TRACK TALK & GENERAL INFORMATION PAGE
Track Talk Updated: 28:09:2015
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To renew your membership to the Association, a form is located for printout at the MEMBERSHIP FORM page.
Post cheque or money order to:
3rd Cavalry Regiment (Vietnam) Association,
PO Box 84,
TOORMINA. NSW. 2452
ARMY INTRODUCES REMEMBRANCE PIN
Defence News and Media
Army introduces Remembrance Pin
7 May 2015 | Media Release
The Australian Army has today introduced the Army Remembrance Pin to commemorate the valued service of members who have died while in the
Army; during both times of peace and war, since 3 September 1945.
Speaking at the Australian War Memorial, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, highlighted the need to remember their contribution.
“In appreciation of the men and women who have died while in the service of our nation, we have introduced the Army Remembrance Pin to acknowledge and commemorate their contribution to our Army,” Lieutenant General Morrison said.
“This Pin is gifted to the families of deceased members as a symbol of their ongoing connection with the Australian Army.”
“Our Army is built on history, traditions and the service of those who have come before us. The Pin is intended as a family keepsake to be handed down through the generations to ensure the memory of the member and their service continues.”
The Army Remembrance Pin continues the tradition of the Mothers’ and Widows’ badges distributed to the loved ones of World War One and Two veterans who were killed in action, or who died of wounds on active service or after discharge.
The Pin will be available to eligible family members of Army members who have died while in service, both domestically and on operations, since the conclusion of World War Two.
The face of the Pin displays the Rising Sun Badge above two sprigs of laurel and is surrounded by the words In memory of their dedicated service.
Applications for the Pin can now be submitted. Further information, including eligibility requirements and the application process is available at:
Imagery of the Army Remembrance Pin will be available at:
http://images.defence.gov.au/S20150913 Media contact:
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999
NOTHING MUCH SEEMS TO CHANGE. IT'S THE "SAME OLD SAME OLD"!!
3rd BATTALION THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT
Kapyong Lines Lavarack Barracks, TOWNSVILLE QLD 4813
3RAR RO 08/15
1. No.93 - Alcohol consumption. Drinking games of any nature are not to be conducted in location within Kapyong Lines, particularly the Madden Club, and the 3RAR Live in accommodation. This includes sculling from any large receptacles, such as boots.
I should not have been surprised by the response for donations for the Carrier purchase and installation at the Memorial. Besides our own members, fellows from other Units have contributed in their own personal way. Les Myers, Assault Pioneers, 1RAR 68/69 wrote, "Thanks for the magnificent support Cav provided to my platoon." Others non Unit were Lex McAulay, the well known author of many great books, and Garry Prendergast, the Chair of the Coral Reunion Group. We can only offer our thanks to them for their support. The Bonds forged 50 years ago still stand true today.
ANZAC DAY REPORT MELBOURNE
The day started out miserably with a steady drop of rain prior to the commencement of the march. The rain eased off just after we started and apart from a few drops from time to time we had a relatively good run.Overall our numbers were down a little and that is understandable with the way the weather was.This year we were ably led by Russ James and were joined by several former members of the 3rd/4th Cav Regt. Those present at the march were Russ James, Mick Charenko, George Zagon, Graeme Atkinson, David Rivett, Tim Costa, Bazil Tiligadis, Bevan Morris, Garry Vapp, Ian Keenan, Jim Levens, Ken Turnham, Roger Bicheno, John Fitzpatrick, Noel Luff, Andrew Murphy, Rex Warren, Gavan Vigar, Wally Sosnowski, John Sheehan, Angus MacEwan, Ivan Maher, John Ockwell and the 3/4Cav members were Samuel Perkins, Sean Lysaght, Mitchell McWaters, Paul Menz, Mathew Ash, Patrick Porter, Eamon Hale, Joshua Downs, Gareth Mackie, Daniel Sullivan, Chris Jarvinen-King. Apologies if I missed anybody or spelt the names wrong as the paper was rather wet by the time I finished and difficult to decipher. Afterwards we again adjourned to our usual watering hole, the Palmerston Hotel along with the !st Armoured Regiment members to partake in a few light refreshments. Overall a good was had by all.... John Ockwell
Thought you might be interested in my latest creation I spent around 200 hours to get to this stage.
This is what keeps me sane these days. Next project will be a Cougar MRAP.
Rip Mascord (Bluebell)
50th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF ARRIVAL OF THE 4th/19th PWLH INTO VIETNAM
Dallas, I thought I’d take the opportunity to pen a few words for the September edition of your Association’s newsletter, in respect of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the arrival in Vietnam of 1 Tp A Sqn 4/19 PWLH.
