Royal Sydney Show
A Very nice display, well set out.
Left to right - Brett Nicholls (editor of AMVCS) - Joe Tiberti ( event organizer) - Gary Nesbit and Roly Davey - all club members.
Couple of jeeps and a BSA bike with a Moke as well
"T Rex" a big Mack owned by Mark Weltner
A nice Blitz with Roly's hole digger in the rear
Very nice BSA belonging to Bill Sjoblom another club member
A couple more jeeps, a Blitz and Roly's Post hole digger -this was also shown at Oberon
Bill Sjoblom also sent me a disk going back to the early 50-60's with the Royal New South Wales Lancers
There are four Centurions in use, none of these units went to Vietnam
Front on of 169100
169102 note the B Barrel and up armoured glacis plate
L/Cpl Earnie Denton approaches to help out,
wonder what the guy had to laugh about, The guy sitting just above the cab is
Mansfield about 1966
Mt. Buller around the same time
State Forrest Puckapunyal
Dave's Ferret at home
Bill on board USS Missouri during a tour provided for the AMVCS
Big Gun's, I think 16 inch.
Bill with his bike at the Corowa display 1998
This item below I may have shown before, but it always brings a smile to my face
Vietnam Veterans Centurion Upgrade
My first visit to the Vietnam Veterans Museum was in one way a let down. The total Armoured display was an old dirty scrappy Centurion MBT out the back yard, and a Black Beret (Without a badge) inside. I mentioned that there was not much on display on Armour, and John Methven suggested I do some thing about it! Well that was the start of my becoming the "Curator of Armour" for the museum. I have over the years now collected quite a few items many donated by good friends, and when everything moved to the new museum at Phillip Island, the tank was finally brought inside. She was a sorry looking item indeed.
At the old Museum back yard Now inside and cleaned up with a coat of olive drab she is looking better.
But she still was a Pucka tank -- no service and no history
At this point of time I decided to upgrade her to a Vietnam LOOK A LIKE. She would retain her original ARN and would not be a copy of any Vietnam Service Tank.
But, she would have features, taken from many tanks that did serve in Vietnam
I wanted to show not a showroom condition Centurion and not a Tank ready to go to Vietnam. I wanted a more or less beat up Cent that had served in country It would have all the modifications to MK5 / 1 (Aust) that we could provide, the way they were when sent to Vietnam, also all the mod's that were installed in country. So as there will be no complaints I am fully aware that tanks in the first lot in 1968 had side plates fitted but quickly removed in Vietnam and at later stages they went over without side plates. Items on the glacis plate were removed and road wheels fitted in three different configurations. It is impossible to create a tank exactly as they were, unless we pick a date, which I do not feel like doing as I do not want to copy a tank or period. So we will do the best we can with what we have. Due to insurance no one can climb onto the tank so there is no point at this time of doing anything to the interior but this may change at a later date, maybe an elevated walkway beside the tank, with the interior repainted and lit with lights, but at this stage that is the dream time.
But this was our first problem -- No rear turret basket - fitting were there but basket was not-- BIG, Bloody BIG, problem.
I am fully aware that there are none laying around anywhere in Australia, and it looked like making one, a job I was not looking forward to but by no means impossible, go and measure one and buy or hire a pipe bender, purchase steel and make the bloody thing. I knew it could be done, but was not all that keen. Then I contacted the only guy that could help, Tim Vibert who originally purchased the tanks from the Australian Army. Yes he had one! Cost was $400!!!!!! Bloody hell ,where could I get $400. Well ask for it I suppose. So out went an email to a few guys I knew were keen on the old Centurion, asking for donations for this item. Hoping for a few $10 - $20 and some $50 ,and dreaming of maybe $100 . But thought there was a chance of raising the biggest part of the required sum. Talk about having your feet swept out from under you. In 5 minutes I had one donation of $400, in 1/2 hour I had another and a bit later another of $200 with the request that if I have trouble, to call him back and he would see what he could do! Then another $400 and followed by some smaller donations. Hell I was floating in money!
I should point out that the Museum offered to pay for items I need, without question, but they have enough on their plate and I enjoy the challenge. What I do not spend can be spent elsewhere in the Museum, as they have some big projects on the burner.
As I want to do this at nil or very little cost to the museum, and I rely on donated items rather than cash, this was to be a one off, as there was no other way or place I could purchase one. So I will take one donation with thanks and return the others again with my heart felt thanks. BUT WE HAVE A BASKET.
This will be filled with what ever I can obtain, oil drum, ration box and item that they carried there, even a stretcher. Then the tools onto the guard in front of the muffler, hell have you priced a crow bar lately? I have a pick and will no doubt find the spade and crowbar somewhere. I have PRC 77 radio, hand set and antenna, to go into the ammo rack behind the cupola. Here I need ten 30 cal liners, available at $10 a go, but I want some with the stencil work still showing, these are harder to come by but not impossible. Anyone out there that can cut a stencil??? Then I need 12 plastic water containers and some more .30 and .50 cal liners for the rear fuel tank, and a few fire extinguishers. Some mud scrapers and maybe even a Hootchie cover setup. A cut back front and rear on the guards, removal of the light mount and protection bar off the glacis plate and drop on a road wheel. Mount the 30 cal flex and place a few 30 cal empty brass around, a helmet and goggles on the drivers hatch, and maybe a couple of water bottles around and she should look the part. There are some guard and tool bin damage, that will be left as is, as it will add to the configuration.
More surprises. The second donor (He does not want his name mentioned) replied that he would not accept the money back, and I was to use it anyway I saw fit. I can tell you that I shed a few tears this weekend. Anyway I can now go shopping for most of what I need!
The two shells with projectiles will lay on the engine covers. The projectile will be used to turn up a couple for these two shells. It will then be placed in the display I have down there where the projectile is only half of a projectile. The half one will be laid at the base of the display flat where it will look a lot better.
This is one of two display sections we have beside the tank
Another display case we have with the night sight and the C/C Bino's and case. I also have a drivers dash panel and switch panel which hopefully will go in here with some .30 cal and .50 cal rounds for display
This display that I donated is now in a glass case and looks great, its just up a bit from the tank as we have to find a way to connect the power so as the Centurion can revolve slowly
(we cannot have leads on the ground ) The new projectile I have will replace the on on the left and it will be placed in front of the model tank.
We will also have a touch screen setup with information on the Centurion.
So all in all it should be a good setup when finished.
Items I am looking for, hopefully donated, but will purchase if necessary.
12 x 20 lt. black water containers more or less the same as jerry cans (Other colors ok ,I can paint them.)
3 x Jerry cans --- steel
1 x stretcher
2 x spades
1 x crowbar
1 x standing full size male model
2 x sitting full size male models
any 20 pounder shell cases
any inert 20 pounder projectiles
dummy inert claymores, smoke grenades
dummy 50 cal rounds or projectiles or brass only
dummy 30 cal rounds or projectiles or brass only
4 x 50 cal liner boxes
4 x water bottles and webbing
4 x mess kits --dixies
2 x shoulder holsters
2 x belt holsters
4 x plastic replica hand guns.
anyone with anything that they would like to donate can ring me on 03 5781 1312