3rd Field Regiment RAA Association
ISSUE No.5 - 3/2002 SEPTEMBER 2002
CO’s HOUR (President’s report)
The Battery Birthday function on Friday 5 July was again a great success, with over 80 members and guests attending. I would like to thank the BC Maj Scott Sullivan and the Battery members for their organization, and Gabby D’Uva for the excellent planning and conduct of the night. Congratulations to Gnr Belson the winner of our award for the Battery member who gave the most significant contribution to the Battery during the year. I would also like to thank Ron Jager for representing our Association and presenting this award.
Amongst the many issues your committee is involved in, the overriding theme that is always present is the consolidation and strengthening of the Gunner presence in WA. To this end at the Royal Australian Artillery Association AGM on Monday 26 August all members of our current committee were elected to that management committee.
With Ray Bird as the President we now have a seamless management team that will continue to strengthen both Associations.
We are planning a new publication that will be managed by the RAA Association and hope that all the Gunner organizations in WA will contribute regular articles. In the end we hope to have a mailing list that contains all the ex Gunners in WA.
As our Association pays an affiliation fee to the RAA Association you are automatically a member, and entitled to apply to the welfare fund in times of hardship. Any contact of this nature should be directed to Ron Jager.
We are also keen to widen the ex Gunner communities involvement in both Gunners Day and Anzac Day, and are working towards all ex and current Gunners marching behind a Corp of Artillery banner. We will be promoting this concept to the other Gunner bodies but we need your help in contacting the wide range of Gunners from the Korean conflict to the present. If you know of any please contact me so we can follow them up and give them an offer they can’t refuse
John O’ Brien is producing a top class web site (www.artillerywa.org.au) with an easy name, and access to many related sites. Any comments or additions would be welcome by John.
The last LFX for the Battery this year will be held at Lancelin on 20/21 Sep. Due to the current ban on HE due to the recent breech prem at high range, smoke only will be fired using two or three gun. The BC has agreed to allow our members to attend on the Saturday, with transport available to and from Lancelin. If you are interested please contact Tom Arnautovic
We have planned an interesting AGM for Sunday the 20th of October, so please come along, bring a mate, and have your say.
Gunners Day 3rd of November is our last activity for the year. Numbers have been growing steadily, but it would be nice to see some new faces supporting this very important day.
FROM THE COLONEL COMMANDANT’S DESK
I had a great experience at the RAAHS of WA Breakfast Function recently in that I had the great honour and pleasure to meet and share a with table LTCOL Roger Fitzhardinge. What a marvellous man he is who, for a trim 90 year old, still has a crystal clear memory of his service with the Royal Regiment in both peace and war; the AIF and the CMF. I was most interested in what he told me about his service in 3 Fd Regt as a BC, 2IC and CO with his stories of how he'd put young Don Rae on the straight and narrow. Thank you for Don's preparation for senior responsibility Roger. Your protégé continues to serve the Gunner community in an exceptional way to this day.
I guess my point is that there must be many old comrades of the Gunner community who for any host of good reasons have 'fallen out' of contact. Some certainly, but sadly not many, will be Rogers' peer group but irrespective of when they served, they will all have memories that will enrich us in their telling. We in the RAAAWA must all take up the challenge of bringing these fellows back to the fold. In particularly, those of us in the 3 Fd Regt Association who, it might be assessed, possess a little more vigour than those in the more senior associations (perhaps). We need to hear of their experiences but as importantly, I believe we need to make sure that they know that as Gunners they will always be welcome to join us, no matter which unit they may have served in. I urge you all to join me in this quest.
Brigadier R A (Dick) Lawler AM (Retd)
Colonel Commandant RAA Western Region
BK’S O GROUP (SECRETARY’S REPORT)
A number of members proudly don their Berets for the march on Anzac Day and Gunners day. This certainly projects a good Corps image and members are encouraged to join their Gunner mates by coming out in force and wearing our Berets with RAA badge. Following requests from some members the association has obtained some Berets and has ordered more. Beret and RAA badge will be available at $15 each. Numbers are limited so those members wishing to order a Beret with RAA badge please email or write to Secretary Tom and enclose cheque for $15 and advise preferred size (S,M,L,XL).
