May 2015
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Volume 27 Number 2

          May 2015

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President's Report


As planned some members of the Association met at the Normanby Hotel recently. The members enjoyed the chance to relive old war stories. It was noted that William Ridley attended the function. William was one of the first intake into QUR. Garry Collins (ex CO QUR) commented that he was not even born until one year after William had enlisted into QUR.

Recently we made contact with Toby St George, another old soldier from QUR. During the contact we asked Toby if he would be prepared to recall some of his memories of service within QUR. He has started to send us some of his memories already. They are short stories and comments. Some of his recollections are attached as an email later in this newsletter.

For those who read the newsletters you will be aware of my requests to all to contribute to the history collection. I again ask all of you to write of your times with the Regiment. They don’t have to be long stories. Short comments are quite acceptable.

As the year progresses quickly we must look at the preparation for the Annual General Meeting and Dinner. This year the Annual General Meeting and Dinner will be held at the United Services Club on Thursday 10 September 2015 at 1900 for 1930 hours. The night is a very relaxed dinner during which the necessary activity for the conduct of an Annual General Meeting occurs. At the end of the dinner we look forward to a brief update of the status of the Regiment given by the Commanding Officer. As usual the old executive management committee will stand down from their positions and a new committee will be formed (President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Membership Secretary/Website Manager, History Manager, Newsletter Editor, Committee members.) Should you be prepared to be available for any of the positions please let me know (Trevor Luttrell 0437 442 964) and I will make the necessary arrangements for your nomination to go forward. We look forward to your attendance at the AGM and dinner in September.

Recently I was contacted by a Major Ryan Pearce who was looking for any pictures of his wife’s grandfather. He was a motorcycle MP and was on QUR Colours Parade in July 1959. He was looking for photos of his grandfather on that parade. If anyone can help him with any photos, he would be greatly appreciated. His email is seen below. Please contact me if you can help in any way

"I am the OC of Training Coy, QUR, and whilst discussing my posting with my wife's grandfather, the topic of an old parade came up. Adrian Van Moolenbroeck was an MP LCPL at the Indooroopilly depot in 1959 and served in Vietnam. He later changed to RACT and discharged as a WO2. He recalls providing a motorcycle escort for the QLD Governor, Sir Henry Able Smith during the QUR colour parade in July 1959. He is still in contact with another MP that supported the parade, however neither of them have photos.

Does QURA have any photos from this parade? If so, it would be great to get a copy of them. Feel free to call or email me to discuss this, or point me in the direction of the best person to handle the request."

I have informed Ryan that I will search our records to see if any of our old photos contain any images of the MP escort.

The above request is a classic example for assistance with historical items that we get from people all over the world. This demonstrates one reason why I am so keen to get as much history as possible. Please assist me to collect items of historical interest. I am happy to receive them, copy them and return them directly back to you.

A final note regarding my efforts to collect history. One of the many requests for assistance is for details about ex members, such as "Did John Smith serve in QUR and when?" Due to the floods and the difficulty of being able to find the nominal rolls of QUR there is great difficulty in being able to identify ex members of QUR. In order to establish a "Nominal Roll" for QUR I intend to commence a "Rogues Gallery" project. I appeal to you all to assist me with this project. The detail for this project is further in this newsletter.

I look forward to your assistance with the history projects over the next few months and to your attendance at the Annual General Meeting and Dinner in September.

The "Rogues Gallery" History Project

Regularly QURA receives requests regarding information about people who may have served in QUR. Unfortunately QURA has only very limited records of people passing through the Regiment. Any records that the Unit or the Association had were mostly destroyed by the two Brisbane floods. It is very difficult to get any information from the Department of Defence regarding the names of soldiers who served in the unit.

So as to record as many names of soldiers who served in the unit it has been decided to ask everybody to record the names of all the soldiers with whom they served. If everyone lists the names of all the soldiers that they could remember, we would then compile a nominal roll. To identify each of the soldiers, we will ask for a limited amount of information such as:

- First Name,

- Last Name,

- Highest rank if known,

- Civilian occupation and position if known,

- Year or dates served in the unit.

Some examples might be:

* John Smith, Corporal, self employed builder, 1965-1971

* Fred Johnston, Warrant Officer Class 2, Teacher 1968 –1981

* Gerard Rackley, Captain, Dentist, 1995

* Samuel Brown, LTCOL, Public Servant Engineer Regional Director, CO QUR 1981-1985

Obviously if more information is known this should be added, such as:

- Corps

- Any details of military service

- Any honours or awards

- Command of any units, subunits

- Any stories about the member

- Contact Details if known (Contact information is not released to anyone)

- Alive or deceased

It does not matter if your information is incomplete as we might be able to complete it when two people present details about the same person.

How do you help?

Just start to record ALL the names of the soldiers that you have served with in QUR. Don’t think that someone else will name them because they are popular…. Just name them all. Keep adding to the list as you remember them. Send them to me when you think you recorded all those you can remember. Keep sending them if you think of more.

Or send in writing (It can be typed or handwritten) to:-

Trevor Luttrell


24 Walcott Street

St Lucia Q 4067

If you do nothing more for the history of QUR project please assist us with this project.

This history project can only work if everyone sends as much information as possible. It will only take very little time for each person to help.


CO's Report May 2015



The Regiment has maintained a high tempo since my last update.  We have successfully delivered courses to qualify Infantryman, meet promotion requirements for Lieutenants and Captains plus driver and training development of personnel. 


Our Regimental Dinner for Senior Non-Commission Officers, Warrant Officers and Officers was held on 10 April 2015.  Over 30 personnel attended what was an enjoyable evening for all, with the two members of QURA executive in Attendance.  Our mixed Dining-In will be held on 10 Oct 15 - more details to follow.


