Ordnance during the Field Force era 1964 – 1978

To meet SEATO commitments, the New Zealand Army reorganised in 1964, there would be an Infantry Battalion based in Malaysia as part of the British Commonwealth Strategic Reserve, with the remainder of the Army organised to provide reinforcement of the overseas elements at short notice, and with a more extended notice period. Forces able to meet other commitments outside of the scope of the Strategic Reserve. To achieve this that Army was organised as:

  • Field Force
    • The Combat Brigade Group – Organised as a combat force for commitments outside of the scope of the Strategic Reserve.
    • The Logistic Support Group – Organised to provide support in the field to the Combat Brigade Group.
    • The Combat Reserve Brigade Group – Designed to backfill personnel from the Combat Brigade Group and Logistic Support Group on their mobilisation, to provide trained reinforcements.
  • Static Support Force – all the static non-deplorably units.

RNZAOC Locations and Roles

The RNZAOC maintained units on a regional basis with;

  • Combat Brigade Group units based in the Northern region,
  • Logistic Support Group units based in the Central region,
  • Combat Reserve Brigade Group units based in the Southern region, and
  • Static Support Force units base throughout the country in non-operational support roles.

Units classed as Operating units had a real-time peacetime support role, all others only had training roles.

Up to 1968 Ordnance units, their locations and dependency’s are detailed in the following three tables;

Ordnance In the Northern Military District

1968 NMD

1st COD 1971

1st Central Ordnance Depot – 25 June 1971. RNZAOC School

Ordnance In the Central Military District

1968 CMD

CDOD 1965

Central Districts Ordnance Depot 1965. Dave Morris Collection

Ordnance In the Southern Military District

1968 SMD

Dress Embellishments

Circular Coloured patches 1½ inch in diameter were worn on the shoulder Battledress and then Service Dress just below the Corps Shoulder Title, these patches were discontinued in the mid-1970’s.

  • Combat Brigade Group – Black
  • Logistic Support Group – Red
  • Combat Reserve Brigade group – Green
  • Static Support Force – Blue

 

1968 Reorganisation

In 1968 it was decided to refine the RNZAOC organisation to better suit its outputs, resulting in name changes, roles changes, relocation and disestablishment for some units.

Unit Name Changes

  • The Main Ordnance Depot at Trentham was renamed 1 Base Ordnance Depot.
  • The three District Ordnance Depots were renamed as Central Ordnance Depots
    • Northern District Ordnance Depot – 1 Central Ordnance Depot
    • Central District Ordnance Depot – 2 Central Ordnance Depot
    • Southern District Ordnance Depot – 3 Central Ordnance Depot

Note: It was mooted that ‘Command’ instead of ‘Central’ be used as the name of the Ordnance Depots, and some correspondence does refer to the COD as Command Ordnance Depots.

Roles Changes and Re-locations

  • 1 Infantry Brigade Group Ordnance Field Park based at Trentham and already partly scaled but with no role other than training this was moved to Ngaruawahia, with the task of maintaining the Equipment Tables of Combat Brigade group units.
  • 1COC PLAQUE

    1 Composite Ordnance Company Plaque. Peter Cox collection

    1 Composite Ordnance Company would assume the role as the significant bulk Ordnance stock-holding unit in the Field Force, with responsibility for issuing bulk to 1 Ordnance Field Park and all Workshop Stores Sections and detailed Issues to all Logistic Support Group units. This unit would have a peacetime holding of 60 -90 days of War Reserve stocks which were transferred from 1 Base Ordnance Depot. All Platoons were centralised at Mangaroa, less 4 (Ammo) Platoon which would be located at Makomako and loaned back to 2 Central Ordnance Depot.

  • 3 Infantry Brigade Group Ordnance Field Park situated at Ngaruawahia with no stocks held and performing only a Training Role, this unit was relocated to Burnham where the majority of Combat Reserve Brigade Units were located, and would continue to have no stock-holding responsibility and would only have a training role.

There was no change to the Role and locations of the Workshops Stores section and RNZAOC school.

GEN OUTLINE.jpg

Disestablishment

The Small Arms and Proof Office co-located at Mount Eden with the Colonial Ammunition Company was closed down, and the Army ended its long relationship with the Colonial Ammunition Company when that company closed down.

The Ammunition Proof and Experimental Centre operations were also closed down, and its operations moved to the new Joint Services Proof Establishment, a Tri-service unit established as part of the Naval Ammunition Depot ad Kauri Point in Auckland.

RNZAOC Overseas

Throughout the 1960s the RNZAOC would provided individuals for overseas service, with the bulk serving with the Australians in South Vietnam and 1 RNZIR at Ternadak Barracks in Malaysia.

In 1970 due to a proposed British withdrawal from Singapore, the RNZAOC made a commitment with the RAAOC to form 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot in Singapore. 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot would be the first RNZAOC unit overseas since Kayforce during the Korean War, and the RNZAOC would retain a unit in Singapore until 1989.

Future Reorganisations

The RNZAOC would retain this organisation until the late 1970s when with the gaining of the Rations and Fuel functions on the disestablishment of the Royal New Zealand Army Service Corps and the RNZAOC would undergo yet another Reorganisation, which will be covered in another article.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

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Central Districts, RNZAOC Corps Day 2017

To commemorate the 70th anniversary on the 12th of July 1947 of the granting of the “Royal” prefix by King George VI to the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Department and New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps on 1 February 1917. A small gathering was held the 15th of July  2017 at the Empire Hotel in Palmerston North.

The Empire Hotel was chosen as the venue as 100 years ago the NZAOC Palmerston North Detachment, Ordnance Store was located across the road at 327 Main Street, and I am sure that some of them would have enjoyed a cold beer at the Empire Hotel on a Saturday afternoon.

