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Cavalry/Armoured Regiments
1900-13 | 1914-39 | 1940-63 | 1964-99


Infantry Regiments
1900-20 | 1921-36 | 1937-50 | 1951-99

Cavalry/Armoured Regiments
1st Hussars
1st APC Regiment
1st British Columbia Horse
2nd Dragoons
2nd/10th Dragoons
3rd Prince of Wales' Cdn Dragoons
4th Hussars
4th Hussars of Canada
IV PLDG
5th Dragoons
5th Princess Louise Drag. Gds
6th Duke of Connaught's R.C.H.
7th Hussars
7th/11th Hussars
8th Princess Louise's NB Hussars
8th Cdn Hussars (Princess Louise's)
9th (Grey's) Horse
9th Toronto Light Horse
9th Mississauga Horse
10th Brant Dragoons
10th Queen's Own Cdn Hussars
11th Hussars
12th Manitoba Dragoons

12e Régiment Blindé du Canada

13th Scottish Light Dragoons
14th Canadian Hussars
14th King's Canadian Hussars
15th Light Horse
16th Light Horse
17th Duke of York's Royal Can. H.
17th PEI Recce
18th Mounted Rifles
19th Alberta Dragoons
19th The Alberta Mounted Rifles
20th Border Horse
21st Alberta Hussars
22nd Saskatchewan Horse
22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse
23rd Alberta Rangers
24th Grey's Horse
25th Brant Dragoons
26th Canadian Dragoons
27th Light Horse
28th New Brunswick Dragoons
29th Light Horse
30th Regiment (BC Horse)
31st Regiment (BC Horse)
32nd Light Horse
32nd Manitoba Horse
33rd Vaudreuil & Soulanges Huss.
34th Fort Garry Horse
35th Central Alberta Horse
36th PEI Light Horse
Algonquin Regiment
British Columbia Dragoons
British Columbia Mounted Rifles
British Columbia Regiment
Border Horse
Calgary Regiment
Canadian Mounted Rifles
Duke of York's Royal Cdn Hussars
Elgin Regiment
Fort Garry Horse
Grey & Simcoe Foresters
Governor General's Body Guard
Governor General's Horse Guards
Halifax Rifles
King's Own Calgary Regt.
Lord Strathcona's Horse
Manitoba Dragoons
Manitoba Horse
Mississauga Horse
Ontario Mounted Rifles
Princess Louise Dragoon Guards
Queen's Own Canadian Hussars
Queen's York Rangers (1st Am. R.)
Régt de Hull
Régt de Trois-Riviéres
Royal Canadian Dragoons
Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles
Saskatchewan Dragoons
Sherbrooke Regiment
South Alberta Light Horse
Strathcona's Horse
Toronto Light Horse
Toronto Mounted Rifles
Windsor Regiment

Infantry Regiments 1900-1919
Dawson Rifles
GGFG
Kootenay Rifles
PPCLI
Royal Canadian Regiment
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CEF Battalions 1914-1920

