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 1910 – present
Country Canada
Allegiance North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
Branch Primary Reserve (Militia)
Role Armoured Reconnaissance
Size Regiment
Part of 41 Canadian Brigade Group
Garrison/HQ Calgary
Nickname(s) The King's Own or The KOCR
Patron George VI of Canada
Motto(s) Onward!
Colours Oxford and Cambridge Blue
March "Colonel Bogey"
Anniversaries St. George's Day
Equipment

Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon
MILCOT
C7
C6
C9A2

TAPV (2017 Expected)
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 kingsown.ca
Commanders
Current
commander
LtCol Chris Hunt
Colonel-in-Chief HM The Queen
Abbreviation KOCR

The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC), (The King's Own or The KOCR), is a reserve armoured reconnaissance regiment of the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve. Headquartered at the Mewata Armoury in Calgary, Alberta, the KOCR is a part-time reserve unit of 3rd Canadian Division's 41 Canadian Brigade Group.

Through 2017, the Regiment is adding a detachment into the High River, Alberta area with the aim of eventually growing this detachment into squadron-sized unit. The Regiment is also actively recruiting in the Okotoks, and Turner Valley regions.[1]

Members of the Regiment currently operate with Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon and militarized Chevrolet Silverado's, known as the MILCOTS (or colloquially as the "Milverado".) Since 2014, the unit has been increasingly training with civilian side-by-side all-terrain platforms, snowmobiles, and All-Terrain Vehicles, examining their utility during domestic operations and to supplement for rear echelon tasks.[2] The Regiment is currently training and preparing to take ownership of the new Textron TAPV (Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle) in the summer of 2017.

Cap Badge[edit]

On a shield Argent a cross Gules surmounted by a maple leaf in autumnal tints charged with a bison statant on a mound, on a chief the local landscape at sunset all proper, the shield ensigned by the Royal Crown, supported dexter by a horse, sinister by a steer, adorned beneath with a rose between shamrocks and thistles all proper, the whole set upon three scrolls Or, the upper one inscribed with the motto ONWARD and the two below inscribed KING'S OWN CALGARY REGIMENT in letters Azure.[3]

The Crown represents service to the Sovereign. The badge, incorporates the shield, the horse, the steer and the roses, thistles, and shamrocks, as adopted by the City of Calgary in 1902. "KING'S OWN CALGARY REGIMENT" is a form of the regimental title and "ONWARD" is the motto of the regiment.[4]

Lineage[edit]

The King's Own Calgary Regiment (Royal Canadian Armoured Corps) traces its origin to the 103rd Regiment "Calgary Rifles" raised 10 April 1910 at Calgary, Alberta.

The regiment remained an Active Militia unit during the 1914-1918 War and raised the 10th, 50th, 56th, 82nd, 89th and 137th Battalions for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) between 1914 and 1919.

The regiment was reorganized on 15 March 1920 as two separate regiments, The Alberta Regiment (now The South Alberta Light Horse) and The Calgary Regiment as part of the Otter Committee reorganizations. On 15 May 1924, The Calgary Regiment was again reorganized and split into two separate regiments, The Calgary Regiment (now The King's Own Calgary Regiment) and The Calgary Highlanders.

On 15 September 1921 The Calgary Regiment divided into six battalions, the 1st Battalion became the 1st Battalion, Calgary Highlanders, The Calgary Regiment. The 2nd Battalion, The Calgary Regiment later became the King's Own Calgary Regiment. The 3rd, 4th and 5th battalions were paper units that were never formed; they disbanded in the 1936 reorganizations of the Militia. On 15 May 1924, The Calgary Regiment reorganized as separate regiments.

  • 1 April 1910: Organized as the 103rd Regiment "Calgary Rifles"
  • 15 March 1920: Reorganized as two separate regiments, The Alberta Regiment (now The South Alberta Light Horse) and The Calgary Regiment
  • 15 May 1924: Reorganized as two separate regiments, The Calgary Regiment (now The King's Own Calgary Regiment) and The Calgary Highlanders
  • 1 April 1936: Amalgamated with the 'Headquarters' and 'B Company' of the '13th Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC' retaining its designation.
  • 15 December 1936: Redesignated The Calgary Regiment (Tank)
  • 1 April 1941: Redesignated 14th (Reserve) Army Tank Battalion, (The Calgary Regiment (Tank))
  • 15 August 1942: Redesignated 14th (Reserve) Army Tank Regiment, (The Calgary Regiment (Tank))
  • 1 April 1946: Redesignated 14th Armoured Regiment (Calgary Regiment), RCAC
  • 22 July 1946: Redesignated 14th Armoured Regiment (King's Own Calgary Regiment)
  • 4 Feb 1949: Redesignated The King's Own Calgary Regiment (14th Armoured Regiment)
  • 19 May 1958: Redesignated The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC)