NZ Army Ordnance Stores, 327 Main Street, Palmerston North circa 1930. Palmerston North Libraries and Community Services

NZ Army Ordnance Stores, 327 Main Street, Palmerston North circa 1920. Palmerston North Libraries and Community Services

The gathering was small, but those who attended represented a varied cross-section of former RNZAOC members from the 1960’s to the 1990’s.

20046438_1510863272267819_5210932079028991135_n

Rear Left to Right: Tony (Wingnut) Rogers, Terry McBeth, Richard Tyler, Rob Mckie, Merv Hutley, Kevin Sigglekow, Peter Cox, Brian Crafts, Peter Dellabarca, Front Row Left to Right: Ray Benseman, Willie Simonsen, Phil Blundell, Dave Morris.

Ordnance and the Central Districts

The RNZAOC and its predecessors have had a  long association with the Central Districts of New Zealand. The Central Districts including the provinces of;

  • Taranaki,
  • Whanganui,
  • Ruapehu,
  • Rangitikei,
  • Manawatu,
  • Hawkes Bay,
  • Wairarapa,
  • Horowhenua, and
  • Wellington.

Ordnance Depot

In the early years of the 20th Century, Ordnance Support to the region was provided by the Defence Stores Department from their Headquarters at Mount Cook in Wellington.

With the foundation of the NZAOC in 1917, Trentham soon became the Main Ordnance Depot with detachments at Featherston and Palmerston North

On the conclusion of the First World War permanent Ordnance Depots were established at Ngaruawahia to support the Northern Districts, and at Burnham to Support the Southern Districts, it was decided to support the Central Districts directly from the Main Ordnance Depot at Trentham, resulting in the closure of the Featherston and Palmerston North Ordnance Detachments

With the onset of the Second World War and the mobilisation of  New Zealand, the Central Districts Ordnance Depot was established at the Showground’s in Palmerston North with several large warehouses in rented accommodation at Whanganui.

In August of 1942, the District Ordnance Depots were renamed, and responsibility’s defined.  The Main Ordnance Depot name would remain extant, and it would service;

  • Army Headquarters,
  • Army School,
  • Mobilisation Camp, Trentham,
  • All other troops in the Wellington Fortress area,
  • 1, 2 and 3 Ordnance Sup Depots.

The Central Districts Ordnance Depot would become  No 2 Ordnance Sub Depot and would service ;

  • Waiouru Military Camp and all units therein,
  • Tactical School, Wanganui,
  • Staff College, Palmerston North,
  • Central Military Districts Troops (except Wellington Fortress troops),
  • 4th Division.

On the Wars end, No 2 Ordnance Sub Depot closed on 14 December 1945 and responsibility for Ordnance Support for the Central Districts reverted to the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham. A short time later No 2 Ordnance Sub depot reopened in Linton Camp.

  • No 2 Ordnance Sub Depot in Linton, would endure becoming;
  • No2 Ordnance Depot in 1946,
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot in 1961,
  • 2 Central Ordnance Depot in 1968,
  • 2 Supply Company in 1979,
  • 5 Composite Supply Company in 1985 and finally
  • 21 Field Supply Company in 1990 until 1996 when its ownership Passed from the RNZAOC to the RNZALR.

Workshops and Stores Sections

In September 1946 most of the repair and maintenance functions of the NZAOC became the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The NZAOC retained repair functions such as Bootmaking, Textile Repair and Tailoring.

From 1961 the RNZAOC was represented across the Central Districts in all of the RNZEME Workshops and LAD Stores Sections.

Ammunition Depot

Constructed and becoming operational in the mid-1940’s, Ammunition Depots would be established at:

  • Kuku valley at Trentham,
  • Belmont in Wellington,
  • Makomako, and
  • Waiouru.

These would remain as interdependent Ammunition Depots until 1961 when they became Sub-Depots of the Central Districts Ordnance Depot.

The Belmont Ammunition Depot would close in the late 1960’s, with Makomako closing in the mid-1990’s leaving Waiouru as the Main Ammunition Depot.

Waiouru Camp

When Waiouru Camp was established in 1940 it was planned to create an Ordnance Depot there, but these plans never eventuated, and Waiouru would remain a Sub Depot of Trentham. Waiouru became a Sub Depot of Linton until the 1970s when it became 4 Central Ordnance Depot, then 4 Supply Company in 1979.

Wellington Region Ordnance Units

 

Although based in the Wellington region and having a broader responsibility for just, not the Central Districts but also the entire Army, by their proximity they have a closer association to the Central Districts than the Northern and Southern Districts and therefore have been included in this article.

In the post-war era Ordnance in the Main Ordnance Depot in Trentham would undergo many transformations, the Main Ordnance Depot would become the Base Ordnance Depot in 1968 and then the 1st Base Supply Battalion in 1979 and finally 5 Logistic Regiment in 1993.

The RNZAF stores depot at Mangaroa was handed over to the NZ Army in 1949 and over the years would become home to;

  • 4(NZ) Division Ordnance Field Park was based at Trentham and Mangaroa from 1950 to 1963,
  • 1 Infantry Brigade OFP from 1963 to 1968 until reorganised and redeployed to Ngaruawahia and Burnham.
  • 1st Composite Ordnance Company from 1964 to 1977.

The Central Districts Vehicle Depot would be established at Trentham in the late 1940’s and would move closer to its primary customer base at  Linton in 1958 and would to be absorbed into the CDOD as a Sub-Depot in 1961.

Adoption of RNZASC functions

In 1979 the foodstuffs and POL functions of the RNZASC became an Ordnance responsibility with the RNZAOC gaining;

  • 24 Supply Platoon in Linton,
  • 44 Supply Platoon in Waiouru,
  • 54 Supply Platoons in Trentham,
  • 21 Supply Company in Waiouru (retaining its name in honour of its long history with the RNZASC), and
  • 7 Petroleum Platoon in Waiouru, which was renamed 47 Petroleum Platoon (4 added to identify it as a Platoon of 4 Supply Company).

