Warrant Officer Class One Douglas Keep Wilson

This article is republished with the permission of the Facebook page “Upper Hutt War Stories“. Upper Hutt War Stories is a Facebook page dedicated to commemorating the war service of Upper Hutt’s citizens and those with strong connections to the City. It remembers those who put their lives on the line for the defence of our Nation.

Buried right next to his longtime friend and fellow serviceman on the gentle slope of Wallaceville Cemetery is a soldier with nearly 40 years’ service with the New Zealand Army. Doug Wilson and Gordon Bremner served in the same unit and played cricket together for the Central Military Districts team. Like his friend, Doug Wilson’s grave gives no clue as to his time in uniform, his participation in World War Two or his extensive Regular Force service.

A local Wellington Boy, Doug was raised in Upper Hutt, attending the Silverstream and Trentham Schools. His father John was serving as a member of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps at Trentham Camp at the time. Unfortunately, the military downsizing which accompanied the great depression saw John Wilson lose his uniformed Army role in 1931. But he was able to stay on as a civilian member of the Civil Service at the camp, until he was reinstated as a soldier again in 1935.

Once Doug finished secondary school at Hutt Valley High, he managed to also get a job at the camp with his father, as a civilian storeman in January 1937. After working for a short period in the Main Ordnance Depot he moved into the clerical section, then volunteered to serve part-time as a soldier in the Territorial Force from mid-1938. A Gunner in the Royal New Zealand Artillery, he underwent training with an Anti-Aircraft battery at Fort Dorset as the clouds of another war in Europe began to gather.

As member of the Defence Department, Doug was not immediately called up for service when war broke out in 1939. Largely because he was already busy helping with the massive expansion of the military which occurred at this time. Starting with equipping and supplying the initial echelons of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force which began departing for Europe from 5 January 1940.

As New Zealand’s contribution to the war increased, Doug was formally drawn into the Army in September 1941 and posted to the New Zealand Temporary Staff. He served there throughout the Second World War, working in the Defence Services Provision Office, part of the Army Headquarters in Wellington. Because his role and expertise were in critical demand in New Zealand, he was never allowed to deploy to an overseas theatre of war.

This decision was lucky for Vera Rasmussen, who Doug met during the War, proposed to in 1944 and married in November 1945. As the Army reduced in size after the conflict, Doug decided to stay on, enlisting into the Regular Force in April 1947, just days before his wife gave birth to the first of their five sons. A storeman clerk in the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps he returned to Army Headquarters, and began slowly progressing up through the ranks.

By 1952 Doug was a Warrant Officer Class Two, and considered a senior and experienced member of the Ordnance Corps. Although not deploying overseas himself, he was involved in the preparation and sustainment of several operational forces, including those sent to Korea, and later Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam.

A keen sportsman he played in several Army and regional teams, including the Army Cricket team. It was here that he played alongside Gordon Bremner, who had served with Doug’s father and Doug had worked alongside during his early days at Trentham. Three years later they found themselves working within the same unit, when Doug was posted back to the Main Ordnance Deport at Trentham Camp in November 1955.

Attaining the Army’s most senior enlisted rank of Warrant Officer Class One in 1958, Doug sadly lost his wife Vera four years later, just six months after the birth of their youngest son. Despite the challenges this loss imposed on the young family, Doug was well supported by his Army colleagues and would continue to serve with the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps until February 1975.

He was awarded the New Zealand Military Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1964, which recognised more than 15 years’ unblemished service since gaining the Territorial Efficiency Medal, which he had qualified for at the end of the War. Then in 1969 Doug was singled out for the award of the prestigious and highly regarded Meritorious Service Medal (MSM).

An exceptionally scarce award for those with more than 21 years regular service, the MSM could be held by no more than 20 serving members of the New Zealand Army at any one time. It was generally reserved as special medallic recognition for the longest serving and most prominent Warrant Officers of the Service. With a total of 37 years uniformed service to the nation (38 years with the New Zealand Army if his time as a civilian storeman at Trentham is also included) Doug was certainly considered a worthy recipient.

Remaining in Upper Hutt after retiring from the military, Doug sadly passed away in 2012. His family laid him to rest in Wallaceville Cemetery with his wife Vera, and close to his old colleague and cricket team mate Gordon Bremner. The plain headstones giving no indication of the amazing stories of dedication and extended service to our nation of these two old soldiers. Lest we forget.

For the story of Gordon Bremner see: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=161882235428299&id=108826077400582

References

https://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C145653

https://rnzaoc.com/2020/04/19/ordnance-cricket-team-1934-35/

https://rnzaoc.com/2018/10/28/gordon-cummin-bremner/

Howard E. Chamberlain, Service lives remembered: the Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and its recipients, 1895-1994, H.E Chamberlain: Wellington, NZ, 1995, p. 512.

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19440421.2.106.3 .


RNZAOC 1 April 1952 to 31 March 1953

This period would see the RNZAOC. Continue to support Regular, Territorial and Compulsory Military Training. Ongoing support to Kayforce would continue.[1]

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE

Southern Military District

Ordnance Officer

  • Captain A.A Barwick

Compulsory Military Training

During this period three CMT intakes marched in;[2]

  • 6th intake of 2850 recruits on 19 Jun 1952
  • 7th intake of 2645 recruits on 11 Sept 1952
  • 8th intake of 2831 recruits on 8 Jan 1953

On completion of CMT recruit training, recruits were posted to Territorial units close to their home location to complete their CMT commitment, with RNZAOC CMT recruits posted to either;

  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Hopuhopu.
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Mangaroa.
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Burnham.
  • 1 Armoured Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.

Territorial Force

The Ordnance Headquarters of the New Zealand Division, was on 19 Apr 1952 re-designated as Headquarters CRNZAOC New Zealand Division (HQ CRNZAOC NZ Div).[3]

Kayforce

The RNZAOC continued to support Kayforce with the dispatch of regular consignments of Maintenance stores and with all additional requests for stores by Kayforce met.

This period saw the first RNZAOC men rotated and replaced out of Kayforce;

Out of Kayforce

  • Staff Sergeant Neville Wallace Beard, 3 Jun 1952
  • Lance Corporal James Ivo Miller, 21 Jun 1952
  • Lieutenant Colonel Geoferry John Hayes Atkinson, 15 Jan 1953
  • Corporal Desmond Mervyn Kerslake, 18 Mar 1953

Into Kay force

  • TEAL Flight from Auckland,15 May 1952
    • Private Dennis Arthur Astwood
  • TEAL Flight from Wellington, 7 Jun 1952
    • Corporal Wiremu Matenga
  • TEAL Flight from Wellington, 14 Jun 1952
    • Sergeant Barry Stewart
  • TEAL Flight from Auckland, 30 Jun 1952
    • Lance Corporal Thomas Joseph Fitzsimons
    • Private Gane Cornelius Hibberd
  • TEAL Flight from Wellington, 30 Aug 1952
    • Staff Sergeant James Russell Don
  • 1 Sept 1952
    • Corporal Gordon Winstone East
  • TEAL Flight from Auckland, 23 Dec 1952
    • Captain Patrick William Rennison
  • TEAL Flight from Auckland, 3 Mar 1953
    • Lance Corporal Alexander George Dobbins

Coronation Contingent

On 2 Jun 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned as monarch of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth of nations. To commemorate the coronation, New Zealand provided a contingent of 75 Officers and men. RNZAOC soldier Temporary Staff Sergeant Earnest Maurice Alexander Bull was appointed as the Contingent Quartermaster Sergeant.[4] T/SSgt Bull would travel with the contingent on the long and uncomfortable return trip to the United Kingdom on the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney. Despite some controversy on the inadequate accommodation provided on the HMAS Sydney and quality of the New Zealand uniforms compared to the Australians, it was still considered a privilege to be part of the contingent.[5] A highlight for Bull was when he held the appointment of Sergeant of the Guard at St James Palace.

