Bedford? QLR identification

Discussion in 'Trux Discussion Area' started by Michel Sabarly, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. USCG photo 26-G-2358 shows the main deck of US LST 21 (2917). For the maximum resolution go to:
    26-G-2358 Normandy Invasion, June 1944
    and download the image in tiff format (24MB, far too large to post here).

    My question is about what I believe is a QLR body on a lorry bearing the number 52 over the Royal Signals flash:
    26-G-2358 - QLR on board LST 21 (2917).jpg

    The Landing Table (GOLD BEACH or 56th Infantry Brigade Landing Table) lists three Lorries Command Vehicle, one each from 50 Division Signals, H Section 50 Division Signals RS and 30 Corps Signals RS, none of which, as far as I know, matches the AoS number 52.

    Bearing in mind that the actual loading often differed from the Landing Tables, would it be reasonable to assume that this CV is from the follow-up Armd Div, i.e. 7 Armd Div, thus from 1 R Tks? [Edit] Actually 5 R Tks - see idler's correction 7 posts down this thread.

    The problem is that it seems that Armd Regts did not have such a vehicle in their WE?

    Another (I think more remote) possibility is that it was attached to a Corps Troops Composite Company RASC, which Hodges & Taylor say were alloted the AoS Numbers 51 & 52. But I suspect that this type of unit was even less likely to possess a CV Lorry...

    A subsidiary question is whether the particular type of body might be identified from this angle of view. I noticed that the ribs on the rear part of the body top are lengthwise, whereas on other types they are widthwise. Another hint might be the apparent presence of only one aerial base along the top edge of the body (on the offside towards the rear).

    Finally, was this type of body fitted only to Bedford lorries, or could it be another make?

    Any input welcome!

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    What's on the motorbike's mudguard in the hi-res version?
  3. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    According to 21st Army Group, orgaisation and markings, Malcom Bellis:

    Special Service Group Signals... for the Commandos

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  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Probably not a Command Vehicle but one of the many wireless variants using this standard body shell. There were six positions fitted for aerials but it was rare for all to be used. Other variants were for telephone switchboard, teleprinter or cipher.

    This body was only fitted to the QL.

    Once long ago I produced a short series of information sheets describing all the variants that I knew of.

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  5. Interesting suggestion! This could be a possibility, also because SS Group Sigs might be more likely to be equipped with this type of vehicle than the other candidates?

    Good point idler!

    The image I posted is cropped from the hi-res pic, so unfortunately that's as good as it gets. The marking on the mudguard of the MC is not quite legible: it could be the same 52, or something else. I think I can read 94, which would be consistent with a Commando unit as suggested by Trackfrower. The flash looks like it's of one colour only, but perhaps the light blue lower half of the Sigs flash is sufficiently lightened by the angle of lighting as to appear as light as the upper part.

    Thank you both for your comments. Hopefully we can find some other source which may confirm the unit.

  6. Thanks Mike. Quite a few variants indeed! From your post on Transport Vehicles:

    Bedford QLR Lorry Command Vehicle HP Type A, 12HP/19
    Bedford QLR Lorry Command Vehicle HP Types D and E, 53/12
    Bedford QLR Lorry Command Vehicle LP Type A, 19HP/19
    Bedford QLR Lorry Command Vehicle LP Type A, 19HP/19. Maximum Staff
    Bedford QLR Lorry Command Vehicle LP Type A, 19HP/19. Body Type 2
    Bedford QLR Wireless HP Type C. 33
    Bedford QLR Wireless HP Types E and K. 12 HP
    Bedford QLR Wireless HP Types G, H and J. 53
    Bedford QLR 3ton 4 X 4 Signal Office
    Bedford QLR 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless I
    Bedford QLR 3ton 4 X 4 cipher office
    Bedford QLT 16 TEV foot body
    TEV Division
    TEV Corps
    TEV Army​
    Bedford QLR Wireless House Body No 1 TEV
    Bedford QLR Wireless House Body Type 15 TEV

    I don't suppose there is any easy way to distinguish between the various types?

  7. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    I see that in March 2016 I posted the contents of the Trux Handbook. Wireless sets and vehicles. These are in the Modelling Topic area. There are some top view drawings which show the arrangement of aerial bases. Since your photo shows at least one aerial base it will not be TEV or Office.

