AIR SUPPORT SIGNALS UNIT and SPECIAL SIGNALS GROUP

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  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    AIR SUPPORT SIGNALS UNIT and SPECIAL SIGNALS GROUP

    The Air Support Signals Unit provided communications for the organisation which arranged and controlled tactical air support for the ground forces.

    The Special Signals Group were a signals intelligence unit which listened into enemy wireless traffic.


    CONTENTS

    Air Support Signals Unit
    Air Support Signals Unit. War Establishment III/285/1. November 1943
    Air Support Signal Unit. War Establishment XIV/1757/1. January 1945.
    HQ, 21 Army Group Air Support Signals Unit. War Establishment XIV/1749/1. September 1944
    Air Liaison Section. War Establishment III/5D/2. April 1943.
    Army Air Liaison Group. War Establishment XIV/351/1.
    123 Air Liaison Section. War Establishment XIV/350/1. August 1944.
    260 Air Liaison Section. War Establishment XIV/352/1. October 1944

    Special Wireless Group
    Special Wireless Group. War Establishment III/299/1. December 1943.
    Special Wireless Section Type B. War Establishment III/129/3. July 1944.
    Special Wireless Section Type D.


    AIR SUPPORT SIGNALS UNIT
    Air Support Signals Unit. War Establishment III/285/1. November 1943
    Air Support Signal Unit. War Establishment XIV/1757/1. January 1945.
    HQ, 21 Army Group Air Support Signals Unit. War Establishment XIV/1749/1. September 1944
    Air Liaison Section. War Establishment III/5D/2. April 1943.
    Army Air Liaison Group. War Establishment XIV/351/1.
    123 Air Liaison Section. War Establishment XIV/350/1. August 1944.
    260 Air Liaison Section. War Establishment XIV/352/1. October 1944


    See also 2nd Tactical Air Force.

    2nd Tactical Air Force was formed to give close support to 21st Army Group in NW Europe. There were four RAF Groups, one for air defence of the base areas, one of light and medium bombers and one for each army, 1st Canadian Army and 2nd British Army. The close cooperation between Army and RAF depended on good communications and good liaison. The methods were being developed and improved throughout the campaign.
    The essential communications in all of these operations were provided by the Air Support Signals Unit.

    At 21 Army Group Main headquarters there were Staff sections including
    - Air. This section advised the Commander in Chief on Air matters and developed policy for the use of air power in support of the armies.
    - Liaison with Allied Tactical Air Forces, which included the US 9th Air Force.
    - Liaison with the RAF’s 2nd Tactical Air Force
    - Photographic interpretation
    See 21 Army Group Main Headquarters

    In addition Headquarters 2nd Army had a staff section concerned with Air and each Corps and Armoured Division Headquarters had staff officers responsible for Intelligence and for Air. These two officers worked closely together.

    The requests for air support were forwarded to the Army/RAF Control Centre and then to RAF Group Headquarters via the Air Support Signals Unit. The RAF Group Operations Staff allocated squadrons for the tasks requested and the Air Liaison Section officers briefed the unit on the mission.

    In most cases it was necessary that requests for tactical reconnaissance or air support be sent to the RAF the previous day in order that the arrangements could be made. In some cases it was planned that there would be specific air strikes and specific reconnaissance missions. Increasingly it was also possible to arrange for Cabranks in which support aircraft were kept in the air waiting to be given a specific mission by a forward controller on the ground. This system ensured a rapid response but was expensive. Ideally two or three relays of aircraft were required to maintain a constant cover.


    TENTACLES
    It was an essential part of the Air Support Signals Unit role that it was independent of the formations to which they were attached. The vehicles, wireless sets and personnel could not be re assigned by local commanders or Signal Officers. Thus they were always available for their primary task.

    Tentacles were the out stations of the Air Support Signals Unit. They could be assigned as required to front line units. Usually they were attached to a Corps headquarters and to a Division headquarters. They could also be attached to forward brigade headquarters, especially armoured brigades. Their role was to handle requests for air support from the unit to which they were attached. Such requests were transmitted to the Army/RAF Control Centre.

    Tentacles were also deployed to RAF Wing and Group Control Centres to receive such requests as were approved by the Army/RAF Control Centre.

    Since all the tentacles in a corps had their wireless tuned to the same net it was possible for a request transmitted by a brigade to be intercepted by division or corps headquarters so that they were fully informed of the requests being made, and could veto them if necessary. Similarly requests from divisions were monitored by corps. This system simplified and speeded up the system in that requests were not passed upwards through division and corps but still allowed them to have an input.

    Tentacles also manned a VHF receiver so that they could receive reports from tactical reconnaissance reports from aircraft still in the air. These reports could be re broadcast on the corps net so that all units could share the information. Neighbouring corps usually listened in so that they also shared the information without waiting for it to be passed through normal, slower, channels.

    Tentacles were a single vehicle, usually a 15cwt wireless house. 15cwt 4 X 4 personnel (White Scout Cars) or 15cwt Halftracks were used in the same role with armoured formations and/or forward units.
    The crew consisted of three operators and a driver mechanic. One operator was a lance corporal. This was a minimal crew for the functions to be performed.


    AIR SUPPORT SIGNALS UNIT
    War Establishment III/285/1. November 1943.
    There was only one such unit – 2 Air Support Signals Unit. The 2 refers to 2nd Army. There was also 1st Canadian Air Support Signals Unit with 1st Canadian Army.