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Infantry Regiments 1920-2000
1st British Columbia Regiment
1st BC Regt (D. of Conn.'s Own)
Algonquin Regiment
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Black Watch (RHR) of Canada
BC Regt (D. of Conn's Own Rifles)
Calgary Highlanders
Calgary Regiment
Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
Canadian Airborne Regiment
Canadian Scottish Regiment
 Canadian Fusiliers (C of L Regt)
Canadian Guards
Canadian Grenadier Guards
Cape Breton Highlanders
Carleton and York Regiment
Elgin Regiment
Essex Scottish
Essex & Kent Scottish
 Fusiliers de Sherbrooke
Fusiliers Mont Royal
Fusiliers du St. Laurent
48th Highlanders of Canada
Gov Gen Foot Guards
Grey & Simcoe Foresters
Halifax Rifles
Hastings and Prince Edward Regt
Highland Fusiliers of Canada
Highland Light Infantry of Canada
Irish Fusiliers
Irish Fusiliers of Can (Vancouver R.)
Irish Regiment
Irish Regiment of Canada
Kent Regiment
King's Own Rifles of Canada
Lake Superior Regiment
Lincoln and Welland Regiment
Loyal Edmonton Regiment
Lorne Scots
Midland Regiment
Mississauga Regiment
New Brunswick Rangers
New Brunswick Scottish
North Nova Scotia Highlanders
North Shore (New Brunswick) Regt
North Waterloo Regiment
Oxford Rifles
Perth Regiment
Peterborough Rangers
Pictou Highlanders
PPCLI
Prince Albert and Battleford Voltrs
Princess Louise Fusiliers (MG)
Prince Rupert Regiment
Princess of Wales' Own Regiment
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Queen's Rangers (1st Am. Regt.)
Queen's York Rangers (1st Am. R.)
 Régiment de la Chaudière
 Régiment de Chateauguay
Régiment de Levis
 Régiment de Maisonneuve
Régiment de Montmagmy
 Régiment de Saguenay
Régiment de St. Hyacinthe
 Régiment de Québec
Regina Rifle Regiment
Rocky Mountain Rangers
Royal 22e Regt
Royal Canadian Regiment
Royal Highlanders of Canada
Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada
Royal Regiment of Canada
Royal Regina Rifles
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry
Royal Montreal Regiment
Royal New Brunswick Regiment
Royal Newfoundland Regiment
Royal Rifles of Canada
Royal Scots of Canada
Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Saskatoon Light Infantry
Scots Fusiliers of Canada
S, D and G Highlanders
Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
South Alberta Regiment
South New Brunswick Regiment
South Saskatchewan Regiment
Toronto Regiment
Toronto Scottish Regiment
Vancouver Regiment
Victoria Rifles of Canada
Voltigeurs de Quebec
Waterloo Regiment
Westminster Regiment
West Nova Scotia Regiment
West Toronto Regiment
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Winnipeg Light Infantry
York Rangers
 Yukon Regiment

1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment

The 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment was unique in the history of the Canadian Army in that it was unit formed on foreign soil and disbanded on foreign soil.

Lineage

  • Kangaroo Squadron created 26 Aug 1944
  • renamed 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron 28 Aug 1944
  • 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment created from 1 CAPCS 24 Oct 1944.
  • Renamed 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment 1 Dec 1944.
  • Disbanded 20 Jun 1945.

1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment

Headquarters: Overseas
Predecessor: None
Perpetuates: None
Raised: 24 Oct 1944
Disbanded: 20 Jun 1945

History

During the Battle of Normandy the requirement for a tracked armoured fighting vehicle to transport personnel over long distances, protected from enemy small arms fire and shrapnel, made itself apparent. In preparation for Operation TOTALIZE in August 1944, Lieutenant General G.G. Simonds, commander of II Canadian Corps, ordered the conversion of US M7 Priest self-propelled guns into the Kangaroo armoured personnel carrier. The vehicles were modified and the crews were trained, and their first use during the Falaise Gap battles were successful. A Kangaroo Squadron was organized on 26 August 1944, attached to the 25th Canadian Armoured Delivery Regiment (The Elgin Regiment) for administrative purposes. Both the Elgins and the Kangaroo Squadron were army-level assets of 1st Canadian Army. The second in command of the Elgins, G.M. Churchill, took command of the squadron in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The Squadron was employed against Le Havre on 2 September 1944, carrying British soldiers of the 51st (Highland) Division, followed by actions at Boulogne (17 Sep) and Calais (25 Sep). At Le Havre, only one infantry casualty was suffered and these actions were again deemed successful. At Calais, a Canadian Kangaroo driver rammed a German Tiger tank, capturing it and later receiving a Military Medal for the act.

Ram Kangaroo in British service. Priest Kangaroo in British service.

