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Centurion Mk 5/1 (Aust) - Post 1969 Modifications - South Vietnam
Shane Lovell

The 1969 modification schedule resulted from over a year of combat experience in South Vietnam.  The modifications were undertaken by 106 Field Workshops either prior to issue to the combat squadron or shortly after receipt within the squadron.  This configuration remained current until the departure of the Centurions in 1972.

On return to Australia all vehicles except two had the modifications removed and were returned to their original condition.  The two vehicles were 169108 and 169XXX.

Currently the two vehicles are in private ownership and have had a black camouflage pattern  and new markings applied. Whilst in their original  Viet Nam configuration the camouflage and markings have been applied by the current owner

SVN three quarter front.JPG (51641 bytes) Visible in this photo are viewed from the front three quarter view:
  • angle iron welded to hull stowage bins
  • omega brackets for spare roadwheels on the glacis plate
  • half inch steel track guards
  • just visible is the infra red searchlight and machine gun ammo bin on top at rear of turret
SVN turret top.JPG (47562 bytes) front to back
  • antenna aerial base
  • infra red searchlight 18 inch UFFA
  • 20pounder (or is it a 105mm L7?)
  • electrical inlet socket for searchlight
SVN  LF Fender.JPG (39855 bytes) star picket mud scrapers left front fender.  Also note weld marks that indicate short sections of half inch steel plate with angle iron edge for strength.
SVN RR Fender.JPG (49460 bytes) Note the same weld marks and sections of fender identified above.  Note lack of tool stowage attachment points / webbing.
  SVN  LR Fender.JPG (41867 bytes) Weld marks as above.   Section of star picket used to  secure tow rope.  Also visible at bottom left is a section of pipe into which a wooden stake was inserted to give support to a hoochie for sun shade or weather protection.

The barrel appears to be a 105mm (fitted by the current owner for cosmetic purpose) - never used by the Australian Army in Centurions.

SVN Turret hutchie attachment.JPG (40207 bytes) A better photo of the hoochie support pipe.  these were welded to the 4 turret lifting rings.
SVN  RF Fender.JPG (33383 bytes) View of the left front idler wheel.   Details of the mudguard, mudguard support and towing bollard.   Note the condition of the fenders.

 

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