    Major
    2 X Captain
    3 X Subaltern

    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    4 X serjeant

    2 X lance serjeant, signalman class
    14 X corporal, signalman class
    33 X lance corporal, signalman class
    6 X lance corporal, driver class
    99 X signalman
    48 X driver
    Total 214

    Attached
    corporal cook, ACC
    2 X cook, ACC

    Tradesmen
    2 X clerk
    8 X despatch rider
    42 X driver mechanic
    2 X electrician, signals
    3 X instrument mechanic, signals
    3 X lineman
    126 X operator, wireless and line
    2 X vehicle mechanic
    2 X storeman (listed as assistant tradesmen and therefore presumably paid less).

    Non tradesmen
    2 X batman
    4 X batman driver
    4 X driver
    2 X general dutyman

    Vehicles
    9 X motorcycle
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 2
    7 X jeep
    2 X 15cwt GS
    30 X 15cwt wireless House
    8 X 15cwt 4 X 4 personnel
    3 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    4 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless


    ORGANISATION
    Headquarters
    Motorcycle 1
    Company Serjeant Major
    Motorcycle 2
    corporal electrician

    Car 4 seater 4 X 2
    Major, Captain, corporal clerk, batman driver

    15cwt GS
    instrument mechanic, corporal vehicle mechanic
    Carries spare generating sets

    3ton 4 X 4 GS 1
    serjeant electrician, corporal instrument mechanic, instrument mechanic,
    vehicle mechanic, driver IC
    Serves as a workshop
    Carries Bren lmg
    3ton lorry GS 2
    company quartermaster serjeant, batman, clerk, corporal cook ACC,
    2 X cook ACC, 2 X general dutyman, storeman, driver IC
    Carries cooking equipment
    Carries a Bren lmg
    3ton lorry GS 3
    batman, clerk, storeman, driver IC
    Carries technical stores
    Seats for serjeant from B section plus 3 X corporal operator, 6 X operator for
    remote control from A section.


    The Headquarters was small since it was to administer and control widely dispersed sub units which had necessarily to be capable of operating independently.



    A Section (Reconnaissance Section).
    A Section was responsible for communication with airfields providing Tactical Reconnaissance aircraft. The four 3 ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP lorries are among the first of this type to appear on War Establishments. In fact it appears that the sets were not yet available when the establishment was issued. One of the vehicles was stationed at army headquarters in order to communicate with the airfields, sending requests for missions and receiving reports. Two of the vehicles were stationed at airfields being used by Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons RAF. The final vehicle was for broadcasting information and reports. In this case broadcasting means not communication with a particular wireless set, station or unit but sending out signals for anyone concerned to listen to.

    Motorcycle
    serjeant

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    Subaltern, batman driver

    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53
    This vehicle is for Tactical Reconnaissance army control
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53
    This vehicle is for Tactical Reconnaissance at airfields
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53
    This vehicle is for Tactical Reconnaissance at airfields
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53
    This vehicle is for broadcast.


    B Section (Support Section)
    B Section was much larger and was responsible for communication with the many airfields supplying ground support aircraft.

    - Seven 15cwt wireless house vehicles with No12 sets provided anchor stations for the army. Their purpose was to receive requests from the tentacles and pass them on to the relevant airfield.
    - Twelve 15cwt wireless house vehicles with No12 sets provided tentacles. These could be assigned to formation headquarters as required in order to transmit requests for support.
    - Eight 15cwt 4 X 4 with No22 sets provided tentacles for armoured formations. The 15cwt 4 X 4 was the White Scout Car which was armoured and had a reasonable cross country performance.
    - Ten 15cwt wireless house vehicles with No 12 sets provided a rear link at airfields.

    Thus there was a network of communication which was capable of linking all formation headquarters to the anchor stations and then to the airfields. It was the function of this unit merely to transmit requests not to prioritise them. There were staff officers at headquarters to decide what was transmitted.

    In contrast to the 53 sets of A section, the No12 sets of B section were almost obsolete. They were fairly powerful and effective sets but many better sets were becoming available and capable of doing the same job.

    Motorcycle 1
    Subaltern
    Motorcycle 2
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 3
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 4
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 5
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 6
    serjeant

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 1
    Captain, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 2
    Subaltern, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 3
    despatch rider
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 4
    despatch rider
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 5
    despatch rider
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 6
    despatch rider

    15cwt truck.GS 1
    corporal lineman, 2 X lineman, driver IC
    Carries cable

    15cwt wireless house 1
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 2
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 3
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 4
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 5
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 6
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 7
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army

    15cwt wireless house 8
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 9
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 10
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 11
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 12
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 13
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 14
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 15
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 16
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 17
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 18
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 19
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle

    15cwt wireless house 20
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 21
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 22
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 23
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 24
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 25
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 26
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 27
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 28
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 29
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 30
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields

    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 1
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 2
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 3
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 4
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 5
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 6
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 7
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 8
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set No12
    This vehicle is for tentacle



    Forward Control Post and Contact Cars
    The system described above worked well in the forward planning of air support and reconnaissance missions but it did not allow rapid response to urgent requests for support. In late 1944 the system was speeded up by introducing Forward Control Posts and Contact Cars.

