LABA was not the sort to bother reporting a minor injury and only a lucky few hit by a 7.62mm round from a Kalashnikov ever got off lightly.
It was clear that Laba was now in a serious need of assistance. Even had he wanted to, there was no way that Captain Kealy could have stopped Tak from going to his friends aid.
Clutching his SLR and a few magazines, Tak left the BATT house, running flat out towards the gun pit.
The others gave him covering fire, but still Tak was running into a storm of bullets.
A former top-class rugby player, dodging, weaving, diving and sprinting were second nature to Tak and the big Fijian covered the ground at a breathless pace.
Finally flinging himself into the gun pit, Tak gulped in great lungfuls of the smoky air and looked across at Laba.
A blood-soaked shell dressing (a gauze-covered cotton pad with lengths of bandage attached) was tied around his face, covering the wound where the bullet had smashed his jaw.
Still crouched behind the bullet-ridden armour shield, Laba nodded to Tak, asked for more ammunition, and carried on operating the gun.
Once he had made sure that Laba had enough shells to keep him going, Tak decided that what they really needed was another pair of hands.
The only place where he could hope to get more help was the fort.
Steeling his body for another Olympian effort, Tak launched himself over the low sandbagged wall of the gun emplacement and dashed towards the door of the fort. Unsurprisingly, when he got there, it was locked.
Tak hammered on the door and bellowed to the men inside as machine guns rounds in the masonry around him, showering him with debris.
After what seemed like an eternity, the door opened by Walid Khamis, the Omani gunner with whom both Tak and Laba had trained on 25pdr. Both men raced for the gun pit. Tak now knew they both had a chance.
With Laba and Walid operating the gun, he could use his SLR to hold off the advancing Adoo. Now they could really start to make a difference.
He tumbled back into the gun pit and turned to see Walid collapse into the sandbags. He had taken a round into the stomach and crashed down into the pit, writhing in agony. Laba and Tak were on their own again.
Back at the BATT house, a casualty evacuation helicopter had been requested from Salalah and one of the team had slipped out to guide the chopper into a landing area near the beach.
As the helicopter appeared, he threw green smoke grenade to show that the landing area was safe, but when the aircraft was on its final approach a group of Adoo opened fire, churning up the dust around the landing area.
The trooper threw a red grenade to warn off the chopper and its engines roared as it climbed back into the sky with Adoo bullets tearing into its fuselage.
The trooper then made his way back to the BATT house. But if one chopper could make a 25-minute flight from Salalah, then so could others.
G Squadron was now embarked on three helicopters, heading down the coast to Mirbat.
The situation in the BATT house was now becoming desperate. The mortar crews targets were so close that it was almost impossible to engage them.
The barrel was already raised to its maximum elevation, so the crew set it on the lowest charge, and fired; the bomb travelled up almost vertically then dropped down on the enemy.
The Askaris in the walis fort were firing at anything that moved, but the main thrust of the Adoo attack was still towards the DG fort.
Having breached the wire in several places they were moving inexorably closer.
Laba and Tak worked like machines. The gun fired, they opened the breech, ejected the hot shell case, slammed in a new one, rammed it home, closed the breech and fired.
Their machine only ground to a halt when Tak reached for another shell and was hurled backwards into the sandbags. Hed been shot in the chest and as he landed another round creased his skull. He was in agony and losing a lot of blood, but he was still conscious.
Laba helped Tak prop himself up against the sandbags and handed him his SLR. Then Laba went back to firing the gun and Tak peered down the sights of his rifle, picking off any Adoo who appeared within his limited field of fire.
Automatic fire from the Adoo peppered the gun pit and Laba decided that the time had come to try a different tack. With the ammunition for the 25pdr all but gone, the floor of the gun pit was littered with spent shell cases and steeped in blood.
Laba looked around for small 60mm mortar he knew was in there somewhere. Spotting the weapon propped up against the sandbag wall, he crawled across the floor and reached out from behind the 25pdrs shield to make a grab for the mortar.
As he did so, an Adoo bullet ploughed into his neck and Laba slumped to the floor, dead.
In the BATT house, Captain Kealy was worried that all the firing from the gun pit had stopped. Had they been overrun?
He had to know exactly what was happening at the fort and what happened to Laba and Tak to establish that, he had to get the gun emplacement and needed someone to go with him. He asked for a volunteer. He got six.
The one he chose was Tommy Tobin, a trained medic.
By some miracle, they both reached the gun emplacement unscathed. Tommy leapt into the gun pit and Captain Kealy took cover in the ammunition bunker. They were shocked by the scene of carnage before them.
Walid Khamis lay on his back, bleeding profusely and obviously seriously wounded. Laba was faced down on the floor and Tak still propped up against the sandbags, drenched in blood, squeezing off carefully aimed rounds from his SLR and grimacing with pain each time the rifle kicked back into his body.
Tommy checked Laba, confirmed his worst fears, then turned to pick up his medical pack. At that moment he was shot in the face and fell to the floor, mortally wounded.
Tak called Captain Keally for more ammunition and the two men began a desperate battle for their lives. An Adoo popped up at the edge of the gun emplacement, ready to shoot Tak, and Kealy blasted him with his SLR.
Another appeared in a ditch close to their position and Kealy cut him down, too. Kealy took out Adoo gunmen as they slunk round the walls of the fort and Tak concentrated on those coming from the perimeter wire.