    My immediate guess (sorry, intelligent deduction based on the available evidence) was that the Flail regiment could have such a vehicle. Tank regiments had one since they often operated widely dispersed.

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  8. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Based on the perhaps unlikely 7 Armd Div hypothesis, I did briefly consider that their regiments might have been given enhanced comms for their deep penetration role. Just thought that might be worth throwing into the ring given Mike's last point.
    (Wasn't 52 5 R Tks, though, before 4 CLY was replaced by the 5 DG?)
  9. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Probably a Rear-Link vehicle.
    I don't think the commandos were into big radios.
    Usually WS68 or WS46 and maybe WS38.
  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    I make it a Wireless, High Power, Type G,H or J, with Wireless No53.
    This was the latest type body.

    There is an aerial base towards the rear nearside. This a large type consistent with the No 53 set, which in this vehicle is fitted in the rear nearside corner.
    There is a ventilator fan over the rear offside corner which is consistent with the generator fitted there.
    Only G,H and J fit the layout.

    G,H and J differed only in the type of generator.
    There is no secondary set fitted in these vehicles, only a R107 Receiver.


    I have corrected the wireless number. I have never being good at numbers. I consistently failed maths exams. I grasped the concepts but the arithmetic let me down.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  11. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Do the rest of the vehicles give any clues?

    I'm interested in the types of the two Beach Group 3-ton lorries nearest the camera. Census No's: L5283587 and L5283590.

    The serial number on the carrier looks like '41'.

    Then there are two 50th Division trucks with serial number '70'. Census No's: L1710062 and L1730103.

    And finally a '121' unit serial further towards the bows.

  12. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Interestingly, I think the numbers indicate they are not all from the same unit. Looking at my Warpaint book:

    70 in an infantry division: Senior Infantry Brigade RASC company
    41: could be Recce Reg't of an infantry division - I guess that's most likely

    But, 121 was not used by infantry or armoured divisions. According to these tables, I think it was only used by the HQ of 4th Armoured Brigade.
  13. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    121-124 on Green, was from the 1st Tank Bde of the 79th Armoured Div
    11 RTR, 42 RTR and 49 RTR CDLs apparently. Broken up November 44
  14. I think that the 121 is more likely to represent HQ 56 Inf Bde, as given by Hodges & Taylor (page 100), from a list reportedly found in the 50(N) Div War Diary for May 1944 (WO171/517). Although the colour of the flash is not given, H&T presume it was Red. The LST belonged to the naval force bringing this brigade ashore, as can be seen from the Landing Table (GOLD BEACH or 56th Infantry Brigade Landing Table). If so, this would be the 3 ton GS in the Landing Table for LTIN 2917, only it moved up from the Tank Deck to the Main Deck.

    The two lorries L-1710062 & L 1730103 with the AoS number 70 must be from 346 Inf Bde Coy RASC, thus replacing those of 522 Inf Bde Coy RASC as listed in the Landing Table (unless AoS 70 was for 522 Coy?).

    As seroster said, the Carrier must be one of the four vehicles (two Carrier Universal plus two Carrier Mortar) listed for 61 Recce Regt of 50(N) Div. The 'A' Sqn tac sign is clearly visible. The WD Reg Number (white digits over Black? rectangle) on the side looks like 24671X.

    The two lorries L-5283587 & L-5283590 with the Beach Group Fouled Anchor sign are from the 6 BORDER (part of 10 Beach Group), as attested by their Mob Serial Number 24844 on the lorry to the right, together with the loading code 2917/LST/2 from which I deducted we were on board LST 21. This is legible (and even then, only barely so) only in the hi-res tiff version from as linked in the opening post above:
    26-G-2358 Normandy Invasion, June 1944

    For these two lorries, I expected the AoS number 61 over Green (see Ford GPA & DUKW's), but cannot see any...

    Finally, as found by Danny here:
    10 ton lorries at Arromanches July 1944
    the first truck in the centre of the photo must belong to 16 Airfield Construction Group, either its HQ or one of its two Road Construction Companies, one being 689 Rd Constr Coy and the other possibly 693 Rd Constr Coy.
    p012562 - LST 21 (2917) - Notes (lower res).jpg

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  15. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    On further investigation...................

