting such an attack as they were in well prepared positions and supported by a Cuban Tank and Artillery element with a FAPLA Motorised Infantry Unit in support.
During the extremely heavy fighting that continued throughout the day, a 101 Battalion Casspir was also knocked out by a PG-7 anti-tank rocket and burnt out. The Battle Group suffered 15 casualties with approximately 67 wounded before contact was finally broken off at nightfall. The known Battle Group casualties for this engagement were:
“D” COMPANY, 1 PARACHUTE BATTALION
5 RECONNAISSANCE REGIMENT
101 BATTALION ROMEO MIKE
All the dead and wounded were casevaced to AFB Ondangwa during the night of October 31/1 Nov 1987. The last Puma helicopter departed at about 03h30 the following morning and ferried the remaining dead and lightly wounded. The 101 Battalion casualties were taken directly to their Unit and not to AFB Ondangwa.
1974 – Tpr Michael Arthur AVES , 1 Cdo, 1st Bn, RLI, died in a vehicle ambush from a gunshot wound, Dotito, Mt Darwin, Op Hurricane, aged 19.
1976 – Rfn Graeme Richard FANNER, 2 Tp, 1 Cdo, 1st Bn RLI, died from a gunshot wound, in a contact during Op Mardon in Seguranca, Mozambique, during an attack on a ZANLA base on the Luia (Ruya) River, aged 19 years. Elements of 1 Cdo had walked 15 km at night towards the CT camp, with the intention of calling in an artillery strike once the camp was observed. The exhausted and out of water troops reached the Luia where they immediately quenched their thirsts and assisted those who were badly dehydrated. As they were crossing the river, Frelimo opened fire with an RPD, fatally wounding Graeme. The troops went on to overrun the camp, accounting for many CTs.
1976 – Tpr Emil Christopher LOTRINGER , C Sqn SAS, died from gunshot wounds in a contact on Op Mardon in Tete Province, Mozambique. Died aged 25.
1976 – DA SANHANI, Regular Intaf, died of gunshot wounds at Kapondoro CV (VR450790), Mtoko district, Op Hurricane. He was 30 years old.
1976 – Pte Dumaira SANHANI, 2 Mat Bn, RDU, RDR, died from multiple gunshot wounds from CTs, at the age of 22.
1977 – Snr Dist Asst Nhire MASHANDA, Regular Intaf, died on active service.