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  #1  
Old 20-06-19, 10:39
Owen Genat Owen Genat is offline
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Default Moama NSW, Centurion 5/1 (Aust), formation sign

Hi All,
I have searched these forums for information relating to formation signs for Vietnam vehicles, such as the Centurion Mk5/1 (Aust) out front of the Moama RSL (refer attached). Despite the many references to Formation signs and vehicle markings of the Australian Army 1903-1983 by Stephen Taubert I am unable to find this particular sign.

Q1: Is this a genuine formation/TAC sign of the era? (And if 'yes' any information of which formation it signifies will be appreciated)

There are various references on these forums to the above mentioned work being available on CDROM. Apart from a mailing address I can find no contact information including an email address or phone number online.

Q2: Does anyone know if the work by Taubert is still available in electronic format? If 'yes' I would be delighted if someone could PM me an email address or phone number so I can acquire a copy for myself.

For the terminally curious I travel around Victoria (and sometimes over the border) photographing/researching/documenting military artillery pieces and armoured vehicles on public display for a hobby.
Any assistance appreciated.
Kind regards, Owen.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-19, 05:39
Rod Cairns Rod Cairns is offline
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Default Re Formation Sign

G'day Owen,

The sign is a reproduction of an emblem used by 1 Troop, C Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment in 1968. It was usually hand painted just above the Turret Pistol Port and is included on the decal sheet of the 1:35 AFV Club RAAC Mk 5/1 (Aust) kit to go on the "31B" option.
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  #3  
Old 08-07-19, 17:04
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Default

Spot on, Rod. A repro of a genuine, but un-official, Troop sign.

Unofficial Troop signs, an ever-changing feast and not something that Steve Taubert delved into: he did a very admirable job dealing with the officially-adopted vehicle signage. His books (original green cover and revised red cover) were a limited production and so not widely distributed.

You will find reference to the sign in Shane Lovell's Centurions in Vietnam - now out of print, but copies are still floating about.

Mike
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  #4  
Old 09-07-19, 01:38
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Tony Smith Tony Smith is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Genat View Post
Despite the many references to Formation signs and vehicle markings of the Australian Army 1903-1983 by Stephen Taubert I am unable to find this particular sign.

There are various references on these forums to the above mentioned work being available on CDROM. Apart from a mailing address I can find no contact information including an email address or phone number online.

Q2: Does anyone know if the work by Taubert is still available in electronic format? If 'yes' I would be delighted if someone could PM me an email address or phone number so I can acquire a copy for myself.

Any assistance appreciated.
Kind regards, Owen.
Owen, Taubert's "Formation Signs" work was also published on CD. Stephen's contact details have previously been provided on this and other fora before, but are now out of date.

I have sent you a PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-19, 06:25
Owen Genat Owen Genat is offline
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Default Re. formation/troop sign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Cairns View Post
G'day Owen,
The sign is a reproduction of an emblem used by 1 Troop, C Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment in 1968. It was usually hand painted just above the Turret Pistol Port and is included on the decal sheet of the 1:35 AFV Club RAAC Mk 5/1 (Aust) kit to go on the "31B" option.
Rod, many thanks for this information. I did wonder if it was a troop sign, but I am not an expert in these matters. Do you know if the vehicle would have originally displayed the 1ATF (red kangaroo on yellow shield with thin red border) formation sign? Was this common practice on the AU Centurions? That model is absolutely stunning BTW.
Kind regards, Owen.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-19, 06:28
Owen Genat Owen Genat is offline
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Default Re. troop signs and Lovell's work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
Spot on, Rod. A repro of a genuine, but un-official, Troop sign.

Unofficial Troop signs, an ever-changing feast and not something that Steve Taubert delved into: he did a very admirable job dealing with the officially-adopted vehicle signage. His books (original green cover and revised red cover) were a limited production and so not widely distributed.

You will find reference to the sign in Shane Lovell's Centurions in Vietnam - now out of print, but copies are still floating about.

Mike
Mike, thanks for this information. I am trying to locate a copy of Shane Lovell's work ATM. Good to hear copies are intermittently available.
Kind regards, Owen.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-19, 06:29
Owen Genat Owen Genat is offline
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Default Re. PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Smith View Post
Owen, Taubert's "Formation Signs" work was also published on CD. Stephen's contact details have previously been provided on this and other fora before, but are now out of date.

