The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC)

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The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC)
KOCR.jpg
The King's Own Calgary Regiment cap badge
Active 1 April 1910 – present
Country Canada
Branch Primary Reserve (Militia)
Type Mounted infantry
Role Reconnaissance
Size One regiment
Part of 41 Canadian Brigade Group
Garrison/HQ Calgary
Patron George VI of Canada
Motto Onward
Colours Oxford and Cambridge blue
March "Colonel Bogey"
Engagements World War I
World War II
Battle honours Ypres, 1915, '17; Festubert, 1915; Mount Sorrel; Somme, 1916; Ancre Heights; Ancre, 1916; Arras, 1917, '18; Vimy, 1917; Hill 70; Passchendaele; Amiens; Scarpe, 1918; Drocourt-Quéant; Hindenburg Line; Canal du Nord; Valenciennes; France and Flanders, 1915–18; Dieppe; Sicily, 1943; Motta Montecorvino; San Leonardo; The Gully; Cassino II; Gustav Line; Pignataro; Liri Valley; Aquino; Trasimene Line; Arezzo; Advance to Florence; Cerrone; Italy, 1943–1945; North-West Europe, 1942, 1945; Afghanistan
Website www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/kings-own-regiment/index.page
Commanders
Colonel-in-Chief HM The Queen
Abbreviation KOCR

The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC), or KOCR, is an armoured unit of the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve based at the Mewata Armoury in Calgary, Alberta.[1] The KOCR is part of 3rd Canadian Division's 41 Canadian Brigade Group.

History[edit]

"Colonel Bogey March" is the authorized march of The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) of the Canadian Forces. This version is performed by the United States Navy Band.

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History 1910–1913[edit]

The regiment originated in 1910 with the creation of the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles).

History 1914–1938[edit]

In 1936, The Calgary Regiment was one of six infantry regiments designated to become a tank unit, being renamed Calgary Regiment (Tank).

History 1939–1945[edit]

Unit patch of the 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment during the Second World War

On 16 February 1941 the 14th Army Tank Battalion (Calgary Regiment) was mobilized at Mewata Barracks.[2] When the Canadian Armoured Corps was created, the Calgary Regiment lost its status as an infantry regiment and transferred to the new corps. A reserve regiment remained in Calgary. The regiment was composed of 400 members of the reserve battalion, drawing also from reinforcement personnel from the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and the Loyal Edmonton Regiment. The original 'A' Squadron was drawn from Olds and district, 'B' Squadron from Stettler area, 'C' Squadron from Red Deer, and Headquarters from Calgary, High River, and Okotoks district.

In March 1941 the regiment moved to Camp Borden, becoming part of the First Army Tank Brigade and in June 1941 sailed for Great Britain. Matilda tanks were initially used on the Salisbury Plains, but these were replaced later in the year by the first manufactured Churchills.

The overseas unit trained on various vehicles in Canada and the United Kingdom, and in August 1942 took the Churchill tank into battle for the first time at Dieppe. The unit was rebuilt after the raid, having left large numbers of tanks and crews behind. A notable casualty was Lieutenant Colonel "Johnny" Andrews, who was killed in action.

In the spring of 1943, Lieutenant-Colonel C.H. Neroutsos took command of the regiment. The new unit went to Sicily in 1943 with the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, re-equipped with the Sherman tank.

On 3 September 1943 the regiment assaulted the beaches of Reggio Calabria to little resistance and moved northwards with notable engagements in Potenza, Motta and Campobasso while supporting the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. On 21 November 1943 the regiment supported the 8th Indian Infantry Division in its assault against fierce German opposition on the Sangro River. In December the regiment met stubborn opposition fighting for the Moro River and later Vino Ridge and the Ortona Crossroads.

On 11–12 May 1944 the regiment assaulted across the Gari River supporting the 19th Indian Brigade of the 8th Indian Division. During this operation and the advance towards the Hitler Line the regiment sustained casualties numbering 16 officers, 40 other ranks, and 60 tank casualties. An innovative use of a modified Sherman tank to carry a bridge across the Gari River is known as Kingsmill bridge by its inventor Captain T. Kingsmill's moniker. Kingsmill was to receive the Military Cross for the action. At this point Lieutenant-Colonel Neroutsos fell ill, and the regiment was taken over by Lieutenant-Colonel C.A. Richardson.

In June 1944 the Calgaries took part in the Battle of Lake Trasimeno in support of the British 4th Division, after which the Calgaries conducted a pursuit up the Chiani Valley until the Lydia Line was reached south of Arezzo. By 3 August 1944 the regiment had advanced with the 8th Indian Division to the Arno River through country with remarkably poor tank going.

On 25 August 1944 the Calgaries made an assault crossing of the Arno River, east of Florence pushing into the Sieve Valley where the Gothic Line was assaulted in the "Marradi" sector in support of the 1/5 Gurkha Regiment. Another miserably wet Italian winter was spent in the mountains.

In late February 1945 the regiment was moved to Leghorn and embarked to Marseilles, France, where it moved by rail to the North-West Europe theatre. The regiment moved to the Reichswald Forest and on 12 April 1945 fought in the Second Battle of Arnhem, supporting the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division to Ede, Holland. The regiment's final actions of the Second World War were in support of the 1st Belgium Brigade in clearing the resistance between the Never Thine and Waal Rivers.