At Sea. 1953. Army members of the Australian and New Zealand Coronation Contingent engaged in rifle drill aboard the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney, while en route to England for the coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Copyright expired – public domain

Ordnance Conferences

Ordnance Conference 16 – 18 September 1952

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 16-18 September 1952.[6]  

Ordnance Conference 21-23 April 1953

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 21-23 April 1953. 

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Corps Policy
  • Corps Establishments
  • Estimation of expenditure
  • Provision
  • Vehicles and Spares
  • LAD tools
  • Standard packages
  • District problems

Routine Ordnance Activities

Over this period the RNZAOC in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army including the additional issue of training equipment to the territorial Force allowing all units sufficient equipment for normal training.

Ammunition Examiner Qualification

Private Luskie qualified as an Ammunition Examiner as AE No 75

Small Arms Ammunition

Production of small-arms ammunition had met the monthly target, with the ammunition, fully proofed and inspected before acceptance.

Introduction of New Equipment

As new equipment was introduced, the RNZAOC would play an essential role in the acceptance processes. Upon delivery from the supplier, the equipment, its accessories and spares would be received into an RNZAOC Depot. The equipment would be inspected and kitted out with all its accessories before distribution to units. Depending on the equipment, several examples may have been retained in RNZAOC Depots as War Reserve/Repair and Maintenance Stock. Maintenance stocks of accessories and spares were maintained as operating stock in RNZAOC depots. If the new equipment was or contained a weapon system, ammunition specific to the equipment was managed by RNZAOC Ammunition Depots.

During this period, the following equipment was introduced into service;[7]

  • 384 Series 1 80″ Land-Rovers
  • 11 Daimler Mk 2 Armoured Cars[8]

New Headdress trial

It was announced in December 1952 that a trial to replace the famous “Lemon Squeezer” hat was to be undertaken.[9] Reintroduced in 1949 as the official peacetime headdress, the Lemon Squeezer was found to be unsuitable because it could not be rolled up or placed into a pocket without losing its shape.[10]  One it the items to be trialled was a Canadian style peaked ski caps made of brown serge wool used in the Battle Dress uniform.

Trentham Camp Commandant

For the first time since 1931, the appointment of Trentham Camp Commandant would be filled by an Ordnance Officer. In December 1952, Major D Roderick the incumbent Officer Commanding of the Main Ordnance Depot would take up the additional appointment of Trentham Camp Commandant.[11] Assisting Major Roderick as the Regimental Sergeant Major of bothTrentham Camp and the Main Ordnance Depot was Warrant Office Class One Alfred Wesseldine.[12]

Linton Fire

A fire in the ordnance store at Linton Military Camp on 15 February destroyed a quantity of Army stores and records and left a large part of the building gutted with losses valued at £11695 (2021 NZD$706492.66).

Hope Gibbons Fire

On 29 July 1952, fire broke out in the Hope Gibbons building in Wellington. Located in Dixon Street, the eight story Hope Gibbons office block became a towering inferno after a vat of industrial thinners caught alight in an adjacent building to the rear. One of the unsatisfactory and dispersed locations of the government archives, the building held numerous public records from the Public Works, Lands and Survey, Labour and Employment, Agriculture, Marine and Defence Departments.  Many of the paper records dating back to 1840 were destroyed or damaged. Some records were salvaged and are still undergoing conservation work.

Included in the Defence Department files were many of the records of the Colonial Storekeeper, Defence Stores Department and the early Ordnance Corps, including records from the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The destruction and damage of these records created a significant gap in the historiography of the New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps.

The tremendous loss of public records in this fire prompted the establishment of the National Archives in 1957.[13]

Honours List

Long Service and Good Conduct

  • Warrant Officer Class One Bernard Percy Banks, Southern Districts Vehicle Depot, 16 Oct 1952.[14]
  • Warrant Officer Class One William Galloway, Central District Ordnance Depot, Waiouru Sub Depot, 25 Sept 1952

Enlistments into the RNZAOC

  • Brian Gush –16 May 1952
  • Robert J Plummer – 16 Sept 1952
  • John B Glasson – 9 Dec 1952
  • Thomas Woon – 17 Jun 1952

Transferred into the RNZAOC from other Corps

  • Warrant Officer Class One William Galloway from NZ Regiment to RNZAOC, June 1952
  • Warrant Officer Class One Ronald William Stitt from The Royal New Zeland Artillery to be Lieutenant and Quartermaster, RNZAOC from15 March 1953.[15]

Re-Engagements into the New Zealand Regular Force

With effect 1 Apr 1952, the undermentioned members of the RNZAOC were re-engaged into the NZ Regular Force;

  • Staff Sergeant M.J Ayers (NZWAC), 2 years
  • Sergeant B.N Evans, three years
  • Sergeant A, Grigg. Three years
  • Sergeant S.F Pyne, one year
  • Private (Temp LCpl) M.J Somerville (NZWAC).

Promotions

To Lieutenant and Quartermaster

  • Warrant Officer Class One Arthur Fraser [16]
  • Warrant Officer Class Two (Temp WO1) Ronald John Crossman [17]
  • Warrant Officer Class One  George William Dudman[18]

To Lieutenant

  • 1952, Lieutenant (on probation) J. H. Doone, with seniority from 25 Oct 1948.[19]

Transferred to Reserve of Officers

The following officer was transferred to the Reserve of Officer with effect 17 Nov 1952;[20]

  • Lieutenant R. K. Treacher

Notes

[1] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1952 to 31 March 1953 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1953).

[2] Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.

[3] Chief of Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps “Units Resignated,” New Zealand Gazette No 32, 19 April 1953, 554.

[4] Howard E. Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994 ([Wellington, N.Z.]: H. Chamberlain, 1995), 67-68.

[5] ” N.Z. Contingent Protests on Coronation Voyage,” Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 – 1954)  7 May 1953

[6] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[7] Damien Fenton, A False Sense of Security : The Force Structure of the New Zealand Army 1946-1978, Occasional Paper / Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand: No. 1 (Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 1998), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 21.

[8] Ibid.

[9] “NZ Army May Get Ski Cap,” Burra Record (SA : 1878 – 1954) 16 Dec 1952.

[10] “Lemon Squeezer Back as Official Army Hat,” Northern Advocate, 16 February 1949.

[11] Howard Weddell, Trentham Camp and Upper Hutt’s Untold Military History (Howard Weddell, 2018), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 226.

[12] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 266.

[13] Stuart Strachan, “Hope Gibbons Fire, Archives – Government Archives,” Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand  (2014).

[1 4]Chamberlain, Service Lives Remembered : The Meritorious Service Medal in New Zealand and Its Recipients, 1895-1994, 32-33.

[15] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “, New Zealand Gazette No 35, 9 June 1949.

[16] Ibid., 569.

[17]Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “, New Zealand Gazette No 75, 27 November 1953, 1959.

[20] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “,  569.


RNZAOC 1 April 1951 to 31 March 1952

This period would see the RNZAOC continue to support Regular, Territorial and Compulsory Military Training, while also providing ongoing support to Kayforce.[1]

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE

Southern Military District

Ordnance Officer

  • Captain A.A Barwick.

Compulsory Military Training

During this period three CMT intakes marched in;[2]

  • 3rd intake of 3011 recruits on 2 August 1951
  • 4th intake of 2981 recruits on 3 January 1952
  • 5th intake of 2694 recruits on 27 March 1952

Unlike the previous intakes of 18-year-olds, the 4th intake consisted of many 20-year-olds.

On completion of CMT recruit training, recruits were posted to Territorial units close to their home location to complete their CMT commitment, with RNZAOC CMT recruits posted to either

  • 1st Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Hopuhopu.
  • 2nd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Mangaroa.
  • 3rd Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon, Burnham.
  • 1 Armoured Brigade Ordnance Field Park Platoon.