    Forward Control Posts were not part of the Air Support Signals Unit but depended on the signals net the unit provided. The Forward Control Post was an advanced headquarters with a Senior RAF Controller, often a Wing Commander resting from operations, and a Staff Officer from the Army Air Liaison Group. Usually this control post did not form a part of the chain from forward formation to RAF/Army Control Centre to airfield to aircraft in the air. However it did listen in to the Air Support Signals Unit net and could intervene if it saw an urgent need. It would first inform the Control Centre that it was taking over control of the mission and would have aircraft assigned to it. These could already be in the air or waiting at readiness on an airfield. The Forward Control Post then had the necessary communications to speak directly to the tentacle with the forward troops and to aircraft in the air. By-passing several tiers the Forward Controller could provide support within minutes. Forward tentacles were able to report back the results of the air strike, or pass on information regarding changes in the ground situation.

    A further refinement was the introduction of Contact Cars. These carried an RAF officer who could speak directly to aircraft and could empathise with the pilots since he was a pilot himself. If a reconnaissance mission had been requested the Contact Car officer could direct the tactical reconnaissance pilots to the target and then receive his report, which could be immediately passed on. Supplementary questions could also be asked immediately. In this case the Contact Car officer would be a tactical reconnaissance pilot resting after completing a tour. If a strike had been requested then the Contact Car officer would be a fighter bomber pilot, also resting. He could give the strike aircraft details of the target with reference to ground features, plus any other information that he would know to be useful. He would also be well placed to decide if the target had been destroyed or if further strikes were required. Contact Cars could be given control of a mission by either the Forward Control Post or the Control Centre.

    Although the Contact Cars do not appear on an official establishment until January 1945 they were certainly in use much earlier. Any tentacle could become a Contact Car by providing a VHF wireless set and an RAF officer.



    AIR SUPPORT SIGNALS UNIT
    War Establishment XIV/1757/1. January 1945

    This establishment recognised the changes which had in fact already been implemented in practice. There was now
    Headquarters
    A Section for communications with reconnaissance units
    B Section for communications with ground support units
    C Section for communications with forward control units
    D Section which provided contact cars with army ground units

    Major
    3 X Captain
    3 X Subaltern

    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    4 X serjeant

    8 X lance serjeant, signalman class
    6 X corporal, signalman class
    11 X lance corporal, signalman class
    112 X signalman
    62 X driver

    Attached
    corporal cook, ACC
    3 X cook, ACC

    Tradesmen
    2 X clerk
    13 X despatch rider
    49 X driver mechanic
    7 X radio mechanic, signals
    3 X linesman
    146 X operator, wireless and line
    3 X vehicle mechanic
    2 X storeman (listed as assistant tradesmen and therefore presumably paid less).

    Non tradesmen
    3 X cipher operator
    2 X batman
    5 X batman driver
    6 X driver
    2 X general dutyman

    Vehicles
    13 X motorcycle
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 2
    10 X jeep
    2 X 15cwt 4 X 4 GS
    32 X 15cwt wireless House
    8 X 15cwt 4 X 4 personnel, armoured
    2 X 15cwt halftrack
    3 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    3 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R
    4 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless
    1 X 10cwt trailer
    7 X 10cwt stores trailer
    2 X 1ton trailer
    3 X generator 9KVA trailer


    ORGANISATION
    Headquarters
    The Headquarters was small since it was to administer and control widely dispersed sub units which had necessarily to be capable of operating independently. Sub units were administered by the unit to which they were attached but operational control remained with the ASSU. ASSU Headquarters also provided technical supervision and maintenance.

    Motorcycle 1
    Company Serjeant Major
    Motorcycle 2
    corporal radio mechanic

    Car 4 seater 4 X 2
    Major, Captain, corporal clerk, batman driver

    15cwt GS
    radio mechanic, corporal vehicle mechanic, vehicle mechanic
    Carries spare generating sets
    Tows a 10cwt trailer

    3ton 4 X 4 GS 1
    serjeant radio mechanic, corporal radio mechanic, radio mechanic,
    vehicle mechanic, driver IC
    Serves as a workshop
    Carries Bren lmg
    Tows a 1 ton trailer
    3ton 4 X 4 GS 2
    company quartermaster serjeant, batman, clerk, corporal cook ACC,
    3 X cook ACC, storeman, driver IC
    Carries cooking equipment
    Carries a Bren lmg
    Tows a 1ton trailer
    3ton 4 x 4 GS 3
    storeman, driver IC
    Carries technical stores

    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R
    Tows a 9KVA generator trailer
    2 X cipher operator, driver IC
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R
    Tows a 9KVA generator trailer
    cipher operator, driver IC
    A serjeant, three corporal operator and six operators are attached from B Section.

    A Section (Reconnaissance Section).
    A Section was now responsible for communication intelligence obtained by Tactical reconnaissance aircraft. The two Wireless HP vehicles were stationed at airfields being used by Tactical Reconnaissance Squadrons RAF, and could immediately broadcast information obtained. Other communications were provided by sub units of the other sections.

