Regiment History

February 1969 - July 1983

February 1969

B SQN arrives SVN

 

Early Feb 1969;

B SQN work with infantry in Hat Dich area.

 

16 Feb 1969;

One troop B SQN search for suspected arms caches in Bien Hoa province. The tanks are slowed down by water. Infantry move ahead and are engaged by the enemy. The tanks again move forward and the lead tank is engaged by RPG fire. LT Sullivan leaves his tank and rescues the driver, he silences an RPG team with pistol fire. TPR Bellot, his driver continues on despite a wounded eye and failing sight.

 

May 1969;

OP Mailed Fist, a pacification and recon sweep is conducted through Duc Than district with 2 Troop B SQN. They conduct 18 ambushes, are contacted 8 times and destroy 4 enemy bunker systems.

 

6 June 1969;

2LT Sullivan with a composite troop is sent to investigate possible enemy in Binh Ba village. He is accompanied by an APC troop and D Coy 5 RAR. They are contacted half a mile from the village but continue on. On the outskirts of the village the force is fired upon by 15 rockets and small arms. The tanks are ordered to assault with support from the APC’s. Further RPG and MG fire is encountered. Helicopter recon reports enemy to the north of the village and 2 LT Ritchie moves to intercept with CPL Bennett. RPG fire hits the latter’s turret and it loses traverse. Both tanks are now in the open however continue to engage the enemy.Enemy resistance is cut down and the APC troop whilst firing into the rubber plantation destroy 75% of an enemy Coy wich is preparing to counter attack .Four troop B SQN under command of SGT Jock Browning approach from the north to aid and relieve 2LT Sullivan. The village is eventually cleared and the battle is considered a milestone in Infantry – Tank co- operation.

 

Oct 1969; 

To date B SQN involved in some 39 separate operations.

 

23 Dec 1969;

A SQN replaces B SQN.

 

15-26 Jan 1970;

OP Matilda. Armoured sweep covering over 125 miles in a rectangle stretching East and North East from Nui Dat. A large enemy hut complex is discovered deep in the jungle. The SQN Commander MAJ Jack Chipman destroys each hut by dropping incendiary grenades from a helicopter.

 

Feb 1970;

2 Troop A SQN tasked to protect a quarry from snipers in the area of the Long Hai’s, which becomes FSB Isa.

 

15 Feb 1970;

LT Jack Brennan leads his troop to aid infantry in an ambush and places the tanks between the enemy and the infantry.1 Troop is sent to reinforce under command of LT Meredith followed by SHQ. It is decided to attack the enemy position- codeword ‘OP Hammersley’. Tanks lead in because of mine threat. After a number of contacts the tanks withdraw to replenish their ammunition. The whole SQN arrive later and 3 Troop under LT Mc Neilage is contacted by RPG fire. Three troops under command of CAPT Bowd sweep through the enemy bunkers and destroy them. The SQN and Infantry withdraw at night fall.

 

21 Feb 1970;

A Sqn is re deployed and discovers large quantities of enemy weapons in area of previous contacts.

 

Feb – Dec 1970;

A Sqn carries out many operations during 1970

 

Dec 1970;

A SQN replaced by C SQN for its second tour.

 

Jan – May 1971;

The first four months are spent mainly in providing protection parties to Engineers.

 

May 1971;

It is decided to phase out tank support in SVN.

 

Late May 1971;

4 Troop leaves SVN.

 

5 Jun 1971;

OP Overlord C SQN (-) and infantry are tasked to locate and destroy an enemy Jungle Training Area. Force leaves from Nui Dat with tanks leading. C SQN goes into night ambush position.

 

7 Jun 1971;

At 0500hrs two tank troops advance onto bunker system. The enemy is defeated. As a result of the armoured / infantry co-operation BRIG B.A. Mc Donald directs that the tank Squadron Commander will command a combined force in future contacts.

 

1 Sept 1971;

First TLC’s arrive

 

30 Sept 71;

Tanks are withdrawn to Australia and tank involvement in SVN ceases.

 

25 Oct 71;

EX Desert Scorpion B SQN Big Desert Area.

 

Feb 1972;

The Minister for the Army The Hon Bob Katter inspects Centurions.

 

13 Jun 1972;

Leopard arrives for tank trials.

 

6 Jul 1972;

LTGEN Brogan the CGS visits the tank trials.

 

18 Jul 1972;

M60A1 arrives for trials.

 

26 Sept 1972;

The Leopard tank is involved in its first deep water fording trial.

 

Sep 1973;

A SQN provides support during the Kerang Floods.

 

Oct  1973;

EX Giant Stride conducted in Alice Springs.

 

22 May 1974;

Regt provides flood relief for Nathalia.

 

25 Jul 1974;

The governor General Sir John Kerr inspects Vice Regal Guard given in his honour.

 

29 Jan 1975;

The Regiment is visited by LTGEN Bramwell – Commander in Chief British Forces in Hong Kong.