Centurion Mk 5/1 Main Battle Tank ARN 169056: 1 Armoured Regiment, Australian Army

Place Asia: Vietnam, Vung Tau Special Zone, Vung Tau
Accession Number REL36387
Collection type Technology
Object type Vehicle
Physical description Plastic, Rubber, Steel
Location Main Bld: Outdoor Exhibition Area: Western Precinct
Maker Royal Ordnance Factory
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 1950-1962
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975

Centurion tank Mk V/1 (Aust). ARN 169056

History / Summary

This Centurion arrived in Australia as a Mark 3 in early 1952 and was part of the initial purchase of sixty vehicles that arrived progressively from 1951. It was converted to Mk5 standard in 1960 and was further upgraded to Mk5/1 (Aust) standard prior to deployment to South Vietnam in October 1970.

The vehicle was assigned to HQ Troop C Squadron 1 Armoured Regiment in January 1971 as call sign 92C and later moved to 5 Troop as call sign 5B.

In June 1971, it received battle damage during Operation Hermit Park when the barrel was struck by a Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG). The initial crew commander during the operation was Anthony Dickinson, who transferred to another tank. He was followed as crew commander by Bruce Cameron. The gun loader over the entire operation was Boris Janic, and the gunner was Kim Bayly. The vehicle was driven initially by Terry Jones, who after being evacuated injured was replaced by Peter Cadge. After he was evacuated wounded, he was replaced by Bernard Weston.

This vehicle returned to Australia in September 1971 aboard the transport ship 'Harima Maru'. The damaged gun barrel was sectioned and displayed by the 1st Armoured Regiment in Darwin. The Memorial acquired the vehicle in 2007.