11th royal tank regiment Buffalo markings

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by J Fox, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. J Fox

    J Fox Member

    Hi can anybody help me my father drove a buffalo during the liberation of Walcheren I think he took part in Infatuate 2 as he told me he landed at westcapelle but had to leave the buffalo there because he hit a mine the buffalo call sign was sandpiper and had the following markins on the side 71B sandpiper and a white triangle can anybody give me a clue as to the meaning of these markings and would they be kept for the duration of the war or just that campaign thanks any help would be appreciated
    Jeff Fox
  2. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Jeff,

    SANDPIPER was part of 2 troop, A Squadron ( The white triangle ). It is possible that SANDPIPER remained in 2Trp A Sqn through the war and kept the name but some destroyed vehicles were given new names or in this case the LVT could have been called SANDPIPER II.
    As you can see from the attached section of the 11th Royal Tank Regiment from Vehicle Names and Census Numbers spread sheet all the other so far identified LVT's in the regiment.
    If you go to the British Pathe website and search for film number 1145.05 and at frame 38 SANDPIPER can be seen.
    Do you have any photos of SANDPIPER you could post?



    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
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  3. J Fox

    J Fox Member

    Hi Kevin T
    Thanks for that I have being trying to get that information for ages I even bought the regimental diary from Bovington but that didnt tell me much I seem to remember my father saying that the replacement LVT he was driving after Walcheren was named Sandpiper11 I have a picture of sandpiper parked up in a field with some of the other crew members stood alongside it but being a complete thicko with computers I dont know how to down load it perhaps somebody could give me a clue cheers
  4. I am posting said photo of LVT(4) 7B 'SANDPIPER' on behalf of Jeff:
    SANDPIPER 7B.jpg

    More info to follow soon.

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  5. War Pictorial News No.196 of 5 Feb 45 very briefly shows LVT(4) 2C SANDPIPER of 11 R Tks (around 07:14):
    LVT4 2C 'SANDPIPER' A Sqn Polsten - WPN 196 - 07.14.jpg

    This same clip appears at 00.32 on British Pathé 1145.05, as mentioned by KevinT:
    LVT4 2C 'SANDPIPER' A Sqn Polsten - 1145_05_038.jpg

    As we can see, the A Squadron tactical mark, a triangle, is here in dark colour (Red). '2C', at that time, meant 3rd vehicle in 2 Troop. This is probably the same vehicle as on Jeff's photo (see the identical style of the letters forming the name, for example).

    When 11 R Tks joined 30 Armd Bde as its fourth regiment on 23 Dec 44 its Arm of Service serial changed from 67 to 54, which it apparently retained throughout its subsequent shuttles between 30 and 33 Armd Bdes.

    At the same time the colour of the Squadron symbol (Delta or triangle, Square and Circle for A, B & C Sqns respectively) changed from Red to White.

    I am not sure how to interpret the 7B in Jeff's photo. This obviously means 7 Troop, but this clashes with the A Sqn triangle because as far as I know 11 R Tks never had more than six troops per squadron. Here the 'B' in '7B' probably means 3rd vehicle, with the 1st vehicle being just '7', the second '7A' etc.

    Although the organisation of LVT units changed rather often, this is the first photo I see of an LVT of 11 R Tks with a Troop number higher than 5. Other LVT units did have troops numbered across the regiment. For example, I understand that for the Rhine Crossing LVT regiments were organised with two squadrons only, each with six troops of six vehicles plus two in SHQ. At least one of these regiments numbered its troops from 1 to 12, i.e. troops 1-6 in A Sqn and troops 7-12 in B Sqn.

    Maybe the A Sqn symbol was retained eventhough the vehicle was allocated to another squadron (or another regiment?), or there was yet another type of organisation with more than six troops per squadron, possibly in the last weeks of the war or right after its end.

    Another 'anomaly' in the markings of SANDPIPER in Jeff's photo is that on the right side of the hull the Vehicle letter normally preceded the Troop number, i.e. on this side the marking should be 'B7'. See for example HU66532 showing 4C STORK & 4A SQUIRREL:

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  6. J Fox

    J Fox Member

    Thanks for posting the photo for me and all the other info you have sent me its been really great to find these things out after all this time and many dead ends and to see the clip of sandpiper in action gives me shivers down my spine thanks once again
  7. J Fox

    J Fox Member

    Just been looking at the history of the 11th RTR that Dave kindly provided me with and in it it says under the section on the rhine crossing that A squadron was shared equally with B & C squadrons giving each squadron 6 troops each if B squadron was troops 1-6 and C squadron 7-12 that would explain why Sandpiper is marked as 7 in the above photo same as you pointed out above

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