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These photos were passed on to me by Bob (Emu) Dowie

Unfortunately there were only a couple of comments, but anyway they still are great old photos


3 CAV Kangaroo Two - Shoalwater Bay

Leopard ARV unloading


Parking the ARV





Two Leopard ARV's


Bridge Layer - Doing its thing

Trying it out


She looks ok

Leopard Gun Tank


Another Leopard Gun Tank


Leopard Landing

They can really move

Finished for the day

Audience at the Paratas Cup


Un-tarping a very clean Centurion


Tug a war

Tug a war 2

Tug a war 3

To the winner - the spoils  - The Paratas Cup

Centurions Lined up

Line up - Paratas Cup


Moving off

The Colors



The Parade

The Salute

169074 leading

Past the Saluting Base




I first saw Baby Doll standing beside a building near the Tank Hangers in 1955. She was a sorry site minus her turret and gun. I was told that she had been at Emu Plains for the Atomic test and had been parked very close to the Atomic bomb that was let off. The story said she had been left running with all radio's on, and they were upset when they went back and saw the motor was not running. But she had only run out of fuel and so was refuelled and driven from the site. More to the story is that I was later told that the decontamination consisted of washing her down with a fire hose. I do not know how true that was but I for one never sat on her and ate my lunch but many others did! The L.A.D. used her for a time as a tow tank and at a later date a turret was fitted and she was back in use.

The story below was written in the 1970's by Ron Saw a newspaper journalist


The Army steels itself as Baby Doll sails home


Baby Doll hung lewdly over the side of the ship and I stood looking up at her with warm, happy admiration. As long as I’d known her she had most of the qualities of a whore.

She’d been obstinate, tawdry, expensive and dangerous. Many men had known her and many had found her beautiful. I, as a voyeur, had seen her lose her virtue. I, as a lover, had seen her regain it. Now, yesterday, she was up to her old whorish tricks again

Baby Doll is a Centurion Tank. I first saw her years ago, when for reasons which to this day remain inscrutable, the Army decided to prove that the Centurion was not only big and dangerous, but mobile: that she could get herself around in the event of a running war.

So the saddled up Baby Doll  and moved her from Puckapunyal to Singleton; and while I don’t say Hannibal had it easier getting his elephants over the Alps, I’m certain he didn’t have it much harder.



She smashed just about everything she touched. Her great steel tracks, with 50 odd tons to press them down, broke up roads and pavements. She depressed so much of the Hume Highway that for awhile it seemed likely to be more profitable to forget about repairing it and to simply fill it with water and rename it the Hume Ship Canal. She frightened the horses, the cattle, the sheep and the hogs. Fowls fluttered screeching at her advance, farmers threatened her with shotguns and their wives threw their aprons over their heads and hid in the barns.

As my newspaper’s official tank-watcher I dutifully reported every tragic embarrassment; and at a time when I felt sure that nothing more delicious could possibly happen, Baby Doll got herself stuck fast, on Toole’s Bridge, an overgrown culvert five miles from Gundagai.

What I wrote about that was not, I suppose, great journalism, but it was to the point: “Baby Doll, the army’s wayward tank, suffered a fate worse than death on Toole’s Bridge, five miles from Gundagai at 3.10 p.m. yesterday.”

Shortly after that I left her. My editor told me to stay with Baby Doll – but he could not see the faces of her crew changing from pink to choleric crimson; he couldn’t hear the grinding of their teeth.

I left her and forgot about her till March 1968, when I came out of an operation in the Long Hai Hills of Vietnam, asked for and was given a bed and a disk of coffee at a fire - support base, and saw the tanks. They had not been there long, but they had done splendidly.

 There, where everything and just about everyone was being smashed and trampled anyway, it didn’t matter how much damage they did to the fool roads and bridges. The country at that time of the year was flat and dry and the tanks were mobile. Later when the rains came, they would take to the high ground designed to drain into the paddies, and keep moving.

But just now they were giving Artillery support to the Diggers who were slogging up the side of Hill 323 (drearily named so because it was 323 meters high) and there incredibly was Baby Doll. A company from 3RAR, under Major Ian Hands, of Brisbane, had come in from the sea, killed a few VC, then gone on to take the hill. As they struggled up the ragged, jagged, rocky slopes, Baby Doll had covered them, her long, nosy 20 - pounder laying 30 meters ahead of them, brassing up anything in their path. It was a marvelously accurate weapon, capable of putting a shell into a four – foot – square target at a range of 2000 meters.


As the tankers put it “Any closer and its like shooting fish in a barrel. That 20 – pounder can literally knock a man off a log.” At one stage of the assault on Hill 323 Baby Doll’s commander, a Corporal Phillip Reeves, of Toowoomba, saw movement in a cave mouth above the Diggers. At his order Baby Doll pointed her long snout and gave a bellowing sneeze and the shell went straight into the cave mouth. There was no more movement. Baby Doll and the rest of her girlfriends had what one might calla distinguished tour of Vietnam. How many North Vietnamese and VC they killed doesn’t really matter. Now, as then, it seems more decent to report that they gave protection to the Infantry; and the Infantry loved them.

Last Friday they came home; on the Japanese freighter Harima Maru – How one wished that jolly old Jap – fancier Sir William Yeo had been there to see it – and yesterday the Army got around to unloading Baby Doll. Well the Army tried.


I went down to Balmain to welcome her, to hand her ashore. I looked up and down the line of already – unloaded tanks, sitting on flatcars, waiting to be rolled south (they’re going to an ordnance depot at Bandiana, 180 miles North of Melbourne). I couldn’t see Baby Doll. And then they told me she was still in the hold. “She won’t start.” They said. “We need to start her up to move her a bit so we can get the hoisting cables on to her. But she won’t start, the bitch. We will have to get jump leads to her.” And they did. And I am able to report that Baby Doll, the Army’s wayward tank, was jumped in the hold of the freighter Harima Mari at Balmain at 4.15 p.m. yesterday. I’ll swear she wriggled her behind and winked at me as they lowered her back onto Australian soil.

The above story gives the impression that when the Cents went from Puckapunyal to Singleton that they drove up the Hume Highway. In fact in my day and I believe with a few exceptions they never were allowed onto our road system.

In fact they left Puckapunyal by Low Loader Tank Transporters from 186 Transport Platoon. They did have to be unloaded and driven under bridges and in some tight situations and then reloaded on the other side. The Crews had long insulated poles to keep the high voltage cables up out of the way. The trip took 32 days (You could now do it by car in 1 day) and they stayed off the Hume when ever possible, using the Olympic Way (around thru Wagga) and the Bells Line of Road from Lithgow and then Putty Rd. It was a very long, hard, exhausting trip.

The Drivers were "Pokey" Coughlin in 169041 "Baby Doll" and Trevor Neilson dove the Bridge Layer, with Bob Snape in the back up Landrover.

"Baby Doll" was a sister tank of "Bewitched" "Bothered" and "Bewildered." 



"Bewildered" is now a Gate Guard at Puckapunyal, having just been repainted


Baby Doll was later refitted for Vietnam where she served with distinction

She is now at the 1st Armoured Regiment at Robertson Barracks Darwin. 


Pokey Coughlin drove her again at the 1st Armoured Regiment 50th Birthday celebrations at Darwin

I do believe that she is no longer maintained as a runner, which is a great pity.


Today my daughter gave me a German Tank  Badge, it has a small Maltese Cross on the turret of the tank

Can anyone id it for me, I believe its Second World War Hat or Beret badge