    Motorcycle
    serjeant

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    Subaltern, batman driver

    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53
    This vehicle is for Tactical Reconnaissance
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53
    This vehicle is for Tactical Reconnaissance

    B Section (Support Section)
    B Section was responsible for communication between
    - the many RAF airfields providing ground support aircraft
    - the Army/RAF Control Centres.
    - army unit headquarters

    Motorcycle 1
    Subaltern
    Motorcycle 2
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 3
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 4
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 5
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 6
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 7
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 8
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 9
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 10
    serjeant

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 1
    Captain, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 2
    Subaltern, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 3
    despatch rider
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 4
    despatch rider
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 5
    despatch rider
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 6
    despatch rider

    15cwt truck.GS 1
    corporal lineman, 2 X lineman, driver IC
    Carries cable

    15cwt wireless house 1
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 2
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 3
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 4
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 5
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 6
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army
    15cwt wireless house 7
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for anchor set for army

    15cwt wireless house 8
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 9
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 10
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 11
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 12
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 13
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 14
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 15
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 16
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 17
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 18
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 19
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 20
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt wireless house 21
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle

    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 1
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 2
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 3
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for tentacle

    15cwt wireless house 22
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 23
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 24
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 25
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 26
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 27
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 28
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 29
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 30
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 31
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields
    15cwt wireless house 32
    3 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless set Canadian No9
    This vehicle is for rear link at airfields

    C Section (Forward Control)
    C Section was introduced to provide communications for Forward Control Posts. In normal circumstances communications were between army units and control centres. The Forward Control Post listened in to all such communications and could take over urgent requests thus speeding up the process. This establishment does not include the Forward Control Post personnel and vehicles themselves. These came from Air Liaison Sections and from the RAF.

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    Captain, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    radio mechanic, driver mechanic
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    despatch rider, driver mechanic

    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R
    corporal operator, 5 X operator, driver mechanic
    Tows a 9KVA generator trailer

    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless HP
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries a Wireless set No 53

    D Section (Contact Car)

    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel, armoured 1
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless sets Canadian No9, 2 X TR 1143 and No22
    Tows a 10cwt stores trailer
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel, armoured 2
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless sets Canadian No9, 2 X TR 1143 and No22
    Tows a 10cwt stores trailer
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel, armoured 3
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless sets Canadian No9, 2 X TR 1143 and No22
    Tows a 10cwt stores trailer
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel, armoured 4
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless sets Canadian No9, 2 X TR 1143 and No22
    Tows a 10cwt stores trailer
    15cwt 4 X 4 personnel, armoured 5
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless sets Canadian No9, 2 X TR 1143 and No22
    Tows a 10cwt stores trailer

    15cwt halftrack
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless sets Canadian No9, 2 X TR 1143 and No22
    Tows a 10cwt stores trailer
    15cwt halftrack
    corporal operator, 2 X operator, driver mechanic
    Carries Wireless sets Canadian No9, 2 X TR 1143 and No22
    Tows a 10cwt stores trailer

    In addition to the Wireless set Canadian No9 Contact cars carried two Air Ministry TR 1143 sets and a Wireless set No22. Air Ministry Wireless set AM TR 1143 was an RAF transmitter/receiver as fitted in aircraft. This enabled communication between the contact car and aircraft in the air.

    In addition to the army crew the Contact Car carried an RAF Wireless Operator/Mechanic to maintain the VHF radio sets.

    Contact Cars could operate as a normal tentacle but their primary role was to enable a Forward Air Controller to communicate with aircraft at the battlefront. The Forward Air Controller was an RAF officer, usually a Squadron Leader or Flight Lieutenant, from one of the tactical reconnaissance or close support squadrons. Pilots were rested from operations after 200 sorties, reduced to 80 in December 1944 for close support units.

    Various vehicles were fitted out as Contact Cars for particular operations.
    - Jeeps were fitted with Wireless sets Canadian No9 and TR 1143 for the Rhine Crossing.
    - A Weasel amphibian was fitted as a tentacle vehicle for the Walcheren assault.
    - Sherman tanks from armoured brigades were fitted as Contact Cars.



    HEADQUARTERS 21 ARMY GROUP AIR SUPPORT SIGNALS UNIT
    War Establishment XIV/1749/1. September 1944.

    This was an Air Support Signals Unit providing communications for Headquarters 21 Army Group. It is thought that it operated with the Air Liaison Sections for No 2 Group and its light and medium bomber wings plus the photographic reconnaissance squadrons.

    Captain
    Subaltern
    company quartermaster serjeant
    serjeant
    3 X lance serjeant
    8 X corporal (including one for cipher duties)
    3 X lance corporal (including two for cipher duties)
    37 X signalman
    3 X driver
    2 X cook ACC
    4 X orderly

    Trades
    6 X driver mechanic
    4 X electrician, signals
    6 X driver operator
    32 X operator, wireless and line
    3 X cipher operator
    2 X batman driver
    driver

    1 X motorcycle
    1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    11 X 3ton 4 X 4 wireless
    2 X trailer 2 wheel generator



    AIR LIAISON.
    These units were not a part of Air Support Signals but were units which used the communications that Air Support Signals provided.

    AIR LIAISON SECTION
    War Establishment III/5D/2. April 1943.
    An Air Liaison Section was attached to each RAF wing supporting 2nd Army. In NW Europe 2nd Tactical Air Force provided one Group per Army (1st Canadian and 2nd British). For specific operations Divisions and Corps would request air support and a specific squadron would be assigned. The squadron would then be briefed by the Air Liaison Section.

    Personnel
    Air Liaison Officer (General Staff Officer, 2nd Grade)
    2 X Air Liaison Officer (General Staff Officer 3rd Grade)

    clerk RA
    lance serjeant clerk RASC
    clerk RASC for photographic duties
    2 X batman
    3 X driver IC RASC
    2 X driver IC RASC for duty as motorcyclists

    Vehicles
    2 X motorcycle
    2 X car 4 X 2 4 seat
    1 X 3ton lorry 4 X 2

    This organisation proved to be inadequate and the following Group and Sections were formed.