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 881 Claremont WA 6910.
Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday 20th October 2002 at the Leighton Battery Heritage Site (LBHS), Buckland Hill on Stirling Highway, Mosman Park at 1100 hours. The intent is to conduct the AGM in the Command Post and with the support of the RAA Historical Society have guided tours for members and spouse partners of the WW2 Tunnels, followed by a sausage sizzle, drinks n coffee. It is proposed to have an all up levy per person which is inclusive of Tunnel tour fee, sausage sizzle, couple of drinks & coffee/tea for $20 per person. Non drinkers fee will be $15. This is a wonderful opportunity for members and their partners to view the historic tunnels which were a significant part of the coastal defence of Fremantle.
Members are requested not to bring children to this tunnel tour. There is opportunity for children and members friends to experience the tunnels on normal 'open' days being the first Sunday of each month 1000-1530 hours.
Site location map for AGM at LBHS and RSVP flyer are enclosed with this edition of Take Post. You can also view the Tunnel Tour info and site map on the RAAHS homepage
A big welcome to the following new members: Ian Meibusch, Hans Blazanczyk. Robert Davis, Vic Hollier, Pat Murphy, Dave Spain and George Muscat.
To ensure I have current up to date contact info on members, please advise secretary Tom of any change of address, phone numbers or email address details. If you have not provided email address previously please establish email coms asap with email@example.com
The Committee wish's to continue our recruitment drive to extend our membership to as many ex 3rd Fd Regt RAA members as possible and members are requested to email or ring Secretary Tom A and provide name and address of an ex member and we will send out an information and application to join kit.
Please look at Notice Board in Take Post for details of up coming functions for AGM and Gunners Day at Guildford
Tom Arnautovic OAM
RAA ASSOCIATION Tradition and More Tradition
On 26 August 2002 the Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at ANZAC House.
The 23 Members in attendance moved to accept a new Constitution. A key aspect being the new Management Committee structure of President, Immediate Past President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and not less than four other persons. Membership categories include Ordinary and Associate with their fee levels set for this fiscal at $10.00 per Member. As previously, Members of Kindred Associations can be Ordinary Members subject to their Association paying an annual sum equivalent to one dollar per financial Member of that Association.
Office Bearers for the forthcoming year are –
with Committee Members
- President Ray Bird
- V Pres Peter Rowles
- Secty Tom Arnautovic
- Treasurer Gabby D’Uva
- Ron Jager
- Wally Stenhouse
- Eric Taylor
- John O’Brien
- Ken Hepworth
I was particularly pleased John Hobbs was in attendance and again I wish to record my thanks to John for his outstanding contribution to the Association over such a long period.
My thanks also go to Des Lambert for his dedicated contribution in the role of Auditor and Committee Member. Des has indicated that he is unable to continue to perform these duties and on behalf of the Association I record my appreciation.
The past 12 months have been fairly demanding on Members of the Committee in making changes particularly in the areas of reviewing the Constitution and upgrading our financial recording and reporting.
Thanks to all Members of the Management Committee for their support and contribution.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Gunners Day Parade and Church Service at Guildford in November.
President RAA Association of WA
Hamel Incident Report
At approx 1050hrs the Regt was a firing Regt IN (immediate neutralisation) mission at Charge 7 in spt of C/S 24 when a HE round in the breech of Bravo Det 107 Fd Bty appeared to function prematurely.
A loud bang, flash and cloud of smoke ensued with the barrel being thrown 10m into the air, the breech shearing off from the barrel (and landing near the ammunition shelter), the top of the sight shearing off, the cam net frame being thrown 10m to the rear, and the recuperator being thrown 20m forward of the gun.
The detachment had 20 rounds prepared and these started to catch alight. Prompt action by the surrounding detachments put out both the fire in the ammunition, and the fire on the No 4 (including cutting off his smouldering cams). Injuries sustained were mercifully very light with shock being the major injury. In addition, the No 2 was injured by the breech as it flew rearwards and has a suspected broken hip. The No 3 was hit in the face by fragments of the sight as it shattered.