Lineage of the King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC):[5]

History[edit]

1910–1913[edit]

The history of The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC) began on 1 April 1910, when its predecessor the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles), an infantry regiment of the Canadian non-permanent militia, was authorized and formed at Calgary, Alberta, Canada by General Order 38/10.[6]

1914–1920[edit]

With the outbreak of the First World War, the Regiment was divided into several battalions for overseas service, which the King's Own perpetuate to this day. These battalions included the 50th, 89th and 137th, all of which saw service in Europe and were composed of men from central and southern Alberta.

The 50th Battalion (Calgary), CEF, an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Britain on 27 October 1915. The battalion disembarked in France on 11 August 1916, where it fought as part of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion was disbanded on 30 August 1920.[7]

During the Great War, the 50th Battalion (Calgary) engaged in some of the most hard-fought battles on the Western Front. These included The Battle of Ypres (1915, 17), The Somme (1916), Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele to name but a few. During the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Pte John G. Pattison of the 50th Battalion CEF was awarded the Empire's highest award for gallantry, the Victoria Cross, for his heroic actions on April 10, 1917, storming a German machine-gun nest.

1920-1938[edit]

The conclusion of World War I and the interwar years saw the Regiment change roles and names several times, however, it has always maintained its ancestral home at Mewata Armoury in downtown Calgary. In 1924 the unit was titled "The Calgary Regiment". In 1936 it was one of a handful of infantry regiments selected to become an armoured unit. With this evolution, the name was changed to "The Calgary Regiment (Tank)".

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.[8] 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, the Netherlands. The regiment's final actions of the Second World War were in support of the 1st Belgium Brigade in clearing the resistance between the Nederrijn 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.

1945–1999[edit]

KOCR unit lines with Cougar c1980

Members of the Regiment have continued The King's Own Calgary Regiment's proud military traditions by volunteering for United Nations and NATO missions. In recent years the Regiment has augmented Canadian Armed Forces regular units, with members serving on Peacekeeping duties in Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Congo, Golan Heights, Darfur and Afganistan.

Unitl 1968 the unit trained on Sherman tanks 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.

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.[9]

First World War[edit]

Second World War[edit]

Southwest Asia[edit]

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 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) 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 CAF 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 and reed band), RMS clerks, and storesmen.

Canada's participation in the War in Afghanistan saw many soldiers from the Regiment deploy in a variety of roles throughout the conflict. On September 24, 2007, the King's Own suffered its first combat fatality since the Second World War, when Cpl Nathan Hornburg was killed in action while serving in Kandahar province. Cpl Hornburg was posthumously awarded the "Mention in Dispatches" for his exemplary performance in combat. As a result of the unit's contribution to the War in Afghanistan, The King's Own were awarded the Afghanistan battle honour in 2014, which the regiment now proudly displays on their guidon.

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).

Regimental Museum[edit]

The Military Museums

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. ^ "Recruiting Drive in Southern Alberta – King's Own Calgary Regiment". kingsown.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  2. ^ "Ex Winter Scout 2017 – King's Own Calgary Regiment". kingsown.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  3. ^ Personnel, Government of Canada, National Defence, Chief Military. "Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments - ARMOUR REGIMENTS - THE KING'S OWN CALGARY REGIMENT (RCAC)". www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  4. ^ Personnel, Government of Canada, National Defence, Chief Military. "Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments - ARMOUR REGIMENTS - THE KING'S OWN CALGARY REGIMENT (RCAC)". www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ Personnel, Government of Canada, National Defence, Chief Military. "Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments - ARMOUR REGIMENTS - THE KING'S OWN CALGARY REGIMENT (RCAC)". www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  7. ^ Canadian Forces Publication A-DH-267-003 Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces. Volume 3: Combat Arms Regiments.
  8. ^ Historical Sketch: Calgary Regiment Tank. Directorate of History and Heritage.
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "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