Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Belgian Dave, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Belgian Dave

    Belgian Dave Well-Known Member

    My searching skills are not up to much, so I appologise if this has been covered already, I could'nt find anything.

    Is MEF (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force) and CMF (Central Mediterranenan Force) the same as BNAF? I have service records and they always meantion BNAF, untill one page where BNAF is not mentioned, but MEF and CMF is?
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    At one time or another I had all the addresses shown above.

    MEF came first and covered Egypt, then BNAF which included Algeria and Tunisia.

    When we first landed in Sicily we then were given the CMF heading.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    NO - three different campaigns - MEF = Egypt and desert to Tunis - BNAF = Algiers to Tunis - CMF = Italy and Balkans -

    PAIF = Palestine and Iraq force…BLA = British liberation force - BAOR = British Army on Rhine then there was Burma

    Owen and 4jonboy like this.
  4. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Would usually not write over either Tom or Ron's comments,

    but if we are talking about the same thing, I had always thought that "PAI Force" was actually denoting "Persia and Iraq Force".

    Clearly Ron's service record is/was logical, but the record keeping could sometimes be described as fairly erratic.

    For instance, the "BNAF" designation was still being used within my father's service records when he had been in Italy (Sicily and on the mainland) for nearly 10 months.

    He then became "MEF" associated whilst recuperating in Egypt before becoming "CMF" when he returned to Italy later in 1944 and thence to Austria in May 1945.

  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    It should be recalled that daily records of each man's service was usually written after a day of fighting by a clerk who
    was invariably exhausted not by the fighting BUT servicing the fighting by hauling ammo around - removing bodies from knocked out
    tanks etc - THEN writing up 150 records….usually with a pencil…and sweat dripping on the papers…

    WE always knew PAIF as PALESTINE AND IRAQ FORCE…and BLA as BRITISH LEAVE ARMY…but then we in 8th Army were always different as most documents had the initials BAR attached somewhere meaning Burn after Reading - this soon became BBR - which meant BURN BEFORE READING

  6. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    Sure - I wasn't criticising the poor clerks, just suggesting it can be a bit tricky sometimes in working through the records if relying solely on these posting initials.

    Sadly, no doubt, some of the documents could be BDR....

  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Sometimes it got even crazier, as the 4th QOH Rgtl Diary shows .

    Advance party of A Sqn moved to TUNIS Camp, ULM, on overland leave route

    This related to the month my Squadron spent in Ulm in Germany running a transit camp and yet our mail address was still CMF.

    I suppose the Army considered it wasn't worth changing the postal code for just a month.

  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    And that is how the War Diaries at Kew are labelled.

    WO 169 Series MEF
    WO 170 Series CMF
    WO 175 Series BNAF
  9. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Thanks !

    I rest my case.........

  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I shall have to clean my glasses as I recall it was first MEF 1940 - then BNAF Nov.1942 - and lastly CMF July 1943 or did someone

    change it while I was not looking…

  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Considering the every day problems facing the Army Postal Service, they did us proud in keeping the post going.

    Amongst the various means of getting a message home were the following:

    1. Airletter
    2. Airgraph.
    3. Letters by "normal" sea-mail
    4. Postcards

    Mentioning postcards reminds me of the one I sent from Messina as my unit was taking part in the massive bombardment of mainland Italy just prior to it's invasion


    Attached Files:

  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    No Parcels Ron?
  13. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron


    Dimenticate !

    Yes,..... Of course there were parcels and when they came from home how well they were received !

  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Glad to hear it ...I liked getting parcels to :)
  15. Belgian Dave

    Belgian Dave Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clearing that up................and the extra info!
  16. sandum

    sandum New Member

    My fathers record shows
    18-3-41 - 23-6-43 ME
    24-6-43 - 2-10-45 BNAF
    Home 3-10-45 - 4 5-46

    I know that he moved from north africa across to sicily with the first crossing then up the coast to Ancona etc..
    no mention of CMF . He was part of 1006 then 1010 port ops coy
    There in also a a mention of 1010 D.O coy T.O.S . B.N.A.F from M.E.F on the 24-6-43
    Shows that records were not always absolute

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