Contributed by: Dean Ansell
Date: August 2006
This series of images was taken in August 2006 at the Long Tan Commemoration Ceremony held at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT.
According to Shane Lovell’s “Military Briefs 3: Australian Centurions in Vietnam”, this vehicle served in Vietnam, being held in the Forward Delivery Troop from October 1968 until May 1969 when it was issued to 1 Armoured Regiment, B Squadron. ARN 169110 served with B Squadron from May to November 1969, and with A Squadron January 1970 to October 1970. It was received by the RAAC in the second batch of 51 Mark 5 tanks delivered in 1955/56.
According to the entry in the AWM Collections Database, “on 18 February 1970 the tank, commanded by Lieutenant J H Brennan, was hit by 3 rocket propelled grenades (RPG) during Operation Hammersley, and received damage to the right hand exhaust shroud, right hand rear track bin and left hand track guard. The tank remained battleworthy throughout the action and after repairs continued to serve until it was transported back to Australia in December 1970. Throughout the tank’s sevice in Vietnam, it carried the call sign 2, being the Troop leader’s tank of 2 Troop. On its return to Australia rebuilt and then used for training purposes until retired in 1977.” The entry in the AWM database also points to a back issue (Summer 2001) of the AWM’s quarterly magazine, “Wartime”, which has an article on ARN 169110 in Vietnam.
As always, care should be taken if using these images with the new AFV Club Vietnam Centurion kit. Very few Australian Centurions left service with the full set of Vietnam modifications intact, and this vehicle is no exception. For an overview of Australian South Vietnam modifications, have a look at our Reference Feature Australian Centurions in a Nutshell, and get yourself a copy of Shane Lovell’s definitive book!
Of additional interest is the IR searchlight shown in one of these images stowed in the special basket on the rear of the turret.
More information about this vehicle can be found on the Australian War Memorial site under the Collections Database:
Australian War Memorial