Contributed by: Ron Puttee & Lindsay Sparkes
Date: January 1996
This series of images was taken in 1996 at Puckapunyal Army Base, Victoria Australia.
Centurion 169031 “Bewildered” is another Centurion with an interesting story. She is currently the gate guardian at Puckapunyal, and was part of the first shipment of Mark 3 vehicles received by the Australian Army in 1951/52, but did not serve in South Vietnam.This vehicle was used for driver training and operated with no turret. After service as a hard target on the gunnery range, she was “rehabilitated”, and a turret fitted. At the time, there were no 20Pdr barrels available (the Australian Army having converted to Leopard), so a 105mm gun was fitted, as you will see in these images. Unfortunately we have no information on the origin of the turret.
Some interesting features to note:
- Mid production turret with blanking cover over original opening for combined bomb thrower / loader’s periscope.
- Later positioning of loader’s hatch parallel to edge of top plate.
- .50 cal Ranging Machine Gun.
- Clip mountings for Commander’s cupola MG at rear of turret.
- Spare road wheel mounts on up-armoured glacis.
- .30 cal ammo rack on rear of turret.
We’ll be posting more Centurion reference in our Reference Feature “Heaven Cent” over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!