I first came across 169026 when I found her in NSW. It was owned by Colin Brown and in excellent straight condition. Colin was in the process of fitting automatic oilers to the overhead rocker gear, as it was slow to get oil on startup and caused rapid wear. Going to this detail you can just imagine how the rest of the tank is.
Being delivered to Colin Browns property
On display at the Mudgee Air Show
Yep it was a bit hard to miss
Most of the photos below are from Trevor Dingles collection
I first met Trevor on my first day in the army when I reported to Royal Park waiting on the draft to Kapooka
Trevor was the lone guy from Tasmania, and with Kenny Heard from Geelong and Lofty Williams, were also on the draft. We went through Kapooka and all transferred to the 1st Armoured Regiment. Myself and Lofty became drivers, Trevor a Operator and Ken a Gunner, but Ken soon transferred to the Provo's .
This shows 169026, "Mickey Mouse" in action in Vietnam
I came across this photo when I was processing Trevor Dingles slides for Diana Dingle. A big job as there were about ten boxes of slides.
As many will be aware Trevor passed away last year and so there is no one to supply details. I will do what I can but some will just be displayed for their interest.
Anyone that can supply info on them I would appreciate it
A shot of 169026 "Mickey Mouse" 1969 or was it 169074 C'S 20E ???
Mickey Mouse 169026 in 1971
Photos courtesy Ian Tulk
These were taken around March 1971. The Crew were Ian Tulk, Bill Baldwin, Roger Kendal and a Nasho, I can't remember his name now. With 2 Tp. C Sqn 1 AR as you can see the C/S on the rear of the Turret. The cover disappeared some time after, probably souvenired and taken home.
169026 arrived in Vietnam in 1969 as a B Sqn Tank
169026 also served with A Sqn in 1970
169026 then served with C Sqn in 1971 before returning home at the end of the tour.
169026 had the most engine changes of any centurion I know about. I think 13 main motors.
169026 now owned by Colin Brown near Rhylstone NSW and is in excellent condition.
Trevor Dingle has photos of her in 1969, with Mickey Mouse painted on the IR light cover. There were other Disney characters on the other thanks in the troop, Goofy being one of them.
Ian Tulk has photos of a new cover made in 1971, with Mickey Mouse on it, and it was for 169026. So I am taking a guess, that it was 169026 that Trevor Dingle refers to in his information in 1969, and maybe the cover was used throughout out her service?
169026 unloading at Baria
24A was Jock Browning's Tank "Buka Boom Boom"
This appears to be a 4 troop shoot? 24 and 24B are clearly seen, Bob Ferrari also placed this on the firing range outside the wire.
This is 169007 Buka Boom Boom with Jock Browning or maybe Bob Ferrari kneeling by the tree.
Bob Ferrari said that this is an internal placement at Nui Dat and not the troop position on the wire
A shot of 169077 now owned by Rod Visser from Dandenong.
She has thrown a track maybe a mine hit?
This was the Troop leaders tank, Chris Sweeney Crew Commander and Tpr. Alan Scott, Driver.
Jock Browning sitting inside the entrance
169096. Hell we were trying to start her two days ago at Wangaratta! She is now owned by Chris and Frank Nicholls
A damaged track at Nui Dat
I have read of a track that hit a mine and was just parked and left. I believed crew were killed in it and many were not happy about its position. Maybe this is it?
Unknown guy with a damaged track.
Denton the Duck I have seen a few pictures of him, wonder what happened to him? The first time I saw him he was just a hand full as shown below with Bill Burton
Very young Denton The Duck
Blown bridge on left of new floating bridge
Tank crossing on new floating bridge
They seem to have done a good job.
Pretty big snake
Trevor Dingle in Vietnam Trevor --Crew Commander on 169026
My thanks to Bruce Cameron and Bob Ferrari for their help with info on some of the photos
I saw a photo on the 1st Armoured Regiment CD that showed Captain Gilchrist and WO11 Trevor Dingle. Unfortunately it was not Trevor. But it did have Captain Gilchrist who was the R.S.M. when I first joined the Regiment.
At that point of time they both were involved in rebuilding a school that was destroyed in the Battle of Binh Ba.
But they did rebuild the school shown below
There was a story connected with this project. A little Vietnamese guy about ten years old, who Trevor called "Fred" spent a lot of time with Trevor and one day there was a vehicle parked outside the project. Fred told Trevor just before the driver was about to return to his vehicle, that some men had been doing something behind the vehicle. They investigated and found a mine had been planted there. Fred no doubt saved some lives that day. I wonder what ever happened to him?
21B undoing the barrel
At the wire
I have a few video's (not great quality but better than nothing) that I have wanted to put on the site. But they are much to big so I have now obtained another program that will allow both photos and Videos.
Its called PHOTOBUCKET, which is a free program run by adds. I would suggest that if you receive a pop-up about you having a message, or any popup for that matter, ignore it! Other than that its a great program and at this stage I have two pages up including 4 video's. I will add more as soon as I can.
To access the site just type into your browser www.photobucket.com and when the page opens (They will ask you to join but you do not have to) find the search slot and type in "Steel-thunder"
This will open my first page. Just click on the photo to enlarge it. Click on the Blue Video page to view, it may take a few minutes to load. Hope you enjoy them
Well Christmas is just about on us so this will be all for this Year
So both Val and I wish you all the seasons greetings and a happy new year