Establishment of the RNZALR

On the 8 of December 1996, the RNZAOC along with the RNZCT and RNZEME was disestablished and its personnel and unit’s becoming part of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

 

 


RNZAOC District Ordnance Depots 1961-68

As the RNZAOC organisation matured in the late 1950’s, it became apparent that the system in place of having separate Ordnance, Vehicle and Ammunition Depots located in the same locations, but under different command arrangements was impracticable and not an efficient use of resources. Starting in 1961 a reorganisation was undertaken to consolidate administrative, accounting and stores functions under one headquarters. The restructuring would ensure that there would only be one RNZAOC depot in each district, which would consist of;

  • Headquarters,
  • Stores Sub-Depot,
  • Ammunition Sub-Depot,
  • Vehicle Sub-Depot
  • Traffic Centre.

To achieve this all the existing Stores, Ammunition and Vehicle depots would become Sub-depots of a District Ordnance Depot, designated as;

  • Northern Districts Ordnance Depot (NDOD) – Ngaruawahia,
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot (CDOD) – Linton,
  • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot (SDOD) – Burnham

The outline shape of the new Depots is shown as;

1960 ord depot

 

 

Responsibilities

Officer commanding

A Major, the Officer Commanding  was responsible for;

  • Command of the depot
  • Policy
  • Administrations including personnel matters.

 

2IC, Stores and Planning officer

Either a Captain of Senior Lieutenant the 2IC, Stores and Planning officer was responsible for;

  • Depot Planning,
  • Receipt, preservation, storage, maintenance, issue,
  • Storehouse layout,
  • Warehouse methods,
  • Procedure instructions,
  • Depot Workshops,
  • Traffic Centre,
  • Depot Transport officer,
  • Security,
  • Fire Precautions.

The 2IC, Stores and Planning officer would usually be assisted by the Foreman IC Stores (FICS) who would have been a senior Warrant Officer.

Accounting Officer

Either a Captain of Senior Lieutenant the  Accounting Officer was responsible for;

  • Accounting for Stores,
  • Provision,
  • Claims,
  • Stocktaking,
  • Correspondence in connection with Stores,
  • Accounting for Articles in use.

Ammunition Technical Officers

ATO’s could have been any of the Depots officers who would have to balance their regular duties with their Ammo responsibility.

Depot HQ

Each HQ consisted of an;

  • Administrative Group, and
  • Accounts Group

Records from all three Sub-Depots were centralised in the HQ, and all administrative and accounting functions (including Workshop accounting) were performed there.

Administrative Group

Controlled by a Chief Clerk who was directly responsible to the OC for;

  • Records,
  • Technical Library including amendments,
  • Typing and reproductions,
  • Stationary including Army forms,
  • Mail – receipt, registration, dispatch,
  • Personnel administration as directed, and
  • Orderly room – Unit administration, ROs, etc.

Accounts Group

Controlled by the Accounting Officer, who would be appointed for the two accounts in the Depot:

  • The main stores account embracing all general stores, ammunition and vehicles, and
  • The A in U account, which included all articles in use by all parts of the Depot

The Accounts Group was comprised of the following sections;

  • Control – General Stores, ammunition and vehicle ledgers
  • Ledger Checking – To provide:
    • 100% check of all ledger postings of Clothing and Ammunition.
    • 25% check of all other postings.
  • Provision – Annual and periodic provision reviews for all types of stores, and to progress demands and orders.
  • Claims –Passing of accounts for payment, financial aspects of “On Payment” transactions, hires etc.
  • Stocktaking -Responsible for continuous stocktaking of all stores (including ammunition), aimed at completion once every 3 years.

Stores Sub-Depots

The Stores Sub-Depots consisted of the following Groups;

  • Hardware
  • Clothing
  • Camp Equipment
  • Technical Stores
  • Returned Stores and Disposals, in addition to the conventional functions this group included;
    •  Textile Repair Workshop,
    • Footwear Repair Workshop,
    • Tailors,
    • Carpenters.

The functions within in Stores Groups were accepted as standard;

  • Receipts
    • Receiving
    • Unpacking
    • Identifying
    • Checking
    • Discrepancies and queries
  • Storage
    • Detail
      • Preserving
      • Binning
      • Maintaining
      • Amending Location and catalogue information
      • Selecting for issue
    • Bulk
      • Preserving
      • Packing for bulk storage
      • Bulk stacking
      • Selecting for issue
      • Dispatching.

Note: In a small group one person would have performed all or most of the above functions.

A typical representation of the staffing of  a large Group  is shown in the following diagram;

staff stores group

 

Ammunition Sub-Depots

Ammunition Sub-Depots consisted of:

  • Ammunition Inspection Section.
  • Ammunition Repair Section.
  • Non-Explosive Store.
  • Ammunition Areas;
    • NDOD
      • Ardmore.
      • Kelm road.
      • Ngaruawahia
    • CDOD
      • Waiouru.
      • Makomako.
      • Belmont.
      • Trentham.
    • SDOD
      • Burnham.
      • Glentunnel.
      • Fairlie.
      • Mt Somers.

Vehicle Sub-Depots

Vehicle Depots consisted of:

  • Vehicle Park
  • Kit Store

A RNZEME Maintenance Section was sometimes included as part of the Depot.

In the CDOD and SDOD the Vehicle group control functions were incorporated into the Depot HQ, In NDOD the Control functions were located at Sylvia Park and not at the depot HQ Ngaruawahia.

 

Traffic Centres

The NCO IC Traffic was directly responsible to the Stores officer and had the responsibility for the control and coordination of the Depots transport, Including;

  • Servicing,
  • Repair,
  • Vehicle registrations,
  • Warrants of fitness,
  • POL returns.

 

Establishments

Although similar in function, based on their location, dependency and infrastructure each Ordnance Depot had a slightly different structure, as much as possible the terms used to name positions were standardised against the following definitions.