Kayforce

In July 1951 the New Zealand Government decided to increase its commitment to Kayforce with an expansion draft. Between July and 2 August 1951, the RNZAOC would outfit and equip the expansion draft with the necessary clothing and personal and equipment along with many additional stores and equipment for Kayforce including,

  • 12 Twenty-Five pounders [3]
  • A Battery truck
  • Tentage and camp equipment
  • Gun Ammunition

The expansion draft of 579 officers and men departed Wellington on 2 August 1951. However, on 15 August 1951, a day after departing Darwin, the Wahine ran aground in the Arafura Sea. All the crew and soldiers safely evacuated, continuing their journey to Korea by air, in what would be the first mass airlift of troops conducted by New Zealand. In an attempted salvage attempt a small number of personal kitbags and thirty cases of rifles were saved, with the 25 Pounder Guns disabled by the removal of their breech blocks, the remainder of stores and equipment remaining in the hold of the Wahine to this day.[4]

The loss of stores shipped on the Wahine threw an unplanned and additional task onto the RNZAOC. Within fourteen days, RNZAOC units would assemble and pack the required replacement stores to ensure that no hardship would be occasioned to the Force in Korea.[5] The replacement stores were dispatched by sea from Auckland on 4 September 1951.[6]

“Wahine” aground on the Masela Island Reef off Cape Palsu in the Arafura Sea

During this period, the RNZAOC provide the following reinforcements to Kayforce;

  • 3rd Reinforcements, SS Wanganellella, 21 January 1952,
    • Lance Corporal Owen Fowell
    • Corporal Leonard Farmer Holder
    • Private Desmond Mervyn Kerslake

New Zealand Army Act, 1950

The New Zealand Army Act 1950, together with the Army regulations 1951 and the Army Rules of Procedure 1951 issued under the authority of the Act, came into force on 1 December 1951, Placing the administration of the New Zealand Army entirely under the legislative control of the New Zealand Government and independent of the United Kingdom

Ordnance Conference 11 -13 April 1951

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot (MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 11 -13 April 1951.[7]

Items discussed at the conference included.

  • Corps Policy
  • Kayforce
  • TF Recruit intakes
  • Estimation of expenditure
  • Payment of Accounts
  • Provision
  • Vehicles and MT Spares
  • Personnel
  • Ammunition

Pay and Allowances

During this period, new scales of pay and allowances for the Armed Forces were authorised. The new pay code provided an opportunity for the introduction of an improved system of “star” classification for all Other Ranks. The “Star” Classification system would by utilising trade tests allow pay to be related to trade ability.

Routine Ordnance Activities

Over this period the RNZAOC in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army and the issue and dispatch of equipment and personnel for Kayforce had undertaken several other significant tasks.

The relocation of stores from Waiouru and Seaview to Mangaroa

The transfer of stores from Waiouru to Mangaroa was completed during this period. The transfer of stores from Seaview to Mangaroa and Trentham continued, with a further ten thousand square feet (930 square meters) of storage at Seaview made available to other Government departments.

Inspection of Ammunition

The Inspection Ordnance Officers Group (IOO Gp), which remained understaffed, was fully extended in the inspection of ammunition required for ongoing training requirements.

Small Arms Ammunition

Production of small-arms ammunition commenced in December 1951 at the Colonial Ammunition Company factory at Mount Eden in Auckland. The Proof Officer reported that the ammunition so far received was of high quality.

Introduction of New Equipment

As new equipment was introduced, the RNZAOC would play an essential role in the acceptance processes. Upon delivery from the supplier the equipment, its accessories and spares would be received into an RNZAOC Depot. The equipment would be inspected and kitted out with all its accessories prior to distribution to units. Depending on the equipment, several examples may have been retained in RNZAOC Depots as War Reserve/Repair and Maintenance Stock. Maintenance stocks of accessories and spares were maintained as operating stock in RNZAOC depots. If the new equipment was or contained a weapon system, ammunition specific to the equipment was managed by RNZAOC Ammunition Depots.

During this period, the following equipment was introduced into service.

  • Four 5.5-inch Mark III Medium Guns.[8]

Support to the French War in Vietnam

In a move to calculated to enhance New Zealand’s national security by being seen abetting our allies in their efforts to contain Communism in South-East Asia, The New Zealand government in 1952 provided tangible support to the French in Vietnam by authorising the transfer of surplus and obsolete lend-Lease weapons and ammunition to the French Forces. Transferred from stocks held in RNZAOC depots, the following items would be dispatched to Vietnam;[9]

  • 13000 rifles
  • 700 Machine Guns, and
  • 670000 rounds of small arms ammunition.

The rifles, machine guns (and ammunition) were lend-lease weapons that had urgently been provided to New Zealand in 1942 when the threat of Japanese invasion was very real. Chambered in the American 30-06 calibre the weapons served with the Home Guard and New Zealand units in the pacific, notably with RNZAF units co-located with American Forces.

Fiji Military Forces

Captain E.R. Hancock IOO SMD undertook a tour of duty in Fiji.

Enlistments into the RNZAOC

  • George Thomas Dimmock – 2 August 1951

Discharged 31 March 1952

  • Corporal R.C Fisher (Ammunition Examiner IOO Branch)

Notes

[1] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1951 to 31 March 1952 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives (1952).

[2] Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.

[3] Howard Weddell, Trentham Camp and Upper Hutt’s Untold Military History (Howard Weddell, 2018), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 184-5.

[4] I. C. McGibbon, New Zealand and the Korean War (Oxford University Press in association with the Historical Branch, Dept. of Internal Affairs, 1992), Non-fiction, Government documents, 199.

[5] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1951 to 31 March 1952 “.

[6] McGibbon, New Zealand and the Korean War, 200.

[7] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[8] A total of 16 guns, delivered in groups of Four on a mixture of MkI and MkII carriages would be supplied to the NZ Army between 1951 and. Damien Fenton, A False Sense of Security : The Force Structure of the New Zealand Army 1946-1978, Occasional Paper / Center for Strategic Studies: New Zealand: No. 1 (Center for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington, 1998), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 21.

[9] Roberto Giorgio Rabel, New Zealand and the Vietnam War : Politics and Diplomacy (Auckland University Press, 2005), Bibliographies, Non-fiction.


RNZAOC 1 April 1950 to 31 March 1951

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE

Southern Military District

Ordnance Officer

  • Captain Alfred Able Barwick

Compulsory Military Training

The first intake of CMT consisted of 1846 recruits marched into the three district training camps on 3 May, followed by the second intake of 4053 recruits on 4 January 1951.[2]

For the First CMT intake Captain S.M King from the Main ordnance depot at Trentham was seconded to Burnham Camp to act as an instructor.[3]

Emergency Force (Kayforce)

Following the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the New Zealand Government announced on 26 July 1950 the commitment to raise a force for Service in Korea. With a brief recruiting period closing on 5 August 1950, 5982 men volunteered their service, with those selected marching into the District Training Camps on 29 August 1950. On completing the four-week basic training, the majority of the Force concentrated at Waiour to continue training, with the specialist of Signals, EME and Ordnance competing their trader specific training at Trentham.[4]

The Ordnance Section of the Force would be small and consist of one Officer and five Other Ranks. Commanded by Captain Geoffrey John Hayes Atkinson, an officer with recent operational Ordnance experience gained in J-Force during the post-war occupation of Japan, the five OR’s would all be serving RNZAOC Soldiers;

  • Lance Corporal Neville Wallace Beard,
  • Lance Corporal Bruce Jerome Berney,
  • Private Keith Robert Meynell Gamble,
  • Lance Corporal James Ivo Miller,
  • Private Thomas Allan (Tom) Hill.
  • Private Desmond Mervyn Kerslake

The Ordnance effort on equipping the forces was considerable two sets of equipment for Kayforce had to be concentrate and issued from existing stocks or withdrawn from regular units;[5]

  • One set of approximately 1000 tons for loading on the freighter SS Ganges, including;
  • 35 Twenty Five Pounder guns,
  • 345 Vehicles
  • 62 Gun trailers
  • 10 Tones of tentage
  • 170 Tones of Ammunition
  • Various other stores to support initial operations

A second set of equipment in equal proportions was also prepared and issued to the contingent to facilitate its training.