It is in my view, important that the RAAC descendants of these men in that iconic Troop be informed as to how the day went. What a tremendous honour and privilege to be a part of the ceremony in Seymour today to mark the 50th anniversary of 1Tp A Sqn 4/19 PWLH's arrival in Vietnam on 8 June, 1965. 50 years!!!
Approximately 100 people attended the ceremony including an original Pony Soldier Cpl Rex Warren, (2 tours, 1 Tp 4/19-1APC Tp and A Sqn 3 Cav). Rex is looking very well, God bless him.
He was and very deservedly so, the centre of attention and was ever gracious with his time for interviews by the local paper and for a TV station. Rex was the perfect ambassador for the Troop and he did every single one of them living and otherwise, proud. The Troop veterans could not have wished for better.
Also in attendance were the CO 4/19 PWLH Lt Co John Molnar, and the Corps RSM, WO1 Peter Swinfield himself a recipient of the US Army’s Bronze Star
The ceremony included the unveiling of a plaque which has all the names of the Originals on it.
That plaque will in due course, be mounted on the front of an APC which will be reversed into the trees in the Vietnam Memorial Park so it looks like it is in an ambush position and that will round things off beautifully. Prior to the mounting of the plaque (hopefully in September), some corrective work will be undertaken to have etched into the plaque, the emblem of the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm Citation to take pride of place alongside the US Meritorious Unit Citation (MUC).
Additionally, the technical error of having Noel ‘Yogi’ Beare down as RAEME will also be corrected. During the Association’s research for the correct listing of names for the plaque, it transpired Yogi was in fact the Troop Armourer although a RAAC soldier and not RAEME. The reasonable assumption on hearing Yogi was an Armourer was to automatically think RAEME. That will now also be rectified.
Also present was the 4/19 Assn Band made up of former members of the old 4/19 PWLH band which was made defunct and they are
still sounding great. During the ceremony, the MC read out the names and dates of rotation for each of the Cavalry Units starting with
1Tp A Sqn 4/19PWLH and ending with 1Tp A Sqn 3 Cav Regt.
In addition to that, he also read out the same in relation to the squadrons of 1st Armoured Regiment from 1968 to 1971. The names of each of the original Pony Soldiers were also read out to the crowd.
The female soloist Mrs Jennifer Maple, sang Abide With Me and, after the wreath-laying ceremony conducted by Rex Warren and the CO, sang "A Walk in the Light Green" (I Was Only 19). The beauty and clarity of her voice was like Waterford crystal. She sang the song with such emotion, this writer swears every veteran there was back in country.
It was without doubt the most beautiful, heartfelt and moving rendition I have ever heard of the Redgum classic.
It was then off to that place of many memories and the ghosts of good men, the POW Hotel, for lunch and the staff there were absolutely wonderful. The refurbished plaque complete with dymo-taped names was re-hung in its place of honour at the front of the bar.
Who would have imagined that a request from myself to the 4/19 Assn Secretary Lindsay Burke, at Pucka on Saturday 8 March 2014, to have the Assn refurb the old sad-looking wooden plaque still in the POW bar, with the original Ponies’ dymo-taped names fixed up to enable a ceremonial re-hanging this year, would evolve to what we experienced today. Full credit to Lindsay Burke for what he put together. He did everybody proud.
Bravo Zulu mate!!
In closing, I would just like to add this.
The military DNA from those soldiers flows through every single RAAC soldier irrespective of rank, current and former, right up to this day. We are their historical descendants and rightly proud of it. Their exemplary and professional service set the bar for the following generations of RAAC soldiers through Vietnam and beyond, ensuring the RAAC remains the subject knowledge expert and leading exponent of mounted combat.
We have much to be grateful for, to those intrepid soldiers of 1Tp A Sqn 4/19 PWLH.
Yours in Armour,
Noel Mc Laughlin
Chairman, RAAC Corporation.
Corps RSM, WO1 Peter Swinfield and Rex Warren
REGIMENTAL SERGEANT MAJOR - ARMY
Warrant Officer Don Spinks, OAM
Warrant Officer of the Army, Warrant Officer Don Spinks
Warrant Officer Don Spinks was born, raised and educated in the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales. He enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in January 1979 and on completion of Basic Recruit Training he was assigned to the Royal Australian Armoured Corps.
On completion of Initial Employment Training he was posted to 4th Cavalry Regiment, during this posting he was promoted to Lance Corporal in 1982 and Corporal in 1985.
In 1987 he was posted to the Armoured Centre, Puckapunyal as a Corporal Instructor at Corps Training Wing. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1989 and was posted to 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Sydney where he served as a Troop Sergeant in A Squadron and Regimental Headquarters. In 1991 he was posted to the School of Armour as an Instructor Tactics and Gunnery.
