The first commander of H Troop was Danie Scholtz. These are his stories.
My time with ARU Mat South had its ups and downs. There were days when we cried together and there were days when we laughed together. It is weird how the human brain opts to think of the good (funny??) days and file the sad dark days somewhere faraway and deep in your brain, days that will never be forgotten but should only be remembered but not relived.
We were deployed in the Filabuzi area and given the job to re establish the dipping program in the TTL and APA as the gooks managed to disrupted the program so bad that very little dipping was done.
After a few weeks in the area dipping was steadily improving. One Wednesday we deployed to the dip at the APA area to protect the dipping personnel and ensure that orderly dipping took place the next day. On reaching the area I followed our normal drill for a dipping protection event. We stopped vehicles +/- 500 metres from the dip area and I then deployed 2 sticks to go on foot towards the dip to sweep the area and make the dip area safe.
For some or other unknown reason I decided to include myself in the one stick and for some unknown reason I insisted we take the 60mm mortar tube and 3 bombs on patrol with us. When my stick was about 150 metres from the dip area all hell broke loose. We walked into a reception party of between 12 and 15 gooks. The gooks threw all sorts at us – lots of small arms fire and fired 2 RPG 7 rockets. We obviously returned fire and I decided to pump the 3 mortars we ha towards the gooks to make life easier for us. I sent 3 mortars towards the gooks and after the 3rd bomb they took the gap. When we swept the area together with the other stick we found the gooks left behind some food rations as well as 2 mortars and a tube. There were also two bad blood trails – so we at least wounded one or two of them.
Then we discovered that all our efforts were in vain as there was no dipping going to take place at that dip. The dip was destroyed and I was convinced the gooks blew it up. (I must now mention that when I sent my second bomb towards the gooks it exploded with a very funny noise I had not heard before – a much muffled sound.)
On close inspection it was found that one of the mortars I fired hit the dip dead centre and destroyed it – all that was left was a hole in the ground filled with broken pieces of concrete and water.
At the debrief in Filabuzi the DC sarcastically congratulated me for my accuracy with a mortar and made it clear that he was NOT impressed.