ANZAC Day 2015 was well supported by the Regiment at Toowong and Sherwood-Indooroopilly.  Over 4000 people attended the Centenary commemoration at Toowong and I am unsure of the numbers at Sherwood-Indooroopilly.  The Regiment provided catafalque parties and key note speakers at both locations.


The Regimental Open Day and Back To was held on 9 May 2015.  Over 400 families and Friends of the Regiment were treated to displays of modern weapons and equipment manned by members of staff and Officer Cadets.  I trust that all members of the Association that attended had a good day."


Richard Peace
Lieutenant Colonel
Commanding Officer/Chief Instructor
Queensland University Regiment

''Scientia Ac Labore - Knowledge Through Work'




Viet Cong Soldier Describes Life in War

QURA member, Bill Beach, received the following and thought it would be of interest to other QURA members.

From: Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum [mailto:mbhmus@bigpond.net.au]
Sent: Saturday, 11 April 2015 2:56 PM


Hello all.... Passed on by Bill Roche who was one of the soldiers in D Coy 6RAR at the Battle of Long Tan on 18 Aug 1966.


Viet Cong soldier describes life in war.

8 Things Vietnam War Movies Leave Out (By an Enemy Soldier)

By Evan V. Symon, Nguyen Hoa Giai March 27, 2015

Even if your knowledge of the Vietnam War comes exclusively from Hollywood films and Texan textbooks that only refer to it as "that one the good guys lost," you've probably heard about the Viet Cong.

They were a bunch of jungle-fighting guerrilla warriors who killed American boys via night-time ambushes and terrifying traps. Well, that's one side of the story.

Here's another: They were a bunch of scared (mostly) young kids fighting in a massive conflict for very personal reasons. We sent a writer out to Vietnam to speak with Nguyen Hoa Giai. He fought as a Viet Cong from the late 1950s to the end of the war in the mid-'70s.

Here's what he told us.


#8. We Weren't All Communists; We Just Wanted Independence, or Revenge


I became a Viet Cong guerrilla in the late 1950s, when I was 15. It wasn't because I was a Communist, or because I ran away to join the circus and just got wildly sidetracked. My uncle actually fought on Ho Chi Minh's side of things during WWII when the resistance against Japanese occupation was actually funded by the Americans and Brits



I was just mad at how the South was pushing all of its excess money into the major cities like Saigon. The South Vietnamese government seemed to ignore small towns and villages, like mine. Ngo Dinh Diem (the leader of South Vietnam at the time) even took away our farms and put them under the control of a single rich guy who'd supported the French in World War II. This happened all over South Vietnam and was called "land reform," rather than the far more accurate "serious, deep, and exploratory boning."

The French, who had controlled Vietnam since the 1800s, always saw the locals as "lower," and we never forgave them for refusing to give us independence. Ho Chi Minh was snubbed twice, and after the second time he reacted. My uncle also wanted independence and would do anything, including support Communism, to get it.


Once the fighting started, a lot of people died, well over a million on our side alone. For the war to continue, a constant stream of new fighters had to join up, and they didn't have the benefit of such luxuries as "functional equipment" or "the slightest idea what to do." Over 90 percent of these new recruits were teenagers or younger. Many of them weren't even particularly invested in the "cause" itself. Supporting Communism or the dream of a united Vietnam was less a motivator than wanting revenge for the death of a parent, loved one, or child. The Viet Cong (literally: the National Liberation Front or just "the front") were just a means for securing that revenge.

Most of them were aware that Stalin and Mao each had movements named after them (Stalinism and Maoism), so they just assumed Socialism was named after a guy named Social and Communism was named after a guy named Commun. A distressing number of my co-soldiers still thought we were fighting France. They knew of Ho Chi Minh, but only in vague propagandistic terms, not the man's actual history. When we told them we wanted a Socialist society, they just said yes because they were mostly poor, grieving peasants living through a shortage of damns, and thus had none to spare for politics.


#7. We Were Just as Scared of the Jungle as the Americans Were


Your movies tend to portray the Viet Cong as deadly jungle warriors, blending into the foliage and melting out of the wild to launch continuous surprise assaults on various Rambos. That's all a big load of crap: Many of us (including me) came from border towns and grew up in the hills or the mountains. We had no more mastery over the jungle than a kid from Oregon has over Death Valley.


Your bamboo-frame bicycles and gluten-free kale fritters won't help you here, fellas. So the jungle was alien to many of us, and unlike most of the American soldiers, we were stuck spending our entire war there. My uncle and I didn't trust the tunnel systems many of the other VC used. They were prone to collapse, and if that happened over a barracks or a mess hall it was likely to kill more people than an air

raid. So we did most of our moving around outside, under the questionable cover of grass mats. This meant we were not only completely open to rain storms ... but also to murderous animals. It's easy to forget, amid all the drama of war, that there were tigers in that jungle. Easy to forget until you met a goddamn tiger


Despite what The Jungle Book may lead you to believe, alpha predators are very rarely interested in singalongs.

Tigers may be shy, but every once in a while one of us would disappear in the middle of the night, and we'd all just sort of understand why. Tigers don't exactly do end-zone dances after every kill, after all.

And so many people were killed by snakes. There were also rats as large as cats, mosquitoes, spiders, and centipedes to contend with. While you won't usually die from a centipede bite,

Armed adversaries give you comparatively good odds of survival. Mother Nature has things uglier than bullets in her arsenal.


#6. The Fighting Looked Nothing Like the Movies


Movies always make the fighting between Viet Cong and American soldiers look like gruesome, close-up gun fighting. That kind of stuff happened, sure, but only when absolutely everyone fucked up. In reality, even when we were shooting at the enemy, we usually couldn't see them. There'd be muzzle flashes or tracers in the distance, and we'd just fire at those. During more than a decade of fighting, I saw living enemy soldiers up close only three times.