Lance Corporal Berney represented the RNZAOC as part of Advance Party No 2 of 1 officer and 14 OR’s that accompanied the stores on the SS Ganges, which departed Wellington on 25 November 1950.

Captian Atkinson and Lance Corporal Miller departed for Korea by RNZAF Dakota as part of Advance Party No 1 on 7 December 1950

The main body, Including Lance Corporal Beard and Privates Gamble and Hill, departed from Wellington on 10 December 1950 on the SS Ormonde.

The main body arrived at Pusan, Korea, on 31 December 1950. The Ganges had arrived some days earlier and already discharged much of Kay Forces equipment onto the Pusan docks. HQ K Force and the advance party had wasted little time and acquired accommodation for the Headquarters in downtown Pusan and had shelter for the main body prepared at an abandoned school on the city’s outskirts.

New Zealand Army Act, 1950

The New Zealand Army Act received Royal assent on 1 November 1950. This Act replaced the outdated Defence Act 1909, the Army Board Act 1937, the Army Act (Imperial) and the King’s Regulations. The NZ Army Act established the New Zealand Army as a Military Force independent of United Kindom legislation and under the legislative control of the New Zealand Government in both peace and war, serving within and beyond New Zealand.[6]

Ordnance Conference 24 -26 May 1950

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over 24-26 May 1950.[7]

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Ordnance staff establishments
  • CMT intakes 1,2 and 3 anticipated Ordnance problems in supporting and improvements
  • Payment of Accounts
  • Combined Indent and Voucher forms
  • Clothing;
    • Provision Supply
    • Sizing for CMT
  • Vehicles A & B
  • MT Provision
  • Army estimates in relation to Ordnance
  • Progress returns
  • Ammunition
  • Equipment for TF Units
  • Distribution of Artillery Stores

Ordnance Conference 26 -28 September 1950

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over 26-28 September 1950.[8]

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • General Ordnance Policy
  • K Force
  • Personnel
  • A Vehicles and spares
  • B Vehicles and spares
  • Clothing
  • Camp Equipment
  • Technical Stores
  • Ammunition
  • Provision
  • Estimates
  • Authorisation of expenditure

Industrial Disputes

Early in March, the Army,  Navy and the Air Force were called upon to assist in maintaining essential services as a consequence of the waterside industrial dispute. Ordnance Soldiers played their part and assisted in the continual operation of the wharves.[9]

Routine Ordnance Activities

Over this period, the RNZAOC, in addition to its regular duties of provision, holding, and the issue of multitudinous stores required by the Army and Kayforce, had undertaken several other significant tasks;

The relocation of stores from Waiouru and Seaview to Mangaroa.

As Waiouru was to be used more extensively for training, the large quantities of stores held in troop accommodation were rationalised and relocated to the newly established depot at Mangaroa. This depot also received large amounts of stores from the wartime warehouses at Seaview, resulting in 48000 Square feet (4460 Square meters) of space at Seaview released to other Government Departments.

Inspection of Ammunition

The inspection and repair of Small Arms and Gun ammunition conducted by the Inspection Ordnance Officers Group (IOO Gp) had continued as staffing levels permitted. However, due to staff restrictions, much repair work on Gun Ammunitions and the disposal of unserviceable rounds led to the deferral of this work.

Ammunition Course

Staff Sergeant Arthur James from Trentham Camp attended a five month Ammunition course at the RAAOC School at Broadmeadows, Melbourne from July to December 1950. The only New Zealander on the course, SSgt James topped the course.

Break-in in at Belmont

On 18 May, the police were called in following the discovery that two magazines at the Belmont Ammunition Depot had been broken into and two more interfered with. It was believed that the break-in had occurred between the end of March and 18 May. Five live 40mm Anti-Aircraft shells were thought to be missing from a steel box of 24, which had been in a magazine that was entered by removing a padlock. In another magazine entered through a ventilator, a box of grenades was opened, but none of these was removed. An officer and 20 men permanently staffed the depot, and regular tours were made with close inspections of the buildings conducted less at less frequent intervals. Following the discovery of interference to one store on 18 May, all others were subjected to scrutiny.[10]

Enlistments into the RNZAOC

  • Robert J Sontgen – 15 July 1950

Promotions

  • Sergeant Alick Dick Doyle to Staff Sergeant – 1 April 1950
  • Sergeant Maurice Sidney Phillips to Staff Sergeant – 23 May 1950
  • Sergeant Murry Alexander Burt to Staff Sergeant – 8 January 1951

Notes

[1] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1955).

[2] Peter Cooke, Fit to Fight. Compulsory Military Training and National Service in New Zealand 1949-72 (Auckland: David Ling Publishing, 2013), 539.

[3] “Instructors Fr Trainees,” Press, Volume LXXXVI, Issue 26086, , 13 April v.

[4] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 April 1954 to 31 March 1955 “.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[8] Ibid.

[9] Major J.S Bolton, A History of the Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (Trentham: RNZAOC, 1992), 176.

[10] “Warning of Danger in Shells Missing from Army Depot,” Gisborne Herald, Volume LXXVII, Issue 23257, 19 May 1950.


RNZAOC 1 June 1949 to 31 March 1950

Key Appointments

Director of Ordnance Services

  • Lieutenant Colonel A.H Andrews, OBE (until 11 November 1949)
  • Lieutenant Colonel F Reid, OBE (From 12 November 1949)

Chief Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Major I.S Millar

Senior Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Captain J.G.R Morley

IOO Technical Assistant

  • Captain N.C Fisher

Main Ordnance Depot, Officer Commanding

  • Major A.D Leighton

Main Ordnance Depot, Second in Command

  • Captain M.K Keeler

Northern Military District

Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services

District Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Captain E.C Green

OC Northern District Ordnance Depot

OC Northern District Ammunition Depot

  • Captain E.C Green

OC Northern District Vehicle Depot

Central Military District

Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Services

District Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Captain G.H Perry

OC Central District Ordnance Depot

  • Captain Rennision

OC Central District Ammunition Depot

  • Captain Robert Price Kennedy

OC Central District Vehicle Depot

Southern Military District

Deputy Assistant Director of Ordnance Service

District Inspecting Ordnance Officer

  • Captain E Hancock

OC Southern District Ordnance Depot

  • Captain A.A Barwick

OC Southern District Ammunition Depot

  • Captain William Cleaver Ancell

OC Southern District Vehicle Depot

New Zealand Division

Chief of Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps (CRNZAOC)

  • Lieutenant Colonel Donald Edward Harper

2nd Infantry Brigade, Ordnance Field Park Platoon

  • Lieutenant G. W. Clark

3rd Infantry Brigade, Ordnance Field Park Platoon

  • Captain K. S. Brown.[1]

Regrouping the Army

During this period, the peacetime Army undertook a reorganisation so that in the event of war it would be trained and equipped to rapidly and efficiently conduct operations. Based on this principle, units and formations of the Army were structured as follows:

  • Army Troops; including Army Headquarters, Army Schools, and base units.
  • District Troops; including District and Area Headquarters, Coast and Antiaircraft Artillery.
  • NZ Division

In general, Army Troops contained the machinery for the higher command and administration of the New Zealand Army; District Troops the home defence and elementary training element; and the NZ. Division as the mobile striking force for employment within or outside New Zealand as the situation may demand.