"Joan III", a Ram commanded by Captain H. Kaiser of "B" Squadron, 1 CACR.

Priest Kangaroo, with extra armour on hull sides.

When the modified M7 Priests were returned to the U.S. Army (they had been on loan for the Normandy Landing), modified Ram tanks were introduced into service. They were issued at Rouen, and the squadron organized with 16 Ram Kangaroos for each of its four troops. The Squadron moved to The Netherlands, coming under command of the British 2nd Army. The Squadron went into action at 's-Hertogenbosch on 23 October 1944, followed by other actions at Schilburg, St.Michiels-gestel, Boxtel, Esch, Moergestel, Tilburg, Kaatsheuvel, Waspik, Waspik-Boven, Raamsdonk and Laan. In the first two months of its existence the Squadron carried out 30 operational lifts.

Regimental Status

In the meantime, 21st Army Group had been so impressed by the Kangaroo Squadron's ability to deploy infantry that two entire regiments of Kangaroos were authorized, one for each Army under command. On 24 October 1944, 1st Canadian Army authorized the formation of the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment, and Kanagaroo Squadron at Tilburg was used as a cadre for the expansion. During the operational lull as 1st Canadian Army wintered in the Nijmegen Salient, the regiment expanded to two squadrons, each with 53 Ram Kangaroos divided into four troops. In December 1944, the Regiment was taken from 1st Canadian Army and, with the British 49th Armoured Carrier Regiment, attached directly to British 79th Armoured Division. The Regiment was also renamed, as Lieutenant Colonel Churchill felt that "Personnel" would imply the regiment was part of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps rather than the Canadian Armoured Corps, and so a new name was approved taking effect 1 December 1944: 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment.1

The Regiment went into action in January 1945 in the province of Limburg, assisting in a variety of assaults on Susteren, Baakenhoven, Dieteren, Oud Roosteren, Echt, Schilberg, Koningsbosch, Steaten, Erpen, and the German towns of Uetterath, Dremmen and Heinsberg.

In February 1945, the Regiment saw action in The Rhineland during Operation VERITABLE, taking part on attacks on Kranenburg, Frasselt, Schottheide, Bresserberg, Kleve, Moyland, Hasselt, the road to Veen and Xanten. After a short rest, the regiment participated in Operation PLUNDER in Mar 1945, becoming the first Canadian armoured regiment to cross the River Rhine on 26 March 1945, and participating in attacks on the Dutch towns of Millingen, Megchelen, Landfort, Ruurlo, Borculo, Barchem, Lochem, Haarle, Assen, Hooghalen, Rolde, Balloo, Loon and Groningen. The last lift of the war was made on German soil on 5 May 1945, near Oldenburg.

The Regiment concentrated at Penheim, Germany and at 23:59hrs on 20 June 1945 the Regiment disbanded.

During their brief existence, the Regiment lost 17 men killed and 71 wounded, and conveyed soldiers from 38 separate British infantry regiments and 20 Canadian infantry regiments into battle.

Unit Organization

1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron (Sep 1944)

A table of organization published 24 August 1944 listed an establishment of 4 troops of 25 Kangaroos each (100 vehicles total) with 131 personnel of all ranks.

The actual organization consisted of 50 Kangaroos after 1 Sep 1944.

No. 1 Troop: 14 Priest Kangaroos
No. 2 Troop: 12 Priest Kangaroos
No. 3 Troop: 12 Priest Kangaroos
No. 4 Troop: 12 Priest Kangaroos
Light Aid Detachment, 1st CAPCS, RCEME (attached)

1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron (Oct 1944-Nov 1944)

No. 1 Troop (16 vehicles total)

  • Headquarters: 4 Ram Kangaroos

  • No. 1 Section: 4 Ram Kangaroos

  • No. 2 Section: 4 Ram Kangaroos

  • No. 3 Section: 4 Ram Kangaroos

No. 2 Troop: as per No. 1 Troop
No. 3 Troop: as per No. 1 Troop
No. 4 Troop: as per No. 1 Troop
Light Aid Detachment, 1st CAPCS, RCEME (attached)