  • Chief Clerk –  Clerk in charge of a Group, or 2IC of an HQ Group controlled by an Officer.
  • Senior Clerk – Clerk in charge of a Section of an HQ Group clerks
  • Chief Storeman – Storeman in charge of
    1. A group of a Stores Sub-Depot,
    2. A Vehicle Sub-depot,
    3. Traffic Centre.
  • Senior Storeman – Storeman in charge of:
    1. A Section of a Stores Group,
    2. An Ammunition Area storeman,
    3. A Vehicle Park storeman,
    4. A Kit Store storeman.
  • Chief Ammunition Technician – The WO1 in charge of an Inspection Section
  • Senior Ammunition Technician – he AT in charge of the Repair Section
  • Foreman – The Tradesman in charge of a RNZAOC Workshop

Copies of the 2 District Ordnance Depots establishments can seen on the attached Links;

Northern District Ordnance Depot Establishment

Central District Ordnance Depot Establishment

Linton-0001-OhG304062

Southern District Ordnance Depot Establishment

Burnham-2-0001-OhG303962

Summary

The District Ordnance Depots remained until 1968 when they were reorganised  again and became;

  • Northern Districts Ordnance Depot – became 1 Central Ordnance Depot (1COD),
  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot – became 2 Central Ordnance Depot (2COD),
  • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot – became 3 Central Ordnance Depot (3COD).

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017


RNZAOC June 1948 to May 1949

This article carries on from the post, RNZAOC June 1947 to 1948 and covers the activity’s of the RNZAOC from June 1948 to May 1949

Key Appointments

Army Headquarters

  • Director of Ordnance Services

    • Lieutenant Colonel A.H Andrews
  • Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services

    • Major F Reid
  • Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer

    • Major I.S Millar
  • Senior Inspecting Ordnance Officer

    • Captian J.G.R Morley
  • IOO Technical Assistant

    • Captian N.C Fisher

Main Ordnance Depot

  • Officer Commanding

    • Major A.D Leighton
  • Second in command MOD

    • Captain M.K Keeler

Northern Military District

  • District Inspecting Ordnance Office

    • Captain E.C Green
  • OC Northen District Ammunition Depot

Central Military District

  • District Inspecting Ordnance Office

    • Captain G.H Perry
  • OC Central District Ammunition Depot

    • Captain R.P Kennedy

Southern Military District

  • District Inspecting Ordnance Office

    • Captain E Hancock
  • OC Southern District Ammunition Depot

    • Captain W Ancell

Appointment of Colonel Commandant

King

Brigadier T J King, CBE, RNZAOC Regimental Colonel 1 Jan 1949 – 31 Mar 1961. RNZAOC School

1949 saw the adoption of Colonel Commandants for Corps and Regiments of the New Zealand Army. New Zealand Gazette No 4 of 21 Jan 1949 detailed the appointment of Brigadier (Retired) J.J King, CBE as the first Colonel Commandant of the RNZAOC.

 

The organisation of Ordnance Services in Districts

Under discussion since May 1947, it was agreed that Ordnance Services in the districts (Northern, Central and Southern) would be better served by the appointment of a Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Servies (DADOS) om the staff of the District Headquarters.

The DADOS staff in the District Headquarters would consist of;

  • The DADOS – an RNZAOC Major, who was the Commanding Officer for all RNZAOC personnel in the district.
  • The District Inspection Ordnance Officer  – an RNZAOC Captain
  • DADOS Clerk – an RNZAOC Sergeant
  • DIOO Clerk – Civilian

The DADOS staff at the Headquarters would have the following responsibilities;

  • responsible to Army HQ through the DOS: for
    • Technical control of the District Ordnance Depot, IOO Section, Ammunition Depot and Vehicle Depot.
    • The storage of all Ordnance Stores, Ammunition and vehicles earmarked to be held by the districts for mobilisation,
    • The distribution of all stores declared to the War Asset Realisation Board (WARB) as being surplus to the requirements of the Army, (NMD and SMD Only)
  • The DADOS was  responsible to the OC of the district for:
    • Advice on all Ordnance matters,
    • The efficient functioning of all Ordnance Services in the District
    • Supply and storage of all Ordnance Stores required by the District,
    • Storage, maintenance and supply of all  ammunition in the district,
    • Supply of all MT requirements within the District from the Vehicle Depot,
    • Cooperating with DADME to ensure that maintenance of all vehicles in Vehicle Depots is adequately carried out.

Renaming of Ordnance Installations

Late in 1948 Ordnance Depots were renamed as follows;

Ordnance Depots

  • No 1 Ordnance Depot to Northern District Ordnance Depot
  • No 2 Ordnance Depot to Central District Ordnance Depot
  • No 3 Ordnance Depot to Southern District Ordnance Depot

Ammunition Sections

Ammunition sections became:

  • Northern District Ammunition Depot
  • Central District Ammunition Depot
  •  Southern District Ammunition Depot

MT Platoons

Vehicle Holding Platoons and Vehicle Reception Platoons became;

  • Northern District Vehicle Depot
  • Central District Vehicle Depot
  •  Southern District Vehicle Depot

IOO Group

Army Ammunition Repair Depot was  re-roled as Army Ammunition Stores Depot

Territorial Force Reorganisation

The following Territorial Force RNZAOC units were formed on 8 October 1948

  • Headquarters RNZAOC, New Zealand Division.
  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.

Ordnance Locations

The NZAOC Stores Depots were located at the following locations;

Trentham

TRE 1948

  • Main Ordnance Depot, including
    • Bulk Stores Sub Depots, at
      • Mangaroa, Upper Hutt
  • Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group
  • Army Ammunition Repair Depot, Kuku Valley (to become Army Ammunition Stores Depot)
  • Ammunition Proof and Experimentation Center, Kuku Valley
  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot at Trentham.