Compulsory Military Training

Required to build and sustain the Army’s new structure, Compulsory Military Training (CMT) was the tool utilised to provide a sustainable military force. Instituted under the provisions of the Military Training Act 1949 and supported by a public referendum, CMT was an ambitious scheme designed to turn individual recruits into capable soldiers. CMT obliged eighteen-year-old males to undertake fourteen weeks of Initial training followed by a three-year commitment to serve in the Territorial Army with a six-year reserve commitment. The CMT experience began with fourteen weeks of recruit training conducted at Papakura, Waiouru, Linton and Burnham after which recruits would spend three years posted to a Territorial unit. Unlike previous peacetime compulsory military training schemes that have been a feature of New Zealand life since 1909, the 1949 system would include Ordnance units sustained by regular intakes of recruits.[2]

Senior Ammunition Officers Conference

Over the period 21-24 June, the Director of Ordnance Services held the first conference of RNZAOC Senior Ammunition Officers.[3]

Attending the Conference were;

  • Lieutenant Colonel A.H Andrews, DOS
  • Major F Reid, DADOS (1)
  • Major I.S Miller, CIOO
  • Captain J.G.R Morley, SIOO
  • Captain N.C Fisher, Tech Assistant
  • Captain E.C Green, DIOO Northern Military District
  • Captain G.H Perry, DIOO Central Military District
  • Captain R. P Kennedy, OC Central District Ammunition Depot
  • Captain E Hancock, DIOO Southern Military District
  • Captain W Ancell, OC Southern District Ammunition Depot
  • Major M.J Leighton, OC Main Ordnance Depot
  • Captain M.J Keeler, Main Ordnance Depot
  • Captain W Langevad RNZA, OC Army Ammunition Stores Depot

Item discussed at the conference included;

  • The Ammunition Organisation in New Zealand, including;
    • Shortages of Staff
    • DIOO Office and Staff
    • Depot IOO’s
    • Accounting
    • Provision of Staff
    • Control of Ammunition personnel
    • Regimental Duties
    • Promotion – Other Ranks
    • Issues between Depots
    • General turnout of Staff at Depots
  • Demonstration of the Cordite Heat Test
  • Responsibilities, including
    • CIOO
    • SIOO
    • Army Ammunition Stores Depot
    • Inspection and Proof Section
    • District IOO’s
    • District Ammunition Repair Depots
    • Depot IOO’s
    • OC Ammunition Depots
  • Reports and Returns
  • General Ammunition Subjects, including
    • Advance information regarding dumping
    • Ammunition courses and refresher training
    • Verbal Instructions
    • Conveyance of Government Explosives by road
    • Explosive Limits NMD
    • Magazine Regulations
    • Ammunition Storage in Fiji
  • Policy, including
    • Increase of new Establishments
    • Trentham and Linton Magazines
    • Training of unit representatives
  • Visit to Army HQ Ammunition Accounts Section

Ordnance Conference

The Director of Ordnance Services hosted a conference of the Districts DADOS and the Officer Commanding Main Ordnance Depot(MOD) at Army Headquarters over the period 8-10 March 1950.[4]

Items discussed at the conference included;

  • Distribution of equipment for CMT between Districts and from the MOD to Districts,
  • Ordnance staff establishments,
  • Issue of Ammunition and explosives for CMY including priority of repair and alternatives,
  • Army estimates in relation to Ordnance
  • Submission of District concerns
  • Ammunition for Defence Rifle Clubs

Ordnance activities over the period

Over the period the RNZAOC conducted the following activities[5]

  • A large quantity of general and technical stores, weapons, ammunition and many Vehicles were overhauled, inspected, repaired where necessary, and distributed from the main depots to camps and smaller depots. Careful organisation and selection of priorities contributed to a substantial overtaking of the arrears of work which had accumulated as a result of the post-war reduction in staff.
  • The RNZAF stores depot at Mangaroa was taken over by the Army, and the extra storage space provided enabled much equipment to be moved out of the Government storage area at Seaview, where 95,000 square feet (8825 square meters) was made available to other Government Departments.
  • The Inspecting Ordnance Officers Group concentrated on the preparation of ammunition and explosives required for Territorial recruit training. In addition, the disposal of unserviceable stores by burning or detonation continued when personnel were available for this task. The service proof of all small-arms ammunition stocks had been under effective action for nine months at the Proof Office, Mount Eden. This revealed a general decline in the condition of stocks. The annual inspection and proof of ammunition were undertaken, being the basis of all operations of the Group.
  • Disposal of surplus assets (general stores) continued. A total of seventy-eight vehicles were disposed of during the period under review.
  • The general maintenance and preservation of ordnance equipment had been curtailed to some extent by staff shortage, but it was anticipated that these arrears would be overtaken soon.

New Years and Birthday Honours List

His Excellency the Governor-General announced that the King was graciously pleased, on the occasion of the New Year and Birthday, to confer the following Honours on the following members of the RNZAOC: -Military Division:

Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Warrant Officer Class One William Sampson Valentine, RNZAOC, of Christchurch.[6]

WO1 Valentine originally listed in 1915 and saw active service in Egypt, Gallipoli and France. After serving as a POW Repatriation Guard in 1919, Valentine enlisted into the Temporary Branch of the NZAOC at Featherston Camp. Transferring into the Permanent Staff of the NZAOC in 1924 and transferred to Burnham Camp. WO1 Valentine was transferred into the Civil Staff in 1931, remaining employed by the NZAOC at Burnham. Recalled to the colours in 1942, Valentine enlisted in the New Zealand Temporary Staff, remaining with the NZAOC at No 3 Ordnance Sub Depot, Burnham Camp. Transferred into the RNZAOC in 1947, WO1 Valentine was re-engaged into the NZ Regular Force in 1950. Retiring in 1954, WO1 Valentine Passed away in 1959.[7]

  • Warrant Officer Class I Edward Coleman, RNZAOC.

Transfer of IOO personnel

As a result of the raising of a new establishment for the IOO Group and the recommendations of the Senior Ammunition Conference held in June 1949 , the system of having all members of the IOO Group on the strength of Army Headquarters was changes so that were posed to the unite in which they were employed in. Accordingly, with effect 10 October 1949 the following appointments were made;

Northern Military District

  • Captain K.C Green, Struck of Strength of Army HQ to HQ Northern Military District as District IOO located at the District HQ
  • Captain C.C Pipson, Struck of Strength of Army HQ to Northern District Ammunition Depot as Depot IOO
  • Lieutenant C.L Sanderson, Remained on Strength of IOO Group Army HQ as IOO in Charge Inspection and Proof Section, NMD, Located at Hopuhopu
  • Warrant Officer Class One F.W Chambers, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Northern District Ammunition Depot as Ammunition Examiner.
  • Sergeant E.C Sherman, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Northern District Ammunition Depot as Ammunition Examiner.
  • Lance Corporal M.J Corcoran, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Northern District Ammunition Depot as Ammunition Examiner.
  • Staff Sergeant W.H Kerr, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Northern Military District Ammunition Repair Depot.
  • Sergeant E.A Clarke, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Northern Military District Ammunition Repair Depot.
  • Corporal W.E Stevenson, Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Northern Military District Ammunition Repair Depot.
  • Private J.R Roche, Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Northen Milirary District Ammunition Repair Depot.

Central Military District

  • Captain E.D Gerard. Struck of Strength of Army HQ to HQ Central Military District as District IOO located at the District HQ
  • Captian E.T Marriot, Struck of Strength of Army HQ to Central District Ammunition Depot as Depot IOO
  • Staff Sergeant C.S Crichton, , Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central District Ammunition Depot as Ammuniton Examiner.
  • Sergant J.D Smith, Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central District Ammunition Depot as Ammuniton Examiner.
  • Sergeant K.W Kibblewhite, Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central District Ammunition Depot as Ammuniton Examiner.
  • Sergeant W Foster, Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central District Ammunition Depot as Ammuniton Examiner.
  • Corporal W.E Beasley, Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central District Ammunition Depot as Ammuniton Examiner.
  • Warrant Officer Class Two E.C.L McvKay, Struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central Military District Ammunition Repair Depot,m Belmont as Laboratory Foreman.
  • Sergeant A.N.J Swain, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central Military District Ammunition Repair Depot as Ammunition Examiner.
  • Corporal J.J Hawkins, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central Military District Ammunition Repair Depot as Ammunition Examiner.
  • Corporal W.B DFoughe, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Central Military District Ammunition Repair Depot as Ammunition Examiner.

