The Naming of F Troop

The rock
F Troop Rock outside 104 Sig Sqn, Radio Troop HQ Tent, Nui Dat

Members of 104 Signal Squadron Radio Troop were a spirited bunch of guys who worked hard on radio shifts seven days a week, with most of the major units of the task force. While detached to their host units, they would develop drinking and other skills, with assistance from the grunts, engineers, flyboys, ARVN, yanks and other miscellaneous types.

Radio Troop members on arriving back to 104, normally for a brief visit, would always have a few (many) drinks in the OR’s Club and normally trouble would occur!

One day in 1968, the OC, Maj Norm Munro learnt of a bunch of Radio Troop members returning to the unit and called for the Radio Troop Commander Lt Ken Twining. Norm’s words to Ken were something like this "Your bunch of fucking feral’s are coming back tonight and I want no trouble in the canteen …. @#$#@# ... You are responsible to keep these feral’s out of the shit or you will .... #@#$#@ …".

Poor Ken had no way of controlling the guys and from this one sided discussion the name 'F Troop' was born for Radio Troop.

Appropriately the old red rooster has become the symbol for F Troop musters.


F Troop Rock Located

In May 2008 Russell Swan (ex 104 Sig Sqn), David Roach and Gregg Dickson (both ex 110 Sig Sqn), on separate tours of the old 1st Task Force (1ATF) base at Nui Dat searched for a blue-and-white painted rock in the former 104 Sig Sqn location.    What they came across was an insignificant looking painted rock still above ground.   At that time, none of the chaps had any knowledge of what was once called “F Troop Rock” which, during the war years, stood outside the 104 Sig Sqn Radio Troop HQ tent. 

Upon re-visiting the story on the 104 Sig Sqn website in April this year, David noticed an intriguing similarity in size and shape between the one lying under the rubber to that in the website “Naming of F Troop” story. 

On 8 May 2013, Bruce Mason (ex 5RAR, 1st Tour), now living in Ba-Ria was provided a mud-map and an image of “F Troop” rock by David.   Upon locating, rolling over and washing it clean, Bruce found that it still had markings.  ‘The Rock’ had been located in the rubber trees, after 41 years since the 104 Sig Sqn left Nui Dat in Nov 1971! 

Bruce contacted David immediately, confirming the good news before organizing some locals to have the rock recovered to the Nui Dat School grounds at the western end of Luscombe Airfield, where it now resides with other located items from the 1ATF days.

 F Troop Rock still in the Rubber           F Troop Rock located!
F Troop Rock located in the Rubber                          F Troop Rock after 41 years    

F Troop Rock at the Nui Dat School
F Troop Rock on display at the Nui Dat School


Old red rooster

Up the old red rooster and more piss!