Northern Military District

NMD 1948

Auckland

  • Northern Districts Vehicle Depot, Sylvia Park
  • Small Arms Ammunition Proof Office, Mount Eden

Ngaruawahia

  • Northern Districts Ordnance Depot
  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Magazines at Ngaruawahia, Kelms Road and Ardmore

Central Military District

CMD 1948

Linton and Waiouru Camps 

  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot at Linton Camp, with
    • Sub Depot at Waiouru.
  • Central Districts Ammunition Depot, with sections at
    • Belmont
    • Moko Moko
    • Kuku Valley
    • Waiouru.

Southern Military District

SMD 1948

Burnham

  • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot
  • Southern Districts Vehicle Depot
  • Southern Districts  Ammunition Depot, Ammunition magazines at
    • Alexandra,
    • Fairlie,
    • Glen Tunnel,
    • Mount Somers.

All RNZAOC units remained occupied by consolidating and maintaining stocks. The redistribution of equipment to ensure that balanced inventories required both for training and mobilisation was held in all districts had not progressed as well as anticipated. Lack of storage accommodation at ordnance depots and the difficulty experienced in moving heavy equipment either by rail or sea had caused delays.  The storage problem had been aggravated by the relinquishment of 86,000 square feet of storage space at Gracefield to assist the urgent requirements of other Government Departments.

Details of stores received and value of requisitions and orders placed overseas and in New Zealand during the year are as under :

  • Value of requisitions on;
    • United Kingdom – £79,088
    • Australia – £2,924
  • Value of receipts;
    • ex-United Kingdom – £22,239
    • Australia  – £2,785 8.
    • B.C.0.F – £133,307
  • Value of Orders in New Zealand;
    • Clothing;
      • Placed – £56733
      • Received – £35481
      •  Outstanding – £57031
    • General stores;
      • Placed – £75609
      • Received – £74303
      • Outstanding – £33359

At all depots shortage of staff has curtailed a full programme of maintenance and preservation of much valuable equipment.

During the period 730 vehicles, including 356 carriers, were disposed of through the War Assets Realization Board. The main items of other stores disposed of through the War Assets Realization Board consisted of large quantities of clothing and truck tires.

The Inspecting Ordnance Officers’ Group conducted frequent inspections to ascertain the extent to which stored ammunition had deteriorated. Consequent upon these examinations all ammo that had depreciated and thereby became dangerous was surveyed and finally destroyed. Under the surveys conducted by the group during the year, many tons of ammunition and explosives had been surveyed, and any which was unfit for use was disposed of by the standard method of dumping at sea. A quantity requiring repair was made serviceable. During the year the Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer paid a visit to Australia to examine methods of organisation, inspection, repair, small-arms-ammunition production, and proofing. The experience gained as a result of this visit was applied with advantage to this organisation in New Zealand.

Revokement of the Conductor Rank

Although in abeyance since the mass redundancies of March 1931, the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1 (Conductor) had remained in the precedence of ranks of the New Zealand Army Regulations, 1927 as an official rank. Amendment 62 to the NZ Army Regulations of 1927 revoked the appointment of Conductor.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017

 


RNZAOC June 1947 to May 1948

This article carries on from the post, NZAOC June 1946 to May 1947 and covers the activities of the NZAOC/RNZAOC from June 1947 to May 1948.

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

The appointment of Director of Ordnance Services (DOS) had been in abeyance since 6 Jan 1940. The senior Ordnance appointment from 6 Jan 1940 to 1 Sept 1946 was the Chief Ordnance Officer (COO). From 1 Sept 1946 the Director of Army Equipment (DAE) became the Senior NZAOC appointment and remained occupied by the incumbent Lieutenant Colonel (temp.) C. S. J. Duff,  D.S.O., RNZA, until his retirement on 3 July 1947.  With the appointment of DAE renamed to  DOS, Lieutenant Colonel A.H Andrews assumed the appointment on 1 October 1947.

Andrews

Lt Col A.H Andrews. OBE, RNZAOC Director of Ordnance Services, 1 Oct 1947 – 11 Nov 1949. RNZAOC School

Ordnance Locations

The NZAOC was  located at the following locations;

Trentham

  • Main Ordnance Depot, including
    • Bulk Stores Sub Depots, at
      • Gracefield, Lower Hutt
  • Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group
  • Ammunition Repair Depot, Kuku Valley
  • Ammunition Proof and Experimentation Center, Kuku Valley
  • Central Districts Vehicle Depot at Trentham
TRENTHAM 1947

Trentham 1947

Auckland

  • Northern Districts Vehicle Depot, Sylvia Park
  • Small Arms Ammunition Proof Office, Mount Eden

Ngaruawahia

  • Northern Districts Ordnance Depot
  • Northern Districts Ammunition Depot, Magazines at Ngaruawahia, Kelms Road and Ardmore

Linton and Waiouru Camps 

  • Central Districts Ordnance Depot at Linton Camp, with
    • Sub Depot at Waiouru.
  • Central Districts Ammunition Depot, with sections at
    • Belmont
    • Moko Moko
    • Kuku Valley
    • Waiouru.

Burnham

  • Southern Districts Ordnance Depot
  • Southern Districts Vehicle Depot
  • Southern Districts  Ammunition Depot, Ammunition magazines at
    • Alexandra,
    • Fairlie,
    • Glen Tunnel,
    • Mount Somers.

Ordnance Activities

During the year all NZAOC/RNZAOC establishments were fully occupied consolidating and maintaining stocks and in the disposal of substantial surplus holdings through the War Assets Realization Board. The total value of such disposals amounted to £595,000 (2017 NZD 44,116,722.10).  During the year all possible surplus motor transport spare parts were declared to the War Assets Realization Board.

Also, 1,511 surplus carriers and vehicles were sold, of which 827 carriers and 444 motor-cycles went to private individuals, while all the 230 cars and vehicles went to Government Departments.