He was promoted to Warrant Officer Class Two in 1992 and was posted to the Royal Military College Duntroon where he served in both Field and Drill Wings. In 1996 he was posted to 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Darwin as a Squadron Sergeant Major. During this posting he also completed the duties of Regimental Training Warrant Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major.
He was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One in January 1999 and in 2000 he was selected to attend the United States (US) Army Sergeants Majors Academy, Fort Bliss, Texas where he completed the US Army Sergeants Major and the Command Sergeant Majors Courses. He then served as an instructor at the academy the following year. For his service with the Sergeants Majors Academy he was awarded the United States Army Meritorious Service Medal.
Warrant Officer Spinks’ Regimental Sergeant Major appointments include the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Multi National Force and Observers - Sinai Egypt in 2004, Royal Australian Armoured Corps, 1st Brigade in 2008-2009, Joint Task Force 633 on Operation Slipper in 2010. In 2011, he was appointed Command Sergeant Major Forces Command – Army.
In January 2007 he was awarded the Medal for the Order of Australia for meritorious service to the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and to the Multi-National Force and Observers - Sinai.
In March 2015 he was appointed as the 10th Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army and commenced his appointment on 9 July 2015.
Warrant Officer Spinks is married to Jennifer; he has two children and five grandchildren. He is a keen Rugby supporter and enjoys exercise, outdoor activities and travel.
3 Troop Reunion 6 June 2015
On 8-6-2014 Tony Jones sent an email to a number of 3 Troop members.
Hi all 3 Troopers, Just thinking, it's been a very long time since we had a 3 troop get-to-gether, and none of us are getting any younger, what better day to have one than on Binh Ba day next year in Brisbane, so the old fella doesnt have to travel too far? Best wishes to all, Tony Jones.
Then followed a number of discussions at various times involving Ray De Vere, Dog Dore, Stretch Wagner, Rob Asquith, Hamish McQuade, Piggy O’Rourke to name a few who indicated a plan should be put together for a reunion of all who were in 3 Troop in 1969, attendance at the battle of Binh Ba was not a requisite to attend the reunion.
A suggested program was put together as follows:
5 June 2015 1500 Meet & Greet Kedron Wavell Services Club (private bar area) buy own drinks, finger food served.
6 June 2015 0900 arrive Enoggera Barracks tour 2/14 LHR unit museum, vehicles, BBQ lunch at 41 Club, presentation on unit operations
6 June 2015 1800 reunion dinner at Long Tan Room Kedron Wavell Service Club ($40 pp byog)
7 June 0800 farewell breakfast Kedron Wavell Services Club.
Liaison with 2/14 LHR quickly established that the CO LTCOL Ash Collingburn was more than happy to support the reunion, noting that most of the Unit would be very busy (at that stage he did not know a sizable 2/14 LHR group were to be deployed to Iraq in a mentoring role).
The following attended the reunion; Rob & Kaz Asquith, Mick & Irene Battams, Chris & Michele Blackett, Alan & Heather Buckingham, Jim & Chris Cameron, Ron & Dawn Childs, Peter & Jill Davies, Ray & Marie DeVere, Peter & Lynne Dore, Max Flower, Warren & Narelle Gardiner, Stan Gibson, Rex & Meredith Harris, Bob Harrison, Chris Heaney, David & Geraldine Hocking, Tony Jones & Toni Reiss, Vern Judd, Geoff Lenz & Julie McDonaugh, Jim & Judy McQuade, Brian Munro, Terry Murray, Bill O’Rourke, Paul Pine, Graham Standley, Harry Taylor, Peter & Leonie Watson.
Apologies were received from Rod & Shirley Beasley USA, Tom & Lauren Dillon USA, Stretch & Jenny Wagner USA, Peter Strudwick recovering from cataract operation no flying, Leon Bingham moving to Tas, Bob Apps, and Keith Bonnefin.
The event started very well with a good gathering at the meet at greet, where the “Chook” standard was on display having travelled from his normal home with the Wagners to Squiffy’s place in Byron Bay On ANZAC day 2015. As it turned out we had ordered far too much finger food, so won a few new friends in the general bar area of the Kedron Wavell Club.
Early next morning the crew set off from Kedron Wavell in a mini bus and vehicle loaned to us by Kedron Wavell RSL Sub Branch to supplement our own local vehicle group to RV at Gallipoli Barracks Enoggera. Everybody turned up on time at the right place at the right time, showing the troop has lost none of its navigation skills. We were met at the gate by CPL Andrew Pulsford, one of the B Sqn troop sergeants, who was to be our guide/escort for the day. First stop was the 41 Club for morning tea and a briefing on the program, which included a tour of the museum (which is well worth seeing with some truly historical items on display) Followed by a short visit to the compound to see some ASLAV variants (from the outside) and then adjourned back to the 41 Club for a BBQ and slide show and a few drinks. (The 41 Club would have to the cheapest watering hole in Australia unbelievably low prices) After lunch we presented Andrew with a gift of $400 for the 41 Club and thanked him very much for his time and hospitality in hosting our troop group.