The first time was right after a firelight, and we were shocked to see how blackened the bodies were. We thought they must have been charred by an explosion until we realized their skin was naturally black


It's almost enough to make you wonder if the human psyche might not be built for life in a war zone.

Thanks to Hollywood, you probably picture the VC as constantly popping out of holes in the ground like deadly gophers. But like I said before, my group avoided those cramped, rickety tunnels full of death traps like, well ... like cramped, rickety tunnels full of death traps. You don't need an analogy to understand why that sounds like a bad idea. But sometimes we'd have to go really far south, or there'd be exceptionally clear skies and we'd decide that the tunnel sounded like marginally more fun than a bomb. The tunnels were essential for a lot of the VC, though, especially around Saigon.

Unlike living under the mats, tunnel living was a whole different world. The big ones had a kitchen area, with a smokestack jutting out sideways so the smoke would billow out far away. There was always rice, usually along with a vegetable or meat (rat or monkey).



But, as always, the great outdoors was the best bathroom. We generally had to wait for nightfall to relieve ourselves, but if it was an emergency, well ... you just kind of hope the bomb hits you direct, so nobody sees that you died squatting with your pants around your ankles. Once, in a tunnel near the Laotian border, we even made a fun game: The goal was to be the person who could finish their business outside first. We all got pretty good at this, but once a guy panicked when he heard the distant drone of a plane's engine. He leapt back in, spraying piss everywhere.

It turned out the plane was North Vietnamese. Everyone laughed, except the guy who'd sprayed us with his pee: He'd been the record-holder prior to that point, and now his record was irrevocably tarnished. With pee.


#5. We Were the Biggest Threat to Our Own Safety


On a day-to-day basis, enemy soldiers weren't our biggest threat. We saw more American leaflets and trash piles than actual combatants::


My group's job was mainly to observe troops near the Ho Chi Minh trail. Again, we only got into fights when someone screwed up. But we didn't need any help, American or otherwise, to get ourselves killed and mangled: Recruiting undisciplined kids and giving them more responsibility than a Tamagotchi will see to that.

Sure, there were VC training centers, but local recruits rarely attended. For every trained person we got through a camp, three more came from the surrounding area with only the vaguest idea of what a gun was. We provided on-the-job training to our guerrillas, and that led to disaster. I remember teaching one recruit, about 17 years old, how to throw a grenade. He pulled the pin then asked us what to do next. We were shouting at him to toss it, but he just waved at us, and watched the fuse burn up to the shell. It exploded. So did he.

Another recruit was given a Chinese AK to stand guard with, and then later that day he was asked to cut down a tree branch to give us better visibility for the night. Instead of asking for a saw, he flipped the AK on automatic and proceeded to shoot the branch down. The branch came down, but a bullet ricocheted off and killed him. So we had to bury him, as well as find a new position. His shooting had given us away.




#4. Our Best Gear Was Old Junk, and It Usually Came From America


Because we were on the front lines of South Vietnam, we were pretty far down the food chain when it came to getting weapons. Some came in through the Ho Chi Minh trail, but most of those went to the VC outside of Saigon. With the NVA above us and more critical Viet Cong below us, the guerrillas in the middle got the "short bus" weapons.

It worked like this: The Soviets would make a bunch of AK-47s and send them to China. The Chinese would keep the Russian AKs and replace them with inferior knockoffs that they'd produced. The North Vietnamese Army got the Chinese weapons, along with whatever WWII-era crap they had left over. Since all of the "good" weapons from this already-bad lot went to the NVA and VC near major cities, we mostly wound up with antiques -- and not even the nice, collectible antiques that old ladies build nests out of. Just old junk.


Ironically enough, most of them were originally American made. M1s (I remember the iconic "ping" sound) and Thompsons were the norm in the early years. After fights, there were always enemy M16s scattered about, but we didn't touch those -- they never worked right. In one of the few true close-in fights we had with the Americans, they were actually using AK-47s against us


Your tax dollars at work..

Toward the end of American involvement, we were just getting mortars and mortar shells. The North Vietnamese army was stockpiling everything else for an invasion of the South. In the jungle where we were, fired mortar shells could hit a tree branch and go off prematurely, killing us. So we had to find a way to use them, which required a lot of trial and error. I was in my late 20s by this time and by far the oldest living guy in my squad, so everyone else (all but one a teenager or younger) asked me to figure out something that worked.



And yes, we made traps, including those iconic tiger traps with spikes on the bottom. Those actually were made more with tigers in mind than any hope of spearing American GIs. It's, uh ... it's right there in the name, really. Seriously, tigers are fucking terrifying


#3. Our Side's War Crimes Were Often Glossed Over


Whenever "Vietnam War crimes" are mentioned in the West, people think of
My Lai or Agent Orange being dumped over large swaths of forests. Those are both awful things. But, for whatever reason, my own side gets to walk away whistling suspiciously.



That shouldn't be the case: We committed war crimes on a regular basis. How do I know? I saw them. The North Vietnamese Army would purposely target hospitals and medical areas, because that was where they could do the most damage. I wouldn't have believed it if somebody had just told me back during the war -- but I saw it happen at a base in the Quang Tri area and heard the order given when we briefly came to an NVA area to get new orders. We were also occasionally called away from the trail to watch over a VC or NVA firefight -- having long-range rifles as support was effective. But many of us would stop firing when we saw villages going up in smoke or villagers being shot. The VC and NVA weren't always sure if people near the border were pro- or anti-American, so rather than take chances, they went by the "atrocity them all and let god cry it out" philosophy.