1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment (Dec 1944-May 1945)

Regimental Headquarters (9 officers, 10 NCOs, 49 other ranks, 23 vehicles)

  • Signal Troop (1 officer, 5 other ranks of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals)

  • 123rd Light Aid Detachment, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (60 officers and other ranks)

"A" Squadron Headquarters (3 officers, 2 NCOs, 19 other ranks, 5 Ram Kangaroos, 8 other vehicles)

  • Administrative Troop (3 NCOs, 67 other ranks, 14 vehicles)

  • Number 1 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

  • Number 2 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

  • Number 3 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

  • Number 4 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

"B" Squadron Headquarters (3 officers, 2 NCOs, 19 other ranks, 5 Ram Kangaroos, 8 other vehicles)

  • Administrative Troop (3 NCOs, 67 other ranks, 14 vehicles)

  • Number 1 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

  • Number 2 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

  • Number 3 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

  • Number 4 Troop (10 officers, 4 NCOs, 24 other ranks)

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

    • Section - 3 Ram Kangaroos

Vehicle Markings

Vehicle markings for the Regiment following assignment to the 79th Armoured Division consisted of:

Unit Sign
Formation Sign (79th Armoured Division)
123rd LAD (attached)
Signals Troop (attached)
"A" Squadron
 "B" Squadron


Battle Honours

Battle Honours were officially granted the unit on 29 August 1958, though the regiment had disbanded in 1945. Had a successor unit been formed to the 1 CACR, these honours would have been granted the perpetuating unit as well.2
 

Le Havre
The Lower Maas
The Reichswald
Goch-Calcar Road
Xanten
The Rhine
Boulogne, 1944
The Roer
The Rhineland
Moyland Wood
The Hochwald
Groningen
North-West Europe, 1944-1945


On September 9, 2011, a replica Colour was presented to 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins), who perpetuate the 25th Canadian Armoured Delivery Regiment, to whom the 1st CACR were administratively linked in 1944-45. Veterans of the "Kangaroos" were present at the ceremony. The name on the Colour includes the word "Personnel". Both General Order
60/45 and 321/45, promulgated in the last year of the war, were the official authorities for the creation, and disbandment, of the regiment. The Directorate of History and Heritage, part of the Department of National Defence, and the approving authority for the new Colour, insisted that the correct title must be assumed to be that outlined in the official documentation. It may be noted that with only one exception, grave markers of the regiment's war dead are inscribed "1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment". No written record of a change of designation to 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment could be found to support that wording on the replica Guidon.
 


Image courtesy Michael Reintjes

 

In the words of historian Mark W. Tonner:

 

Within the span of approximately eight hours, on Saturday 10 September 2011, on the lawns of the St. Thomas Armouries, home station of 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins), the "Kangaroos" were finally presented their "Colours," after 66 years. It was both a happy and sad occasion, as their "Guidon" was officially, consecrated, presented to 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment, Trooped, and then paraded through the streets of St. Thomas, in a Freedom of the City parade, stood for a Mess Dinner, and then sadly was taken to the Officer's Mess of 31 CER, by the "Kangaroos" Orderly Officer of the day, Lieutenant Harry "Tatch" Tatchell (a young 99-year-old), where it was officially retired from service and turned over to the care and safe keeping of the Commanding Officer of 31 CER, until such time that it will be laid up, along with the former Guidon of The Elgin Regiment. Until such time, it is encased in the Officers Mess, opposite the Guidon of the Elgin Regiment.

 

Uniform Insignia

Cap Badge


The original badge design depicted a Kangaroo with three babies in its pouch, with the unit's proposed name (1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment (1 CAPCR)) rather than the motto. A drawing was supplied by the badge manufacturer J.R. Gaunt & Son of London. Image at right from Mark Tonner's collection.