We also held a short memorial service and laid a floral tribute at the 2/14 LHR lines to remember our fallen and departed comrades including those of 2/14 LHR lost on recent operations.
That night we gathered again at Kedron Wavell, this time in the Long Tan room, for a reunion dinner. Special guests for the night were CPL Matt Pippin, another B Sqn sergeant, and his wife Bianca who were representing the Regiment and Peter Ferguson long time historian for the 3 Cav Regt Association (Vietnam). During the night a presentation of a 3 Troop framed certificate of appreciation was made to Matt to take back to 2/14 LHR. A certificate of appreciation was also made to Peter Ferguson “In recognition of his development and maintenance of a Squadron personnel data base which has proved to be an invaluable tool providing assistance to members of the Squadron and, in particular, to 3 Troop on two separate occasions facilitating troop reunion contact details administration”
During the night CPL Daniel Keighran VC, who was at a 6 RAR function at Kedron Wavell, dropped in to pay his respects to the cavalry, a nice touch I thought. Every one seemed to enjoy themselves at the dinner which was a buffet style meal, was very well presented, plenty of variety and piping hot; all over seen by a charming lady from the club who was most helpful
Next morning saw most of the group meeting at the club again for breakfast. Good to see most of the group were looking very chipper, apparently we seem to be more sensible with out drinking habits as we get older. Some fond farewells were made and a tentative plan proposed to meet again in June 2017 at Cronulla RSL; where we had our first troop reunion way back in 1989 after the welcome home parade in Sydney in 1987.
Many thanks to all who assisted in the organisation and to all those who attended and made it such an enjoyable occasion.
On the 08 Jun1965 1 Tp A Sqn 4/19 PWLH landed in Sth Vietnam. The first RAAC unit to serve in Sth Vietnam. They served with distinction and developed SOPs which were used by the units that followed them.
As you will all be aware their
Regiment was awarded the United States Meritorious Unit Citation for 1 Troops
distinguished service in that theatre of war. Mon 08 Jun 2015 is 50 years to the
day. It is a public Holiday for the Queen’s Birthday in Victoria. The 4/19 PWLH
Association will hold a memorial service at the
Vietnam Veterans Walk in Seymour at 10:30 hrs on 08 Jun 15, followed by lunch at
the Prince of Wales Hotel commencing at 12:00 hrs. Cost for 3 course lunch is
The Prince of Wales Hotel was the "watering hole" of choice for A Sqn 4/19 PWLH when stationed at Puckapunyal, as it was for all other RAAC units over the years. The Hotel still maintains memorabilia from those timee.
There is no charge to attend the memorial service. If you want to attend the lunch, I need an RSVP by NLT COB Fri 29 May 15. There are limited places due to the size of the dining room. First in gets a seat. To reserve a place at the lunch email me on email@example.com
we can have a great turn out to honour these men who were the trail blazers for
the units that followed and who are a distinguished part of 4th/19th Prince of
Wales's Light Horse Regiments' history. I hope as many 3rd Cavalry Regiment
Vietnam Veterans can also attend.
4/19 PWLH Assn (Inc)
Mob: 0459 827 588
END OF AN ERA - THE FINAL PARADE, TOWNSVILLE 27TH NOVEMBER, 2014.
No amount of "spin" or rhetoric can deny one assailable fact...the 3rd Cavalry Regiment no longer exists. For that matter, neither does the 4th Cavalry Regiment.
A good crowd gathered at the Townsville RSL from about 3pm, waiting in anticipation of the arrival of the coaches to take us all out to Lavarack Barracks for that final parade. Despite the continued mantra, "no entry without photo I.D.", which was preached for some months prior to the day, our coach briefly paused at the Gateway before taking us all inside the Barracks to the 3rd Battalion parade ground without a document or face scanned !!. (Nothing much changes, does it??) There we were greeted by the sight of a full Squadron of APC's and ASLAV's drawn up in Regimental order across the parade ground. Two Abrams tanks sat at the rear. A lovely sight to see, which stirred your inner emotions of days gone by. The reviewing OC took the stand for the salute, and a lone M113AS4 rolled out directly to him, pulling up in front, and the crew saluting. It then did a 180 degree pivot turn on the spot, retired to its former position, and after another 180 degree pivot turn, stood at ease back in its former place. A great start. And then it was on!!