Southern Military District

  • Captain E, R Hancock, Struck of Strength of Army HQ to HQ Sothern Military District as District IOO located at the District HQ
  • Captain F.J Mitchell, Captain E.T Marriot, Struck of Strength of Army HQ to Southern District Ammunition Depot as Depot IOO
  • Staff Sergeant J Leslie, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Southern District Ammunition Depot as Ammunition Examiner.
  • Warrant Officer Class Two C.W Ludman, Taken in strength of Southern Ammunition Repair Depot as Laboratory Forman.
  • Sergeant G.A Bailey, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Southern Military District Ammunition Repair Depot, Burnham as Ammunition Examiner.
  • Private E.A Burt, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Southern Military District Ammunition Repair Depot, Burnham as Ammunition Handler.
  • Private I.E Maxwell, struck off strength Army HQ, take on strength of Southern Military District Ammunition Repair Depot, Burnham as Ammunition Handler.

Main Ordnance Depot

  • Captain L.C Williams,  Technical Assistant, AID, Remained on Strength IOO Group Army HQ, Local Admin by MOD.
  • Captain W Langevad RNZA, OC Army Ammunition Stores Depot, Remained on Strength IOO Group Army HQ, Local Admin by MOD.
  • Corporal R.C Fisher, Technical Assistant, AID, Remained on Strength IOO Group Army HQ, Local Admin by MOD.
  • Private F.W Harris NZ WAC, Technical Assistant, AID, Remained on Strength IOO Group Army HQ, Local Admin by MOD.

Re-Engagements into the New Zealand Regular Force

With effect 1 April 1950 the undermentioned members of the RNZAOC were re-engaged into the NZ Regular for a period of one year;

  • 31976    Cpl (T Sgt) G.H Bailey
  • 31964    LCpl E.A Burt
  • 31236    WO1 E.C Forgie
  • 31881    Cpl A.J Grimwood
  • 31240    WO2 (T/WO1) C.W Hall
  • 31878    Pte C.W Hindle
  • 31878    SSgt J Leslie
  • SSgt       G.J Martin
  • 31870    Cpl R. O’Keefe
  • 31241    WO2 J.L Peterson
  • 31865    LCpl CE Peach
  • 31864    Sgt S.F Pyne
  • 31247    SSgt I.F Roberts
  • 32470    Cpl E.H Regnault
  • 31233    W.S Valentine
  • 31642    W.M Wilkinson
  • 31859    E.J Wilson

Notes

[1] “Appointments, Promotions, Transfers, and Resignations, of Officers of the New Zealand Army “, New Zealand Gazette No 35, 9 June 1949, 1326.

[2] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 June 1949 to 31 March 1950 “, Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives  (1950).

[3] “Establishments – Ordnance Corps “, Archives New Zealand No R22441743  (1937 – 1946).

[4] Conferences – Ordnance Officers, Item Id R17188101 (Wellington: Archives New Zealand, 1950).

[5] “H-19 Military Forces of New Zealand Annual Report of the General Officer Commanding, for Period 1 June 1949 to 31 March 1950 “.

[6] “New Year Honours List “, New Zealand Gazette No 2, 12 January 1950.

[7] “William Sampson Valentine,” Personal File, Archives New Zealand 1915-1954.


V Force Ordnance

vietnam

During New Zealand’s commitment to the war in South Vietnam (29 June 1964 – 21 December 1972). The Royal New Zealand Army Ordnance Corps did not contribute a standalone unit but provided individuals to serve in New Zealand Headquarters units, Composite Logistic units or as part of Australian Ordnance Units including:

  • Headquarters Vietnam Force (HQ V Force)
  • 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF)
  • 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG)
  • 161 Battery Attachments (161 Bty Att)
  • New Zealand Rifle Companies
  • 161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight
  • As Visitors.

The names on this page have been collated from the Memories of New Zealand and Vietnam Website that can be found at http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz

Headquarters Vietnam Force (HQ V Force)

The Headquarted element for New Zealand Forces In South Vietnam, HQ V Force was located at Saigon from 1964 to 1972, and during that time had three separate titles:

  • HQ NEWZAD (29 June 1964 – 1 July 1965)
  • HQ NZ V Force (2 July 1965 – 21 December 1972)
  • HQ NZATGV – HQ NZ Army Training Group Vietnam (21 December 1972)

HQ V Force RNZAOC Personnel

  • Corporal Joseph Seymour Bolton,
  • Sergeant John Walter (Boots) Byrom,
  • Corporal Ronald John Henderson,
  • Warrant Officer Class Two John Edward Hancox,
  • Corporal James Nelson Harvey,
  • Cpl Frankie Te Waru Hohepa, served out of US Army Depot Long Binh
  • Lance Corporal Kevin Gerard Moriarty,
  • Lance Corporal Colin William Roulston,
  • Lieutenant Mark David Stuart,
  • Sergeant Bruce Raymond Swain,
  • Corporal Barry James Taylor,
  • Corporal William Douglas Waugh.

Vietnam

ADOS HQ HQ AFV Plaque, Joe Bolton Collection

Vietnam 2

RAAOC Local Purchase, Saigon Plaque, Joe Bolton Collection

1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF)

New Zealanders served in various capacities within the headquarters of 1 ATF in Nui Dat.

1 ATF RNZAOC Personnel

  • Corporal Michael Maurice Barker,
  • Private Colin Robert Von Richenbach.

1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG)

1ALSG Tac Sign

1 ALSC Tac sign 1965 – 1973

1 ALSG began life as ALSC (Australian Logistic Support Company) with the role of commanding the logistic support units of the Australian Task Force in South Vietnam, From its establishment New Zealanders of all ranks, corps and services served in 1 ALSG in every conceivable role.

The Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps elements of the ALSG consisted of ;

Second line support

Third line support

  • Initially know as 1st Composite Ordnance Depot, renamed as 2 Composite Ordnance Depot (1 April 1966 – 15 November 1967) and finally known as 2 Advanced Ordnance Depot (16 November 1967 – 12 March 1972), included the following subunits;
    • 13 Ordnance Supply Control Platoon
    • 14 Ordnance Stores Platoon
    • 15 Ordnance Ammunition Platoon
    • 16 Ordnance Vehicle Platoon
    • 18 Ordnance Depot Laundry and Bath Section
    • 19 Ordnance Supply Control Platoon
    • 20 Ordnance Stores Platoon (9 January 1967)

Workshop Stores Sections

  • 1 Independent Armoured Sqn Workshop Stores Section (29 January – 2 February 1968)
  • 106 Field Workshop Stores Section (took over from 1 Independent Armoured Sqn Workshop Stores Section)
  • 101 Field Workshop Stores Section (1 April 1966 – 5 July 1067
  • 102 Field Workshop Stores Section (2 March 1967 – 12 March 1972)

RNZAOC ALSG Personnel

  • Corporal Brian William Calvey,
  • Major Arthur John Campbell,
  • Corporal Ernest Reichter Clegg,
  • Captain Gary Malcolm Corkin,
  • Lieutenant Ronald Leslie Cross,
  • Staff Sergeant Alfred Stephenson Day,
  • Captain Kevin John Dreyer,
  • Lieutenant James Bernard Finnerty,
  • Sergeant Dennis Leslie Goldfinch,
  • Corporal Laurence Roy Hawkins,
  • Staff Sergeant Tamamarakau Te Kingi Hiini,
  • Sergeant Arthur James Keeler,
  • Staff Sergeant Derek John Keen,
  • Lieutenant Terence David McBeth,
  • Corporal Phillip Ross Miller,
  • Sergeant Terence Norman Morrissey,
  • Lieutenant Maxwell Frederick Newnham,
  • Staff Sergeant Rex Pennell,
  • Lieutenant Piers Martin Reid,
  • Major Malcolm John Ross,
  • Staff Sergeant Roy Harold Staniford,
  • Sergeant Barry Thomas Thompson,
  • Sergeant Darrell Samuel Todd,
  • Staff Sergeant James William Twist.