I have sent you a PM.
Tony, many thanks for the PM. Greatly appreciated.
Kind regards, Owen.
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  #8  
Old 11-07-19, 02:18
Rod Cairns Rod Cairns is offline
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Default Re 1ATF Markings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Genat View Post
Rod, many thanks for this information. I did wonder if it was a troop sign, but I am not an expert in these matters. Do you know if the vehicle would have originally displayed the 1ATF (red kangaroo on yellow shield with thin red border) formation sign? Was this common practice on the AU Centurions? That model is absolutely stunning BTW.
Kind regards, Owen.
G'day Again Owen,

Thanks for the model comment, it's by no means an award winner! From Shane's book: "Instructions introducing a formation sign for vehicles operated by AFV (Army Component) were promulgated on 20 October 1969. The sign consisted of a red bounding kangaroo facing left on a yellow shield edged in dark green. The sign, produced as a pressure-sensitive sticker, came in two sizes, one eight inches square and a smaller version five inches square. Centurions and other armoured vehicles were to display the larger sign on the front and rear of the tank. Display of the formation sign is quite rare on Centurion medium tanks, though why remains unknown. It was more commonly applied to ARVs, again for an unknown reason."

This is largely borne out by period photos, I don't think I've ever seen a Gun Tank, Dozer or Bridgelayer wearing one (but I'm certainly no expert!) - just ARVs. One interesting marking that did catch my eye on an AWM film (F04233) was a gun tank with Detachment Forward Delivery Troop's (Mike, please confirm?) VUS. This was the red/yellow Armoured Corps sign with the pattern flipped horizontally, i.e. with the dividing line running from top left to bottom right. It has 106 on the sign, but 41 was actually allocated to them apparently.

Noting the Military Briefs book is proving difficult to find, may I also highly recommend Mike's book "Mud & Dust" (ISBN 9781741107678) from the AWM if you can track it down. A brilliant resource for Australian Army vehicles and artillery in SVN.

Last edited by Rod Cairns; 11-07-19 at 02:31.
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  #9  
Old 11-07-19, 04:02
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is offline
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Default C Sqn in transit via Baria Hard to Nui Dat 1968

Thanks Rod for the positive comments about M&D. Not a perfect book, but not too bad either.

The AWM film shows gun tanks of C Sqn unloading at the Baria Hard stand in early 1968, and you have spotted the error in the unit signs: the arm of service colours red/yellow should be red upper left, yellow lower right, but at least two tanks including 169055 have them as red upper right, yellow lower left, but they do have the correct 1AR independent squadron-in-SVN unit number '106' superimposed. (The FDT unit number was 46. The previous 1AR regimental number was 41, superseded by 1968 by 206. The '41'as 1FDT is an error on page 296 of M&D ... ooops!)

Owen, the complete text of the order concerning the AFV formation sign is reproduced verbatim on pages 294-295 of M&D, in the appendix on markings.

Regards

Mike
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  #10  
Old 12-07-19, 03:05
Rod Cairns Rod Cairns is offline
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Default Reversed Colours

Thanks for the clarification Mike. I'm sure I read somewhere else that the reversed colours were deliberate which didn't make sense to me. I guess the painters had a bad day when faced with a 50/50 choice! Reminds me of the UNEF II coloured Iroquois helicopter at Fairbairn that flew around for a few days with "NU" painted on its belly...
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  #11  
Old 14-08-19, 04:08
Owen Genat Owen Genat is offline
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Default Thank you

Rob/Mike,
apologies for my tardy response. Thank you both for the information and guidance. I have some book hunting to do.
Kind regards, Owen.
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  #12  
Old 14-08-19, 04:26
Owen Genat Owen Genat is offline
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Default AU Centurion formation sign

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod Cairns View Post
From Shane's book: "Instructions introducing a formation sign for vehicles operated by AFV (Army Component) were promulgated on 20 October 1969. The sign consisted of a red bounding kangaroo facing left on a yellow shield edged in dark green. The sign, produced as a pressure-sensitive sticker, came in two sizes, one eight inches square and a smaller version five inches square. Centurions and other armoured vehicles were to display the larger sign on the front and rear of the tank. Display of the formation sign is quite rare on Centurion medium tanks, though why remains unknown. It was more commonly applied to ARVs, again for an unknown reason."
Rod, I really appreciate this clarification. The Seymour Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk reserve Centurion currently has a formation sticker on the upper left glacis but it is just the red kangaroo facing left on yellow shield, without the dark green edging. I thought I saw somewhere on this forum an explanation of the distinction between two ATF formation signs (one being HQ and the other the corp or similar) but I cannot find it now. I am probably getting my memories mixed, as it may have been in relation to another AU theatre.
Owen.
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