The Squadron was inspected by mounted vehicle, and then stood at ease awaiting the Chief of Army, Lt. General David Morrison to arrive. After his arrival by motor car, he was then ferried around the parade ground mounted, and the Squadron inspected.
In his speech, General Morrison said "we are going to make our three combat brigades, this one here in Townsville, the one in Darwin and one in Brisbane a bit more alike , and in doing that we're making 3rd Brigade more capable by moving more armoured vehicles in." He then went on to say that will enable them to conduct modern operations by being better protected, by being more lethal where we need to be, and find information in the battle space which is what 2 Cav are all about. " Continuing he said " We'll also have protected lifts for our Infantry soldiers and by the middle of next year, we'll also have a tank squadron here in Townsville as part of the 3rd Brigade." Continuing on, he further stated "The move of 2 Cav brings an armoured unit to Townsville - a full armoured unit for the first time in Townsville history". The General also said that 3rd Brigade was likely to see more operational changes in the not too distant future. He advised that the Government is yet to make the final decision on a project called Land 400, but when they do that, they will start the process to remove the ASLAV'S, the light armoured vehicles. "That will be a huge change and that will happen in the next 6 to 7 years."
A mounted parade by the dais commenced for the Squadron, as they wheeled two abreast past the General taking the Salute. I must say, that when the newer M113AS4 starts up its engine, it certainly lacks that definitive roar that we all recall. It was rather like a low hiss more than anything.
And finally, that sad moment came. The Squadron dismounted and formed up in three ranks, the proud Guidons of the 3rd and the 4th Cavalry Regiment flying over their heads. The OC of 2 Cav, Lt. Colonel James Davis moved quickly forward, and rolled both Guidons up, before they were encased into a green shroud apiece. Everyone was standing at this stage. It was announced on the P/A that there was no protocol to be observed when Guidons are furled, and that there would be no salutes as they were marched off, and "everyone may be seated again." Not one person moved. Everyone remained standing, watching emotionally as the Guidons left the Parade ground. You could have heard a pin drop. Standing behind me, I heard the sad anguished voice of a younger former member gasp quietly out to no one in particular, "Look at that, just wrap them up and go, just like that". I guess we all felt like that at that moment.
The parade moved off, and all vehicles departed the Parade ground. The Abrams tanks quickly skittered over the parade ground to "hold the ground" in the north east and western corners, before the entire "new" 2nd Cavalry Regiment returned in their vehicles back to the Parade ground. I have never witnessed an Abrams tank move, apart from watching television footage when engaged in Iraq, and was astounded as to how quickly they could go from nought to possibly 60 kms/hour in a very short distance!! They literally shot over the ground. Speaking later to Infantry of the 2nd Battalion, they stated that they liked working with tanks, as they are so quiet when they move as well.
As the Regiment was drawn up, the Chief of Army departed, and the parade wound down as all vehicles then moved away off the ground.
And so it was all over. But what a Parade it was!! Shades of the day of the presentation of the 3rd Cavalry Regiments guidon to the Regiment by His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, in Enoggera, 14th May, 1986.....all those days gone by. !!
Now what?? Well, both Guidons have been removed and will be displayed in the Sergeants Mess down at Puckapunyal. They will be later resurrected and given a new birth of life when the 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment is expected to be raised as an ARES Unit in south eastern Queensland in 2017. I have been told that all memorabilia, museum items and such will be held in store in trust; in fact already, some of it is already exhibited down at Pucka, and will be handed over to the new Unit when it reforms. There is a train of thought amongst some, that the Unit will never be reformed, due to the economic climate, costs involved, and manning capability. The statement made regarding retiring the ASLAV's was certainly something that I had not heard of before. However, this is not an issue that I can comment on, as I really don't know, apart from what has been stated by the authorities at this time. And, like all things, the passage of time often makes things subject to change. So who really knows?
I later went out to the former 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment lines the following day, and saw that all traces of the former Unit had indeed gone externally, and internally at the HQ. It was a sad time for us to see all this change so quickly. However, I can assure you, that the esprit de corps still exists in the Units attitude to its former members of the Cavalry lineage, as we were made most welcome by the members when we visited, and invited to return at any time if we should be coming through that area. I am sure that we all wish the "new" 2nd Cavalry Regiment all the best for their future, and I have no doubt that they will continue to uphold the pride, the traditions, the fighting ability, and the good name of Cavalry well into the future......As someone said "Resolute and Tenacious with Courage". I think that says it all.... Dallas (Burrage)
In our last issue od SITREP the Newsletter, I invited readers to submit some funny or interesting yarns, here are two I received. Thank you for your efforts, I look forward to any other readers stories...Editor
John CROSSMAN took a fall a few months back, and ended up with a fractured vertebrae in the back. Spent two months in hospital, and has now returned home, mending slowly. Said to pass on his very best wishes to all whom he knows.
