Arms of Service numbers

Discussion in 'Trux Discussion Area' started by DUKW crew, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. DUKW crew

    DUKW crew New Member

    I am trying to identify the correct vehicle markings for a DUKW restoration

    I understand most of them but not the significance of the number on the Arms of Service square. Wikipedia offers some explanation but it appears incomplete.

    So far from contemporary photos of RASC vehicles I have 377 Company - 1392, 168 Company- 517, machine at Duxford (? company unknown) - 1346, and 297 Company (?) on the DUKW with King George VI - 54.

    Does anyone have a list of these or know where to find one please? I am interested in 168 Company when it operated amphibians within Operation Overlord, at Normandy and in Holland/Belguim in autumn/winter 1944.
  2. DannyM

    DannyM Member

    Michel posted a list in this thread about DUKW markings Ford GPA & DUKW's

    There also a couple of threads on this forum about the DUKW.


    CL1 likes this.
  3. DUKW crew

    DUKW crew New Member

    Thank you - I enjoyed reading through the Ford GPA and DUKWs thread. It enabled me to take a much more informed view of many other sources I had to hand.

    So - to summarise:-
    • There are different AoS colour patterns for different services and functions - (wikipedia sets out the logic for the UK forces of NW Europe in 1944; I assume similar logics for forces elsewhere).
    • the AoS number is then allocated to a unit of the army (regiment, battalion or company etc) in some sort of seniority hierarchy and order of precedence. The number bears no connection to any other identifying numbers - eg company number.
    • There is a white stripe in different locations to signify where the unit “reports” within the on-the-ground structure - from GHQ, Army Group, Army and Corps.
    • This AoS number and stripe could change as units moved and changed roles and armies - eg from fighting in Africa/Italy to NWEurope.
    I still have no idea what was the AoS marking for 1546 Independent Amphibious Company.

    However in Feb 1944 they (or some part of the company) were transferred to 168 Company RASC. The book “The History of 168 Company RASC” sets out the AoS markings of that unit in both N Africa/Italy and NW Europe with 21st Army Group. I quote

    by Capt P C Stedman RASC

    Foreword to Second Edition
    (third paragraph)
    As far as the front cover is concerned I would explain that this is made up of four campaign medals with which the company could be said to have won, flanking the RASC badge. The 1191 badge was carried on all the company vehicles in the Middle East, the camel donating that we were GHQ troops allocated as required. The 517 badge was carried in Europe with our own company sign which I designed, and had approved. The pyramid represented our Middle East time and the duck’s head our amphibious role with DUKWs on the Normandy beaches.

    (see second attachment)

    This differs from the table in the last post from Michel at Ford GPA & DUKW's
    The marking is shown as RASC, 517c, not x. This appears to be confirmed by a photo from 1945 (I believe) showing a vehicle of 168 Company - attached (sorry - is an extract of a picture of a picture).

    (see first attachment)

    Should I post this information to Ford GPA & DUKW's ? I am aware of my “rookie” status!

    Why would the formation sign not be 21st Army Group?

    Attached Files:

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  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    post it there mate you have as much to give as anyone
  5. Hello DUKW crew,

    Thank you for posting this information. The 'x' in my notation of 168 Coy's AoS Serial simply meant 'unknown', but thanks to you we now know it was the Army Group 'climbing' bar. This however does not necessarily mean that the Formation Sign was that of 21 A Gp, although the fact that all other DUKW units not wearing the Beach Group sign wore it might be considered as a strong indication. Another possibility is the absence of a Formation Sign... The very few photos I have of identified 168 Coy vehicles are not clear enough to tell.

    We would be delighted if you could post The History of 168 Company RASC here!

    I have updated my summary table on the Ford GPA & DUKW's thread.

  6. dml34

    dml34 Junior Member

    Hi DUKW crew

    My thanks to you for posting the marking info for 168 Coy. I too am most interested in seeing the company history if you are able to scan it!

    I have just sent some more info to Michel for his DUKW table at Ford GPA & DUKW on the Missing Lynx website.


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