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Alouette R5732 - Shot down 16 Jun 1979  Rhodesians Worldwide
 Dec 04, 2009 18:52 PST 

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ALOUETTE III A/C NO. 5732

*SHOT DOWN 16th JUNE 1979 (PREVIOUSLY UNRECORDED)*

*OP MULLIGAN – ENTERPRISE DISTRICT*


SHOT DOWN 16th JUNE 1979 (PREVIOUSLY UNRECORDED)

OP MULLIGAN – ENTERPRISE DISTRICT

K-car Dalmatian fit or K-car Alfa
Pilot A/Lt. Ian Henderson (Hendos)
Tech. Sgt. W.J…..
Commander/SB Observer Mike Norton

*Mike Norton takes up the story –*
Enterprise Base, at the Enterprise club, was set up in March 1978, to stem
the flow of "terrs" into the Salisbury area. I was Bailiff Acorn at the
base. The Enterprise district and adjoining TTL ((Tribal Trust Land) was
totally subverted, and where the ‘Salisbury Detachment’ gang was based, this
was the group responsible for the attack on the fuel depot in Southerton
suburb.

After a few months of intensive operations a reasonable degree of control
prevailed, particularly after Op Enterprise, the most successful internal
operation. Most of the gooks had been forced into the adjoining
Chikawaka/Mangwende/Msana TTL’s. However, late on the 15th July, Mrs. Yvonne
Mulligan, a farm manager’s wife, (Strathlorne Farm) was abducted and marched
into the Chikwaka TTL, presumably for propaganda purposes. Being of ample
frame she was put on a bicycle and later a wheelbarrow to hasten their
escape. Follow up was swift but running out of light, the Patu (Police Anti
Terrorist Unit) guys had no option but to sleep on the tracks. We liaised
with Salops (Salisbury Operations) for more troops and aircraft for the next
day. Can you imagine my surprise when we received 3 Commando RLI (this was
to be a black day for the unit) and 10 helicopters positioned at the
Enterprise Club/Base! Someone must have leant on Comops (Combined
Operations) to get this type of response (Farmers Union?).

Early in the day information gleaned from a locally trained terr. was that a
white woman had been seen in the Chipagura Kraal area with 25 plus "terrs".
Another source told of 8 terrs (Rhodesian term for terrorist) 2 km’s away at
Gwamura Kraal. The Colonel and Bruce Snelgar’s plan was simple, split the
fire force, one section (with 20mm k-car) to Chipagura (refer Charlie
Warrens book Stick Leader for this contact) and the other (k-car Dalmatian)
to Gwamura Kraal. Sticks were briefed and cautioned about Mrs. Mulligan as
our objective was to rescue her.

After about 8 flying minutes we approached the Gwamura Kraal line, Hendo’s
pulled up to 800ft and started the orbit. Stops were positioned and sweep
lines formed. Everything was going like clockwork and stop 2 was ordered to
advance. As these brave troops approached a brick house/school, all hell let
loose. Fire spewed from the windows felling 2 troopies (Tpr .Mike Elsaesser
and Tpr. Bruce McKend) they didn’t stand a chance. The tech. Sgt. WJ filled
the building with .303 ball from the 4 Brownings silencing it permanently.
We then took heavy fire from another building, the Alfa fit also took care
of them, but were still under heavy pressure. (An RLI stick leader, who was
on the ground, reported controlled RPD fire). By this stage the K-car (20mm)
was on its way to support us. Things were really getting hot and we were
taking more hits, when, suddenly, a message came through from the orbiting
PRAW (Hamish Harvey) that we were on fire, WJ and I peered out the side and
saw black smoke trailing behind us, Hendo’s had already lowered the orbit
height to bring the guns to bare under some trees, not giving him much room
to auto rotate, he shut the fuel flow lever and we dropped like a stone. We
took more hits as Hendo’s struggled to control the aircraft, then, I heard a
very loud bang and felt as if I had been hit by a 4 pound hammer, next, we
ploughed into a sandy field and I was thrown into the Perspex, rotor blades,
smoke and dust filled the air. There was a lot of blood but fortunately
nothing serious. We were still in the contact site and scrambled to a nearby
ditch and were picked up minutes later by a G-car. It was only later that I
found out that a round had passed between my head and headphones!!

