Author Topic: A couple of logistical resupply photos  (Read 23163 times)

Offline zulu delta 534

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A couple of logistical resupply photos
« on: June 17, 2012, 03:10:45 PM »
Firstly I am not too sure whether this is the right spot for these, but here goes anyway. It concerns ships, planes, Inters and Landrovers so I guess it could go almost anywhere.
First off, a bit of boring background.
At the cessation of WWll a lot of the major playing countries had built or were still busy building good equipment for the war but found that this was suddenly no longer required, so this situation turned out to be an ideal opportunity for a small country such as Australia to build up some of its basic equipment deficiencies at a bargain "fire sale"price.
The Poms had a couple of relatively new Aircraft Carriers surplus to demand, the HMS Majestic, launched in 1945 (although not commissioned until 1955) and the HMS Terrible, launched in 1947, and these were snapped up quick smart by us Aussies and renamed the HMAS Melbourne and the HMAS Sydney respectively. The Sydney served us through the Korean campaign as an aircraft carrier and following the cessation of these hostilities, was eventually laid up around 1958 or so, only to be recommissioned and modified to a fast troop carrier in 1962 as the South Eastern unrest was seen to be rather threatening at the time.
At around the same time the Americans had a couple of bargain basement "Landing Ships Medium" surplus to their requirements as well, and seeing that we had no capabilities whatsoever of transporting large equipment anywhere at that particular time, it was decided that it would be a very cunning idea to purchase a couple (4 in fact) ex USN post war surplus LSM's, rejuvenate them and incorporate them into a newly formed Army Unit - 32 Small Ships. This would enable us to move around our newly purchased 52 ton Centurion tanks.
These ships became the Army Vessel 1353 'Brudenell White', AV1354 'Harry Chauvel', AV1355 'Vernon Sturdee' and AV1356, the 'Clive Steele'. (There was another ship in the Unit, the John Monash but she was a different and larger type of ship.)
These little ships did sterling service transporting Engineer equipment to Malaya, Borneo and other local theatres and then the Vietnam conflict reared its ugly head, and not only did they do resupply runs from Australia and Borneo to South Vietnam, but they also saw a lot of service up and down the river from Vung Tau to Saigon. (One could almost think that perhaps someone somewhere had a pretty good inkling about things long before we the general public did!)

The first couple of shots cover the unloading of a couple of containers (probably Engineer stores) from the Clive Steele by American Sikorsky Skycrane choppers.





The next lot were taken at a slightly later date and cover the airlift and lighterage of trucks and vehicles to and from the HMAS Sydney, from an accompanying chopper during a resupply trip of the HMAS Sydney (later nicknamed the Vung Tau Ferry) in 1967.  At this time 1 Coy RAASC and its various Platoons (us) and equipment were being about to be replaced by 5 Coy RAASC and all there lovely new trucks arrived. We were still in country (but counting the eggs) when this occurred but the only time we got to drive these brand new vehicles was from the hard stand to the Ordnance Field Park where they were stored until the new Company and Platoons had landed and settled in.
Of note is the fact that not only were the Transport Company's vehicles (6x6s) were being replaced but also that a number of the older style (well, about 3 years old anyway) Mk3 trucks 4x4s were still coming over. You will note in some shots that some of the Mk3s have weird looking crates in the back and these would more than likely be rather large bulky items like caterpillar powered generators or the likes of such that would have been transported over on the back of the trucks to save space and also double handling.
Not only was the deck cargo being lifted on and off the Carrier by Skycrane but at the same time lighterage was being supplied by the civilian stevedoring contractors "Alaskan Barge and Transport" (AB&T). At any one time there would be about three to four lighters (barges) along side the ship and all the derricks were working frantically.
You may also note the slinging techniques used; on the Mk3 or F1 or F2s the slings were around the hubs on the axle but on the Teaspoon tipper that is coming back on board to be RTA there were no such protruding hubs so the sling was around the tyre and through the rim!
Some of the 6x6s have a large VT on their windscreens denoting that they were for Vung Tau where some of the others, especially the 4x4s at that time would have been Nui Dat or even perhaps Saigon, bound. There is also a reasonable amount of writing on the doors of some of the trucks and I am sorry I can't help with that.





Whilst the deck cargo was being cleared by the choppers and cranes, more stores would be coming up from the storage areas below decks by the forward elevator. (On a lighter note, when we were being unloaded about 12 months prior to these photos being taken, a couple of us  were playing cards by that same forward elevator when a shiny pair of boots walked briskly up, stopped, asked who was winning, and moved smartly on! Those boots - and that is all that I saw at the time-  turned out to belong to Gen Westmoreland.)







And a couple of a Teaspoon coming home


Hope there aren't too many pictures for the one post.
Will put up some more one day when I get around to emptying some more old boxes.
Regards
Glen
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 03:15:30 PM by zulu delta 534 »

Offline digger

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 05:58:23 PM »
Glen,
Fantastic photos, thanks!

