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
The style of Kiwi insignia carried by vehicles of
A Scorpion (NZ34183) from QAMR during an open day at Linton
Camp near Palmerston North in the late 1980s.
Formerly known as "Addonis",
(NZ34183) was renamed "Awatere" and a stylised Maori figure added next to the name.
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)