I had a call from a chap that is building a model Centurion
He was experiencing some trouble with the fit of the Radio Antenna's
I imagined that it was a simple item like the third Antenna for the Command Tanks third radio antenna. He did bring home to me that not everyone that follows this site is an ex Tankie. So here is a little on the Antenna Setup
All the Australian Cents were fitted with two radio's and hence two Antenna's. One was a welded bracket on the RHS of the turret with the Antenna mount bolted to the top of the bracket The second one was bolted to the turret just in front of the operators hatch on the left side of the turret
This shot would be taken from inside the Operators Hatch looking forward
These tanks were fitted with an ammo rack behind the cupola lid which carried spare liner box's of .30 ammo for the Crew Commanders Flex .30 Machinegun and a slot for a PRC 25 radio - Note the two clips for holding the Machine Gun when it was not mounted
Picture of the Left hand side mount
The welded bracket position on the RHS of the turret
This shot shows the angle bracket, welded to the turret with Antenna Mount fitted
Then there was the Command Tank which had a third radio and hence a third Antenna. This setup had the same two front mounts but a third one was needed for the third radio This was positioned on the left hand side as well, but towards the rear of the turret, at the end of the Ammo rack which had to be shortened to fit the mount
This is the third mount (Damaged) beside the shortened Ammo rack
You can see in this shot that the ammo storage on the left of the Radio recess has been removed to shorten the Ammo rack. This photo was from 169089 owned by Gabe Zulian at Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains of NSW and shows it was used as a Command tank
This shows the full size ammo rack
The full size rack with liner box's empty space is for the PRC 25 Radio that the Crew Commander used to contact the infantry support, the rear tank phone on the fuel tank was not a success in Vietnam
Showing a belt of .30 cal rounds for the Crew Commanders Flex 30
Another question I received was
"What is the difference with a .30 and a .50 cal round"
I believe standing behind a small tree with a .30 hitting it was fairly safe, but not so with a .50, it would go straight through. Someone told me that the VC did not like the .50, I could well imagine why!
A .30 cal liner box side
End view of the.30 cal liner box
Rear view of the .30 cal liner box
A .50 cal liner box
Compare the .50 and the .30 liner boxes
PRC 77 Radio This is much the same as a PRC 25 but I have not been able to obtain a PRC 25
The PRC 25 was mounted in the ammo rack behind the Cupola Lid on the Centurion in Vietnam
as the rear mounted (On the 100 gallon fuel tank) one was not a success in Vietnam
I am still looking for an Antenna and Handpiece for this radio, if anyone knows of one laying around that needs a good home as it will end up in the Vietnam Veterans Museum at San Remo Victoria
Last Queensland Trip
On my last trip to Qld I called in at Canungra, the Army Jungle Training camp.
We had no trouble driving in stating we wanted to see the Vietnam veterans Memorial site, and were shown where to go. Our first stop was at the Memorial for the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam 1962 - 1972.
This was in a jungle area which had a section cut out and cleared for the Memorial. It was without doubt a very peaceful and beautiful site
There were a lot of plaques on both side walls but alas they did not show up in the picture
Set amongst the trees were many small headstones for the Killed in Action
We then drove down to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The whole area was so peaceful and I felt out of place taking photos, so we just spent some time there and took no more pictures. This was a Memorial site that did in fact have a special feeling about it. I am very thankful that we made the point of attending this site.
Another Centurion drive -- Two in fact
Today I booked my plane fare to Queensland again. Glen Griffen has been kind enough to offer me a drive in 169075 which he says is now running beautifully. The next day its across to Nambour to have another drive in Brads 169109. Brad and Alan have mapped out a course in some very hilly country and its quite likely that we will cut the track on that weekend, watch out trees and scrub, its been a long while since I took on a tree.
(Not exactly true. A few years ago while crossing the Snowy Mountains I left the road and flew for about 15 ft before driving down a hundred yards of near vertical mountain to meet with a very large gum tree head on. The tree survived but my Lovely V8 Commodore did not and it went to the GMH Garage in the sky but that's another story.)
Again Rusty Dyson will act as my personal driver, picking me up from the airport, feeding and providing me with some great hours of conversation and company, as well as supplying a bed (In fact its a self contained flat and very comfortable it is to). I will this time take my own bottle opener and the Port will die this trip, in the last two years this bottle has done more air miles than me. I hope this time that Rusty does not take the long way round as I have in fact seen most of Nth NSW and Qld on our last trip. As a driver Rusty is great but a navigator he is not. Maybe its the speed he drives at that stops him being able to read the signs that in most cases would tell us where to go. Every time we go out take a few hours, and I used to think he was showing me the sights, but now I think he is just trying to find his way home. Anyway its always a great time when I am with Rusty and Cass and I am looking forward to the trip which will be in about 4 weeks.
I also hope to fit in a trip to SA but cannot contact Richard as his email address seems to be incorrect. I hope he reads this and emails me.
We have a Cent for sale - Has a yellow motor
Twin mounted Road wheels on Glacis Plate
NEW I.R. Searchlight mounted on Turret
I saw this tank about 12 months ago and it was not a runner as the batteries were being replaced.
Owner states its now running, "Like a dream". The yellow motor is a reconditioned motor - mileage not disclosed as yet
From memory it was a pretty nice Cent
Has an Ammo rack on turret and I.R. Light Cage on rear of turret
The "B" Barrel is also fitted
Asking Price is $28,000 and this price is structured for a quick sale
Anyone interested can contact me email@example.com and I will put them in contact with the owner
Please no track kickers
The asking price very good and that will sell this tank
It now has two road wheels fitted
She is a nice looking Tank
In fact there were two cents on offer, the second one was a non runner and I knew that at the price it was offered for, that I could sell it very quickly. So I did not put it on this site.
A few phone calls and yes it sold in a week, the new owner will be Brad Baker in Qld who also owns 169109
Brad will use a lot of parts himself and he has been kind enough to donate a Radiator Header Tank, a Starter Motor and a Booster Coil to the Vietnam Veterans Museum, items that were stopping 169016 from running.
It must be remembered that these items are just about impossible to obtain, and to have them donated is a remarkable gesture on Brad's behalf.
Brad will also supply parts to the Dorrigo Steam Train Museum who own 169037 that is also in need of some parts. Its Brad's and my hope that the Hull will be sitting at the Tongala R.S.L Avenue of Honour Display in about 12 months
It does warm the old heart when I see the extent that people will go to to preserve these old warriors, and full credit must go to Brad for his effort in this case.
I will be going up to photograph this Centurion, and also drive the one above that is for sale. Also the next day I will be at Brads tank for another drive and photo session, so I should have some good pictures next month