Looking for Information on tank T-156312

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by ANationalAcrobat, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. I don't know if anyone can help me but I am trying to find out any information I can about one particular tank and am hoping someone here can assist me.

    The tank that I am trying to find out about is an M3A1 Stuart tank (Stuart III as may be more appropriate since it has a "T" number) which carries the number T-156312 (I believe that that is the correct number, the last digit is not very clear). It also appears to be named "GOLD" or something ending in the word GOLD.

    It's not much to go on but I am hoping that there is a little more detail relating to census numbers of tanks than other vehicles.

    I have managed to find a reference to a Stuart III with number T-156321 which is obviously very close but that's about as close as I have been able to get.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    All the best,

  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I guess there's not "no information" but I certainly don't think there is encyclopedic knowledge based on serial numbers. I'm looking in V4 of the British Vehicle Names spreadsheet and I don't see a similar T-number.

    (New Resource - British Vehicle Names and Census Numbers)

    Are you working from a photograph? Are any other markings visible? Do you know the unit?
    CL1 likes this.
  3. I'm afraid that I only know this T number. No unit information or other markings. I felt that it was at least worth a punt to see if anyone might know something relating to this vehicle's census number.

    I have found M3A1 Stuart T-156321 (only 9 numbers different), serving with East Riding Yeomanry in Europe in July 1944. Actually it is actually listed in a unit workshop undergoing maintenance. But then I have no idea how this vehicle may or may not relate to the tank that I am researching.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Well I am pretty confused (but what else is new). I'm unclear on how you have a serial number and a partial name but nothing else. Was this from the photo of the turret of a tank? Are any crew visible? If you don't want to divulge this, well, disregard my questions.

    I'm sad to say that in my limited experience tanks with "nearby" serial numbers could easily go to different units. There are some digitised delivery Squadron records from the Canadian archives online... I'll see if I can find them tomorrow. There are some British records too.

    I guess Kevin Tucker may or may not see this thread. I can pass your question on to him in case he has some additional information.
  5. Welcome Tom!

    I second Chris in all he said. I agree that it would be a good idea for you to post your photo here, so that our experts might look for any additional clue which may help find out more about this particular tank, such as unit, location, period etc.

    There are often subtle hints not readily readable for us common mortals but which ring a bell in the anoraks' perturbed brains, such as stowage pattern, style of name lettering etc.

    There is also the remote chance that the T-156321 as listed in Tom's excellent threads on ERY vehicle numbers and 27 Armd Bde Wksp WD is actually a typo for your tank. There are other examples of similar typos perpetrated by the office clerk, and this one would be a simple and not unseen inversion of digits.

    But without seeing the photo I'm afraid that nothing more can be said at that stage...

  6. Thanks for the replies.

    The tank in question is actually a surviving tank in need of restoration. This is why I am interested in seeing if the T-number can tell anything about it, possibly uncover it's history as it were. There are at present no other markings visible on the vehicle although it's possible that with a little application of rubbing paper, something might appear. Currently I do not have the opportunity to get rubbing for other markings, but will do as soon as possible (it's in a different country to me at the moment and so I am having to conduct research from afar).

    This is the picture that I have been sent of the only visible markings, the T number and what looks to be the remains of the name "GOLD" (atleast that's what it looks like).

    Attached Files:

    Chris C likes this.
  7. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    I have checked my database for census numbers but only have 156321 from ERY.
    I might be wrong but i think that the 1st and 4 letter might be a C and that makes me think COLCHESTER which as a name looks to fit lengthwise with the census number.
    Just a thought.


    ANationalAcrobat likes this.
  8. Tom,

    Thanks for posting the photo. There is indeed not much to go by with only this photo, but a few comments can still be made, until you can see the tank "in the steel" and look for more clues, especially formation/tactical markings.

    We have to make a few assumptions first. Since the tank survived the war we might suppose that the markings correspond to its unit at the end of the war, unless it was destroyed before, which you can probably confirm by seeing if it is badly damaged and if so, what type of damage it has sustained. We are also assuming that the name dates from WW2 and is not a later addition, which is likely as it appears to be on the same layer as the WW2 era T-Number.

    It looks like the T-number is indeed ending with a '2' (see the thicker end of the last digit, similar to those on the other digits).

    As for the name, the first letter might be a 'C' as proposed by Kevin, but I don't think that the 4th letter is a 'C' as well. Its left side looks too straight for this, and it does look like a 'D' to me. I concur with Kevin in thinking that the name would probably have been painted so as to be more or less centred over the T-number, so that 'GOLD...' or 'COLD...' might be the beginning of a longer name. I would favour a 'G' as the first letter, because names starting with 'C' would generally be reserved for tanks in 'C' Squadrons of regiments, whereas Stuarts were in the HQ Sqn/Recce Tp.

    If not just 'GOLD', the full name would have to fit within the T-number's length and thus comprise not more than 5 signs (including a possible space), depending on the width of the letters.

    The name appears to be painted in red colour, which should be narrowing the choice down to the senior regiment in a brigade.

    It could be 7 RTR which had names all starting with 'G' (e.g. GOLDEN MILLER & GOLDILOCKS) and was the senior regiment in 31 Armd Bde at the end of the war...


    Attached Files:

    Chris C likes this.
  9. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi Tom,

    I've checked the original again and the number in the 27 Armd Bde Wksp document is definitely T156321. I'll keep looking though.

  10. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    The thing I'm puzzling over, and forgive me for probably making a foolish mistake, but if that tank had been painted in SCC15 would it not look different than it does? Does its current appearance suggest an original base coat suitable for Italy/North Africa?

    ANationalAcrobat, thanks for sharing the photo, it makes the mystery even more intriguing!
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  11. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member


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