161 Battery Attachments

161 Battery first deployed to Vietnam in June 1965 with its own attached Logistics element to undertake Battery specific servicing and logistical tasks. Known as the Logistic Support Element (LSE). The LSE was detached from the battery in 1966 and located with 1st Australian Logistic Support Group (1 ALSG) at Vung Tau.

RNZAOC 161 Battery Attachments

  • Corporal Laurence Charles Collier,
  • Staff Sergeant Ronald Albert Eveleigh,
  • Lieutenant David Ralph Hughes,
  • Sergeant Maurice John Lynch,
  • Corporal Brian David Moore
  • Corporal Wilford Stuart Neshausen,
  • Gunner Stephen Rex Shepherd.

New Zealand Rifle Companies

RNZAOC personnel recorded as serving in South Vietnam as part of the New Zealand Rifle Companies. Note some of these individuals might not have been members of the RNZAOC at the time of their posting but transferred into the RNZAOC at a later date.

W1

  • Private Peter Chanel Dellabarca,
  • Private Robert James MacDowall,
  • Private Te Ra Nui Ote Tau Te Paenga,
  • Corporal Murray Walters.

W3

  • Lance Corporal David Condon,
  • LCpl Bill Toa Paki

  • Lance Corporal Francis Joseph Ryan.

V4

  • Private Horace Te Hoki Thompson.
  • Private Russell Henry Tulloch.

V5

  • Private Roy Tutewhakaiho Komene,
  • Private Wilson Douglas Simonsen.

V6

  • Private Graeme Lloyd Hughes

161st (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight

New Zealand Army Air Corps pilots and one RNZAOC Officer flew Sioux helicopters with the Australian 161 Recce Flt.

  • Lieutenant Reginald Ellwood

Visitors

RNZAOC personnel not posted to serve on the posted strength of units in South Vietnam, but spent periods of time there.

  • Corporal Francis Bobby Te Ahuru,
  • Brigadier Allan Huia Andrews,
  • Lieutenant Terence John Verrall.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Jack Harvey

1  New Zealand Army Training Team

  • Warrant Officer Class Two Brian Lewis Crafts

Vietnam 3

New Zealand Army Training Group Vietnam. Brian Crafts Collection

Vietnam 4

NZ Army Training Team Vietnam Plaque. Brian Crafts Collection

Read More


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-deployable 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


5 Advanced Ordnance Depot

5 Advanced Ordnance Depot (5 AOD) was a short-lived  Australian and New Zealand Ordnance Depot located in Singapore from 9 March 1970 to August 1971.

Created as a direct result of Australia’s and New Zealand’s commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements between Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom, 5 AOD was established to support the Australian and New Zealand Forces remaining in Singapore after the planned British withdrawal.

5AOD 1970

5 Advanced Ordnance Depot Plaque. Courtesy of Peter Cox

5 AOD was officially raised on 9 March 1970 with an advance party made up of:

  • Major N.W  Spenser  RAAOC    OC
  • Capt J.H Short RAAOC   OC BKS SVCS
  • Capt D.J Spreadbury RAAOC ATO
  • Capt L.G Gittins RAAOC LPO
  • WO2 A.J Morton RAAOC Chief Clerk
  • WO2 A.C Phillips RAAOC Control Office
  • WO2 W.s Eaglesham RAAOC Traffic
  • WO2 R.R Robertson RAAOC AT
  • WO2 J Twiss RNZAOC Control Office
  • SSgt J.A Green RAAOC LP
  • Sgt K.L Dodds RAAOC Documentation
  • LCpl S Shepherd RNZAOC Machine Operator

Set up from scratch in March 1970, initially finding working accommodation was a priority and problematic. The Singapore authorities were unwilling to provide suitable accommodation in any of the recently vacated British facility’s, so as a temporary measure 5 AOD was housed with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 3 Base Ordnance Depot (3 BOD) at Alexandria and Keat Hong.  A lack of accommodation plus political wranglings forced a change of location to the H.M Naval Base at Sembawang where the unit occupied Transit Shed No 4 on 15 July 1970.

5 AOD1c

Transit Shed 4

Transit shed 4 was an iron framed Building with corrugated iron walls with a concrete floor. The total area of the building was 112500SqFtt, of which 70500 sq ft was initially available to 5AOD.

The building was located on the dockside in very close proximity to the water, with a circuit for vehicles around the building with access to the east and west sides, Sliding walls made up the West side with one door available on the east side.

The ceiling clearance was 25ft, and the building was served with natural lighting from skylights, electrical lighting was available but not suitable for detailed tasks.

on the establishment off 5 AOD the temporary Control, Stores and traffic Office and Orderly Room was a curtained area in the main warehouse set up for the clerical and administrative functions.

 

 

In-scaling of stores was achieved by assuming the responsibilities of the Australian Cell of 3 BOD and their existing stocks. Additional stocks were delivered directly from Australia by HMAS Jeparit. By October 1970 5 AOD was functioning as a unit.

 

The Strength of 5 AOD in September 1970 was:

  • 10 Officers
  • 38 Other Ranks
  • 58 Locally Employed Civilians (LECs)

Although 5 AOD was established in March 1970, the New Zealand contribution would not start to be in place until June/ July/August 1970 with the arrival of the advance party, including;

  • Captain Ian Ross
  • WO2 Jim Twiss
  • Sgt B Kukutai
  • Cpl Neilson
  • Cpl TT Smith
  • LCpl PP Reti
  • LCpl Shepard

During its short existence, New Zealand strength within 5 AOD averaged two Officers and 18 Other Ranks, including members of the advance party, soldiers such as:

  • Peter Cox
  • Ray Bennseman
  • Max Mclean
  • Terence Sharpe

15230700_10154923693642867_2821677052665062243_n

Officer Commanding Board, Now located at the NZ Army Trade Training School Trentham. Robert McKie collection

Due to elections in the United Kingdom in 1971, the UK decided to not wholly withdraw as initially planned, but to retain reduced forces in Singapore as part of the newly constituted ANZUK Force.  Succeeding the Far East Strategic Reserve which had been in place since the 1950’s, ANZUK Force was a tripartite force based in Singapore and was formed by Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to provide military support in the Asian Pacific region while the nations of Malaysia and Singapore grew their Armed Forces.

As a valid economy measure, a combined Australian, New Zealand and UK Ordnance Depot are later known as the ANZUK Ordnance Depot was organised to take over the responsibility’s of the UK 3BOD and 5 AOD.

Ceasing to exist in Aug 1971 5AOD  responsibility’s, personnel and stock were absorbed by the new ANZUK Ordnance Depot.

Copyright © Robert McKie 2017


ANZUK Ordnance Depot 1971-1975

ANZUK Flag

ANZUK Flag. Wikipedia Commons

The ANZUK Ordnance Depot was the Ordnance component of the ANZUK Support Group supporting the Singapore Based ANZUK Force from August 1971 to September 1974.

The last of several post-war Commonwealth Ordnance Depots, the ANZUK Ordnance Depot was comprised of service personnel from the RAOC, RAAOC and RNZAOC, supported by a large complement of locally employed civilians. The ANZUK Ordnance depot was located in the premises vacated by the Royal Navy Victualling Depot on the dockside at Sembawang Naval Base.

12 (2)

Command and Organisation of the Depot

During its short duration as a unit, the Depot had four Commanding officers, two from the RAOC and two from the RAAOC, it was planned to rotate the command amongst all the nations, but the Depot would close before New Zealand had the opportunity to command.

ANZUK CO

ANZUK Ordnance Depot, Commanding Officers Aug 1917-Mar 1975. Robert McKie collection 2017.

Command of the Subunits was a shared by the three counties with New Zealand officer Captain Ian Ross commanding the Vehicle Sub Depot in the early years of the Depot.

In 1971 the Depot was organised into functional groups and Sub Depots, and had a Staff of more than 440 from the contributing and host nations as follows;

  • RAOC – 60 pers.
  • RAAOC – 60 pers.
  • RNZAOC – 20 pers.
  • LEC’s – 300 pers.