FUNNY PARADES I HAVE BEEN IN
When I was in 3 Cav Regt, Holdsworthy, we had a spit and polish parade to amalgamate 2 Cav Regt with 3 Cav Regt on the parade ground at 2 Cav.
During the parade the CO explained that 2 Cav Regt and 3 Cav Regt were to amalgamate from this day forward!
He then gave the command 2 CAVALRY REGT ATTENTION!
3 Cav stood fast, this was followed with SSM TO THE FRONT.
The SSM came back to us and stated the obvious.
The CO gave the same command and 3 Cav responded.
Upon this response CPL COURAGE also known as THE CHICKEN ON A STICK fell off his perch and was floundering on the ground!
3 Cav burst into laughter!
From hence forth CPL COURAGE became TPR COURAGE.
I really hope this doesn’t happen in Townsville ie 3/4 Cav Regt to 2 Cav Regt
ARMOURED CORPS WALL PLAQUES
I am trying to assemble my passed armoured corp carrier , with Regt. wall plaques . I am having problems locating the following plaques: 10th Light Horse Regt , 2 Cav Regt ,RAAC and I was posted to 2RTB at Pucka as a DI. I have seen a 2RTB plaque at 2RTB but I guess they're as rare as rockinghorse dodo.
Thanking you for your cooperation Ken BEAMAN firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 08 9249 8216
I keep being asked about ISIS and why we are sending troops to Iraq to fight still more terrorists. Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East?
Let me explain.
We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS. We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia who we do like but we don’t do anything about because of their Investments and oil and because they are such a likable bunch and their country is a great holiday destination.
We don’t like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him.
We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS.
So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, who we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.
If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less and who we currently tolerate because they are fighting our other enemies.
And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out.
It's quite simple, really.
Do you understand now?
A Frustrating Ambush.
Craig Haydock. C/S 11. 1968 - 1969
One Troop is spread out in individual Section groups, ambushing a road. The first group to spot the enemy is to notify everyone else, but is not to fire. The initial enemy group may only be scouts for a larger party, & we don’t want to scare any of them off by acting too quickly.
Troop HQ’s radio that an enemy group has just passed their location & are headed our way. I am on picket & signal to the D & E Platoon picket to quietly wake everyone.
For some unknown reason, he only wakes his relief, & the new man takes over the picket. Then the original picket remembers that he has left his rifle, so he returns to get it. He then decides that it would be a good idea to have a piss against the road wheel of one of the vehicles! I don’t want to make a sound, as the enemy might hear it.
Just at that moment, we can clearly hear the enemy group walking & talking as they move into the ambush site. I could have fired the Claymores, but the back blast could have either killed or wounded that dozy bugger while he had a pee.
The only consolation was the look of absolute horror on his face when he heard the enemy just a few metres to our front.
Then the new D & E picket sat down on the radio handset, switching it to send, so I cannot notify Two Section that the enemy are headed their way. I don’t go over & belt him about the head, as the noise might be heard by the enemy. At that moment, I could have cheerfully consigned all D & E to hell.
Fortunately, Two Section had better luck & successfully sprung the ambush.
THE DAY THAT WE WERE EXTREMELY LUCKY AND HIT A MINE
Craig Haydock. C/S 11. 1968 - 1969
Craig Haydock. C/S 11. 1968 - 1969
The Section had been given the task of providing protection for around six Engineers, while they inspected & cleared debris from some of the drains & culverts that passed under Route 23.
When we arrived at the location, Bravo & I took up protective positions on the road. Alpha had the Engineer stores on board, & the plan was for them to unload & then to turn off the road & take up a position in the dry paddy field to the south.
As Alpha drove off the road, his right hand track passed very close to the end of the drain pipe. There was a loud explosion & the usual dirty black, brown column of dirt & smoke.
Yet another mine. I raced over & was amazed to find that there were no casualties & only minimal damage. Naturally, everyone was slightly shocked, but the only damage was to two bent track links. They had triggered an M16 & the weight of the vehicle had stopped it from jumping out of the ground before it exploded.
It was extremely fortunate, because if Alpha had not triggered it, then it was inevitable that the Engineers would have stepped on it as they worked at the end of the drain pipe. That would most likely have resulted in the death or wounding of the entire Engineer party.
The enemy obviously knew that our Engineers periodically cleared the drains & culverts, so they must have laid the mine to catch just such a group. The irony was that the mine was no doubt lifted from our own Dat Do minefield.
Alpha reversed back onto the road & the boys replaced the track links. At that
stage, the Engineers decided that they had had quite enough fun & excitement for
one day, so they re-loaded their gear & we all went home to the Dat.
