THE END OF 18 SQUADRON AS AN AMPHIBIAN UNIT …?

After the formation of the Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) on 15 Jul 1965, 18 Company (Amph GT) RASC became 18 Amph Squadron RCT and left 27 Regiment RCT on 16 June 1966 to be under command the Maritime Group RCT.In 1968 the Amph Detachment in Singapore was disbanded, the unit was reunited under command of 17 Port Regiment in Marchwood. In 1971 the unit was restructured and renamed 18 Squadron (MT) RCT. Drivers were sent to Northern Ireland to reinforce 26 Sqn and remained there until 1973 when it returned to Marchwood.


Further Information provided by Vaughan Ashby (B Troop Commander)


The LSL Sir Galahad in the Sinclair Wharf at Belfast Docks. I took this shot after we had just unloaded a regiment of troops with all their vehicles, kit and ammunition, to start a tour of duty. The ship is now waiting for the regiment being relieved to arrive and form her "return load" to Liverpool. Meanwhile myself and my men from 17 Port Regt are providing the security screen around the ship. This return trip was undertaken by an LSL every two days throughout all of the "troubles". I include this photo because Sir Galahad went on to get sunk in the Falklands, but also because the men of "B" Troop, 18 Amph Sqn, were stationed in Belfast at that time.

This shot is of the LCT Abbeville when we attended the first Bristol Water Festival in 1972, after the port had been extensively restored as a pleasure boating centre. The SS Great Britain had just arrived, as a hulk, and was in dry dock to start her preservation. Moored on the other side from us was the RN frigate HMS Palliser and both ships' crews had some memorable runs ashore together during the festival! In view of the date, this was probably the last outing by DUKWs of "B" troop, 18 Amph, before the squadron was disbanded.

This shot shows Earl Mountbatten of Burma at the parade in Marchwood when the last DUKW's in the British Army were disbanded in Marchwood in 1974. The Land-Rover is also a classic since it was originally used by General Montgomery to inspect troops after the war and was brought out of preservation for this occasion. He was driven down the slip onto a Mexeflote (part of my troop) from where he took the salute at the final sail-past.
Notice all the cranes in the old Southampton docks on the other side of the Water. It's a bloody great container terminal now, but this was the old P&O terminal, where the SS Canberra came home after the Falklands.

This was the inspection of the troop after the sail-past and if the photo did not show the proof you would never believe that they paraded in spit-and-polished wellies! Speaking with Mountbatten is Cpl Marsh, one of the most experienced DUKW men of the old Fremington "A" troop.
The officer on the left is the revered and well remembered CO of 17 Port Regiment - Lt .Colonel Stanley Ball.








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