#2. No One Really "Survives" a War Intact


In 1974, with the U.S. out and South Vietnam operations winding down, my VC group was allowed to go home. I took the trails up to my village. As I approached, I started noticing odd things. Signs were gone, no kids came begging, no travellers walked the paths to and from the town. It all seemed too quiet. I remember running up to my village to find nothing. It was literally all gone..



To this day I have no idea if the North Vietnamese, the Americans, or someone else was responsible. But the way everything was just covered by a bulldozer indicated the North Vietnamese. Everyone but my youngest brother was gone (and he would die during the Chinese War five years later). I'm not special. Ask any older Vietnamese person: They've all lost many, many loved ones. And not always due to America or its allies. I never expected to survive 10 years at the front. And, to be honest, I still don't really feel like I survived.



#1. Only Time and Support Can Heal Wounds


After the war, I moved to Saigon. At that point I'd never lived in a city and had spent half my life utterly detached from society. All I knew was how to hide, kill, and drill. It came out everywhere I went. I fought people because of the way they were carrying a loaf of bread, because it looked like they were smuggling a radio. I had the bathtub taken out of my apartment and built a custom one out of metal, tarps, and dirt -- to simulate bathing in a river. In hip U.S. neighbourhoods, they'd call that something like "paleo bathing" and charge you a fortune for it, but I just knew no other way to be. I had to be reminded constantly to pay for things, because I was just so used to taking them. I struggled with PTSD and depression. I thought a lot about suicide.


Go figure. Many of them had similar experiences: They'd lived, but they had lost their family and friends in horrific ways. Over months and years of breaks, lunches, and trade meetings, my group of co-workers turned into a "Depression Anonymous" support group.

Life is much better now. By the 1990s, the U.S., Australia, and South Korea all more or less apologized for their role in the war. Today, the U.S. is actually viewed favourably by over three-quarters of the population


I went back to the site of my village a few years ago and found it to be a forest. The sunken area with the grave is still there, but there is a small memorial with trees growing over it. It made me feel oddly at peace: Death had been covered by new life.


Evan V. Symon is the interview finder at Cracked and was honoured to talk with Nguyen.



Albert Jacka VC




Being the first can bring rewards. For being the first soldier in the Australian Imperial Force to receive a Victoria Cross Lance-Corporal Albert Jacka, 14th Battalion, also received a gold medal and a purse of £500 from Melbourne business identity John Wren. Jacka gained the award for a brave and determined bit of soldiering at Anzac during the night of 18- 19 May  1915.  


After the establishment of the Anzac line at Gallipoli in early May 1915, the Turkish commanders began making plans to force the Anzacs off the peninsula. New divisions were brought in and a great attack was scheduled for 19 May. In the words of Kiazim Pasha, Chief of Staff to the German commander of all Turkish forces on Gallipoli, Liman Von Sanders: 'The plan was to attack before day-break, drive the Anzac troops from their trenches, and follow them down to the sea'.


On the morning of 19 May, in the hour before dawn, the Turkish attack went in all along the Anzac line. Eventually, with terrible loss of life by the Turks, it was beaten back. One spot, however, where the Turks did succeed in driving the Australians out of a part of their front line trench was at Courtney 's . Post, defended by the 14th Battalion from Victoria. The approach to Courtney's was up  a  gentle  rise from the Turkish side, relatively well covered with undergrowth. In one spot, the attackers reached the lip of the Australian trench and, hurling bombs into it, killed some of the defenders and drove the rest off. As the Australians pulled back, Turkish soldiers occupied a few metres of the trench. The enemy, however, were unable to move up or down the trench because shots were being fired at them from connecting communication trenches. Some of these  shots were  coming  from  Lance-Corporal  Albert  Jacka  who  was occupying a fire-step in a firing bay. Two officers who ran into the trench, trying to get sight of or drive back the Turks, were both killed.


From battalion headquarters there now came another officer, Lieutenant K Crabbe, whom Jacka warned not to step out into the firing line. Crabbe asked Jacka if he would charge the Turks and Jacka replied that he would with some support. Jacka then led three men around the comer of the trench against the Turks but all three were quickly hit and he was forced to retreat. A new plan had Jacka taking a circuitous route through back trenches to get in behind the Turks. Once he was in position , another party would occupy the enemy with a bomb attack. As the bombs exploded, creating much noise and smoke, Jacka jumped out into no-man's-land, ran to where the Turks were, and leapt in among them. He quickly shot five men dead and bayoneted two more; the remainder fled. As Lieutenant Crabbe entered the position Jacka, his face 'flushed with the tremendous excitement he had undergone during the previous hour' , greeted him saying, 'Well, I managed to get the beggars, Sir!' He was recommended for and received the Victoria Cross.

Jacka's award was only the start of a military career that saw him become a 'living legend'  within  the AIF.  Moreover,  it was a reputation earned by his personal qualities of leadership in the only area really respected by front-line soldiers, that of the battlefield itself. While Jacka could be outspoken and bloody-minded, attributes which many of his superiors saw as insubordination and which may had held back his promotion beyond his eventual rank of captain, everyone within the AIF came to know of Albert Jacka. In France, he was twice awarded a Military  Cross for actions that even that judicious evaluator of men, the official historian Charles Bean, felt should have earned him two bars to his Victoria Cross. At Pozieres on the Somme in 1916, arguably the most terrible battle the AIF was ever involved in, Jacka's presence of mind and courage virtually saved the day when a German counter­ attack had broken through the line. As forty Australian prisoners were being led by the triumphant  Germans, Jacka, at the head of seven men, burst among them. Despite being hurled from his feet several times by explosions and wounded in the head and shoulder, Jacka killed nearly a score of Germans on his own and bayoneted others. The 14th Battalion's historian, N Wanliss, described this as a 'brilliant counter-attack' and Charles Bean was also lavish in his praise describing Jacka's action as 'the most dramatic and effective act of individual audacity in the history of the AIF'. From an official historian, who personally read over the stories of thousands of brave men that he included in his  battle narratives, this was exceptional praise.