    ARMY AIR LIAISON GROUP
    War Establishment XIV/351/1.
    The group may consist of a variable number of any of the sections depending on the organisation of the RAF formation with which the group is working.

    Type P Section to work with a reconnaissance wing headquarters.
    Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 2nd Grade
    3 X Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 3rd Grade
    4 X clerk RASC
    3 X batman driver
    2 X motorcyclist
    2 X motorcycle
    1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X car 4 seater 4 X 4

    Type Q Section to work with a reconnaissance squadron
    Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 3rd Grade
    batman driver
    1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4

    Type R Section to work with a Group Control Centre
    Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 2nd Grade
    4 X Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 3rd Grade
    3 X clerk RASC
    3 X batman driver
    2 X motorcyclist
    4 X motorcycles
    1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4
    1 X 3ton 4 X 2 Office

    Two Air Liaison Officers, General Staff Officers 3rd Grade are for duty with Visual Control Posts and one is for duty with the group support unit.

    Type S Section to work with fighter and fighter bomber wing headquarters.
    4 X Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 3rd Grade
    2 X clerk
    3 X batman driver
    motorcyclist
    1 X motorcycle
    1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4

    Air Liaison Officer.
    Air Liaison Officers were central to the working of the air support system. They were assigned to RAF wings and to the Army/RAF Control centre. They were General Staff Officers who specialised in Air.

    When assigned to a wing the Air Liaison Officer team were fully occupied. A continuous stream of Situation Reports were received from the battle area via the Air Support Signals Unit. This information was used to maintain a situation map and a bomb line map. The bomb line was a line 1000 yards ahead of the forward troop positions and no air strikes were permitted within this area.

    When the front line was static a list of targets was received the day before thus allowing the Air Liaison Officer to collect and prepare briefing material. Details of targets came from the Army/RAF Control Centre via the Air Support Signals Unit. Detailed orders for an air strike came to the wing from the RAF Group Control Centre and then the Air Liaison Officer briefed the pilots and obtained an estimate of the time of arrival over the target and forwarded this to the front line units.

    On return from a mission the pilots were debriefed with the Air Liaison Officer taking part and the information relayed to army units.

    Note that this establishment lists four Air Liaison Officers at an RAF wing, and all are General Staff Officers 3rd Grade. Originally the senior Air Liaison Officer was a General Staff Officer 2nd Grade but the RAF requested that this be changed to match the rank of the Wing Intelligence Officer who was a Flight Lieutenant.

    The Air Liaison Officers with Tactical Reconnaissance Wings were organised differently. There were still four Air Liaison Officers at Wing Headquarters but the senior remained a General Staff Officer 2nd Grade. In Addition there was an Air Liaison Officer with each squadron. He could give more precise briefings but more importantly he could obtain more information more rapidly, and despatch it to the army units who requested it. Information from tactical reconnaissance missions reached army units in a number of ways
    - While still over the target area pilots reported over VHF radio which was received by Air Support Signals Units tentacles.
    - Air Liaison Officers forwarded information directly to the units which had requested it by Air Support Signals Unit Wireless sets No53.
    - Information was also broadcast for any unit to listen to, again by Air Support Unit Signals Unit Wireless set No53.
    - Photographs were sent to army headquarters by motorcyclist.

    Air Liaison Officers were also assigned to Army/RAF Control Centre where they co ordinated requests with RAF Controllers.

    Visual Control Posts.
    Two of the Air Liaison Officers at Control Centre were intended to work with Visual Control Posts. Each Visual Control Post had a General Staff Officer 3rd Grade as Air Liaison Officer and an RAF Controller who was a Squadron leader or Flight Lieutenant. A vehicle capable of communicating with local army units, Control Centre and aircraft in the air was provided. These were assigned to Corps as required and corps usually assigned them to armoured divisions, who in turn assigned them to the armoured brigade. Since they were intended to be well up front where they could see the battlefield they were mounted at various times in Humber Scout Cars, Halftracks and Sherman tanks.

    In Normandy there were few suitable viewpoints but Visual Control Posts were used in major operations. They were again used in the advance through France and Belgium when the Control Centre tended to be left behind. In the Market Garden Operation Visual Control Posts were used with the spearhead units but more in the role that was to be created by the later Contact Car.



    123 AIR LIAISON SECTION
    War Establishment XIV/350/1. August 1944.
    This section was to work with a strategical reconnaissance wing.
    Strategical is not a term found in 2 TAF records but refers to Photographic Reconnaissance as opposed to Tactical Reconnaissance.

    Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 2nd Grade
    5 X Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 3rd Grade
    3 X clerk RASC including one lance serjeant
    4 X batman driver RASC
    driver IC RASC
    motorcyclist RASC

    2 X bicycle
    1 X motorcycle
    2 X car 2 seater
    1 X car 4 seater
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4
    1 X 3ton 4 X 2 GS

    When a third squadron is added to the strategical reconnaissance wing of 2 TAF the following will be added
    2 X Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 3rd Grade
    clerk RASC
    batman driver
    1 X car 2 seater


    260 AIR LIAISON SECTION
    War Establishment XIV/352/1. October 1944.
    This section was specifically to work with a light bomber group RAF and may consist of a variable number of sub sections depending on the organisation of the light bomber group. This was No 2 Group in 2TAF.

