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18 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Association

 

 

The 18 Light Anti-Aircraft Association was formed under the guidance of Captain Bevan Lennie, who was the Association President for many years.The annual membership fee is currently $10.00, which covers postage and running costs. The Association also receives donations from it's members. There is a small amount of income received from the sale of the Regimental History 1952-1974, as well as from the sale of memorabilia in the form of name tags, caps and jacket pockets.

All reunions, dinners, etc are paid for on a user-pays system.

President: Barry Lloyd

Contact:

Former members wishing to join should contact:

The 18 LAA Regiment Association Secretary, Colin McDiarmid, who can be contacted on (02) 9546 4214

or email: colin.mcdiarmid@bigpond.com

or by post to: 1/79 Greenacre Road CONNELLS POINT NSW 2221

Download an 18 LAA Assn Membership Application Form

Regimental History

It was as early as 1951, when the decision was made by the Army to raise the Regiment. The task of doing this was handed to Lt Viv Bourne. Viv was requested to attend a meeting at Victoria Barracks in Sydney. There he was allocated a room and had to sign for the key. The Army was very generous with the help they gave him. The room that was allocated to him was completely bare. When he pointed out that he did not have a chair or table, he was told that it was his problem to sort out. There was not even a light globe in the flex hanging from the ceiling. He borrowed a 982E form used for the requisitioning of stores from a mate in the Q Store, and with the assistance of his friends obtained a table and chair, and was eventually issued with a light globe. This was the beginning of the Regiment.

Whilst all of this work was being carried out, the Army was approaching former servicemen to join the Regiment. There were many World War 2 officers and NCO's who were willing to sign up in the CMF, so that these units could be formed. The National Service Scheme would supply the men that had to be trained.

18 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment was raised on the 22 nd, February 1952. It formed part of 1 AGRA(AA) to train men who were, at the time called up for three months National Service Training, then they had to complete another two years training in a CMF unit. The Regiment was originally raised and paraded in the drill hall in Montgomery Street Kogarah. It was soon very obvious that the drill hall was too small for such a large unit.

In 1952 it was moved to Beach Bakery and tennis courts in Chandler Lane Kogarah. The first Commanding Officer of the Regiment was Lieutenant Colonel Jack Manning, who took up his command on the 11th March, 1952. The Regiment was equipped with 40 mm Bofors Guns and comprised of three Batteries which fielded 18 fully manned guns, a RAEME LAD Detachment, a RAAMC Detachment, a RAACC Detachment, and also RA Sigs known as Y Troop.

18 LAA Regiment was the only CMF unit to be placed on active strength with Regular forces, and on standby posting for both the Suez Crisis 1956 and the Malayan Emergency 1964-1966. The Regiment completed it's training on both occasions.

Over the years the Regiment exercised up and down the coast of NSW. It conducted many live firing practices at places such as North Head Manly, Gerroa, Cape Banks, Wattomolla, Black Point, Bass Point, Jervis Bay, Shellharbour, Point Perpendicular, North Head Ulladulla, Fort Wallace,and North Head Newcastle. The Regiment also exercised at Adelaide South Australia, and Darwin, with 16 Air Defence.

(Left) 1954 Firing at Gerroa.

(Right) 1955 Shellharbour

   
A new depot building was created at Chandler Lane and was opened by Lieutenant General Sir Frank Berryman on the 17th August 1957. The Commanding Officer at that time being Lieutenant Colonel Ray O'Grady

 

In 1958 the Regiment was issued with the Mark 12 Bofors 40 mm. This photo was probably taken at Beecroft Head, Jervis Bay.

 

On the 31st August 1974, 23 Field Regiment officially took over the depot and that was the end of the last CMF Anti Aircraft Regiment. Those members who stayed on were transferred to field guns and, after a short time, most had applied for discharge or transfer.

View a list of Commanding Officers