On our D&S course the instructor was SGT Jock Wilson. Don Callison was driving down Mt Pucka but unknown to the rest of us his comms cord had detached from his head set. As we are going down Mt Pucka we kept getting faster and faster, the rest of us were hanging on for dear life watching SGT Wilson screaming like a banshee into the microphone to slow down.
All the while Callison was oblivious to the instructions to slow down and we kept getting faster and faster, by the time we hit the bottom of Mt Pucka we actually got airborne and it took a few hours for our finger imprints to fade from where we were all holding on.
We were all laughing our heads off as SGT Wilson was about ready to kill Don Callison, and yet all the while Don came up out of the drivers seat with a grin from ear to ear not understanding what all the fuss was about.
I wonder if Don remembers this?! Duilio DeCarli
Reunion Shirt logo
The Association suppliers of merchandise, Beauford House, of Yallambie (Vic) have produced a sample of the logo for the upcoming reunion in Echuca next year. The stunning Rising Sun is a vivid gold colour, offsetting the silver of the Corps badge. Registrations for the reunion are printed elsewhere in this issue for information. The reunion shirt is also a replica colour of the worsted uniforms worn by the ANZACs.
NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL FOR CAVALRY (VIETNAM) OPENED AND CONSECRATED.
RICE PADDIES AND ROCKET FIRE
Gary Casey has produced a book detailing his experiences whilst in Vietnam, along with four other Northern Territory veterans, who also contributed to the book. Gary has them for sale at $25.00 (postage included). Contact with Gary can be email email@example.com or phone him on mobile 0438 654 433 to obtain your copy. Gary is the OIC Firearms Policy & Records Unit, Northern Territory Police Force, and will retire in November this year.
"The Forgotten First"
Other than these cosmetic changes things went on as usual for the troops, the normal courses being run, plenty of driver training including trips to the beaches of Bondi, playing silly buggers on the range with the swims at Broken Bridge and of course being regularly warned out for active duty, either to face our neighbours from the North or to join the increasing conflict in SVN. To the frustration of all, this became the normal "great coats on, great coats off" routine, worsened by the jealousy-watched departure of individuals to the RAAC contingent in SVN.
Life went on under the benevolent regime of Simon Agnew and Chesty Bond until it was announced that the Unit had been picked to provide the official guard for the SEATO Conference to be held in Canberra 25 June -2 July 1966. Shoulder flashes eventually arrived to be hurriedly attached and drill practice started in earnest. The Unit already had a reputation as the "drill unit" as we found out from our regular attendances at military funerals! Taking advantage of our isolation at Old HOlsworthy, Simon encouraged an individual approach and chromed badges, rolled and chromed brass became the order of the day and there was even a brief flirtation with black cravats. He definitely knew how to instill a sense of pride.
If memory serves, the trip to Canberra was by Panther "Rollover" Buses, but despite this we all arrived safely to the chill of early evening and a state of confusion. The "powers that be" had decided to barrack us at Duntroon in disused, unheated and decrepit huts despite the freezing weather. Simon would have none of it and stood his ground until eventually "his boys" were ensconced in two of the Capitals better hotels. the Kurrajong and Canberra Rex.
After a brief settling in period, we were split into shifts and commenced the arduous task of guarding (Old) Parliament House. The press had a field day as they assumed our highly polished holsters carried loaded pistols rather than being stuffed with newspaper and we also somehow acquired a reputation of being expert in unarmed combat! Things ran reasonably smoothly, the main hiccup occurring when one of our more zealous corporals took it upon himself to eject a senior Labor MP who refused to conform and wear an I.D. tag. A compromise was swiftly reached to prevent a repeat occurrence. During the night hours, the freezing "corridors of power" frequently reverberated to the clamour of indoor cricket and it wasn't unusual to see a greatcoat clad "baggy" patrolling his beat with large cigar clenched firmly in teeth and clasping a rather full glass of good quality port or sherry. The Nations' Capital was safe, Canberra could rest easy, Simons' boys were on the job.
The highlights of our tour of duty were the two parades formed by the Squadron fully rigged out with SLR's and polished bayonets. One was in the Civic Centre, which was our introduction to the rent-a-crowd that was to become such a force in the coming years and the other in the grounds of Parliament House. Whilst two members fainted on this second parade they did it in style, falling at attention and maintaining their hold on their SLR's.
After our successful role the Squadron
returned to the "Camp-Quality" lifestyle of Old Holsworthy until barely
six months later we were informed that another name change was imminent.
On the 16 January 1967 the Squadron became A Squadron. 2 Cavalry
Regiment. Once again our shoulder flashes were replaced and the Corps
badge finally replaced with the "screaming eagle", this possibly the
first chrome badge that was officially issued to a RAAC unit?
