Towards the end of 1987 two platoons of D Company (Jan 1986 ? Dec 1987), 1 Parachute Battalion were seconded to 5 Reconnaissance Regiment. The platoons were under command of Capt PA Pienaar (Pine), 2IC of D Coy and the platoon commanders were Lt J de V Kruys and 2Lt F J Wiese.
Together with members of 5 and 2 Reconnaissance Regiments, the members of D Coy took part in an attack on a Swapo base in central Angola. The operation was named Ops Firewood.
The attack commenced at dawn on 31 October 1987 and the SA forces only withdrew after dark on the same day. It was estimated that more than 300 Swapo fighters were killed during the battle.
At the end of the day Cpl N S Olivier, L/Cpl R M Light, Rfn H N de Rose, Rfn D W van Rooyen and Rfn W F Ewels were dead, killed in action. Several other members of D Coy was also wounded during the battle and Rfn J m Schuurman died on 1 November 1987 of his wounds.
Capt P A Pienaar the 2IC of D Coy who was in charge of the two platoons was killed in West Africa almost 10 years later, on 29 October 1997.
The names of these members of D Coy appear on the Wall of Remembrance at 1 Parachute Battalion in Bloemfontein.
We remember our comrades who paid the highest price on that day in 1987. They were all heroes and proud paratroopers.
Ex Alto Vincimus - We Conquer from Above