A letter from the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Churchill, to the Brigadier, Royal Armoured Corps at the headquarters of First Canadian Army dated 16 Nov 44, included four paragraphs pertaining to the cap badge.

 

The sample badge herewith submitted represents the Kangaroo. This animal is in a sense associated in all minds with Australia, but the term 'Kangaroo' has been applied to this organisation from it's inception in July and has been used in official documents relating to the activities of the original squadron and had become widely and favorably known throughout the field formations of the First Cdn Army and Second British Army. The Kangaroos of Canada have been in action successfully at Le Havre, Boulogne, Calais, Schindel, St. Michills Gestel, Hertogenbosch, Geertruindenberg and Tilburg. It is difficult therefore, at this stage, to overlook the use of a term & a symbol that have become so closely associated with the activities of the regiment.

As the designation of the regiment is perhaps not yet firm, consideration has been given to omitting from the badge the inscription as shown & substituting the motto of the regiment "Armatos fundit". This has been taken from Virgil's Aenid Bk II, where reference is made to the first "Kangaroo" recorded in history, namely the Trojan Horse which so successfully transported Greek Warriors right into the midst of the enemy's fortifications. Freely translated the motto read: "It pours forth armed men."

The arguments in favour of adopting the Kangaroo for the cap badge apply with equal force to the use of the word "Kangaroo" on the shoulder flash. The colour scheme makes use of black as used in the beret of the CAC & orange because of the link with Holland (sic), in which country the regiment has been formed.

The officers & other ranks who have served with the original squadron the last four months are unanimously in agreement upon the design of the badge & shoulder flash herewith submitted.

 

A reply was forthcoming from the BRAC on 21 Nov 1944; the badge was to use the Kangaroo without babies, and use the motto rather than the unit's name. As it turned out, the name of the unit was to be 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment (in other words, without the word "Personnel").

 

The regiment adopted a bronze cap badge, designed by their commanding officer, worn on the black beret of the Canadian Armoured Corps. The design was an erect Kangaroo above the legend Armatos Fundit (Latin: "Bearing Armed Men"). The badge has been heavily reproduced since the war, the badge at right is an original, at left a reproduction.3

Officers' badges were in bronze.


Collar Badges

Collar badges are referenced in Mazeas as being smaller versions of the cap badge, mirrored so that the kangaroos were looking at each other when worn on the Service Dress.

Metal Shoulder Titles  


As the regiment was raised during the war, and metal shortages had created a moratorium on new designs, the standard National Identifiers were probably used on Officers' Service Dress.

Buttons  
  As with metal shoulder badges, new button designs were also not permitted during the war, and General Service buttons were no doubt used.
Cloth Shoulder Flashes  
Shoulder flashes were in black with orange lettering reading "ARMD CARRIER REGT Canada". The colour orange symbolized formation on Dutch soil. At left, badges courtesy of Ed Storey (above) and Bill Ellis (below).
 
Formation Patches  

The 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment served with the British 79th Armoured Division and wore the Formation Patches of that formation. Artifacts and photo at left courtesy Bill Alexander. Additionally, a green "diabolo" of the 31st Tank Brigade Brigade in green felt was worn in combination with the bull's head design of the 79th Armoured Division.

Other  


In common with other Canadian armoured regiments, sergeants of 1 CACR wore a cap or collar badge on the 3-bar chevrons on their right sleeve.4 Photos below posted at the Maple Leaf Up forum by Bill Miller.

 

 

Notes

1. Tonner, Mark W. The Kangaroo in Canadian Service (Weapons of War series, Service Publications, Ottawa, ON, Aug 2005.)
2. 1 CACR Association website, accessed 10 Jun 2006.
3. Mazeas Reference Number: C.57
4. Storey, Ed. "The Kangaroos" (Militaria Magazine No.20, October 1995)


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