Bedford? QLR identification

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

  1. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I'd have said there were variations in the disruptve pattern, of which 'Mickey Mouse' was one, but that's just pedantry on my part!

    I'm also wondering if there's any intentional significance in the Beach units' lack of air recognition stars compared to the huge ones on the 50 Div vehicles. It seems logical that static Beach groups would prioritise camouflage in the expectation of Luftwaffe raids against the beaches, whilst forward units would be more concerned about the misapplication of allied air superiority.
  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Idler is right of course. The early war camouflage instructions show a disruptive pattern much like the flame but not the Mickey Mouse.

    I too wondered about the large stars on the 3ton lorries. Surely not a standard size or standard stencil.

    Two good questions and the day hardly begun.

  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I agree, it's true though. IIRC the booklet shows a more realistic leafy pattern, and the Mickey Mouse variant.
  4. The Allied Star (or "White Five Pointed Star") on top surfaces was supposed to be "as large as possible". See the Order by First Canadian Army here (search for "11 April 1944"):

    See also the following instruction from HQ 3 Cdn Inf Div (Main) (3CD/10-0-3 dated 16 Apr 44), found in the Sherbrooke Fusiliers War Diary for April 1944:
    T-12758 - 27 CAR (Sherbrooke Fus) WD Apr-Aug 44 - 0165 - ALLIED STAR Design a& Constr - enhanced.jpg

    Transcription (including typos):


    (a) Measure width of truck, and substract 8 inches.

    (b) Draw circle in centre of the space and of radius

    1/6 or distance obtained in (a).
    (c) Draw a circle the width of truck (less 8 inc hes)
    or three times the radius of the circle above. The
    circumfrence of the larger scale circle is for guidance
    (d) Divide the smaller circle into angles of 36 degrees
    so that all lines from the centre cut the circumference
    of the small circle, but alternate lines only cut
    the circumference of the larger circle.
    (e) Join the outer intercepts with the intercepts
    of the small circle.

    Couldn't find it in the 3 Cdn Inf Div WD though...

    The instruction was not lost on the RASC boys who certainly couldn't have made them any larger!

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  5. idler,

    Your pertinent observation prompted me to take a closer look: the Beach Group lorry L-5283587 on the left does have an air recognition star, not on the tilt but on the cab. It actually has two, the one on the left having been painted over, certainly after realising that it had been painted at the wrong place :D:

    (c) Selection of Space

    (i) Top - on largest horizontal or near horizontal surface - NOT on canvas canopies, nor roofs, etc., on which stores are likely to be carried, nor on the part of the cab above the co-drivers seat as this will be holed for AALMG.
    Lorry L-5283587 6 BORDER 10 Beach Gp LTIN 3917 - 26-G-2358.jpg

    However, the top surface of the cab is hardly "the largest horizontal surface" available on this lorry, nor is the tilt full of stuff as on the truck to its right, so I suppose that you are right, and that these Beach Gp crews took advantage of the "NOT on canvas canopies, nor roofs, etc., on which stores are likely to be carried" clause to avoid offering the Luftwaffe too obvious an aiming point.

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    The offside cab top is the 'normal' (most often seen) position for stars on lorries.

    One reason that Beach Groups would not have stars on the canvas is that the complete tilt frame and canvas were normally removed to facilitate loading and unloading by crane, ships booms etc. Often the complete frame and canvas were assigned to other Beach Group units to provide shelter over the dug outs etc.

    Another observation would be that most photos of lorries are taken from ground level and the canvas canopy is not visible. It is difficult to say how widespread the use of the large stars was.

    There are several photos of Mickey Mouse ears being painted on CMP vehicles by civilian workers. It looks as if the circles are the easiest pattern to paint. Large distemper type brushes are being used and swung in a large arc. They do not seem to have a chalked guide line as is seen on early war photos of vehicles receiving disruptive patterns.

    Chris C likes this.
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It also seems odd that the top of the canopy appears to be 'natural' and not painted. If I recall correctly, the early war schemes called for the tops to be painted with the dark disruptor colour, but not sure if/when that might have changed.
  8. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    The Beach Group truck Serial number suggests Ford 4x4 GS 3 ton truck (Fordson WOT 6?)
    I also remember reading somewhere that all horezontal surfaces facing up should be painted black.
    But I can't remember where!
  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Until early 1944 top surfaces were to be painted black. At the time the basic vehicle colour was brown. This was changed in April/May to drab to match (almost) US vehicles. Top surfaces were then not to be black.

    I think the canopy to which Idler refers is in fact black and is a good example of why top surfaces were to be black. In normal lighting top surfaces viewed from above appeared to be much lighter than they in fact were.

  10. I just saw that as promised Tom generously posted the Loading Schedule and Craft Loading Sheets here:
    Loading Schedule 50 Division RASC Normandy - June 1944

    I was not sure on which thread to post the identification of LTIN 2817 / LST 308, so I posted it in Tom's:
    Loading Schedule 50 Division RASC Normandy - June 1944 - Post #7

    Lots of 3-tonners on board LST 308, only five of which – the fore-most two (?) and the aft-most three – seem to have the Allied Star on the canvas canopy, and might correspond to the five from 522 Coy. The darker tone of the top surfaces is apparent on most lorries, probably, as Mike said, because of different lighting conditions than in 26-G-2358.