Thai Railway Memorial Association
Dallas & Gavan, as you may know, I am involved with the Burma Thai Railway Memorial Association, initiator (1985) and sponsor of the annual 'Quiet Lion' tours to Thailand, for ANZAC DAY.
Dallas Burrage would like to remind the members the procedure on buying a wreath.
He was asked recently on a number of occasions if he would supply a wreath to an Official Service, ie Anzac Day and Vietnam Veterans Day. He would like to point out here, that this Association will pay for any wreath laid by our members at any official function, or funeral of one of our departed comrades, or his next of kin.
This has always been in place, but apparently it is not a well known fact amongst our members. Because we are spread over the length and breadth of the Country, it has to be left up to the individual nearest the action to make the arrangements etc., as it cannot be made by one centralised person.
Basically, if a wreath is to be laid in your locality, you arrange it, and then send the bill to Dallas and he will recoup you for it. He must add, commonsense must prevail here. It does not mean that if you are in a little whistlestop town of three persons type of thing, that you automatically lay a wreath on behalf of our Association each Anzac Day, Vietnam Veterans Day etc. We are all over 21 years of age, I think you can work it out what I mean.
If you are in doubt, contact any of the Executive, State Reps or Dallas for advice. A lot of times, particularly at funerals we are talking about now, the opportunity to mark our respect has been missed, because no one was game enough to go ahead and order one, or didn't know what to do. Dallas know of several instances where this occurred, where someone local to the matter didnt do anything. Please, dont let us keep making the same mistake. Dallas would rather see two or three wreaths at an event that see none at all. All person who have purchased a wreath from there own pocket, will have there monies recouped.
SCORPION KEY RINGS.
Gary Jolliffe recently imported the keyrings illustrated and shown actual size, from Vietnam. They are a solid perspex/plastic block, with a genuine South Vietnam Scorpion encased. These are available through Dallas Burrage at a cost of $7.00 [postage included]
THE FINAL TROOP MOVEMENT INSTRUCTIONS, VIET NAM
This little gem from Barrie Wade. If you want to contact Barrie, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org
And another one from Chris Stephens.
G'day Gavan.Going through the musty boxes in the garage recently, as we tend to do in these retired days. Thought I might check what memories I had buried there in advance of the Dedication/Reunion activities in Oct/Nov. I came across my hand-written OPORDER for the withdrawal of the A Sqn 1Tp Detachment, as we were then called, from Nui Dat to Vung Tau in November 1971.
We were literally the last to leave the base. I have typed it up to make it readable. In it you will see one of our many tasks that morning was to pick up the Army PRO, Bill Cuneen. He was photographing other elements that were leaving earlier by air.
The accompanying Army PR photo of Blue Collins and, I think, his driver Colin Rewell, in the midst of the withdrawal south, is the result. Cuneen, while riding with Blue's sect took a number of shots but this is the one that always seems to turn up in books and is in the AWM collection. If you think there might be some interest by all means add them both to the site.
Regards, Chris Stephens.
KNIGHTS IN GREEN ARMOUR
G'day all! I've started this
book and have had a little feedback from here and there, but I really need some
info re all the National Servicemen who went to the funny farm. This is how I've
started the part;
Part Three- The National Servicemen
The "Nashos" as they were called, formed a valued and integral part of the Armoured Corps in Vietnam. Indeed, it is speculative that the small number of men in the peace time RAAC could not have sustained the effort the Corps did without them.
While a second tour was not unusual for regular soldiers and a few did three, it is more than likely that without draftees, soldiers would be home for a matter of months and have to go straight back; possibly an eighteen month or even a two year tour might have been introduced. Without the "Nashos" the quality and dedication of "regs" would have been subject to "burnout".
There has to be a few good people to yarn about and there must be a Normie Rowe story or two!
3rd CAVALRY REGIMENT ASSOCIATION FLAG
In years gone past, the Association produced copies of the unit flag, and were for sale to interested members. Some 25 were made and sold. They are a standard half yard size flag, made of nylon, and bear the Scorpion symbol in white on a black background, with the flag generally a light blue colour overall.
Dallas Burrage has received a few enquiries since the 2002 Reunion particularly, from members wishing to purchase such a flag. If any member is interested in purchasing one of these flags, would you contact Dallas, on phone: 02 6658 7339, or write to him at 61 Sawtell Road, Toormina, NSW, 2452.
The Association flag flying here, is at the Webmasters house and is well know in the area as it is flown every day with an Australian flag. The local fishermen use the flags as a guide for wind direction on the bay. The webmaster is located about 700 metres from Corio Bay, Geelong, Victoria.