The Stuart Hybrid
|In June 1942 New Zealand received the first shipment of
tanks from the U.S.A.. Known as the Stuart Hybrid these were late model M3 Light tanks
which had been fitted with the flat-topped turret intended for the M3A1 Light tank but
adapted for use on the M3. After an initial training course at the N.Z.A.F.V. School one
was issued to each of the nine Mounted Rifle Regiments and the rest retained at Waiouru.
More were received in September and were initially used to replace the Beaverette
scout cars in the Mounted Rifle Regiments. Later on in the year these were
reorganised and some were converted into armoured regiments with two squadrons of
Stuarts and one of Valentines, or recce regiments with one squadron of Stuarts, one of
Beaverettes and a motorised infantry company.
modified Stuart Hybrid of 9 Troop, B Squadron, 2 Tanks Battalion
Group early in 1943
when the unit was based at Waiouru. The tanks
were finished in a
two-tone scheme of a dark green base, overpainted
with broad stripes of
dark earth. This
particular tank was
commanded by Lieutenant
Stuart Hybrid of the New Zealand Armoured Fighting Vehicles School
The ‘A’ insignia was carried by all vehicles of Army
HQ, Army Schools, Army
Base Establishment and units in Army HQ
Both the background to this insignia and the 35 of the
NZAFV School were
Stuart Hybrid of A Squadron, 2nd Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles
when the unit was based in Levin in 1943.
The divisional insignia
of a charging bull was in a red square while the unit serial 7 was
in a green square.
||A Stuart Hybrid of 3rd Auckland East Coast
Mounted Rifles (Armoured) in 1943. The unit serial is in a green patch while the 1st
Division insigna of a battle-axe is in a red patch. Squadron insignia were usually the
same colour as the unit serial patch.
||2 Tanks Battalion Group at Waiouru were also
reorganised as an armoured regiment for eventual deployment in the Pacific and thus
received Stuart Hybrids This one from RHQ Troop is completed in a two-tone scheme of dark
earth over dark green. The unit serial is in a yellow patch while the Rampant Dragon
insignia of former 1st NZ Army Tank Brigade is in a black patch. The RHQ Diamond is also
yellow and the number inside white.
||Before their departure from Wanganui in January 1943 Queen
Alexandra's Mounted Rifles (Armoured) took part in a parade down the main street where
they were photographed by the enthusiastic owner of Tesla Studios. Here "U13"
from A Squadron passes the camera. The unit serial is on a green patch and the 4th
Divisional Insignia, a charging water buffalo, on a red patch. Tank is carrying its New
Zealand registration number on the drop tank as well as the hull sides.
||In 1943 the 9th Wellington East Coast Mounted Rifles
(Armoured) took part in some extensive manoeuvres in the Manawatu with the armoured
brigade of 4th Division. This Stuart Hybrid "Connie" is from B Squadron. The
unit serial is in a green patch and the 4th Division Insignia on a red patch. It is
unclear whether the squadron insignia was coloured inside the white outline but if it was
it would most likely be the same as the unit serial patch.
Back to Kiwis
in Armour main page
Last updated March 23, 2005