Albert Jacka died in 1932 and at his funeral his coffin was carried by eight Australian VCs. On his grave these  words were cut:


'Captain Albert Jacka  VC MC and Bar,  14th  Battalion, AIF.

The first VC in the Great War 1914-1918.

A gallant soldier. An honoured citizen.'


For years his old comrades of the 14th Battalion held a memorial service by his grave. After they passed on, that annual   act   of   remembrance   was  continued   by   St  Kilda Council, Melbourne. But perhaps the greatest tribute that was paid  to  Jacka  was  by  another  battalion  historian , E J Rule,who called his book Jacka's Mob, a title he explained in these words:


Not we only, but ... the whole AIF came to look upon him as a rock of strength that never failed. We of the 14th Battalion never ceased to be thrilled when we heard ourselves referred to in the estaminet [French public house] or by passing units on the march as 'some of Jack's mob'





During World War II the United States exported more tons of petroleum products than of all other war material combined. The mainstay of the enormous oil-and gasoline transportation network that fed the war was the oceangoing tanker, supplemented on land by pipelines, railroad tank cars, and trucks. But for combat vehicles on the move, another link was crucial—smaller containers that could be carried and poured by hand and moved around a battle zone by trucks.

Hitler knew this. He perceived early on that the weakest link in his plans for blitzkrieg using his panzer divisions was fuel supply. He ordered his staff to design a fuel container that would minimize gasoline losses under combat conditions. As a result the German army had thousands of jerry cans, as they came to be called, stored and ready when hostilities began in 1939.

The jerry can had been developed under the strictest secrecy, and its unique features were many. It was flat-sided and rectangular in shape, consisting of two halves welded together as in a typical automobile gasoline tank. It had three handles, enabling one man to carry two cans and pass one to another man in bucket-brigade fashion. Its capacity was approximately five U.S. gallons; its weight filled, forty-five pounds. Thanks to an air chamber at the top, it would float on water if dropped overboard or from a plane. Its short spout was secured with a snap closure that could be propped open for pouring, making unnecessary any funnel or opener. A gasket made the mouth leak proof. An air-breathing tube from the spout to the air space kept the pouring smooth. And most important, the can’s inside was lined with an impervious plastic material developed for the insides of steel beer barrels. This enabled the jerry can to be used alternately for gasoline and water.

Early in the summer of 1939, this secret weapon began a roundabout odyssey into American hands. An American engineer named Paul Pleiss, finishing up a manufacturing job in Berlin, persuaded a German colleague to join him on a vacation trip overland to India. The two bought an automobile chassis and built a body for it. As they prepared to leave on their journey, they realized that they had no provision for emergency water. The German engineer knew of and had access to thousands of jerry cans stored at Tempelhof Airport. He simply took three and mounted them on the underside of the car.

The two drove across eleven national borders without incident and were halfway across India when Field Marshal Goering sent a plane to take the German engineer back home. Before departing, the engineer compounded his treason by giving Pleiss complete specifications for the jerry can's manufacture. Pleiss continued on alone to Calcutta. Then he put the car in storage and returned to Philadelphia.

Back in the United States, Pleiss told military officials about the container, but without a sample can he could stir no interest, even though the war was now well under way. The risk involved in having the cans removed from the car and shipped from Calcutta seemed too great, so he eventually had the complete vehicle sent to him, via Turkey and the Cape of Good Hope. It arrived in New York in the summer of 1940 with the three jerry cans intact. Pleiss immediately sent one of the cans to Washington. The War Department looked at it but unwisely decided that an updated version of their World War I container would be good enough. That was a cylindrical ten-gallon can with two screw closures. It required a wrench and a funnel for pouring.

That one jerry can in the Army’s possession was later sent to Camp Holabird, in Maryland. There it was poorly redesigned; the only features retained were the size, shape, and handles. The welded circumferential joint was replaced with rolled seams around the bottom and one side. Both a wrench and a funnel were required for its use. And it now had no lining. As any petroleum engineer knows, it is unsafe to store gasoline in a container with rolled seams. This ersatz can did not win wide acceptance.

The British first encountered the jerry can during the German invasion of Norway, in 1940, and gave it its English name (the Germans were, of course, the “Jerries”). Later that year Pleiss was in London and was asked by British officers if he knew anything about the can’s design and manufacture. He ordered the second of his three jerry cans flown to London. Steps were taken to manufacture exact duplicates of it.

Two years later the United States was still oblivious of the can. Then, in September 1942, two quality-control officers posted to American refineries in the Mideast ran smack into the problems being created by ignoring the jerry can. I was one of those two. passing through Cairo two weeks before the start of the Battle of El Alamein, we learned that the British wanted no part of a planned U.S. Navy can; as far as they were concerned, the only container worth having was the Jerry can, even though their only supply was those captured in battle. The British were bitter; two years after the invasion of Norway there was still no evidence that their government had done anything about the jerry can.

My colleague and I learned quickly about the jerry can's advantages and the Allied can’s costly disadvantages, and we sent a cable to naval officials in Washington stating that 40 percent of all the gasoline sent to Egypt was being lost through spillage and evaporation. We added that a detailed report would follow. The 40 percent figure was actually a guess intended to provoke alarm, but it worked. A cable came back immediately requesting confirmation.