    Headquarters
    2 X Air Liaison Officer (General Staff Officer 3rd Grade)
    clerk RASC
    batman driver

    1 X motorcycle
    1 X car 4 seat 4 X 4


    Each sub section
    3 X Air Liaison Officer (General Staff Officer 3rd Grade)
    corporal clerk RASC
    2 X clerk RASC
    2 X batman driver
    2 X driver IC RASC for duty as motorcyclists

    2 X motorcycle
    2 X car 2 seat 4 X 2
    1 X car 4 seat 4 X 4



    FORWARD CONTROL POST.
    No War Establishment has been found for the Forward Control Post and probably none exists. It had army and RAF vehicles and personnel attached to it from other units including

    From R Section, Air Liaison Group
    Air Liaison Officer, General Staff Officer 3rd Grade.
    batman driver
    1 X car 5 cwt 4 X 4

    From Air Support Signals Unit
    corporal operator
    5 X operator
    driver mechanic
    1 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R towing a 9KVA generator trailer
    3 X Wireless set Canadian No9

    From RAF Group Control Centre
    Controller, Wing Commander RAF

    From RAF Mobile Signals Unit
    1 X 3ton RVT 100 transmitter lorry
    1 X 3ton RVT 105 receiver lorry
    2 X AM T1131 transmitters
    2 X AM R1392 receivers and a
    1 X TR 1143 transmitter/receiver.

    The Forward Control Post was allocated on the basis of one per corps and was located near to a Corps Headquarters.



    SPECIAL WIRELESS GROUP
    The Special Wireless Group was a field unit of a much larger signals intelligence organisation. Generally known as Y service this organisation listened to and recorded enemy wireless transmissions. These were then analysed and often remarkable results obtained. Y service provided the raw material for code breakers at Bletchley Park.

    For much of the war there were three services which were supposed to work closely together.
    - A naval Y service intercepted German naval wireless transmissions. These however were relatively few. German Navy wireless discipline was excellent.
    - The army Y service was limited in scope but effective in what it did. The German Army used secure cable land lines for most communications. In the front line field telephones were usual. Only mobile units used any great number of wireless sets. This meant that there would normally only be any significant wireless traffic just before an armoured assault was launched.
    - The air force Y service was most active and effective. Both in the air and on the ground the Luftwaffe used wireless communication extensively. Luftwaffe operators were also notoriously careless with regard to wireless discipline. Since a large part of the Luftwaffe role was close support of the armies it was often possible to obtain information about army operations from Luftwaffe sources. The Luftwaffe also contributed greatly to the cracking of the Enigma codes by failing to observe all the necessary precautions.

    In NW Europe field units of the army and RAF were operating. The RAF units listened in to transmissions from fighter bases and between controllers and aircraft. This was of greatest benefit to the strategic bomber units of Bomber Command and US 8th Air Force. There was not a lot of tactical air activity from the Luftwaffe but if there had been the RAF Y service would have been very effective in monitoring it.

    The Special Wireless Group was in action from D Day until the end of the campaign but it had its greatest success in the early days, in Normandy. By its nature it was best suited to identifying units and warning of the increase in wireless activity which was the prelude to a counter attack. As the Allied Armies advanced and the German Army was forced onto the defensive there was very little wireless activity to monitor. Defensive positions relied on telephone and telegraph which could not be intercepted. As the German Army reached the German homeland they had access to a superb cable communications system. This was totally secure. When a line was out of action it was replaced by microwave wireless which was also impossible to monitor. Thus Signals Intelligence and the Special Wireless Group were not able to give warning of the Ardennes counter attack.

    In the days before automatic scanning sets, automatically activated recorders and key word recognition the key role was that of a computer. This was nothing to do with electronics. When a wireless message in clear was intercepted a person called a computer wrote down the message in German. When the message was complete the computer wrote the translation in English and prioritised the message for onward transmission for analysis. This ensured that important information was available to relevant headquarters almost immediately.

    Another key person, possibly at headquarters and with an intelligence section, was the Traffic Analyst. Traffic Analysis was slower but could produce a large amount of information. If the volume of wireless traffic was known and the source of the traffic also known then it was fairly easy to predict that a formation was on the move. Traffic Analysis also allowed an order of battle for opposing forces to be built up. Units, headquarters and even individuals could be identified by their code names, even if the full message could not be decoded.

    Much of the intercepted wireless traffic was passed back to the UK for further long term analysis which could identify trends and assist in code breaking.

    Some successes
    - In N Africa Direct Finding was used to locate artillery positions with sufficient accuracy to allow counter battery fire against them. In NW Europe the enemy artillery was less likely to be using wireless and there were many other methods available to Survey regiments and Counter Battery Officers.
    - A combination of Direction Finding and Traffic Analysis was used to locate enemy headquarters. This would allow an air strike, a raid or jamming. In NW Europe it was normal practice to position transmitters and aerials well away from a headquarters to make precise locations difficult to find.
    - Listening and recording messages allowed units and their locations to be identified. On occasions the change in location of a unit could be the first indication of an attack, or withdrawal.