Details of stores received and requisitions placed overseas during the year were:

  • Value of receipts;
    • From United Kingdom  £41,500 (2017 NZD$3,077,048.68)
    • From Australia   £44,700 (2017 NZD$3,314,315.09)
  • The estimated value of requisitions;
    • On United Kingdom   £86,200(2017 NZD$6,391,363.77)
    • On Australia- £87,300(2017 NZD$6,472,924.10)

At all depots, acute shortages of staff have prevented preservation work being carried out on much valuable equipment, but every endeavour was made with the available staff, materials, and facilities available to maintain equipment in good condition.

Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group

The Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group was fully occupied in the inspection and repair of large stocks of all types of ammunition and explosives, and, also, carried out a considerable programme involving the destruction of unserviceable ammunition and explosives and the preparation of further unserviceable ammunition for dumping.

J Force

Since 1945 to support the J Force, the New Zealand contribution to the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces (BCOF) in Japan,  the NZAOC had contributed the following;

  • 4 Forward Ordnance Depot (4FOD) which was then renamed 4 Advanced Ordnance Depot (4AOD) based at Chofu, Japan, and
  • One Officer and 20 other ranks were also detached from 4FOD/4AOD to become the New Zealand Ordnance commitment of the BCOF, Base Ordnance Depot (BOD) based at Kure. The BCOF BOD was British Commonwealth organisation with contributions from the;
    • Royal Army Ordnance Corps
    • Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps
    • Royal Indian Army Ordnance Corps

 

 

The second draft of Jay Force in place by June 1947. NZ Ordnance Personnel identified by the following red and blue unit identifier worn on the right sleeve:

J Force unit identifyer

J Force unit identifier. Robert McKie Collection

 Granting of the Royal Prefix

On the 12 of July 1947,  King George IV approved the addition of the prefix ” Royal” to the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps, Creating the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps.

RNZAOC hat and collar 1947-55

Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps 1947-55 badge. Robert McKie collection

 

 

Dress Embellishments

The Design for the new Badge was approved on 27 October 1947 and orders placed on 14 January 1948 from;

  • United Kingdom;
    • 175 Gilt, Silver and Enamel cap badges,
    • 158 Pairs Gilt, Silver and Enamel cap collar badges.
  • New Zealand;
    • 1600 Brass cap badges,
    • 850 Pairs Brass collar badges

N.Z.A.O 36/1947 authorised the wearing of coloured patches on caps GS or Berets, for all ranks below the rank of Colonel. The patch authorised for the RNZAOC was a 2inch Red and Blue (vertical) diamond to be worn behind the Corps badge.

rnzaoc 47-55 diamond

RNZAOC 47-55 Badge with Ordnance diamond backing patch. Robert McKie collection

 

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017


NZAOC June 1946 to May 1947

This article carries on from the post,  NZAOC June 1945 to 1946 and covers the activity’s of the NZAOC from June 1946 to May 1947. The period was to be very eventful for the NZAOC.

The reorganisation of New Zealand Military Forces

Formation of NZEME

On 1 September 1946 the MT Workshops, Ordnance Workshops and Armourers Workshops combined to form the New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The MT Stores would transfer to NZAOC control, becoming workshops stores sections in later years.

Reorganisation of the NZAOC

Reorg of NZAOC

Combining of Regular and Non-Regular Forces

During the year the distinction between Regular and non-Regular soldiers which had been in place since the Defence Act of 1909 was removed. The New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps would now be comprised of both Regular and non-Regular personnel from the The New Zealand Ordnance Corps (NZOC), The NZOC had been constituted as a stand-alone Corps of the Territorial Army in December 1940 and had been in suspension since 1944.

NZAOC Stores

The NZAOC Stores Depots were located at the following locations, the Major change in this period was the handing over of Sylvia Park by the US Forces to the NZ Army;

Trentham

  • Main Ordnance Depot, including
    • Bulk Stores Sub Depots, at
      • Gracefield, Lower Hutt.
    • HQ Ammunition Group, with sections at
      • Belmont,
      • Moko Moko,
      • Kuku Valley,
      • Waiouru.

Auckland

  • Vehicle Depot, Sylvia Park,
  • Ammunition Magazines at  Ardmore.

Ngaruawahia

  • No 1 Ordnance Depot,
  • Ammunition Magazines at Kelms Road.

Linton Camp 

  • No 2 Ordnance Depot.
    • Waiouru Sub Depot

Burnham

  • No 3 Ordnance Depot
  • Ammunition magazines at
    • Alexandra,
    • Fairlie,
    • Glen Tunnel,
    • Mount Somers.

All NZAOC establishments were fully occupied in consolidating and maintaining stocks and in the disposal of substantial surplus holdings through War Assets Realization Board.

Considerable shipments of clothing, necessaries, and barrack stores were made to B.C.0.F. in Japan were made during the year.

The following transactions were recorded for the year:

  • Receipts – No less than 536,355
  • Issues – 665,953.

At all depots suffered from severe shortages of personnel, which prevented preservation work on much of the valuable equipment held, resulting in avoidable deterioration, mainly where the material was stored in the open.

Surplus Stores

The total value of  disposals amounted to £790000 (2017 NZD$64,526,315.79) distributed as follows

  • UNRRA, CORSO, and overseas relief –  £68,000 (2017 NZD$5,554,163.89)
  • Other overseas – £190,000 (2017 NZD$15,518,987.34)
  • Goods sold in New Zealand/ transferred to the Defence Services Provision Office for overseas disposal. £532,000 (2017 NZD$43,453,164.56)

Ammunition

The Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group was employed on the inspection and repair of ammunition and explosive stores and the disposal of unserviceable and unsafe stores, including the disposal of chemical-warfare weapons by dumping at sea. The latter project was completed, but other activities were hampered by shortages of staff.

