87 Transport Platoon (TIPPER) Served at Vung Tau, South Vietnam from 1 Apr 1966 to 5 Jul 1967. (The Teaspoons)
Prior to 1958, 87 Transport Platoon (Tipper) was on the
order of battle as a Citizens Military Forces Unit (CMF).
87 Tpt Pl (Tipper) was raised to ARA status, CIRCA, 1959/60 at Melbourne, under command of HQ 28 Coy RAASC, with troops on loan back to and administered by 103 Coy RAASC (GT).
Some of the Major exercises the Platoon attended were Ex ICEBREAKER, Ex NUTCRACKER, Ex SKYHIGH and Ex LONGSHOT.
Apart from being on loan to 103 Coy, 87 Pl was also involved in driver support to many other Units and locations such as School Cadet camps, Course Demonstrations at the RAASC SCHOOL and places like the
Army Design Establishment Trials and Proving Wing at Monegetta and the Tropical Trials Detachment at Innisfail NQ (one of the favoured places to be with all the latest Vehicles, Plant and Equipment on trial), flood relief and bush fire fighting duties and any other task that the powers to be could think of.
Early 1964 87 PL was deployed permanently to Puckapunyal under command of HQ 25 Coy RAASC. The Platoon accommodated at B Block and later to Kapyong Barracks with 1 Armoured Regt, then to "S Block" prior to deployment to Sth Vietnam. On RTA back to the old National Service area.
In the years between the Malayan emergency and the Australian commitment to Sth Vietnam, many civil aid projects were in progress in other countries, one of which was the provision of a Const Sqn to Papua New Guinea for road building etc. 22 Cons Sqn RAE (including 1 Section 87 Tipper) was the duty Sqn for 1964/65 and once on station was known as the PNG Const Sqn. (Due to the Vietnam/Borneo commitments this was the last of the PNG Sqns).
March 1965 saw 87 Tpt Platoon (note loss of Tipper title
due to reorg of establishment ie; 3 sections of Dump Trucks and
2 sections of Cargoes) committed to Sth Vietnam and arrived in
country Via HMAS Sydney and some by air by 4 May 66. The immediate
task was to unload the HMAS Sydney and move all the stores to
the back beach (home for the next year). Tasks then became many
and varied until the arrival of 1 Tpt Pl we were it. With the
deployment of the Task Force into Nui Dat came the regular maintenance
and deployment convoys.
These convoys were run seven days a week alternating under control of 1Tpt Pl and 87Tpt Pl including 1 section of Dump Trucks attached to 1Fd Sqn at Nui Dat for development of roads and gun emplacements etc in the task force area. The tasks for the remaining dumps carried sand to Nui Dat and Laterite on the return trip for early hard standing in the bowl. Later they worked with the Engineers on construction work and then with the Americans with extensions to the Air Base. Many of these maint and special convoys were gun ammo and defence stores etc to deployments outside Nui Dat such as the Horsehoe and return of refugees after the Battle of Long Tan and other operations.
87 Tpt Pl returned to Australia as a Platoon late April
1967 to Puckapunyal with a strength of about 20 all ranks, after
the discharge of the National Service element and postings and
discharge of regular members.
The Pl, after leave and some admin duties resumed some of their pre Vietnam duties ie; working with school cadets and local area Tpt units but was not long before they had a reasonable strength again and found themselves relieving their rivals 1 Tpt Pl in Shoalwater Bay supporting Pre Vietnam training for the Battalions.
After the Vietnam conflict 87 Tpt Pl was to become a Restricted unit with only 12 Tippers and was fully committed to the support of 21 const Sqn RAE in the upgrading of the Puckapunyal Range and the Shoalwater Bay Training area as well as the APC Driver Training complex at the Armoured centre and many other tasks.
In June 1978 87 Transport Platoon was renamed 87 Transport Troop.
The Troop continued to support many and varied construction projects from Canberra to The Cape and to many projects and exercises through to, and including EX Kangaroo 89.
The Troop commenced disbandment on 31 August and was struck from the order of battle on 30 November 1989.
On 30 Nov 2002, 87 Tpt Tp was re-raised at Puckapunyal.
History supplied by Ted Baulch