We then arranged a visit to several fuel-handling depots at the rear of Montgomery’s army and found there that conditions were indeed appalling. Fuel arrived by rail from the sea in fifty-five-gallon steel drums with rolled seams and friction-sealed metallic mouths. The drums were handled violently by local laborers. Many leaked. The next link in the chain was the infamous five-gallon “petrol tin.” This was a square can of tin plate that had been used for decades to supply lamp kerosene. It was hardly useful for gasoline. In the hot desert sun, it tended to swell up, burst at the seams, and leak. Since a funnel was needed for pouring, spillage was also a problem.

Allied soldiers in Africa knew that the only gasoline container worth having was German. Similar tins were carried on Liberator bombers in flight. They leaked out perhaps a third of the fuel they carried. Because of this, General Wavell’s defeat of the Italians in North Africa in 1940 had come to naught. His planes and combat vehicles had literally run out of gas. Likewise in 1941, General Auchinleck’s victory over Rommel had withered away. In 1942 General Montgomery saw to it that he had enough supplies, including gasoline, to whip Rommel in spite of terrific wastage. And he was helped by captured jerry cans.

The British historian Desmond Young later confirmed the great importance of oil cans in the early African part of the war. “No one who did not serve in the desert,” he wrote, “can realize to what extent the difference between complete and partial success rested on the simplest item of our equipment—and the worst. Whoever sent our troops into desert warfare with the [five-gallon] petrol tin has much to answer for. General Auchinleck estimates that this ‘flimsy and ill-constructed container’ led to the loss of thirty per cent of petrol between base and consumer. … The overall loss was almost incalculable. To calculate the tanks destroyed, the number of men who were killed or went into captivity because of shortage of petrol at some crucial moment, the ships and merchant seamen lost in carrying it, would be quite impossible. After my colleague and I made our report, a new five-gallon container under consideration in Washington was canceled.

Meanwhile the British were finally gearing up for mass production. Two million British jerry cans were sent to North Africa in early 1943, and by early 1944 they were being manufactured in the Middle East. Since the British had such a head start, the Allies agreed to let them produce all the cans needed for the invasion of Europe. Millions were ready by D-day. By V-E day some twenty-one million Allied jerry cans had been scattered all over Europe. President Roosevelt observed in November 1944, “Without these cans it would have been impossible for our armies to cut their way across France at a lightning pace which exceeded the German Blitz of 1940.”

In Washington little about the jerry can appears in the official record. A military report says simply, “A sample of the jerry can was brought to the office of the Quartermaster General in the summer of 1940.”





March Get Together




Barry Schmidt (left) chatting with William Ridley over a plate of finger food at the Normanby Hotel March Get Together.
William Ridley still trying to finish his chicken satay stick while Peter Sharwood looks on with Trevor Luttrell in the background looking for his satay stick.
Paul Smith (standing) looking on in `judgment` of Bruce Davis (left), Garry Collins and Barry Schmidt.
Now how do these new fandangle phones work?  Trevor Luttrell trying to work out how to take a photo.
Ruth Kassulke getting `up close` with Wayne Barclay at the March Get Together.
NO - It's not President Trevor Luttrell recovering from the QURA March Get Together.  Photo taken when Trevor was recovering from recent operation at the Greenslopes Hospital.





War Quotes



- The conventional army loses if it does not won, the guerilla wins if he does not lose.

    Henry Kissinger 1960


- In terms of discomfort and endurance, the Burma front was the only Second-World-War equivalent of Great- War trench life faced by the British army. 

    Correlli Barnett 1970


- France has lost the battle but she has not lost the war.

    Charles de Gaulle 1940


- The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are still no less difficult.

    Winston Churchill 1942


- To conquer the world with arms is only to make a temporary conquest; to conquer the world by earning its esteem is to make a permanent conquest.

    Woodrow Wilson 1918




Things to Think About


Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer and wish we didn’t.


Never walk through the office without a piece of paper in your hand.


Always be the one to start rumors, otherwise you wont know if they are true.


If a light sleeper sleeps with the light on, does a hard sleeper sleep with the window open?


If necessity is the mother of invention, how come so much unnecessary junk gets invented?


Charles Dickens walks into a bar. The bartender said: “Olive or twist?”


Did you hear about the new chain of coffee shops in Russia? - It’s called Tsarbucks.


What’s the difference between a lawyer and a herd of buffalo? - A lawyer charges more.


I wanted to be a sea fisherman, but I couldn’t live off my net income.




Correspondence from Members


Listed below is some of the correspondence received since the last Newsletter.  These emails are reproduced here for entertainment and also to keep members informed of other members movements, etc.


Please note:  QURA receives emails/letters from time to time requesting contact details of members.  The current policy is if a fellow member requests contact with another member, the contact details are given without contacting the relevant member. 

Where contact is requested by a non-member, the contact is referred to the individual member to follow up the contact if they so desire.




From: Bond, Michael COL
To: Peter Morton
Subject: RE: QURA May Newsletter





Please accept my apologies for functions for the next year.


I am deploying as the United Nations Senior Military Liaison Officer in South Sudan. I will double-hat as the Commander of the Australian Contingent. Great jobs for Reservists. Home in April 16.






Assistant Commander

11 Brigade





From:- Peter McCann


To:- Peter Morton


Hi Peter,


Details updated.


I am currently working at AHQ on CFTS, filling in for a deployed member,  on a project for modernisation of the Bushmaster PMV .  I intend to retire again in September and will be living in the Port Stephens area north of Newcastle.  I certainly didn't think I would still be in a uniform aged 64 but they keep making me offers I can't refuse. 


I am also living testimony to Army's flexible employment strategy having been in the ARA twice, on a short service commission, an active Reservist, a Standby Reservist employed on DA50 and three periods of CFTS.  I am very fortunate to be still serving in my 46th year in the ADF.