Great shot of inter being lifted whilst landies being lowered on other side!

thanks again..
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Offline Mick_Marsh

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 08:41:56 PM »
Thanks for sharing those pics Glen.
Some of my cousins served in Vietnam so I have a particular interest in anything of the Australian forces in Vietnam.
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Offline Cliffy

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 09:13:08 PM »
Awsome pics!! ;D

Offline Chazza

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 09:10:58 AM »
Glen, please don't ever stop posting your fascinating information about the history of the Australian army -  absolutely riveting and highly enjoyable!  :D

Cheers Charlie
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Offline Outlaw

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 05:06:46 PM »
Brilliant pics... much appreciated as always :D
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Offline zulu delta 534

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 06:45:25 PM »
I think that Ericsson only bought the name in the early 1990s or so, we always knew them as Sikorskys, (as also were their stablemates "the Jolly Green Giants") and I think they were 64a's.
Regards
Glen

Offline juddy

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 10:45:30 PM »
The Jolly Green Giant was the nick name for the, Ch-53 and MH-53, both of which served in Vietnam.

These are the latest versions.






The Ch-53k, is the latest version in development, and is a new build version.....
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Tommy

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 11:44:52 PM »
Back to the thread....

Wonderful photos Glen  ;D

I did notice this vehicle sitting amongst the Land Rovers. Not sure the make and model. Any ideas?


Tommy

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 12:02:31 AM »
A few photos taken on the deck of the Sydney.





« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 12:26:06 AM by Tommy »

Tommy

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 12:32:14 AM »
These ships became the Army Vessel 1353 'Brudenell White', AV1354 'Harry Chauvel', AV1355 'Vernon Sturdee' and AV1356, the 'Clive Steele'. (There was another ship in the Unit, the John Monash but she was a different and larger type of ship.)

G'day Glen

Fantastic information in this thread. An important part of the Vietnam War effort that has been overlooked by historians.

Just a small correction - AV1353 is Harry Chauvel and AV1354 is Brudenell White.

AV1353 Harry Chauvel



AV1354 Brudenell White



AV1355 Vernon Sturdee



AV1356 Clive Steele



AS3051 John Monash



Disposal tender advertisment posted in a newspaper.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 02:03:06 AM by Tommy »

Offline Uncle Ho

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 07:52:55 PM »


G'day Tommy  :)

Nice pics, those Mk3's look like they are headed home after being replaced by the F1/F2's as they look well worked.

Last time I saw the Vung-Tau Ferry in Sydney in about 71 she had the forward hatch welded shut and a lot of concrete in the bow,as the tin worm had a good start. ;)

We had lunch aboard after loading spares for SVN


cheers

Offline zulu delta 534

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2012, 08:37:59 PM »
Back to the thread....

Wonderful photos Glen  ;D

I did notice this vehicle sitting amongst the Land Rovers. Not sure the make and model. Any ideas?


Stuart I am not too sure but I would hazard a guess and say a Holden Staff Car possibly bound for Saigon.

Diana, those poor old Mk3's had by this time completed 2 years hard yakka. The doors tell a bit of a story, those with doors would have done a fair amount of road work (convoys and the likes of such) meaning reasonably high mileage, whereas the  one without the doors would have seen most of its service running around the  Nui Dat area, possibly doing a lot less distance but harder yards as a First Line Transport vehicle.
The military operates three lines of transport;
First line is each Unit's own vehicles that are required to keep the Unit operational, whatever that Unit may be.  Doing domestic tasks such as ration breaks, rubbish runs, Q store and mess replenishment and the likes of such from the forward DP (Distribution point- where the third line delivers it to!) to the unit itself, and is run and operated by each unit independently. Therefore if you see a vehicle with an infantry Tac sign you know that it is First Line Transport.  A Battalion does not hold enough vehicles to move itself!
Second line Transport is a RAASC/RACT Transport Platoon or Company with a primary task of carrying out Task Force operational Transport requirements, i.e. moving members of the Battalion in the case of Infantry, guns in the case of Artillery, equipment for the Engineers and so on.
Third line is once again a (RAASC/RACT) Transport unit, that picks up and delivers rations, stores, ammunition etc from the major distribution point such as a beachhead, port, railhead or other major distribution point (in the case of Vietnam- Vung Tau) and delivers it all to a point (D.P.) from where each individual Unit's first line of transport can pick it up (Nui Dat).  That is at least the theory behind it all but not necessarily how thing panned out in the early years of the Vietnam conflict. 
Having had a few conversations with Vets who served in Transport after my time I find it quite eerie to hear someone talk about "their" truck when 12 months earlier I had known it as "someone else's" truck. This comes up quite a lot and from these conversations I have gleaned that a lot of "our" (87's) MK 3 trucks stayed on under the new 2 Platoon  (whereas our Teaspoons came home pretty well straight after us), but I can't find out for how long they stayed nor how many.
The new Platoons were to be issued on their arrival with the new F1's, but the American fuel we were using played havoc with the "self sealing" fuel tank liners on the new versions, so they were withheld for a while while every fuel  tank was stripped out.
We had quite a few problems with the American supply line but that is another story for another day! I have rambled on enough.
As for the Jolly Green Giants we only saw them once or twice as they were relatively scarce in our part of the theatre but I believe they were the HH3 variety.
Regards
Glen

Tommy

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 10:20:06 PM »
Thanks for that information Glen :D. The more you tell us 'civvies' the more we will understand ;D

I have these photos of the Skycrane in action to compliment the photos you posted earlier. Keep the info coming.

Picking up from the Sydney....







Dropping off at Vung Tau...









Offline Gecko

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Re: A couple of logistical resupply photos
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2012, 11:22:16 PM »
Hey ZD534,
What a brilliant thread you started.  Love your photos and the ones they inspired others to post.
Takes a bit to break me out of my lethargy to respond to a post - normally I just read.
Maybe my lethargy will be broken enough to get my GS registered and on the road  :-)
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.