Author Topic: Mk 3 and Teaspoon ARNs in SVN  (Read 3538 times)

Offline zulu delta 534

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Mk 3 and Teaspoon ARNs in SVN
« on: June 03, 2012, 03:05:28 PM »
I Have been doing a little bit of interesting (to me anyway) research trying to gather together all the ARNs of the trucks that saw service in South Vietnam with 1 Coy RAASC.
The transport situation in SVN began when 1 ALSG was formed and posted to Bien Hoa in support of 1 RAR.
A section of trucks was taken from 3 Platoon 1 Coy situated in Wacol Qld and sent abroad on the HMAS Sydney in 1965. This section was a composite section made up of Mk3 Internationals, and a tipper.
170-032, 035, 045, 049, and 054, and tipper #116 716. (Tac sign- white 129 on black plate.)
Quite a number of Land Rovers were also shipped over on that first ferry load plus a section of tippers that belonged to the RAE detachment. (These numbers are proving to be a bit more elusive than the transport platoon' vehicles at the moment.)

In May of 1966 elements of HQ 1 Coy RAASC were despatched to Saigon and 87 Transport Platoon posted to Vung Tau, becoming the sole transport Platoon in country and, although designated as third line,  assumed the roles of 3rd,2nd and 1st line of Transport. The unit was posted under-strength by one section of vehicles, in that it was planned that they would take over the vehicles that had already served the best part of twelve months in country in Bien Hoa when the change over of 'area of responsibility' was complete.
Trucks posted from Australia within 87 Tpt Pl consisted of tippers (teaspoons 2 ½ ton AB 160 Inters):
108-259, - 735, -740, -741, -744, -759, -766, -771, -773, -774, and -778.
116- 420, -428, -433, -437, -438, -439
116-680, -682.
116- 717, -719, and -773
That adds up to 3 complete sections of 6 plus three spares (1 per section) plus 1 'conned' truck from ALSC
Mark 3 Inters were fewer and thinner on the ground, consisting of one section dispatched from Australia and the other section relocated from Bien Hoa as mentioned above.
170-137, -362, -366, -375, -378, -411* (conned from HQ) and
171-421 and -998 (Spare).
In early June 1 Tpt Platoon arrived bringing with them a full complement of Mk3's:
170- 114, -128, -135, -157, -161, and -192 (1 Sect.)
170- 204, -209, -218, -226, -229, and -241 (2 Sect)
170- 256, -280, -283, -284, -287, and -295 (3 Sect- ex 2 Pl vehs.)
170- 304, -306, -344, -348, -537, and -556 (4 Sect)
170- 715, -719, -728, -732, -735, and -736 (5 Sect)
Spares and Coy HQ vehs were 170-560, -738, -757, -770 and 171-059.
(Back in Australia prior to postong to SVN, 1 Tpt Pl's vehicles were allocated to sections corresponding to the 4th digit in the ARN. eg. 170 114 belonged to 1 Section whereas 170218 belonged to 2 Section. When the Company received notice it was going to a war zone, the chance arose to palm off some of the older harder worked vehicles and swap them for some of 2 Platoon's lesser worked ones and this numbering system failed in some cases.)
I must add the disclaimer here that there is always a chance that my transferrance of these digits section wise may not be 100% accurate, but it is pretty right.