  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Guys

    I have really enjoyed following the investigation on this thread, it is fantastic how you guys break down the problem and find the answers, I thought I would just say that

    By the way - can you find out if the painter of the stars on top of the trucks was left or right handed ??:omg::rolleyes:

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  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    We are talking about the British Army in 1944. Left handed was not permitted.

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  13. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I assumed they were ambidextrous in case they fell off and broke one.
  14. On the bottom right corner, the Jeep with the M/C loaded must be the one listed in the Landing Table as follows:

    356 S/L Bty (29980B) 1x 5cwt 4x4 + 1 MC with 4 crew
    356 SL Bty - Notes.jpg

    One wonders where the 4 crew might fit though :wacko:.

    On the rear offside bumper we can see what looks like the usual Royal Artillery battery sign, with the letters 'AR' painted vertically. Supposing that S/L units used a similar markings system to that of LAA units, this could mean the 'A' Troop Commander's Jeep.

    The location of the Red Battery square is not clear to me: top right quarter (1st Bty) or bottom right (2nd Bty)?
    Might the presence of the 'B' suffix in the Mob Serial No 29980B mean that this is a second battery? But 1st of 2nd battery in what?
    Around D Day, 356 S/L Bty was an independent battery directly under 21 Army Group, and alloted to various AA Bdes according the need of the moment. This should mean that it was not enregimented and therefore not any 1st nor 2nd battery. Or would that have been interpreted as being the 1st/2nd battery, not in a regiment but in whatever higher unit/formation it was in?? Or was it still considered a part of its former regiment (39 S/L Regt)?

    Because there were so many changes in organisation and command, plus some strange story about the aborted disbandment of 39 S/L Regt, I cannot for the life of me draw any conclusion in this respect from the following two links:
    7th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers - Wikipedia
    356th Moonlight Battery, Royal Artillery - Wikipedia

    Other unanswered questions:
    Could the AoS serial number 40b be that of 356 S/L Bty (meaning perhaps Army-level RA increment)?
    Would the badge on the Sergeant's shoulder by 2 Army's or 21 Army Group's?
    and probably many more to come...

  15. I've uploaded a slightly compressed version (attached) of the original complete tiff photo for easier viewer's reference.


    Attached Files:

  16. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    A quick look at my disorganised files suggests:

    356 Searchlight Battery was an independent battery assigned to 76 AA Brigade. There were three troops, A, B and C, each with 8 lights. Each troop had two sections of 4 lights. These seem to have been simply designated A1, A2, B1, B2, C3, C4.

    A Troop should have landed on Jig and B on King. Both were due to land on D Day but not all were landed on time. C Troop followed on D+4.


    From War Diary 76 AA Brigade.
  17. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Here's another photo of the Jeep with m/c & folding bike on the lower deck of the LST - or it's twin? I went back to the historylink101 website but there was no helpful description of the photo.
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  18. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    40 on a red and blue square only seems to be HQRA of a division.
    Not found anything above that.
    The white line below the square was an Army marking.
  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    That's a loaded up Jeep. Looks brand new.
  20. What a find Noel!

    Definitely the same Jeep (same Reg No M4922811) and same M/C (C 4850659). The chap behind the Jeep on the left even resembles our Sergeant on the Main Deck! I still can't figure where the four crew members are supposed to sit...

    On the left bumper the AoS Serial Number is partly visible, as it is on the front mudguard of the M/C. It looks something like 1121d (with downwards diagonal white bar for GHQ / L of C Tps), so the 40(?) on the petrol tank of the M/C is not the AoS Serial and must have another meaning.

    This matches Hodges & Taylor who give a number of Serials between 1102 to 1200, with the White Bar in various positions, as being all RA units of Army or higher level.

    On the right bumper the colours below the AR marking are still not completely clear, but I now tend to see that there is no Red battery quadrant but the simply standard RA flash of Red over Blue (which would remove the need to try and understand why it would have a battery number!): the tones left and right of each of the 'A' and the 'R' look respectively similar, and Blue usually looks lighter than Red on B&W photos (dependingly on the filter used of course).

    Now hopefully someone will tell us the make and model of the bike (I can tell the Jeep is a Willys, as it's embossed below its Reg No ;)).


    P.S. I'm using "left" and "right" instead of "nearside" and "offside" here because:
    (1) being unfamiliar with this strange British custom, I have a 50:50 chance of getting it wrong
    (2) this is a US-made Jeep, normally bearing the warning "Caution Left Hand Drive", so I wouldn't know whether to call left the nearside or the reverse
    (3) the LST is somewhere between the British Isles and the Continent, so I'm unsure whether one should consider the traffic to be on the left or on the right
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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