Peter McCann


SO2 Mounted Combat Development

Directorate of Major Systems Development - Army






From:- Bruce Davis


To:- Trevor Luttrell



From: Colman, Stephan WO1 
Sent: Tuesday, 19 May 2015 07:30
To: HQ 7 Bde All Staff
Subject: FW: speech [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]



Ladies and gentlemen,

        a link to an ANZAC Day speech delivered in Melbourne a very good and different speech.




RSM 7th Combat Bde






From:- Tim O'Brien


To:- Peter Morton


Regarding the photos in the newsletter - the 1986 Sub 1 Cpl camp was held at Wacol.
The tall private standing behind the SI went on to become the CO of the Regt, although with a lot less hair by then.


Tim O'Brien




From: John Hammond

To: Trevor Luttrell

Subject: Interview - WW2 pilot


Take five minutes to watch this video interview -- and listen carefully to what he says and how he says it.  I promise you, you won't regret a second of it.   
 yourself, how many of the few surviving WWII veterans kept themselves and their uniform in such good condition for over 70 years and can still proudly wear it? 
Notice his
 superb delivery, no teleprompter, no script -- just a 91-year-old fighter pilot.  He has some surprises and a great take on the philosophy of life.  


Make sure you watch it to the end




From:- David Fisher


To:- Peter Morton


Hi Peter,


On Saturday morning (ANZAC day) I ran into an ex-QUR member, Toby St George. I'm not sure if he is a member of the QURA, but he was keen to re-connect with QUR. His brief history is below:


I enlisted in May 1950 . I heard about the CMF on the bus out to a St.Lucia lecture. I visited the QUR office in the Domain area of the UQ Gardens Campus and got enlistment papers. Since I was 19 I had to go home on the train to Wynnum to get parents signatures.  I was told I could get a medical that evening at 9 Bn at Kelvin Grove Barracks which I did and got my Kings Shilling, literally. QUR was only a 60   strength company. I got uniforms and webbing the following Sunday at QUR and went to camp the next weekend. 9Bn and 25Bn were in camp.   Wacol was a freezing hole. One week’s minor training then on a convoy to Noosa. It took all day. The whole week was live fire exercises.    All officers ,WO were ex WW2. We were based at Golden Beach Noosa . The area to the south was a live firing exercise range. Most of the 25 pounder shoot on the platoon, company and battalion attacks was targeted  on Coolum. We had Vickers support. RAAF mustangs dropped napalm, bombs and fired machine guns as we attacked. This was 3 weeks from enlistment.

The lifesaver at an afternoon swim had a Bren and loaded mags.

I was commissioned in QUR in 1953.I later served in 10Bn Adelaide,27Bn Mt Gambier, CSTU Melbourne,1 RVR pentropic, 6RVR Melbourne, 4TF HQ, CSTU Brisbane ,9RQR Sp Coy OC then Bn 2ic. And finished up in CSTU.

In Vietnam I was attached to 7 RAR.


A reservist that served in Vietnam seemed quite rare.


Kind regards,


D Fisher



Queensland University Regiment




From:- Bill Beach


To:- Peter Morton



You may be interested esp. in the photographs of the trumpet.


This is a part of my job that is interesting…. Pity more wasn’t



From: Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum [mailto:mbhmus@bigpond.net.au]
Sent: Monday, 9 March 2015 8:48 PM
Subject: Follow up on the trumpet - WW1


Hello all
If anybody can assist Bill Beach, please contact him direct.  In 1986, Bill was an officer at the Queensland University Regiment and I was a WO2 instructor/WO Co-ord.
With two other fellows we walked the Kokoda Track/Trail.......a great experience in life!
Thanks and regards

-------- Forwarded Message --------


FW: Follow up on the trumpet - WW1


Fri, 6 Mar 2015 02:43:23 +0000


Bill Beach


Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum





I need help from the MHSA Qld  boys.


A woman turned up with this trumpet the other day.


Captured 1918 as per the inscription.


The name of the German soldier is also inscribed.


Carmel is looking into its history – it will be donated to the AWM along with postcards etc  & a diary I believe.


Thoughts about the regimental inscription.










From:- Bruce Davis


To:- Peter Morton


Dear Peter,



On Saturday 28 February 2015, the Queensland University Regiment conducted a cocktail party at the United Services Club for the initial six First Appointment Course Graduates of 2015.


Lieutenants Russell Fox, RAA, and Chris Rawlinson, RAInf, are posted to 25/49 RQR; Lieutenant Matt Doolan, RAInf, to 9 RQR; Lieutenant Richard Bell, RAE, to 11 ER; and Lieutenant Shane Devries, RACT, and Lieutenant Matt Sokolich, RAEME, are posted to 11 CSSB.


Bruce Davis represented the president at the function and presented personal letters from the QURA to each graduand.


The function was very well attended, with the Commander 11 Bde, Brigadier Bill Date, Deputy Commander 11 Brigade, Colonel Michael Bond, and Commanding Officers of units to which the officers were posted, among those present. OC Jacka Company, MAJ Michael Stone, was Master of Ceremonies and the Platoon Commander, Captain Sam Mitchell, presented the new Lieutenants.


Bruce represented our president, Brigadier Trevor Luttrell, who was in hospital recovering from an operation. A senior NCO at the function noted his absence with surprise - "He's at all our functions," was the comment, and certainly even at Bruce's height, he could not fully represent the president!


A most successful evening, and best wishes to our newest graduates.









From:- Bruce Davis


To:- Trevor Luttrell


Dear Trevor,


Have surfaced again after nearly three weeks in the Battle Simulation Centre at Enoggera and hope to see you Wednesday afternoon!


How are you recovering?