All members suffered from inhaling the super-charged air as it was expelled form the barrel/breech. The luckiest man in the world is the No 7 who was standing by the ammunition shelter next to the breech's final resting place. He emerged from the smoke cloud unscathed and apparently only having lost his watch (blown off by the blast).
The SATO has placed a ban on the use of M739 fuses and all HE proj.
Click on the images above for an enlagement.
7 Field Battery 3rd Field Regiment RAA
Exercises and Training
Brigade Military Skills Competition. Early June was a busy time for the Battery, commencing with final team preparation for the Brigade Military Skills (MIL Skills) Competition. This saw the Battery MIL Skills section re-deployed to Bindoon Training Area to complete the final phases of their training prior to the competition. The Brigade competition (28 - 30 Jun) commenced on Friday night (28 Jun) with a torrential down pour which not only set the scene for the remainder of the competition but left nearly all sections wet and wondering why they where there. The Saturday saw sections commence the competition in earnest rotating through a bullring of thirteen stands, which had been designed to test all corps soldier skills and knowledge. The Sunday had been reserved for sections to compete in the Obstacle Course Competition.
Our section returned to Hobbs Artillery Park, Sunday afternoon tired, dirty and still a little wet but having done the Battery proud yet again. The final result saw the Battery placed fifth out of nine sections, coming in after the two Infantry Battalions who both put in two sections per battalion. An exellent effort.
Annual Courses Camp.
The Annual Courses Camp was held at Northam, from 06 to 21 Jul 02. The camp saw three courses run concurrently, an Advance Gun Course, OPCP Basic Course and an MR2 (Unimog) Drivers Course. The above-mentioned courses cross-trained and qualified a further 10 members in essential areas that had critical trade shortfalls. As a result the Battery continues to develop its depth of knowledge, experience and trade qualifications.
DFX 16-18 Aug 02.
The Battery will once again deploy to Lancelin Training Area during the period 16-18 Aug 02, in order to hone our gunner skills. This DFX is the lead up training for the last two LFX exercises for the training year. The exercise is shaping up to be one not to miss. It will incorporate both Direct and Deliberate moves by day and night, a little bit of technical gunnery on the Saturday and a number of quick deployments, which should hold the Battery in good stead for the above mentioned LFX's in Sep and the ARTEP assessment in Oct.
Battery Open Day.
Saturday 15 June 02 saw the Battery deployed onto the top oval opposite the front gate of Karrakatta. The day was quite successful with an encouraging number of future gunners identified.
There have been two careers expos supported by elements of the brigade and 7 FD BTY. In both cases the target audience was probably not quite to our liking, though one or two prospects were once again identified.
Well that's all from me, I look forward in keeping you informed on the battery's past and present activities in the next issue.
Warrant Officer Class Two
Sergeant Major Instructor Gunnery
Sunday 20th October 2002 1100 hours at the Leighton Battery Heritage Site (LBHS),
Buckland Hill on Stirling Highway, Mosman Park.
Sunday 3 Nov
St Mathews’ Church Guildford. Form up on road 1430 hrs.
Membership for the year 2001 to 2002 is now due.
Fees still $10.00
PO Box 881 Claremont WA 6910
President Peter Rowles W 9359 1280 H9246 3941 Vice President Ron Jager W 9420 2231 H9457 2166 Secretary Tom Arnautovic W9430 3428 H9332 3309 Treasurer Les Herbert W9370 1200 H9341 4517 Committee Ray Bird W9380 9388 H9446 5520 Committee Ted Barton H9479 6382 Editor Peter Farrell H9246 1367 Committee Ken Hepworth H9294 2275 Committee John O’Brien W9273 7157 H9339 8615
Issues of ‘TAKE POST’ will be posted to members on a quarterly basis with next ‘TAKE POST’ in June 2002.
Membership fee is $10 pa.
3 Fd Regt RAA Association
PO Box 881
CLAREMONT WA 6910
Telephone + 61 8 93323309
Members are requested to advise Secretary of contact name & addresses of former 3rd Fd Regt personnel and application for membership kits will be forwarded direct.
‘TAKE POST’ is published by 3rd Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery Association as a service to members. Any articles or editorial comment should be submitted to the Editor:
3rd Fd Regt RAA Association