The photos shown below
were given to me by
There were around 410 photos, a big percentage had lost light and were in some cases just black. This happens over time and these were in fact over 35 years old. Most depending on the brand of film either go quite red, blue or yellow. I was able to improve most of them but about 15 or so were beyond repair. I have a friend that has a special built lens and a very expensive camera, who is able to re-photograph the slides. This is expensive and time consuming and I did not want to wear out my welcome, as he was doing mine for free, so I had about 45 done. Some are shown below. The rest I scanned myself and adjusted and recorded onto a CD, a copy for myself and one for Graeme. Unfortunately at this time I have no captions for the pictures and hopefully Graeme will be able to supply them when he receives his CD
Today Graeme called in and his information on the pictures made the world of difference, interesting pictures started to tell a most interesting story
There is a Tank in there
It is indeed rough country
Its hard to believe the places the drivers took these Cents.
And it would not have been much fun for the rest of the crew
The photos above were taken just after operation Overload 1971 at Long Khan
The .30 Flex ready to go.
This .30 Flex mount took a RPG. Andy Anderson and Phil Barwick were relieving on the tank at the time. I believe Andy lost an arm and Phil later died of wounds.
The Office. Note the round fitting on the right side of the .50. This is called a Maxi Forte. I believe it was the means of controlling the .50 to just fire 3 shells as ranging shots. I also believe that it was sometimes modified so as the machine gun could act as a full firing machine gun, which was considered naughty. Funny some preferred the .50 in some cases over the .30. Better for shooting through rubber trees.
American mine destroyer. The Engineers manned this unit and did a run every day from Courtney Hill where this photo was taken, to Nui Dat. All went well till the VC used a offset mine and the tank was badly damaged.
The pointy end
Close up of pointy end
I was told that there were about five tanks backed up to the fuel truck, when due to some small leaks from the pump motor, that backfired and up she went.
The Centurions moved quickly in every direction and none suffered any damage
Afraid the same cannot be said for the truck
Remains of the fuel truck, I believe the only thing saved were the two personal weapons (They had been signed for ---the truck had not)
The remains of the transfer case which exploded in the fire. It caused quite a big explosion.
US Duster with twin Bofors
Setting up the mortar, New Zealand unit at a FSB south of Courtney Hill
Exploding a 250 lb Bomb
Unexploded 250 Lb Bomb now defused.
Its safe to sit on now
On the road moving to the new FSB
That's a Bulldozer under her -- Setting up a new FSB
Supply Drop at new FSB
A fuel bladder among the supplies at new FSB
Damaged Bridge on way to FSB
On the way to the new FSB the troop came across a damaged bridge with a lot of U.S. items strewn around! Suspecting it was mined they shoot it up with Canister.
"Contractor" cleaning up the area prior to Bridge layer putting down the bridge.
Bridge layer going in.
Laying the bridge
Crossing the new bridge.
He was the first tank across and pulled to one side till the others crossed and then became Tail End Charlie, but as he slewed back onto the track he set off the mine, blowing the sprockets off the drive, they were never found.
He was unlucky to hit it, if he had gone straight he would have missed it
As well as blowing off the final drive sprockets note the bend in the hull
The track was cut into several pieces and loaded onto a tank and the damaged one was towed to the FSB where it was repaired.
Well we had better fix it. A new Final drive assembly was fitted.
Note the tool that lifts and then holds the final drive in position while its replaced. designed and made by the Lad (Light Aid Detachment of RAEME). These chaps made many items like this to make the job much easier in the workshop or in the battle area. Unfortunately they never received anything for their efforts, in a lot of cases not even any praise. But they were smart guys! Without them Armour would have stopped very quickly.
Radio setup in the Cent. I was lucky to be given a radio frame by Stu Buchanan, including a heap of cables. Then a call to my good friends in NSW's with the request that I was looking for a radio for a Centurion, one that was only for display and did not have to work, and if they ever came across one in their travels to let me know. Three days later I was told I had one, complete with power supply. This will be going to the Vietnam veterans Museum in mid December. I believe 169016 will be moved to the new Museum and yeah I will be going down to watch, should be a good day.
Empty 20 pound cases I would love to have them today!! These were from a shoot into the Long Hai's
Again more help from good guys. My old mate John Clifford had just returned home from Hospital after a cancer operation, so I called in to see how he was feeling.
He presented me with a brass 105 mm shell, that his son Kieran had donated to the Museum. There are quite a lot of Aluminium cases around but this is the first brass one I have seen in 105 mm. I hope somehow to obtain some display projectiles for them. How, I have no idea at this stage, but things do turn up, so I will continue to hope.