    Bde Hq of 4th Armoured Brigade seems most likely 121 on a red square with a Black Desert Rat.
    This would probably tally with the Landing tables and maybe identify the "boat".

    Numbers over 99 were unlikely in Divisions.
    Units in Corps or above also had white lines added to the arm of service square.
  16. Amazing deduction Mike! I knew we could count on you to identify the beast.

    Although I must admit I am slightly disappointed that you could not find out the type of generator from the shape of the ventilator fan ;)

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  17. While I could not find the exact composition of 16 Airfield Construction Group (16 ACG), this link:
    A memoir on the construction of B3 A.L.G. Airfield in Normandy in June 1944
    shows that 693 Road Construction Company was involved in the construction of B3 Advanced Landing Ground (ALG). Since ATB D Day Then and Now states (page 613) that 24 ACG completed Ste Croix-sur-Mer (B3) as a Refuelling and Re-arming Strip (RRS) by D+4, which was then upgraded to ALG standard by D+10, one may deduct that 693 Rd Constr Coy was not part of 16 ACG but of 24 ACG .

    This leaves us with just two potential candidates for the unit of the foremost truck on the photo (rearmost on the LST), both listed in the Landing Table (LTIN in parentheses):
    16 Airfield Construction Group (listed as 'Company') - 1x Car 2 Str 4x2 (2917), 1x M14 + 2x MC (2919)
    689 Road Construction Company - 1x Tractor Class II each (2916 & 2918), 1x M14 +1x MC (2919), 2x 3 ton GS (2920)

    The fact that the Car 2 Seater 4x2 of 16 ACG is the last vehicle listed in the Landing Table for LTIN 2917 (i.e., last vehicle to disembark) is consistent with the location at the very aft or back of the main deck of the vehicle marked with the 16 ACG sign on the photo, so I am going to suppose that the car was changed to a truck, possibly a 15 cwt GS which Trux lists as part of the WE for an ACG here (once on the page, search for "HEADQUARTERS AIRFIELD CONSTRUCTION GROUP RE"):

    Now Mike will hopefully tell us which exact type of truck this one is :wacko:?

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  18. idler,

    You're absolutely right, my mistake, if 7 Armd Div, 52 should be 5 R Tks, not 1 R Tks as too hurriedly wrote :blush:

    Thanks for the correction,

  19. I somehow completely missed out on your Trux Handbooks threads! A few hours of frantic downloading in view... Oh, the joy of finding great new primary sources :)! Thanks a million for that lovely gift Mike!

    As for the Wireless HP Lorry belonging to a Flail regiment, this could very well be, because although I first dismissed the idea on the grounds that the main body of 1 LOTHIAN (AoS 52) did not land until mid-July, I now remember reading that a "Det 1 LOTHIAN" was planned to land in Sector QUEEN on the second tide of D Day (3 vehicles with 10 men).
    See attachment, extracted from the Appx 'C' to 1 Corps 132/G "FIRM [sic] ALLOTMENT OF PERSONNEL AND VEHICLES OF ARMY, GHQ AND CORPS OVERHEADS BY TIDES", part "12 LST Force 'S'", included in the 3 Cdn Inf Div War Diary (quite unexpected docs may be found in the Heritage Canadiana War Diaries!).

    Since we already know that the available Landing Table for LTIN 2917 does not exactly reflect the actual loading, one may imagine that one of these three vehicles was redirected to Force G, or that an additional one was added to LTIN 2917.

    I would however rather think that a Wireless lorry would not be of much use in such an (extremely) advanced party role, and that the 7 Armd Div would be more likely, especially because this division was landing immediately after the assault forces.

  20. I agree that units of 56 Inf Bde (as an independent brigade alloted from 21 A Gp Tps to 50(N) Div for the assault) might/should have had a white bar added to their AoS flash. I even noted the 21 A Gp diagonal bar in my notes somewhere, but cannot find where/if I found a reliable source for that. I certainly cannot find any right now :(. I guess I simply deducted it from its belonging to 21 A Gp Tps. But it is also possible that it did not have any.

    The reason I did not retain the HQ 4 Armd Bde possibility is because this unit appears nowhere in the Landing Tables for either Force G or Force L, whereas LTIN 2917 is part of the 56 Inf Bde Gp, and moreover includes the right kind of vehicle in its load. But I admit there is still a measure of doubt.

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