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COMPILATION OF ARTISTS (Feat. NATALIE ATKINS)

BLACK BERET AND A SILVER BADGE

from the BLACK BERET AND A SILVER BADGE album.

DD38 – COMPILATION OF ARTISTS (Feat. NATALIE ATKINS) – BLACK BERET AND A SILVER BADGE

“I, like many other young Australian soldiers served in Vietnam.  I was a Corporal, commanding a Centurion tank, in a Troop of four tanks. The Squadron had 18 Tanks, and special equipment, such as Bridge Layers and Tank Dozers.

Our unit was ‘C’ Squadron, of the First Armoured Regiment, and our Regiment belonged to the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC), the senior Regiment in the Corps, and the senior fighting Corps in the Australian Army.

The head-dress of the RAAC, was a Black Beret, with a highly polished silver badge on the Beret, above the left eye.  The Black Beret was worn with enormous pride by all ranks of our Squadron, and the Corps.

In 1966 SSgt BARRY SADLER wrote and sang “The Ballad of the Green Berets”. Barry Sadler was a medic with the US Special Forces in Vietnam.  He released the song in January 1966, and it became a Billboard Hit Parade Number 1 hit for 5 weeks. The song was inspirational to US and Australian troops serving in Vietnam, because it was the one the few things that cast the military effort in Vietnam in a positive light, amongst so much anti-war vitriol and protester negativity at home.

During the latter stages of 1968, another Tank Commander, Corporal JOHN ATKINS, and myself, adapted the lyrics of ‘The Ballad of the Green Berets’ to suit our own unit’s raison d’etre. The role of our Tanks was to provide close protection and fire support for the Infantry, and to close with, and destroy the enemy. 

We called our version of the song ‘BLACK BERET AND A SILVER BADGE. It became popular within our unit.  Recently we re-discovered our original lyrics to the song, after nearly fifty years.  The lyrics are completely different to those of the ‘Green Berets, but the beat and the tempo remain similar.

One of the song’s co-writers, JOHN ATKINS, was a singer and a well-known country-show music and, singing compere and judge in Queensland. John has a very talented daughter, NATALIE ATKINS, who is also a singer, songwriter, music producer and arranger. It was she who first arranged and produced an earlier 2018 version of ‘BLACK BERET AND A SILVER BADGE’. In this latest version NATALIE ATKINS provides the vocals and Harmonies”. – W.T. (BILL) BURTON       

The Aim of ‘Black Beret and a Silver Badge’ and ‘What Does He See (When He Closes His Eyes)

Our Aim is to raise sufficient funds, to be able to sponsor a 'Guide Dog' or an 'Assistance Dog', or both, for at least two wounded ‘Diggers', either servicemen or women. Maybe one person suffering blindness or sight impairment, and maybe another, suffering some form of debilitating war neurosis. The nature of the illness is of no consequence in the overall scheme of things. The gift could well be two 'Guide Dogs' or two 'Assistance Dogs, it will depend entirely on where the need is most required.

The CD I have referred to in my letter, is nearly complete and we expect it to be completed and ready for delivery for ANZAC Day this year, and it is expected that the CD will retail for about $15.00 or so. 

You can place your order for this CD by email: blackberet31b@yahoo.com giving your return name and address and the CD will sent to you prior to ANZAC Day this year.