Regiment History

January 1946 - December 1968

Nov 1959

EX ‘ Sabre Foot’- first combined Armoured / Infantry EX since Korea.

 

1959

A Sqn disbanded and personnel used to form A Sqn 2nd/14th QMI and A Sqn 4th/19th PWLH.

 

Apr 1960

Escort to the funeral of LTGEN Sir Horace Robertson, KBE, DSO after whom the barracks were later named.

 

1960/61

A troop involved in tropic trials in Innisfail (QLD)

 

Early 1961

1st Armoured Regiment gains its first release from Puckapunyal. Two half SQN’s under command of MAJ E.R.Duncan EX SW of Singleton (NSW)

 

1964

2LT Gazzard of 1 Tp C Sqn wins re-constituted Paratus Cup.

 

Mar 1964

B SQN under command of MAJ R.E.Bird travel 1500 miles by road, sea and rail to Tin Can Bay and are struck by terrible weather conditions. One newspaper said “They brought 16 tanks and two recovery vehicles. What they should have brought was two tanks and 16 recovery vehicles.

 

Apr 1964

Three tanks go into Paluma ranges near Ingham. The Courier Mail newspaper states, “Three of the Army’s giant Centurion Tanks made history today on a 22 mile EX into rugged Paluma Ranges 20 miles from Ingham.

 

Late 1964

The Australian Government decides to send troops to Vietnam.

 

Dec 1964

Directorate pushes to have tanks deployed to Vietnam.

 

Oct 1967

Parliament Announces over the Radio that a tank SQN is to be sent to Vietnam.

 

Nov 1967

Beset with problems, the Regiment finally centralizes enough troops at Puckapunyal to prepare for deployment of a SQN to Vietnam.

 

Jan 1968

A farewell parade is held for C SQN prior to their departure for Vietnam.  The Minister for the Army – The Hon J.M.Fraser MP visits the Regt and after driving a tank is given a course report.

 

Feb 1968

MAJ Badman and a half SQN arrive in South Vietnam (SVN) CONSISTING OF 1 and 2 TROOPS

 

Mar 1968

The ADJT GEN C.E.Long agrees to ship three troop personnel to SVN.

 

Apr 1968

In its first operation C SQN crosses a minefield with no casualties apart from a damaged tank.

 

May 1968

C SQN arrives at FSB Coral after traveling 95 miles from Nui Dat

1 Troop LT G.M.Mc Cormack

2 Troop 2LT M.J.Butler

3Troop 2LT J.E.Wilson

Casualties en route are one Dozer damaged by mines and one disabled due to hydraulic failure.

 

May 1968

A SQN reformed.

 

26 May 1968; 

1 Troop is repeatedly hit by RPG fire during an assault on an enemy position in the vicinity of FSB Coral. The RPG’s failed to penetrate the armour and the tanks using concentrated fire expose the enemy bunkers

 

26 May 1968 0400hrs

Balmoral is attacked by battalion size force and repelled.

 

26 May 1968

Coral is bombarded D Coy 1 RAR and 1 Tp under command LT G.M.McCormack start out through trees towards unknown enemy position.

 

26 May 1968 Mid Morning.

Enemy are sighted and tanks move forward in readiness for an assault. Troop is repeatedly hit by RPG fire which fails to penetrate the armour. Tanks using concentrated fire expose enemy bunkers with no casualties.

 

28 May 0100 hrs;

Regimental sized attack launched on Balmoral. The commander of 2Tp and two others are slightly wounded. Enemy repelled.

 

30 May 1968;

Whilst carrying out servicing 1 Tp are forced to move quickly in order to help Infantry who are in contact 3000yds from Coral. One tank drops out due to radio problems. LT Mc Cormack and CPL P.J.Reeves go into the jungle. The enemy is so close that the troop leader is able to drop 2 grenades from his turret into an enemy bunker. The APC’s begin to withdraw the wounded. Concurrently the tanks withdraw and break up enemy bunkers. In order to facilitate the APC withdrawal they use the formerly made tank tracks and LT Mc Cormack and CPL Reeves withdraw over a freshly sown mine field.

 

June 1968;

GEN William C Westmoreland – the Commander Military Assistance Command visits C SQN at Coral a few hours after the communist attack.

 

2 June 1968;

The area of 1 Troops May contact is re – visited by 3 Troop. The area is reported to be greatly devastated.

 

June 1968;

Establishment increases to allow 4 tanks per troop instead of 3. Personnel numbers increase from 99 to 115.

 

Aug 1968;

Enemy offensive flares in Long Dien at Baria, a few kilometers from Nui Dat.

1 Troop C SQN North sector at Baria.

3 Troop – junctions Route 23 and 44 in the South East.

 

22 Aug 1968;

3 Troop with Infantry begin to move at first light and are engaged by RPG fire. One tank is hit and is forced to use manual traverse. The troop continues the advance after replenishment at Long Dien and encounters further RPG fire.

 

22 Aug 1968;

One troop moves Infantry to engage enemy.

 

Sept 1968;

C SQN tanks support infantry and are tasked to hold the approaches to Baria and Long Dien.

 

25 Dec 1968;

C SQN defends FSB Julia.