London Victory Celebrations of 1946

The London Victory Celebrations of 1946 were British Commonwealth, Empire and Allied victory celebrations held on 8 June 1946 to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II. New Zealand provided a contingent of 300 members and former members of the armed forces with 150 from the Army, 100 from the RNZAF and 100 from the RNZN. The New Zealand contingent also included women from all the services.

The NZAOC was represented on the parade by;

  • Lieutenant Colonel  J. O. Kelsey, MBE, MID
  • Captian L. D. Wales
  • Staff Sergeant N. I. Savage
  • Sergeant F.L Foster, MID
  • Corporal  R. D. Briggs

Presentation on New Zealand Ordnance in the Pacific

In April 1947, Mr B.E Woodhams, formerly of the Ordnance Coprs recounted to the Hamilton Rotary Club some of the problems which had been faced in supplying the 3rd New Zealand Division during the Pacific campaign.

In the first major campaign ever to take place in the Pacific, lack of port facilities, the effect of the climatic conditions and the great amount of handling required were responsible for great difficulty in the distribution of supplies, said Mr Woodhams. The Ordnance Corps had been responsible for the supply and maintenance of most of the stores used by the division. Although it worked in the background the corps was an important force in the military set-up. Giving a review of the campaign, Mr Woodhams said after some months in New Caledonia the division moved on to Guadalcanal and much work was involved in the transfer of 12,000 troops, vehicles and supplies to the new area. The materials for supply and maintenance were mainly supplied from New Zealand. In his opinion the supply of the New Zealand troops would have been much easier if American equipment had been used.

The New Zealand force was operating among the Americans and because the division had British equipment supplies had to be indented in New Zealand. The division had to take its own ammunition everywhere it went. The American supply system was amazing, said’ Mr Woodhams. When the New, Zealanders landed at Noumea there were about 80 American ships in the harbour with supplies for their forces. As an illustration of  the efficiency of American logistics, Mr Woodhams said that a special issue of shirts, trousers and belts was to be made to the 15,000′ New Zealand troops. When the order was placed the American officer asked the New Zealander to call for the supplies the following morning.

Speaking of the effect of the climate on equipment, Mr Woodhams said that the life of a tent under combat conditions was about three months. A type of fungus grew on the lenses of binoculars and other optical equipment. Radio sets used by the division were difficult to maintain, certain standard types being practically useless in the jungle. A species of insect was notorious for boring into the rifling of the barrels of rifles. Because of this pest troops not immediately in action were allowed to grease barrels and cover the muzzles.

When the troops were due to return to the Dominion, 22,000 battledresses and great coats were required to replace the tropical, issue, said Mr Woodhams. In addition to issuing and storing equipment, the maintenance of gear imposed a great strain on the organisation. On one occasion 20,000 blankets had to be washed and packed before being returned to the Dominion. Half a ton of soap powder was used to do the job. Two football fields made an unusual sight absolutely covered with lines hearing the drying blankets. In all 11,000 tons of ammunition had to be brought back. As the troops had carried their own rifles and webbing equipment on the outward trip the corps was responsible for the return of this gear. There were no cases for the packing of the rifles, so the timber had to be cut and boxes made.


NZAOC June 1945 to May 1946

This article carries on from the post-NZAOC June 1944 to May 1946  and covers the activity’s of the NZAOC from June 1945 to 1946.

With the Second World War concluded by the Japanese surrender in September 1945, the 2NZEF in Italy had demobilised, with elements redeploying in January 1946 to Japan as “Jayforce” the New Zealand’s contribution to the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces in Japan. In New Zealand NZAOC units had been fully occupied with:

  • The consolidation, classification, and maintenance of the large stocks accumulated post-war,
  • The transfer and receipt of stock into Ordnance Depots as rented accommodation was vacated
  • providing support to BCOF.

In New Zealand, the postwar strength of the Regular Force was 144 officers and 400 other ranks. Of the 400 other ranks, 131 held temporary or N.Z.E.F. commissions. The May 1946 strength of the NZAOC against the approved 1939 establishment was :

  • Officers ;
    • Present Strength – 9
    • Establishment – 20
  • Other Ranks;
    • Present Strength.
      • Temporary Commissions – 12
      • Other ranks – 31
    • Establishment
      • Quartermaster Commissions – 2
      • Other ranks – 83

NZAOC Officer and Officers holding Ordnance Appointments

  • DQMG2 –  Lieutenant Colonel (temp.) C. S. J. Duff,  D.S.O., R.N.Z.A
  • Chief Ordnance Officer – Lieutenant Colonel (temp.) E. L. G Brown, O.B.E., N.Z.S.C
  • Assistant Chief Ordnance Officer – Major Nicol
  • Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer –
  • Controller Defence Procurement Office – Lieutenant Colonel (temp.) H.E. Erridge, O.B.E., N.Z.A.O.C
  • Ordnance Officer Main Ordnance Depot – Lieutenant Colonel (temp.) E. L. G Brown, O.B.E., N.Z.S.C
  • Ordnance Officer No 1 Ordnance Depot – Major D.L Lewis, NZAOC (also Commandant Ngaruawahia Military Camp)
  • Ordnance Officer No 2 Ordnance Depot – Captian W.S.Lewis, NZAOC (disbanded  1 Dec 1945)
  • Officer No 3 Ordnance Depot – Major Reid, NZAOC

NZAOC Stores

The NZAOC Stores Depots were located at the following locations;

Trentham

  • Main Ordnance Depot, including
    • Bulk Stores Sub Depots, at
      • Mangere,
      • Linton, and
      • Gracefield, Lower Hutt.
    • Artillery Sub Depot at Waiouru
    • HQ Ammunition Group, with sections at
      • Belmont,
      • Moko Moko,
      • Kuku Valley,
      • Waiouru.
    • Main Ordnance Workshop

Auckland

  • Ammunition Magazines at  Ardmore.