These vehicles were the only Mk3 Inters and AB 160 Teaspoons posted to transport during the conflict as from mid 1967 onwards the Mk 3 was superseded by the F1 and the Teaspoons were superseded by the F2s. This does not by any means mean that there were not other Mk3s and teaspoons that saw service in SVN as other units had them as well as the Transport Platoons, but not in the same quantity.  Whilst searching this out I also discovered an RO from 5 Coy trucks (who served one year later, and continued to use some of these trucks until they came up to strength with 5 tonners) that state:
"Vehicular Serial markings- Coy HQ OC-1, 2i/c -2, remaining vehicles 3-5.
Pl vehs OC-1, gun rovers 2-4, spares 5-7
1 Sect vehs 11-19
2 Sect vehs 21-29
3 Sect vehs 31-39
4 Sect vehs 41-49
5 Sect vehs 51-59
Supply vehs OC -S1, Sup Offrs-S2, fork lifts S3-S5
Air Dispatch OC -AD1, remainder, AD2-AD20
Det 1 Div Wksps OC-W1, recovery vehicle -W2, remainder W3-W20
Thsi system was used on their convoy orders so unfortunately it is extremely hard to glean what the actual ARNs were of their trucks on their convoys.
As I said earlier, this is by no means a list of all the trucks that served overseas, merely those in the afore-mentioned Transport Platoons, and that I can trace paperwork for.
There are a few other ARNs that show up in early convoy orders before 1 Tpt Pl arrived in country.
In the early days of the Australian task forces history, 1 Coy Transport RAASC' H Q element was posted over to South Vietnam without their own Transport Platoon, meaning that 87 Platoon, a composite 3rd line transport group comprising of 3 sections of tipper and two sections of GS cargo's, (these vehicles' ARNs have been listed above) was faced with the mammoth task of completing the "in country" portion of  "Operation Hardihood", that is, the insertion of the Task Force into Nui Dat.
Obviously 1 lonely little Transport Platoon could not possibly handle this mammoth task alone and at the same time  still satisfying the demands of the Log Base requirements, so outside help was called in to assist on the early convoys from Vung Tau to the brand new location of the Australian Task Force at Nui Dat.
Think about what a Task force entails; One complete Infantry Bn (5RAR) of about 600 personnel plus gear plus food plus admin etc, two Artillery batteries plus guns plus men plus gear and admin requirements, Engineers and all their gear, barbed wire, sandbags etc, Armour (at least they could carry most of their own gear), Supply Platoon detachment (Every one has to eat) plus kitchens and the list goes on.
Equate all this to about 800 average Aussie families (with kids) packing their cars to move house wholes-bolus and you may have some idea of the enormity of the task!
To cut a boring picture short, all this had to be transported pretty well at the same time so the early convoys called in vehicles from a wide variety of other units. Some of these vehicles may have been 5RAR's, engineers’, as well as the Artillery's own first line transport vehicles, and at this very moment I have no way of telling who they belonged to, so for this I apologise in advance. As I delve deeper perhaps these parent units will eventually be realised.
Some of the following numbers (particularly the teaspoon tippers) may be already listed in the 17 Construction list I have posted earlier, and if so for this I also apologise for any double posting.
Following are the veh ARNs that took part in the first couple of convoys on 5 Jun 1966 other than those belonging to 87 Tpt Pl that have already been listed elsewhere.
Mk3s 170125, 170134, 170159, 170163, 170171, 170246, 170433, 170499, 170679, 170777, 171002, 171224, 171081, 171082, 171083,
108428, 108657, 108658, 108763, 116416, 116421, 116672, 116674, 116677, 116679, 116681, 116692.
I hope this may offer some assistance to someone in finding their truck amongst all these numbers.
A lot of these Mk3s, when they were returned from Vietnam were refurbished and modified with a lot of body parts common to the later model Mk4s and the F1s that became the more commonly produced and used truck, and these modified vehicles, although still stamped as Mk3s may have Mk4  cabs and body parts.

Offline armyjeep52

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Re: Mk 3 and Teaspoon ARNs in SVN
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 03:17:10 PM »
Thanks Glen for putting all that over here it is interesting reading it again.

AB160 ARN 108-747, AB160 ARN 116-414 Veteran of Confrontation Borneo 1962-1966, AB160 ARN 116-678
FORD D400 175-990
S2A AMB 112-226  S2A WRECKER 176-311     
S3 FFR EW 33-833 Electronic Warfare shelter fitted in USA.  S3 GS 28-918 Ex 131 Div Loc Battery

Offline cookey

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Re: Mk 3 and Teaspoon ARNs in SVN
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 04:16:17 PM »
Thanks for posting this. A great source of information.

lost count

Offline 2short

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Re: Mk 3 and Teaspoon ARNs in SVN
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2016, 07:18:47 AM »
Great info. Nice to read of mk.3 411 there. Taken originally from HQ.
87 tpt plt is on Facebook. I have requested to join hoping to find additional pics and info.