PS Nice Thank You letter from QUR for the Association (attached).





From:- John Hammond


To:- Trevor Luttrell



 A wise person once said. 


1. We all  love to spend money buying new clothes but we never realize that the best moments in life are enjoyed without clothes. 


2. Having a cold drink on hot day with a few friends is nice, but having a hot friend on a cold night after a few drinks - PRICELESS. 


3. Arguing over a girl's bust size is like choosing between VB, Carlton, XXXX, & Tooheys.  Men may state their preferences, but will grab whatever is  available. 


4. I haven't verified this on Google, but it sounds legit… A recent study found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.


























From:- Dave Sallows


To:- Peter Morton


Subject:-   QURA March Get Together


G’day Peter.


Regrettably I have had a better offer (of long standing I must admit) – I will be cycling down the South Coast of NSW so I can’t be at the function. My apologies to all.


All the best


dave S


(BTW – I hope to get my OBE later this year – Over Bloody Eighty! Whitlam couldn’t stop that one, but maybe Tony can devise a subtitute?)





From:- Barrie Hayne


To:- Peter Morton



Dear Peter Morton:


Many thanks for your latest invitation to the Regimental Social on 18 March.  Over the last few years you have sent me many invitations, most of which I have declined.  My last attendance at a Regimental function (and I have attended only two) was some ten years ago when my photograph was taken with one of the few members I knew.  I feel that I would be attending your meetings under false pretences, since when I left National Service in 1953, I attended no parades with the Regiment but almost immediately transferred into 3 Interrogation Company, Northern Command.  There is almost nobody I know now connected with the regiment, and while thanking you for your continuing attention, I think it best that you remove my name from your mailing list.


Cordially, Barrie Hayne






From:- Richard Gavin


To:- Peter Morton


Subjec:-  Why Man are Rarely Depressed

Men Are Just Happier People -- What do you expect from such simple creatures?

Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack...
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.
New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, even decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives nn December 24 in 25 minutes.

Men Are Just Happier People

If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah. If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
When the girls get their bill, outcome the pocket calculators...YEP!!!

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.

A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man can forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!



Forwarded From:- Bill Beach


To:- Peter Morton


From: Maryborough Military & Colonial Museum
Sent: Monday, 9 March 2015 8:43 PM
Subject: New RSM at Kapooka


Hi all.....

Move over boys we are becoming redundant!!...........





The Commandant at RMC recently told me that nearly all her HQ staff are females.







March Get Together                    Wednesday 18 March 2015 - 1730Hrs

                                                                    (Normanby Hotel)
Anzac Day                                   Saturday 25 April 2015 - 0430Hrs

                                                                (Dawn Service - No QUR function at Depot)

QUR Birthday Celebration        Saturday 9 May 2015

                                                                (All day - incl displays, etc .  Messes will be open)

AGM                                            Thursday 17 September 2015 - ( 1900Hrs for 1930Hrs) (Note change of date)

Officers/SNCO Mixed Dinner      Saturday 10 October 2015 (Unit and QURA members and Partners)

Christmas Function                   Wednesday 9 December 2015 - 1730Hrs (Normanby Hotel)






Please check the Members Page to ensure that your membership is current.

If you pay your membership fees on a year by year basis

payment is now due for 2015


Membership status codes are:


Annual dues are $10 however a 10 year paid-up membership is available for $70.  

Cheques should be forwarded to:

The Treasurer

QUR Association

24 Walcott Street,

St Lucia 4067

For those members with internet banking, payments may be made direct to the QURA Bank Account.

Details are BSB 064 129, Account 0090 4500, Account Name QUR Association Inc

Please ensure your name is supplied in the payment details.




The Executive Committee encourages all members to provide a current email address to allow quick and easy communication of important notifications and reminders of upcoming events. 

If you know of any ex-members of QUR who are not in the association, please contact the Membership Registrar (Peter Morton) with any contact details that you have.


For members wishing to provide a new email address, please send an email to Sectretary  to ensure your address is received and entered onto our contact list.




Have you considered purchasing a copy of the History of QUR magnificently complied and edited by Paul Smith?

It contains 128 pages of stories, photographs and has a coloured badged cover.

          COST :            $15 per copy.

What about a CD containing over 100 images of the history of the Regiment.

COST :            $10 per copy.

Why not treat yourself to a copy or buy copies for your friends.  These are collectors items so don't miss out.

How to purchase copies:

Ring                        Trevor Luttrell      0437 442 964

Email                    Historian

Send your payment to:

The Treasurer, QUR Association, 24 Walcott Street, St Lucia Q 4067.

For those members with internet banking, payments may be made direct to the QURA Bank Account.

Details are BSB 064 129, Account 0090 4500, Account Name QUR Association Inc

Please ensure your name is supplied in the payment details.





  • SMEMB - Special Member (no fees)

  • LMEMB - Life Member (no fees)

  • PUOM - Paid Up Ordinary member (no fees but can transfer to 10 year membership for $50)

  • NEW - New member (no membership fees received as yet)

  • 2015 - 202? membership fees paid to year indicated

  • 199? - 2014 membership fees due for 2015

Position Name Bus Hrs A/Hrs Email
President Trevor Luttrell 0437 442 964 3345 2754 President
Vice President Col Ahern 0409 616 922 3278 1862  
Secretary/Treasurer Bruce Davis 0402 768 142 3878 2920 Treasurer
Committee Members       Executive
  Greg Adams 3264 5544 0418 744 678  
  Garry Collins   3359 5993  
  David Ross 3227 6974 0402 904 204  

QURA Administration

Position Name Bus Hrs A/Hrs Email
Membership Secretary Peter Morton 3114 2010 0419 484 736 M/ship Secretary

End of Newsletter