Ngaruawahia

  • No 1 Ordnance Sub Depot
  • Ammunition Magazines at Kelms Road

Palmerston North 

  • No 2 Ordnance Sub Depot. Ceased to function 1 December 1945, All issues for the Central Military District were made from the Main Ordnance Depot, Trentham

Burnham

  • No 3 Ordnance Sub Depot
  • Ammunition magazines at
    • Alexandra
    • Fairlie
    • Glen Tunnel
    • Mount Somers
  • No 14 Ordnance Workshop,

The total storage space (including magazine accommodation) now occupied by the NZAOC was 1,349,488 square feet (411323.95 Sq Mtrs). This was suitable for most requirements except there was still a significant amount of equipment stored in the open at Waiouru Camp and in accommodation such as mess-rooms, barrack-rooms, and institutes at Waiouru and Linton. It was anticipated that this material would be stored under cover once Sylvia Park was made available by the United States Forces.

All rented storage space occupied at the commencement of the year had been vacated. Stores released include;

  • Auckland;
    • Federal Street (Clothing Store),
    • Mills Lane Boot Store, Auckland,
    • Glide Rink, Auckland.
  • Pukekohe
    • Showgrounds.
  • Wanganui
    • Farmers’Co-operative Building,
    • Thanes Building,
    • Horsley’s Garage.
  • Wellington;
    • Taranaki Street (Bulk Store),
    • Todd Motors (Clothing Bulk Store).
  • Christchurch
    • Victoria Street,
    • New Zealand Railways Building (Clothing Bulk Store),
    • Moorhouse Avenue.
  • Dunedin;
    • Briscoe’s Building (Clothing Bulk Store),
    • Otago Steam Laundry (Overseas Bulk Store).

Soon after the cessation of hostilities, all outstanding orders placed overseas were reviewed and where the necessary action was taken to cancel, except where items were required to complete equipment’s already in the country and for the maintenance and modification of stores. The following table of yearly requisition values illustrates how these demands were equated to the war situation :

  • Year ended
    • 31st March, 1943 –  £44830000 (2017 NZD$3,756,772,385.51)
    • 31st March, 1944 – £7300000 (2017 NZD$602,883,125.63)
    • 31st March, 1945 – £173000 (2017 NZD$14,106,950.45)
    • 31st March, 1946 – £94000 (2017 NZD$7,677,814.79)

Workshops

NZAOC Workshops alongside the Motor Transport Branch(MT Branch) continued to undertake work of a general nature with all workshops been fairly heavy, in spite of the closing down of units. The bulk of the work carried out was the overhaul and repair of stores returned by units and the inspection and dismantling of stores for disposal by War Assets Realization Board.

At the start of 1945 there was;

  • Three Ordnance Workshops
    • Main Ordnance Workshop, Trentham
    • 12 Ordnance Workshop,  Devonport
    • 14 Ordnance Workshop, Burnham
  • Nine MT Workshops
    • 1 MT Workshop, Trentham
    • 2 MT Workshop, Waiouru
    • 3 MT Workshop, Papakura
    • 4 MT Workshop, Palmerston North
    • 5 MT Workshop, Burnham
    • 7 MT Workshop, Wellington
  • Five MT Depots
    • 1 MT Depot, Auckland
    • 2 MT Depot, Hamilton
    • 3 MT Depot, Napier
    • 4 MT Depot, Whanganui
    • 5 MT Depot, Christchurch
  • Four MT Stores
    • 1 Base MT Stores, Trentham
    • 2 Advanced MT Stores, Papakura
    • 3 Advanced MT Stores, Palmerston North
    • 4 Advanced MT Stores, Burnham

Surplus Stores

Disposals of surplus stores continued to be carried out,  with further considerable surpluses declared to the War Assets Realization Board and held pending disposal instructions.

Ammunition

Up to 1946 the RNZA, managed ammunition, explosives, Coast Artillery and specialist equipment and stores with the Ammunition and Equipment Section based in Army Headquarters, during the year this responsibility including some manpower was passed to the NZAOC.

The Inspecting Ordnance Officer’s Branch, continued to Inspect ammunition of all calibres to classified it, serviced if required and prepared for long-term storage.

Accidents

Two Soldiers were killed, and seven injured a truck from the Trentham Ordnance depot crashed over a 400 ft bank into the Belmont Stream, about 12 miles from Wellington.

Ordnance in Support of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force

  • Assistant Director of Ordnance Services
    • Lieutenant-Colonel J. O. Kelsey, MBE
  • Divisional Ordnance Field Park
    • Officer Commanding, Major H. L. McLaren
  • Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit
    • Officer Commanding, Captian I Bell

NZEF Ordnance units consisted of;

  • Office of the ADOS 2NZEF, Formed 2 June 1945 – Disbanded 1 September 1945
  • No 1 Base Ordnance Depot, Maadi Camp Egypt – Disbanded February 1945
  • No 2 New Zealand Base Ordnance Depot, Bari, Disbanded 30 November 1945
  • 2 NZ Division Ordnance Field Park OFP  – Disbanded 29 December 1945
  • MZ Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit – Disbanded 8 December 1945
  • NZ Vehicle and Stores Reception Depot – Formed 27 October 1945 – Disbanded January 1946
    • Vehicle Depot, Assisi
    • Stores Depot, Perugia
  • NZ Advanced Ordnance Depot Formed 27 Oct 1945 – Disbanded 1 February 1946

NZEF (Japan)

On 12 March 1946, Major R. G. A. Arnell was named as the Officer Commanding of the Ordnance Depot to support the New  New Zealand Brigade Group, which was on its way to Japan from Italy.

NZEF (Fiji)

Major G. Prentice, N.Z.P.S, the Senior Ordnance stationed as part of the 2nd NZEF in Fiji returned to New Zealand in May 1946.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017