The combat team had already progressed to a hide 12 kilometres west of Alto Hama by 22h00 on Sunday night, 2 November 1975, where they stayed the night. Here Commandant Webb remained behind with the supplies and one platoon of UNITA-soldiers to protect the headquarters.
This time, no enemy forces were encountered at Norton de Matos on 3 November 1975. About 16 kilometres further, near Caluita, the front troop armoured cars halted a few hundred metres short of a dry riverbed just astern of a road excavation.
During the preceding few days a number of Panhard armoured cars of UNITA with Portuguese crews had joined the force. On own initiative, a Portuguese driver moved ahead into the excavation with one of these armoured cars, right into the killing zone of an enemy ambush. The enemy opened fire with 82mm recoilless guns deployed west of the dry riverbed.
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