The battle on the ground ended with a few ‘Golf’ bombs. It was late by then,
so the troops went into ambush mode, watching over the downed aircraft.

Meanwhile back at New Sarum, WO Doug Quinn of ASF, (Aircraft Servicing
Flight) had been instructed to get his crash recovery team together. Doug
takes up the story. We left early the next morning with my two recovery
vehicles and crew and headed out on the Shamva road. We eventually got near
the site at mid afternoon, after escort delays and the road condition. I was
told by an army Lt. that an Alouette would be coming to collect me and one
other tech. to take us to the downed helicopter! I was rather confused but
selected my engine tech the necessary tools and waited for uplift. (Little
did I know that the area was still hot.) We were uplifted at 3.45pm and
after about 10mins were dropped at the crash site. It was apparent that the
Alo was quite badly damaged, the main and tail rotor blades were scrap, the
nose and main oleo’s had collapsed, tail boom damaged due to impact and most
panels bent. With the help of the RLI troopies we set about dismantling the
blades and tail boom from the main frame, however it was getting late and
requested an airlift by Alo from New Sarum. I knew that an Alo stripped to
the bones could airlift another, as I had done this at least 4 times before
!! After about an hour I was shocked to hear a Bell 205 in the distance, no
way, it’s never been done by Bell. Sure enough the Bell tech came across to
us and asked how I wanted this done!! Well we were ready for the extraction
anyway, so the pilot positioned the Bell in a hover above the Alo, the
downwash was unbelievable. I then lifted the chain attached to the main
rotor head and hooked it to the Bell cargo swing under the Bell. It then
lifted the Alo like a toy back to the road and recovery team. A short while
later the Bell returned to collect the tail boom, other wreckage, tools and
return us to the recovery team. We arrived back at ASF New Sarum at 10.30pm
that night.

It was only the next morning (Monday) did I find out what had occurred in
the Chikawaka that day !

Alouette 5732 was classified as a CAT 4 and was rebuilt at Rhotair to fly
again.(?)

Ian Doig from Rhotair confirmed that the engine took a round through the oil
return pipe and continued into the combustion chamber, hence all the smoke !
This engine was re-built with old parts as an experiment, to run on
sunflower oil ?

Mrs. Mulligan was taken to Chimoio where she remained till November. She was
released to the Red Cross and immigrated to South Africa on the spoils of
her story to a magazine. She claimed that she had been well treated
throughout her ordeal.

Thanks to Mike, Charlie, Doug, Budgie, Ian and many others for filling in
the gaps and helping to record this event.

Dedicated to Mike Elsaesser and Bruce McKend. Also Ian Henderson who died in
2008 of acute pancreatic problems.

Marcus Main-Baillie

*Postscript*
The K-Car Dalmatian was the name given to the weapon fit - 4 x .303 Browning
machine guns.
The K-Car Alfa was the operational name to distinguish it from the 20mm
gunship

*Comment by Eddy Norris
*Thanks to Marcus Main-Baillie for this story.
Marcus researched this story for a long period of time and he is to be
congratulated on sticking with it till its completion.


*
Read it on line at http://www.ourstory.com/thread.html?t=441455#551117*

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      <p style="margin-left:5px;margin-right:5px" class="MsoNormal" align="center"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 21px; font-weight: bold; -webkit-text-decorations-in-effect: underline; ">ALOUETTE III A/C NO. 5732</span></p>