    The greatest successes were in identifying a counter attack and in many cases identifying its intention.
    - On D Day intercepts suggested a counter attack by 21 Panzer Division. This was monitored and the information passed through the intelligence system. However the system was not yet operating fully and the attack was launched before the warning reached the forward troops.
    - On the 26th of June a flurry of tactical wireless traffic alerted listeners to a possible counter attack on VIII Corps. Higher level wireless traffic was also intercepted and decoded in time to allow 2nd Army artillery and 2 Tactical Air Force to produce a concentration of shelling and bombing which halted the counter attack.
    - On 18 July intercepts produced precise information that a German armoured force was being sent to occupy Bourgebus Ridge in order to mount a counter attack.
    - On 3rd August Traffic Analysis warned of a German attack being prepared against the US Army spearhead in Brittany.
    - On 7th August intercepts warned of a counter attack on the flank of XII Corps in time for defensive preparations to be made.

    After this time the results were concerned with intelligence gathering, important but less spectacular and of less immediate tactical use than some of the Normandy actions.


    SPECIAL WIRELESS GROUP
    War Establishment III/299/1. December 1943.
    Personnel
    Lieutenant Colonel, Officer Commanding
    Major second in Command
    Captain, Adjutant
    3 X Captain
    4 X Subaltern
    Technical Maintenance Officer
    Quartermaster

    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant
    company quartermaster serjeant as foreman of signals
    11 X serjeant
    3 X lance serjeant, signalman class
    17 X corporal, signalman class
    25 X lance corporal, signalman class
    lance corporal, driver class
    173 X signalman
    35 X driver

    Attached
    officers mess cook, ACC
    corporal cook
    8 X cook

    Tradesmen
    carpenter and joiner
    5 X clerk
    10 X despatch rider
    draughtsman, signals
    5 X driver mechanic
    4 X electrician, signals
    9 X instrument mechanic
    4 X linesman
    3 X vehicle mechanic
    6 X storeman

    Non tradesmen
    2 X batman
    7 X batman driver
    17 X driver
    5 X general dutyman

    Vehicles
    12 X motorcycle
    7 X car 2 seater 4 X 2
    2 X car 4 seater 4 X 2
    4 X 15cwt GS
    3 X 15cwt wireless house
    9 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    1 X 3ton 4 X 4 Cipher
    2 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless (R)
    8 X 1ton trailer


    Headquarters
    Lieutenant Colonel, Officer Commanding
    Major second in Command
    Captain, Adjutant
    Captain
    Subaltern
    Quartermaster

    Company Serjeant Major
    company quartermaster serjeant

    2 X serjeant
    corporal, signalman class
    2 X lance corporal, signalman class
    4 X signalman
    13 X driver
    Total 32

    Attached
    officers mess cook
    corporal cook
    8 X cook

    Tradesmen
    4 X clerk
    draughtsman, signals
    2 X storeman
    non tradesman
    2 X batman
    3 X batman driver
    4 X driver
    4 X general dutyman


    Number 1 (operating) section
    serjeant
    corporal
    14 X signalman
    Total 17
    All personnel are classed as Operators, Special

    Number 2 (operating) section
    serjeant
    corporal
    14 X signalman
    Total 17
    All personnel are classed as Operators, Special

    Number 3 (operating) section
    serjeant
    corporal
    14 X signalman
    Total 17
    All personnel are classed as Operators, Special

    Number 4 (operating) section
    serjeant
    corporal
    14 X signalman
    Total 17
    All personnel are classed as Operators, Special

    Number 5 (mobile) section
    Captain
    2 X serjeant
    lance serjeant
    3 X corporal, signalman class
    4 X lance corporal, signalman class
    40 X signalman
    10 X driver
    Total 61

    2 X cook ACC

    Tradesmen
    clerk
    2 X despatch rider
    2 X driver mechanic
    electrician
    instrument mechanic
    39 X operator, special
    2 X vehicle mechanic
    3 X storeman

    batman driver
    6 X driver
    general dutyman

    Vehicles
    2 X motorcycle
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4
    1 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 15cwt Wireless House
    3 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    1 X 3ton 4 X 4 Cipher
    2 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R

    Number 6 (Direction Finding) Section
    Captain
    Subaltern
    serjeant
    2 X lance serjeant
    4 X corporal, signalman class
    6 X lance corporal, signalman class
    28 X signalman
    7 X driver
    Total 50

    2 X cook ACC

    Tradesmen
    4 X instrument mechanic
    36 X operator, special
    batman driver
    6 X driver

    Vehicles
    motorcycle
    4 X car 2 seater 4 X 2
    3 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    6 X 1ton trailer

    Number 7 (technical maintenance) Section
    Technical Maintenance Officer
    company quartermaster serjeant as foreman of signals
    serjeant
    2 X corporal, signalman class
    2 X lance corporal, signalman class
    11 X signalman
    3 X driver
    Total 21

    Tradesmen
    carpenter and joiner
    driver mechanic
    3 X electrician
    4 X instrument mechanic
    4 X lineman
    2 X vehicle mechanic
    storeman

    batman driver
    driver

    1 X car 2 seater 4 X 2
    1 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS

    Number 8 (intercommunication) section.
    serjeant
    3 X corporal, signalman class
    7 X lance corporal, signalman class
    38 X signalman
    2 X driver
    Total 51

    Tradesmen
    8 X despatch rider
    2 X driver mechanic
    32 X operators, special
    2 X operator, switchboard
    2 X driver

    9 X motorcycle
    2 X 15cwt Wireless House



    SPECIAL WIRELESS SECTION TYPE B
    War Establishment III/129/3 with an effective date of July 1944
    This was not a part of the Special Wireless Group. Its function was to listen into the enemy wireless transmissions in order to gain intelligence of immediate and local value. A Wireless Intelligence Section of the Intelligence Corps was fully integrated.
    Captain
    Subaltern
    2 X serjeant
    corporal clerk
    3 X despatch rider
    2 X driver mechanic
    2 X electrician, signals
    corporal instrument mechanic
    4 corporal operators, special
    36 X operator special
    corporal vehicle mechanic
    3 X assistant tradesman as clerk
    assistant tradesman as storeman
    2 X batman driver
    10 X driver of vehicles
    2 X general dutyman

