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Operation Daisy: The Operation Continues... Part 2

Operation Daisy D+3 (7 November 1981):
Enemy aircraft movement had by this stage become so worrying that Colonel Holmes radioed MAOT ZULU and warned them to prepare for a possible strike by MiGs on their position. Two Mirage F1 AZ’s took off from Ondangwa at 11h20, followed by another two at 11h40 and flew to a holding position about 25 kilometres to the west of Ionde to stand by as Close Air Support for the Bambi attack. They would also to be in a position to intercept possible enemy aircraft intervention. Some aircraft activity were reported between Cassinga and Indungo, but no contact was made. No Close Air Support missions were flown either, as by now the ground forces had established that the Bambi base was also largely deserted.

At 13h00 two Alouette gunships shot up a GAZ vehicle in the Bambi base area which was later found abandoned by the ground forces.

After 15h00 two gunships spotted four SWAPO’s that had probably been laying mines while 201 Bn’s convoy was on the move. They killed one.

D+4 (8 November 1981):
It was a relatively quiet day during which mostly supply drops were flown by the Air Force. The ground forces continued with mopping up of the Bambi base area and area operations.

At 10h25 two mirage F1 AZ’s escorted by two Mirage F1 CZ’s got airborne from Ondangwa on a road recce and interdiction mission to check the roads between Bambi, Techamutete and Cuvelai, but they failed to detect any vehicle movement whatsoever.

D+5 (9 November 1981):
9 November was a quiet day for the jet aircraft allocated to Operation Daisy, but the Puma's and Alouette's based at londe did achieve a noteworthy success in a "Lugstorm" (Air Assault) operation on a terrorist base.

Operation "Lugstorm" got under way at 10h20 when four Alouette gunships accompanied by a Command and Control Alouette Trooper left londe for a recce upriver. On the way up, however, no enemy presence was detected. Four Puma's each with a stick of Parabats left Ionde to sweep the area, but the Puma’s arrived back at londe without deploying the Parabats as the area in question seemed completely deserted.

ASO ALPHA informed MAOT ZULU at 15h12 that the gunships, which were on their way back to londe, had located approximately 20 terrorists in the original target area. After 1pm, two Puma's with Parabats left londe for the target area and deployed the Parabat stricks. Four Alouette gunships were overhead lending fire-support. Contact was made with the enemy, and 24 were killed and 5 wounded or captured out of a reported total of 40. Of the 24 enemy killed, it was reported that as many as 20 were killed by the Gunships. The group of 40 were from the Bravo Battalion and had fled southwards after the bombing on D-Day.

As far as the jet aircraft at Ondongwa was concerned, the only mission flown in connection with Operation Daisy was an interdiction and road recce mission flown by two F1 AZ's to check for vehicle movement along the road between Mupa and Techamutete. While en route to the target, they were warned that MiG’s were airborne. No MiG’s were seen, however, and neither was any vehicle movement detected on the road in question.

D+6 (10 November 1981):
It was another quiet day for Operation Daisy with routine re-supply, road recce, Telstar and Voorloper missions being flown. Early in the morning, two Bosboks left Ionde to Battle Group 61’s position in the Bambi area. It was the Bosboks' task to lead the Mechanised force, the echelon end the artillery via three separate routes, avoiding all open Shona's, to a RV some 20 km to the south. The Bosboks, who were relieved later in the day by another pair, accomplished their task successfully and. the RV point was reached without incident.

Two Mirage F1 AZ's left Ondangwa on a high speed low level interdiction sortie covering the road between Mupa and Techamutete. No vehicle movement was detected by the mission, however. An interdiction/photo recce mission of two Mirage F-1 R2Z's escorted by two Mirage Ft CZ's was aborted owing to 8/8 cloud cover.

In the late afternoon, two Super Frelon’s left londe for Battle Group 61’s position escorted by two Alouette gunships to drop off replacement Ratel axles. Puma's left londe with a mine-laying Recce team for the Dare Devil target area after 5pm. The Puma's dropped the Recce team in the area - they remained for two days laying mines along the roads leading into the area thus preventing SWAPO from moving hack to their old bases.

At 22h00 a C-130 aircraft did a successful air drop of equipment to Battle Group 61’s position. ASO ALPHA reported that the drop was very accurate.

D+7 (11 November 1981):
It was once again a very quiet day for Operation Daisy. By this stage, with Battle Group 61’s three Parabat companies and 201 Battalion all moving southwards, and with the absence of major terrorist targets, as far as the SAAF was concerned, it had become clear that the large fighter concentration at Ondanwa had become unnecessary. The SAAF’s role in Operation Daisy was now restricted mainly to DC-3 re-supply and trooping missions to londe, and to various helicopter and Bosbok missions flown from the MAOT at londe in support of the ground forces. The helicopters by this time were all night-stopping at londe.

D+8 (12 November 1981):
Another “Lugstorm” operation was launched on 12 November. Two Pumas were used to reposition troops in the 201 Bn area in preparation for the “Lugstorm” operation, with two Alouette gunships providing top-cover. Two more Alouette gunships and a Command and Control Trooper were deployed for this purpose. Two Impalas were recalled from an interdiction sortie along the road between Mupa and Cuvelai when they experienced a complete radio failure. By 13h55 the Alouette gunships and Pumas arrived back from the Dova region having failed to make contact with the enemy during the “Lugstorm” operation.

D+9 (13 November 1981):
The Mirage aircraft started to return to the Hoedspruit Air Force Base in the RSA, after not having been required for a number of days. The Parabat companies were airlifted back to Ondangwa by DC-3, after arriving at Ionde the previous evening. Two Puma’s with Parabat sticks, accompanied by four Alouette gunships and a Bosbok Telstar flew on a recce/”Lugstorm” operation up the Dengo River to the east of Mupa where suspicious areas had been reported. The gunships fired various shots into suspicious looking bushes, but no reaction was observed and the Parabat commander decided it was not worth deploying the Parabat sticks to search through the area.

D+10 (14 November 1981):
The DC-3’s continued with the airlifting of the Parabats out of Ionde to Ondangwa, while Impala’s were used to recce the roads and provide escort for the DC-3s. 201 Bn had reported hearing vehicle movements, which led to two Alouette gunships flying a recce mission over the area. They failed to find vehicles but they did report flying over a freshly deserted terrorist camp which was big enough to house 200—300 terrorists.

D+11 (15 November 1981):
The remaining Mirage F1-CZs departed from Ondangwa for the RSA. The MAOT at Ionde was closed down and the remaining MAOT personnel under Commandant Foote flown to the 201 Bn Headquarters just to the north of Dova. Two Puma’s and four Alouette gunships accompanied them to Dova. The rest all returned to Ondangwa.

D+12 (16 November 1981):
Operation Daisy came to a virtual standstill, as Battle Group 61 spent the day at Mupa, resting and repairing vehicles…

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