      <p style="text-align:center" class="MsoNormal" align="center"><b><u><span style="font-size:16pt">SHOT DOWN 16<sup>th</sup> JUNE 1979 (PREVIOUSLY
      UNRECORDED)</span></u></b></p>
      <p style="text-align:center" class="MsoNormal" align="center"><b><u>OP
      MULLIGAN – ENTERPRISE DISTRICT</u></b></p>
      <p style="margin-left:10px;margin-right:10px" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Verdana" lang="en-za"><font size="1"><br></font></span><span lang="en-za"><font face="Verdana">SHOT DOWN
      16th JUNE 1979 (PREVIOUSLY UNRECORDED)<br><font size="1"><br></font>OP
      MULLIGAN – ENTERPRISE DISTRICT<br><font size="1"><br></font>K-car Dalmatian
      fit or K-car Alfa<br>Pilot A/Lt. Ian Henderson (Hendos)<br>Tech. Sgt.
      W.J…..<br>Commander/SB Observer Mike Norton<br><font size="1"><br></font><strong>Mike Norton takes up the story –</strong>
      <br>Enterprise Base, at the Enterprise club, was set up in March 1978, to
      stem the flow of "terrs" into the Salisbury area. I was Bailiff Acorn at
      the base. The Enterprise district and adjoining TTL ((Tribal Trust Land)
      was totally subverted, and where the ‘Salisbury Detachment’ gang was
      based, this was the group responsible for the attack on the fuel depot in
      Southerton suburb.<br><font size="1"><br></font>After a few months of
      intensive operations a reasonable degree of control prevailed,
      particularly after Op Enterprise, the most successful internal operation.
      Most of the gooks had been forced into the adjoining
      Chikawaka/Mangwende/Msana TTL’s. However, late on the 15th July, Mrs.
      Yvonne Mulligan, a farm manager’s wife, (Strathlorne Farm) was abducted
      and marched into the Chikwaka TTL, presumably for propaganda purposes.
      Being of ample frame she was put on a bicycle and later a wheelbarrow to
      hasten their escape. Follow up was swift but running out of light, the
      Patu (Police Anti Terrorist Unit) guys had no option but to sleep on the
      tracks. We liaised with Salops (Salisbury Operations) for more troops and
      aircraft for the next day. Can you imagine my surprise when we received 3
      Commando RLI (this was to be a black day for the unit) and 10 helicopters
      positioned at the Enterprise Club/Base! Someone must have leant on Comops
      (Combined Operations)  to get this type of response (Farmers
      Union?).<br><font size="1"><br></font>Early in the day information gleaned
      from a locally trained terr. was that a white woman had been seen in the
      Chipagura Kraal area with 25 plus "terrs". Another source told of 8 terrs
      (Rhodesian term for terrorist) 2 km’s away at Gwamura Kraal. The Colonel
      and Bruce Snelgar’s plan was simple, split the fire force, one section
      (with 20mm k-car) to Chipagura (refer Charlie Warrens book Stick Leader
      for this contact) and the other (k-car Dalmatian) to Gwamura Kraal. Sticks
      were briefed and cautioned about Mrs. Mulligan as our objective was to
      rescue her.<br><font size="1"><br></font>After about 8 flying minutes we
      approached the Gwamura Kraal line, Hendo’s pulled up to 800ft and started
      the orbit. Stops were positioned and sweep lines formed. Everything was
      going like clockwork and stop 2 was ordered to advance. As these brave
      troops approached a brick house/school, all hell let loose. Fire spewed
      from the windows felling 2 troopies (Tpr .Mike Elsaesser and Tpr. Bruce
      McKend) they didn’t stand a chance. The tech. Sgt. WJ filled the building
      with .303 ball from the 4 Brownings silencing it permanently. We then took
      heavy fire from another building, the Alfa fit also took care of them, but
      were still under heavy pressure. (An RLI stick leader, who was on the
      ground, reported controlled RPD fire). By this stage the K-car (20mm) was
      on its way to support us. Things were really getting hot and we were
      taking more hits, when, suddenly, a message came through from the orbiting
      PRAW (Hamish Harvey) that we were on fire, WJ and I peered out the side
      and saw black smoke trailing behind us, Hendo’s had already lowered the
      orbit height to bring the guns to bare under some trees, not giving him
      much room to auto rotate, he shut the fuel flow lever and we dropped like
      a stone. We took more hits as Hendo’s struggled to control the aircraft,
      then, I heard a very loud bang and felt as if I had been hit by a 4 pound
      hammer, next, we ploughed into a sandy field and I was thrown into the
      Perspex, rotor blades, smoke and dust filled the air. There was a lot of