ANZUK ORG CHART

ANZUK Ordnance Depot 1971

ANZUK Ordnance Depo7 1973

ANZUK Ordnance Depot, April 1973. Robert McKie Collection

ANZUK Stores Sub Depot 1973

ANZUK Stores Sub Depot, April 1973. Robert McKie Collection

FB_IMG_1505801062645

Vehicle Sub Depot, ANZUK Ordnance Depot, Singapore – 25th June 1972 (Left to Right) Sitting: SGT Matthews RAEME, SGT Carr REME, SSGT Slater RAAOC, CAPT Ross RNZAOC, WO2 Chapman RAOC, SGT Ball RAAOC, SGT Holmes RAOC Middle row: CPL Harrison REME, CPL McDonald RAOC, PTE Bensemann RNZAOC, LCPL McLean RNZAOC, CPL ? RAAOC, CPL Leach REME Top row: LCPL Peters RAOC, CPL Williams (?) RAAOC, CPL Picket RAOC, PTE Richmond RAAOC, CPL Ferris RAOC

ANZUK ORD DEPOT PLAQUE

ANZUK Ordnance Depot Plaque. Peter Cox Collection

Stockholding

The initial stocking of the ANZUK Ordnance depot was achieved by the transferring of stocks from the soon to be closed 3 Base Ordnance Depot, RAOC and from 5 Advanced Ordnance Depot,  the combined Australian and New Zealand Ordnance depot established a year earlier. In 1972 the depot had a stock holding of around 45000 line items spread over the different sub-depots.

The cost management of the force was on a percentage basis, 40% each for the United Kingdom and Australia with the remaining 20% of costs picked up by New Zealand. The reimbursement process was very complicated and managed by the ADOS staff in HQ ANZUK Support Group.   All stock received into the Ordnance Depot was costed, billed with the reimbursement arranged with the participating countries as items were issued.

National billing was only affected for principle items such as vehicles, controlled stores, major unit assemblies and the like, and reimbursement would only be made if the items were issued to a national unit (e,g, 1RNZIR). This resulted in 1RNZIR demanding routine stocks from the Depot at no extra charge, but if major items were issued New Zealand would only pay 80% of the cost. There was no cost involved when an item was issued to an integrated ANZUK unit.

Uniforms and Dress Embellishments

Troops from contributing nations wore their standard national uniforms with the addition of the ANZUK Force patch, which was worn on each shoulder.

ANZUK Force patch

ANZUK Force patch. Robert McKie Collection.

By 1973 the political climate was changing in both Australia and the United Kingdom, and the ANZUK force days were numbered.  By mid-1974 the remaining British element had split and became RAOC Ordnance Services Singapore for the duration of the final British Withdraw.

The New Zealand component of the ANZUK Force would become New Zealand Force South East Asia,  with the New Zealand Advanced Ordnance Depot coming into being on 31 January 1974 and the ANZUK Ordnance Depot ceased to exist on the 30th of Sept 1974.

By 1977 NZFORSEA was the sole remaining foreign presence in Singapore until its departure in 1989.


ANZUK Supply Platoon

 

These are a series of photos from an album I was surprised to discover in a Wellington second-hand shop. The collection spans from 1971 to 1979 and provides a photographic history of the ANZUK Supply Depot (1971-74) and the New Zealand Supply Platoon (1974-89).

 

RFA Tideflow

RFA Tideflow. Robert McKie collection

ANZUK Supply Platoon

The ANZUK Supply Platoon was the ANZUK unit responsible for the provision of foodstuffs and POL (petrol oil lubricants) to the ANZUK Force (1971-1974). Under the command of the Commander Royal Australian Army Service Corp (CRAASC), it was a tri-nation unit, with members drawn from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

It was formed at a time when the three different armies were rationalising their Supply functions from an Army Service Corp Responsibility to an Ordnance Corp responsibility, and as a result, the unit was a mix of Royal Army Ordnance Corp and Australian and New Zealand Army Service Corp personnel. The United Kingdom had made the change in 1965, Australia would follow in 1973 and New Zealand in 1979.

With the withdrawal of the British and Australians form Singapore, the ANZUK Supply Depot would change ownership and become the NZ Supply depot In 1974, continuing under RNZASC control until 1979 and then RNZAOC control until 1989 when the New Zealand withdrew its forces from Singapore.

Located in the northeastern section of the former HM Naval Dockyard, Sembawang, Singapore, the ANZUK Supply Depot occupied the cluster of buildings that were the former Royal Navy Victualling and Storing Office and Victualling Depot (SVSO and Vict Depot).

Originally announced in 1923, construction of the Naval Dockyard was completed in 1939, at a staggering cost of £60 million – equivalent to £2½ billion in 2006 paid for by the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The base covered 21 square miles (54 km2) and had the most significant dry dock in the world, the third-largest floating dock, fuel tanks to support the entire British Navy for six months and a host of workshops, warehouses and accommodation. With the withdrawal of British forces from Singapore starting in 1968, most of the Naval Base was handed over to the Singapore government, with the area adjacent to the Stores basin retained for use by the residual Commonwealth, then New Zealand Forces

Royal Navy Dockyard, Singapore

Map of Royal Navy Dockyard, Singapore. Robert McKie Collection

3

Map of Store Basin, Royal Navy Dockyard, Sembawang, Singapore. Robert McKie Collection

 DRY STORE

2

Dry provision store 1971. Robert McKie collection

20170319_091247 (002)

Enter a caption

1

Current dry store area, proposed as office accommodation, 1971. Robert McKie collection

Cold Store

8

Aerial view of ANZUK Supply Depot Cool-store, 1971. Robert McKie Collection

20170319_090705 (002)

Cool-store area entrance, 1971. Robert McKie Collection

20170319_090716 (002)

Cool-store area and waiting area, 1972. Robert McKie collection

20170319_090725 (002)

Cool-store refrigeration plant and operators, 1972. Robert McKie Collection

POL Store

7

Main bulk dry store – POL Store, proposed new petrol point site, 1971. Robert McKie collection

4

The site for proposed area for petrol pumps, 1971. Robert McKie collection

ANZUK Supply Depot 1972

ANZUK SUPPLY DEPOT STAFF 1972

ANZUK SUPPLY DEPOT STAFF 1972 Robert McKie Collection

Standing L to R: Cpl Parker, RAASC. Cpl Olderman, RAASC, Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC. Sgt Frank, RAOC. Cpl Rangi, RNZASC. Sgt Locke, RNZASC. Sgt Bust, RAOC. Pte Mag, RAASC. Cpl David, RAASC.

Sitting L to R: Sgt Kietelgen, RAASC. WO2 West, RAOC. Capt Mcnice, RAOC. Maj Hunt, RAASC. Lt Fynn, RAASC. WO2 Cole, RAASC. WO2 Clapton. RAASC

20170318_091031 (002)

WO2 John West (Master Butcher) RAOC, Inspecting live goats before issue to Gurkha Regt at Nee Soon for Sacrificial Purposes. 1972 . Robert McKie Collection

20170319_090824 (002) - Copy

Checking fresh fish consignment, 1973, Left to right: Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC; WO2 John West, RAOC; Cpl Olderman, RAASC, 1973. Robert McKie collection

20170319_090850 (002) - Copy

Supply of provisions to RFA Tideflow, 1973. Robert McKie collection

Checking ‘Live’ consignment of produce to issue to Gurkha Regt at Nee Soon,

20170319_090910 (002)

Sgt Bill Donaghue, RNZASC; Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC: Cpl Olderman, RAASC; WO2 John West RAOC. Robert McKie collection

20170319_090946 (002)

Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC; WO2 John West, RAOC. Robert McKie collection

20170319_091000 (002)

WO2 John West, RAOC; Locally Employed Civilian; Cpl Mcintyre, RAOC. Robert McKie collection

HMY Britannia

Robert McKie Collection

signal

Robert McKie Collection