When the overseas unit returned to Canada in 1945, it was disbanded, and the Calgary Regiment continued its service as a reserve armoured unit.

History 1945–1999[edit]

The cap badge was changed immediately after the war, as no badge is permitted to have any heraldic devices over the monarch's Crown. The sunburst, while part of the coat of arms of the City of Calgary on which the badge was based, was found to violate that principle. The addition of the "King's Own" designation was also made to the cap badge.

KOCR unit lines with Cougar c1980

The unit trained on Sherman tanks until 1968, when the vehicles were finally retired. In the 1980s, the new AVGP Cougar was introduced into service, mounting a 76 mm main armament with co-axial C6 general purpose machine gun. These vehicles were used for training until the 21st century. In addition to an active Cougar squadron, an armoured reconnaissance squadron also trained on Jeeps and later the Iltis vehicle, usually mounting a C5 GPMG, or later the C6 GPMG.

Regimental lineage[edit]

Lineage of the King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC):[3]

1910 103rd Regt "Calgary Rifles"
1914 50th Bn, CEF
1919 13th Machine Gun Bde, CMGC
1920 Disbanded 1st Bn, The Calgary Regt 2nd Bn, The Calgary Regt The Alberta Regt
1921 1st Bn, Calgary Highlanders, The Calgary Regt
1924 The Calgary Highlanders The Calgary Regt 13th Machine Gun Bn, CMGC
1936 The Calgary Regt (Tank)
1941 14th Army Tank Bn (The Calgary Regt (Tank)), CAC, CASF 14th (Reserve) Army Tank Bn, (The Calgary Regt (Tank))
1942 14th Army Tank Regt (The Calgary Regt (Tank)), CAC, CASF 14th (Reserve) Army Tank Regt, (The Calgary Regt (Tank))
1943 14th Armd Regt (The Calgary Regt), CAC, CASF
1945 Disbanded
1946 14th Armd Regt (King's Own Calgary Regt)
1949 The King's Own Calgary Regt (14th Armd Regt)
1958 The King's Own Calgary Regt (RCAC)
2014

Battle honours[edit]

In the list below, battle honours in capitals were awarded for participation in large operations and campaigns, while those in lowercase indicate honours granted for more specific battles. The battle honours written in bold are emblazoned on the regimental guidon.[4]

First World War[edit]

Second World War[edit]

War in Afghanistan[edit]

  • Afghanistan[5]

Victoria Crosses[edit]

Recent activities[edit]

Mewata Armoury 41 Canadian Brigade Group; The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC); The Calgary Highlanders; 15 Medical Company Detachment

The regiment turned in its Cougar AVGP vehicles in 2006, thus suspending its training as an armoured regiment, and now fulfils the role of armoured reconnaissance. The primary vehicle at the unit is the Mercedes G-Wagen, known in the CF as the LUVW (Light Utility Vehicle Wheeled). Soldiers also conduct dismounted reconnaissance tasks and domestic operations (assistance during natural disasters such as floods, forest fires, and ice storms to name a few). Other soldiers conduct recruit training for new members of Calgary-based 41 Canadian Brigade Group units.

In addition to many soldiers having served on United Nations tours in Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of Congo, Golan Heights and Darfur, members of the regiment have recently returned from operational tours in Afghanistan.

Soldiers deploying on missions receive training on the full range of CF vehicles including the Leopard C2, the TLAV, Coyote, the LAV III, and the Nyala (RG-31) armoured patrol vehicle.

Besides reconnaissance crewman and officers, soldiers of the regiment are also trained as mechanics, CIMIC operators, musicians (in the regimental brass band), RMS clerks, and storesmen.

Corporal Nathan Hornburg was killed in action in Afghanistan in September 2007 while serving with a regular force battle group near Kandahar.

Regimental association[edit]

The regimental association is named the 50/14 Association – the name reflects the perpetuation of both the 50th Battalion, CEF, and the 14th Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment).

Monuments[edit]

Soldiers of the 50th Battalion who went missing in action are memorialized on the Menin Gate and the Vimy Memorial while all Calgary-area soldiers of the regiment who have been killed in the First World War, Second World War and Afghanistan will be listed on the Calgary Soldiers' Memorial.

Alliances[edit]

Cadets[edit]

The King's Own Calgary Regiment affiliated cadet corps is based in Cochrane, Alberta, bearing the title 2512 Kings Own Calgary Regiment Cadet Corps. The corps was formed 26 April 1954 as King's Own Calgary Regiment (14th Armoured Regiment). The corps disbanded 1 January 1958.

The corps was formed again on 1 November 1976 as the King's Own Calgary Regiment Cadet Corps, and continues to parade weekly during the training year.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ King's Own Calgary Regiment@Everything2.com
  2. ^ Historical Sketch: Calgary Regiment Tank. Directorate of History and Heritage.
  3. ^ "The King's Own Calgary Regiment". Official Lineages: Volume 3, Part 1: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments – Armour Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC)". Official Lineages Volume 3, Part 1: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments – Armour Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "South-West Asia Theatre Honours". Office of the Prime Minister of Canada. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
Preceded by
The Saskatchewan Dragoons
The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) Succeeded by
The British Columbia Dragoons