1. From 6TTU to Vietnam – An APC for Australia
Posted on: Mon 9 May 2022
Throughout this 8 part series, produced via a Saluting Their Service Major Commemorative Grant, Army Veterans recount memories of heading up to Far North Queensland and the little town of Innisfail in the mid 1960s to participate in tropical trials on wheeled and tracked vehicles and an Armoured Personnel Carrier for Australia to take to Vietnam.
In 1962/63 a squadron of the 2/14th Queensland Mounted Infantry had conducted trials on prototype Armoured Personnel Carriers FV432 of British origin and Personnel Carriers Full Tracked M113 of United States origin… they became Number 5 Tropical Trials Unit. Our series is about the men who came immediately after… the men of Number 6 Tropical Trials Unit (6TTU). They trialled the M114 A1 and the M113 C&R. Very little is known or even available about this important era in Australia’s military history.
The Army had to get approximately 120 personnel from Puckapunyal in Victoria to 6TTU in Innisfail. Some travelled by train, some flew or drove their own vehicles and others were part of a large convoy that left Puckapunyal in 1964.
In Episode 1 we hear from current Head of Corps (Armour) Brigadier Duncan Hayward CSC; RAAC Veterans Craig Haydock; Peter McDonald; Ian ‘Icky’ Smith; John McQueen; and RAASC Veteran David Childs.
Image: Vietnam 1966. From Meyer family collection and used with permission