Queen Alexandra's Squadron 1980-90s 


The purchase of 26 Scorpion CVRTs in the early 1980s enabled the Army to reform 1st Armoured Regiment to full operational status, where it had previously existed only on paper.  In its new form it comprised three squadrons; a tank squadron equipped with Scorpions (A- Queen Alexandra's) a cavalry squadron (B- Waikato/Wellington East Coast) equipped with a mixture of Scorpions and M113A1 APCs and an APC squadron (C- 1 Scots) equipped with M113A1s only.  In keeping with the practice started in the late 1970s all vehicles were completed in the US MERDC Red Desert camouflage scheme.


The Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles hatch badge. The style of Kiwi insignia carried by vehicles of the Squadron.


Awatere1.JPG (111909 bytes) A Scorpion (NZ34183) from QAMR during an open day at Linton Camp near Palmerston North in the late 1980s. 
Awatere2.JPG (85629 bytes) Formerly known as "Addonis", (NZ34183) was renamed "Awatere" and a stylised Maori figure added next to the name.
Camnet.JPG (88444 bytes) A well-camouflaged Scorpion in the hangers at Waiouru.
 The M41 was officially phased out at the 1983 Cambrai Day Parade at Waiouru in 1983.  Here a nice comparison can be made between the M41 (NZ30542, Armageddon) and its replacement the Scorpion (NZ34186) outside the Squadron hangers.  The turret symbols denote the squadron number (1), troop number (1) and vehicle within troop (B)  (P D Handel)
A Scorpion (NZ34188) taking part in the parade outside the Squadron hangers.  On its reactivation as a full squadron Queen Alexandra's adopted the hat badge of the pre-war Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles and this was painted on a cover-plate on the turret adjacent to the main armament, where the night-sighting apparatus would have been fitted.  In addition to the unit serial number (64) carried by 1st Armoured Regiment in the 1960s.  This tank does not carry a name but in keeping with the practice of British armoured units all names applied to vehicles in the Squadron began with A.  (P D Handel)
In the late 1980s one troop from QA Squadron was repainted in the MERDC Verdant Green scheme to enable it to participate in exercises in regions with more green vegetation than found in Waiouru.
A M557A1 (NZ32479 Aardvark) from Headquarters Squadron, QA Squadron on Cambrai Day 1983.  (P D Handel) 
An M579A1 Fitters Vehicle (NZ33214, Blitzen) on Cambrai Day 1983.  Instead of the QAMR cap badge vehicles from the Squadron carried a symbol representing a tank with a spanner for the suspension.  (P D Handel) 

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Last updated August 08, 2003