Although the 25pdr was no longer firing, it was clearly still a primary target for the Adoo as rounds clanged into its metalwork like hammer blows. The Adoo were now close enough to sling grenades, which were bouncing and exploding close to the walls of the gun pit. Kealy froze for an instant as a grenade landed inside the bunker right in front of him. Mercifully, it failed to explode.
Then, a new and terrifying sound added its fury to the cacophony of the battle.
Two BAC Strikemaster jets of the SOAF came screaming in low over the battlefield, strafing the Adoo with cannon fire with the cloud base at no more than 50ft (46m), the jets were hugging the contours of the ground as they made their attack run before peeling off into the cloud and coming round again.
Captain Kealy was able to relay fire instructions to the jets via the BATT house over the walkie-talkie and the Strikemasters drove the Adoo back into the cover of a deep wadi outside the Mirbat perimeter fence.
A 500lb (227kg) bomb then persuaded them that even the wadi was unsafe for them. Kealy knew, however, that the jets could not hang around forever around Mirbat.
One limp back to base trailing smoke from numerous Adoo machine-gun hits and the other soon followed, low on fuel and out of ammo. Kealy used the respite provided by the jets to dress the wounds of Walid, Tommy and Tak, as he was trying to organise transport to take them to the helicopter LZ for evacuation, he could still hear firing. He knew that the Adoo would be back and that he had to move fast.
What he didnt know was that the G squadron had fought its way up through the town and had what remained of the Adoo in full retreat. The Adoo left behind in Mirbat almost 40 dead and 10 wounded who were taken prisoner. It was later learned that many others Addo injured who limped away or were carried off the battlefield only to die from their wounds days later.
Altogether, the Adoo lost almost half of their elite strike force. It was a bitter blow from which they will never recover and, although the conflict in Oman would continue for almost four years, history would show that Mirbat was the turning-point that led to the ultimate defeat of the Adoos.
The SAS lost Laba and Tommy was to die from his wounds. Tak was seriously wounded as was Walid. Only one of the DG was killed in the town and another badly wounded, although almost everyone from both the forts and the BATT house had sustained some kind of minor injury.
Tommy and Walid were loaded onto stretchers for the short trip by Land Rover to the casevac helicopter. Tak refused to lie on the stretcher. He was helped to his feet and walked to the transport under his own steam. The surgeons who operated him at the Selalah declared his injuries the worst chest wounds they had ever seen on anyone who was still alive. Even so, Tak was not to let his injuries and his career with the SAS.
Ironically, Laba had left the regiment long before Mirbat. After leaving Aden, he had returned to the Irish Rangers for a spell of more conventional soldiering, but when the rangers were stationed in Bahrain in 1969 he ran into some of his old chums. B Squadron stopped off in Bahrain for training prior to deployment in Oman and some of the SAS men were invited to the Irish rangers Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess where they met up with Laba and his RSM.
They persuaded Laba to rejoin the regiment and, in return Labas heroics with the 25pdr at Mirbat may well have saved the B squadron BATT unit.
Tak spent some time recovering from his wounds, but his fighting spirit helped him battle his way back to fitness and he eventually returned to duty with the B Squadron.
He was at Pete Winners shoulder when they stormed the Iranian Embassy in 1980 and fought in the Falklands campaign. He also saw action recently in Iraq, although he had long since left the regiment by then.
In late 2005, Tak was working for a private security company in Iraq and was driving with another ex-SAS colleague in a two car convoy through the Safwan area near Basra.
As always on desert roads, the car in front was throwing enough dust to rate a mini sandstorm and Tak had only limited view in front of them. He could see, however, that they were coming up behind another vehicle, a four-wheel-drive truck, and knew that his friend would want to overtake to avoid driving through the same sort of dust cloud that Tak was currently experiencing.
Sure enough, the car in front of Tak pulled out to overtake, but when Tak attempted to do the same, the truck swerved across the road to stop him. Theres no such thing as random road rage in a place like Iraq, and Tak cold see that the occupants of the truck ahead were four armed Arabs.
Three times Tak tried to pull out and pass the truck and each time the truck swerved into his path. Taks partner had by this time, realised that something was wrong and was hanging back rather than speeding off down the road. Tak decided to try some off road tactics and pulled out into the desert scrub to try to outmanoeuvre the truck.
The Arabs leaned out the truck windows and opened fire across Taks path, forcing him to brake, whereupon his truck became bogged down in soft sand. The gunners truck slithered to a halt and the Arabs, each armed with the inevitable Kalashnikov AK-47, walked towards the front of Taks car.
Tak sat stock still in his seat as they approached. Then when they levelled their weapon at his vehicle, he snatched up a machine pistol from the seat beside him and sprayed them through the windscreen.
Taks partner gave him covering fire as Tak dived from the vehicle and tangled with one of the gunmen, clubbing the Arab to the ground with his weapon. He then made for his partners vehicle but one of the Arab managed to get off a shot that caught him in the thigh.
His partner bundled Tak into the car and they made off at speed, heading for the British Military Hospital in Basra, leaving the four Iraqis behind one wounded and one presumed dead. Taks partner sustained a slight wound to the hand, but Taks leg wound was more serious and he was swiftly flown back to a private hospital in UK for treatment.
Both Laba and Tak have become legends within the regiment and are hailed heroes in their homeland of Fiji.
They are, without doubt, two of the bravest men I have ever known and I am proud to consider myself as having been their friend.