Ist Light Scout car Field Park at Ballantrae.

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Timbo42, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Timbo42

    Timbo42 Junior Member

    Ist Light Scout car Field Park at Ballantrae.
    I am trying to discover my dads war history and I have a record that shows he was in the Royal Artillery 9th battalion but in Jan 1943 was Permanently Attached to the 1 light Scout field park at Ballantrae. From there he was posted to India and was in India and Burma until 1946.
    Can anyone assist in a history or description of the Scout car Park and its purpose in India. Or assist in where I can look.

    Many thanks
  2. Timbo42

    Timbo42 Junior Member

    I have also found his unit in located Ballantrae was a cover name for the sonic deception unit.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. singeager

    singeager Senior Member

    Did you dad ever say what type of scout car were used?

    It sounds like a specialist unit so good luch with your search.

    there as quite an archive at the public records office

    Sonic Warfare Records, WWII - Your Archives
  4. Timbo42

    Timbo42 Junior Member

    Hello Singeager,
    That is the strange thing. In his war photos and his tales it was all about large trucks (Bedfords I think) The scout car reference seems to be a bit of a red herring.
  5. Hi there,

    I too have been looking into my granddads war history. He was enlisted into the RAOC as a storeman in 1944. From this point he moved about a fair bit posted to Earlstoke which I found to be an American Hospital.

    From what he told my dad it appears he had some involvement in this sonic deception unit as well.

    He was also attached to the 1st light scout field park at Ballantrae (this is stamped onto his papers as a restricted posting) then on to India. All of these postings were with the 60 special squadron. (Again as stamped on his papers).

    So far I haven't been able to find out any information about 60 special squadron.
    I know that your posts were from a few years ago have you found out any more information about there postings to India?

    Do you have any squad pictures as they may have served together at some point?

    many thanks

    Christopher Blackman
  6. Norman Fisher

    Norman Fisher New Member

    I have tried to find out more about my father's work at Ballantrae. His army records show that he was commissioned as second lieutenant and posted to the Coastal Artillery Training Unit in Plymouth in mid - January 1944. At the end of January 1944 he was posted to 3 Light Scout Field Park, Ballantrae. I know that place was a "secret". In fact, it was so secret that when I inquired on trip to Ballantrae a few years ago nobody had any knowledge of that secret work nor where it was carried out.

    My father told me that he was involved in making the sounds of tanks. Apparently the British Army had full sized model "tanks". These fake tanks were deployed over a large area. The enemy knew that the British Army had fake tanks but did not know which ones were fake and therefore had to spend their defences over that large area. The sonic unit that my father was attached to was involved in making the sounds of tanks to further add to the confusion between fake and real tanks.
  7. Timbo42

    Timbo42 Junior Member

    Yes my dad also drove the Bedford trucks in India. Driving around with large speakers and a large recording device that he used to play battle sounds on. In an attempt to confuse the Japanese.
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    For the record, files held at TNA Kew

    [WO 166 Series = Home Service]

    1 Light Scout Car Field Park | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 166/11067
    Description: 1 Light Scout Car Field Park [Royal Armoured Corps]
    Date: 1942 Dec.-1943 June

    2 Light Scout Car Field Park | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 166/11068
    Description: 2 Light Scout Car Field Park
    Date: 1943 Jan.-Dec.

    2 Light Scout Car Field Park | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 166/16625
    Description: 2 Light Scout Car Field Park [Royal Armoured Corps]
    Date: 1945 Jan.-Oct.

    [WO 171 Series = North West Europe]

    3 Light Scout Car Field Park | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 171/905
    Description: 3 Light Scout Car Field Park [Royal Armoured Corps]
    Date: 1944 June- Dec.
  10. RobG64

    RobG64 Active Member

    Tim, I have the following notes that might help you. Other folks on here may be able to expand further:

    In September 1942, the 303rd Indian Armoured Brigade was "formed" in Baghdad to command three Indian cavalry regiments: 65th, 66th and 67th. This was set up by Advance H.Q "X" Force (a three-man team sent from "A" Force in Cairo) to create deception measures for Persia and Iraq into fooling the Germans that there were larger forces in theatre than there actually was. The "regiments" were deception units with only skeleton staff and the whole "Brigade" numbered less than 200 men. The "Brigade" built dummy armoured vehicles. However, by early 1943 the need for a "dummy tank brigade" in the theatre had diminished and in April 1943 it was decided the send the "brigade" to India to conduct deception measures against the Japanese. The "brigade" sailed with elements of 5th Indian Division to India, arriving in early June 1943.
    After two months, it was decided to re-designate the "Brigade" as 303rd Indian Infantry Brigade and the units reorganised into a H.Q. Unit and six "Observation Squadrons", numbered 51st to 56th. These were manned by the Intelligence Corps (India) and were to deal in tactical deception against the Japanese. Each "squadron" consisted of a thirty-man field section.
    In December 1943 this force was augmented by the 4th & 5th Light Scout Car Companies, trained and equipped in the U.K. for sonic deception warfare with Bedford lorries, Scout White Cars and jeeps, and 1st Light Scout Field Park that produced soundtracks for their Poplin equipment
    51st Squadron served at Imphal, 53rd & 56th Squadrons served with the second Chindit expedition, whilst 52nd, 54th & 55th Squadrons served on the Arakan front. By mid-1944 all of the squadrons were withdrawn as they only had limited success and collected at Barasat, near Calcutta. In September 1944 the Light Scout Car Companies were converted into two more Observation Squadrons, now totalling eight, and these were in turn re-designated Companies and assigned a specific ethnic group:
    51st Company - Punjabi Mussulmen
    52nd Company - Pathans
    53rd Company - Jats
    54th Company - British
    55th Company - Sikh
    56th Company - British
    57th Company - Punjabi Mussulmen
    58th Company - British

    On 18th October 1944 the "Brigade" was re-designated "D" (Deception) Force and all companies, except the 56th, were in action in Burma by January 1945. "D" Force returned to India in May 1945 and the three British companies were amalgamated and re-designated the 59th & 60th Special Squadrons

    That's all I have, hope it helps a little

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