      blood but fortunately nothing serious. We were still in the contact site
      and scrambled to a nearby ditch and were picked up minutes later by a
      G-car. It was only later that I found out that a round had passed between
      my head and headphones!!<br><font size="1"><br></font>The battle on the
      ground ended with a few ‘Golf’ bombs. It was late by then, so the troops
      went into ambush mode, watching over the downed aircraft.<br><font size="1"><br></font>Meanwhile back at New Sarum, WO Doug Quinn of ASF,
      (Aircraft Servicing Flight) had been instructed to get his crash recovery
      team together. Doug takes up the story. We left early the next morning
      with my two recovery vehicles and crew and headed out on the Shamva road.
      We eventually got near the site at mid afternoon, after escort delays and
      the road condition. I was told by an army Lt. that an Alouette would be
      coming to collect me and one other tech. to take us to the downed
      helicopter! I was rather confused but selected my engine tech the
      necessary tools and waited for uplift. (Little did I know that the area
      was still hot.) We were uplifted at 3.45pm and after about 10mins were
      dropped at the crash site. It was apparent that the Alo was quite badly
      damaged, the main and tail rotor blades were scrap, the nose and main
      oleo’s had collapsed, tail boom damaged due to impact and most panels
      bent. With the help of the RLI troopies we set about dismantling the
      blades and tail boom from the main frame, however it was getting late and
      requested an airlift by Alo from New Sarum. I knew that an Alo stripped to
      the bones could airlift another, as I had done this at least 4 times
      before !! After about an hour I was shocked to hear a Bell 205 in the
      distance, no way, it’s never been done by Bell. Sure enough the Bell tech
      came across to us and asked how I wanted this done!! Well we were ready
      for the extraction anyway, so the pilot positioned the Bell in a hover
      above the Alo, the downwash was unbelievable. I then lifted the chain
      attached to the main rotor head and hooked it to the Bell cargo swing
      under the Bell. It then lifted the Alo like a toy back to the road and
      recovery team. A short while later the Bell returned to collect the tail
      boom, other wreckage, tools and return us to the recovery team. We arrived
      back at ASF New Sarum at 10.30pm that night.<br><font size="1"><br></font>It
      was only the next morning (Monday) did I find out what had occurred in the
      Chikawaka that day !<br><font size="1"><br></font>Alouette 5732 was
      classified as a CAT 4 and was rebuilt at Rhotair to fly again.(?)<br><font size="1"><br></font>Ian Doig from Rhotair confirmed that the engine took a
      round through the oil return pipe and continued into the combustion
      chamber, hence all the smoke ! This engine was re-built with old parts as
      an experiment, to run on sunflower oil ?<br><font size="1"><br></font>Mrs.
      Mulligan was taken to Chimoio where she remained till November. She was
      released to the Red Cross and immigrated to South Africa on the spoils of
      her story to a magazine. She claimed that she had been well treated
      throughout her ordeal.<br><font size="1"><br></font>Thanks to Mike, Charlie,
      Doug, Budgie, Ian and many others for filling in the gaps and helping to
      record this event.<br><font size="1"><br></font>Dedicated to Mike Elsaesser
      and Bruce McKend. Also Ian Henderson who died in 2008 of acute pancreatic
      problems.<br><font size="1"><br></font>Marcus
      Main-Baillie</font></span><span style="font-family:Verdana" lang="en-za"><br><font size="1"><br></font><u><b>Postscript</b></u><br></span><font face="Verdana">The K-Car Dalmatian was the name given to the weapon fit - 4
      x .303 Browning machine guns.<br>The K-Car Alfa was the operational
      name to distinguish it from the 20mm gunship<br><font size="1"><br></font><u><b>Comment by Eddy Norris<br></b></u>Thanks to Marcus
      Main-Baillie for this story. <br>Marcus researched this story for a long
      period of time and he is to be congratulated on sticking with it till its
      completion.<br> </font></p><p></p></td></tr></tbody></table>
<p><u><font color="#808000" face="Calibri"><b><font size="2"><br>Read it on line at </font><a href="http://www.ourstory.com/thread.html?t=441455#551117" target="_blank"><font size="2">http://www.ourstory.com/thread.html?t=441455#551117</font></a></b></font></u><br>
<br> </p></div>
<p align="center"> </p>

</div></div>
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