    2 X motorcycle
    1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4
    3 X car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X 15cwt GS
    1 X 15cwt Wireless R
    5 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS
    2 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’
    2 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘R’
    1 X trailer 10cwt 2 wheeled DF type A, BC2
    2 X trailer 1 ton GS
    1 X trailer water

    1 X Bren lmg
    1 X PIAT

    Motorcycle 1
    despatch rider
    Motorcycle 2
    despatch rider

    Car 4seater 4 X 2
    2 X Intelligence Officers, Subaltern, batman driver

    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 1
    Captain, batman driver
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 2
    despatch rider, 2 X operator special
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4 3
    electrician, 2 X operator special

    15cwt GS 1
    corporal operator special, operator special, driver IC
    Tows a trailer 10cwt DF
    15cwt GS 2
    serjeant clerk, driver mechanic, driver IC
    Carries 2 X generating set 2 KVA No1
    15cwt Wireless R
    corporal operator special, 2 X operator special, driver IC
    Carries two receivers

    3ton 4 X 4 GS 1
    corporal cook, 2 X cook, 2 X general dutyman, batman, driver IC
    Carries cooking stores and rations
    Tows a water trailer
    3ton 4 X 4 GS 2
    corporal vehicle mechanic, 4 X operator special, batman, driver IC
    Carries MT spares, workshops, petrol, oil and lubricants.
    3ton 4 X 4 GS 3
    serjeant, 3 X operator special, storeman, driver IC
    Carries stationary, clothing and non technical stores
    3ton 4 X 4 GS 4
    corporal instrument mechanic, electrician, 6 X operator special, driver mechanic, driver IC
    Carries technical stores and charging equipment
    Carries a Bren lmg
    3ton 4 X 4 GS No5
    10 X intelligence NCOs, driver IC
    Carries stores for the wireless intelligence section

    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 1
    Intelligence Officer, 5 X intelligence NCO, driver IC
    Carries 2 X receiver
    Carries a PIAT
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 2
    corporal clerk, 3 X operator special, 2 X check, driver IC
    Carries cipher and office equipment
    Carries 3 X receivers and a Wireless set No 12

    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R 1
    corporal operator special, 5 X operator special, driver IC
    Carries 6 X receivers
    Tows a 1 ton trailer containing a 5 KVA generating set
    3ton 4 X 4 Wireless R 2
    corporal operator special, 5 X operator special, driver IC
    Carries 6 X receivers
    Tows a 1 ton trailer containing a 5 KVA generating set

    If trailers DF are not available on 15cwt Wireless DF will be issued in lieu and one driver IC will be added.

    The attached personnel shown in italics are on the War Establishment of a Wireless Intelligence Section War Establishment III/130/1.

    Detachment 1
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X lineman, driver IC
    Carries Bren lmg
    Tows a 10cwt trailer
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X lineman, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer
    3ton 4 X 4 GS
    corporal lineman, 3 X lineman, driver mechanic.
    Carries a mechanical cable layer
    Detachment 2
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X lineman, driver IC
    Carries Bren lmg
    Tows a 10cwt trailer
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X lineman, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer
    3ton 4 X 4 GS
    corporal lineman, 3 X lineman, driver mechanic.
    Carries a mechanical cable layer
    Detachment 3
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X lineman, driver IC
    Carries Bren lmg
    Tows a 10cwt trailer
    Car 5cwt 4 X 4
    2 X lineman, driver IC
    Tows a 10cwt trailer
    3ton 4 X 4 GS
    corporal lineman, 3 X lineman, driver mechanic.




    SPECIAL WIRELESS SECTION TYPE D
    This was not a part of the Special Wireless Group. The main equipment of the Special Wireless Section was Wireless set No 16. This was a powerful jamming set which was used with some success by the RAF but was not used operationally in 21 Army Group because of the high risk of also jamming friendly communications. There were so many wireless sets operating right across the frequency bands that the risk always out weighed the advantages.

    The precise War Establishment for this unit has not yet been found. It was issued in 1941 and never seems to have been amended.

    It is known that a section consisted of six stations each consisting of

    3ton 6 X 4 Wireless House No 7 on Thorneycroft Tartar chassis
    Carries a complete Wireless set No 16 station

    3ton 4 X 4 GS
    Carries a generating set.

    The Special Wireless section D depended on the Special Wireless Group to identify suitable targets for jamming. They would be able to give the frequency and probably some other form of identification such as a key code word. The signal to be jammed was first picked up on the receiver and then the transmitter was tuned to the same frequency. A suitable modulation was selected and transmitted so as to make the enemy signal unintelligible.

    It was possible to transmit in a variety of ways
    - a modulated sound could simply drown out the enemy signal
    - a special device could produce a bagpipe like sound which made any signal unintelligible.
    - random CW signals could be generated and transmitted to make any Morse messages unintelligible.
    - Speech could be transmitted.

    The effective jamming range was 25 miles, at which it could jam an enemy station of twice its own power.

    A single 48 foot telescopic aerial was used for transmitting and receiving.
     
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