GHQ LIAISON REGIMENT (PHANTOM) GHQ Liaison Regiments role was to keep Army Group Headquarters informed of the position and actions of units. Information passed directly from patrols with forward troops to Army Group, but intermediate headquarters, army and corps, were also able to share it. This page explains in detail how the regiment operated. GHQ LIAISON REGIMENT (PHANTOM) GHQ Liaison Regiment. War Establishment III/253/1. August 1943 GHQ Liaison Regiment. War Establishment XIV/1236/1. July 1944 GHQ Liaison Regiment. War Establishment XIV/1236/2. September 1944 Reserve Squadron, GHQ Liaison Regiment. War Establishment III/304/1. January 1944 Reserve Squadron, GHQ Liaison Regiment. War Establishment III/304/2. March 1945 Phantom grew and developed from a small unit formed in 1939/40. At that time the BEF was to work with the French and Belgian armies. A potential danger was that air strikes ordered by one of the three armies would actually land on one of the allies rather than the enemy because of the difficulty of knowing precisely where all units were. The Air Mission was formed to reduce this risk by having officers at Belgian Army Headquarters and equipped to find out where the forward Belgian units were and report back to GHQ. By 1944 Phantom, or GHQ Liaison Regiment, had grown very considerably. There was now to be a squadron for each army, a captain’s patrol for each corps and a subaltern’s patrol for each division. The role was to keep headquarters informed of the location and operations of all units. This information would eventually reach GHQ by normal methods but Phantom could provide it almost instantly. This was important in fast moving mobile warfare. It was a difficult unit to fit into the organisation of the army. It needed to have an arm to represent it at the War Office and so was initially attached to the Infantry. Signals might have seemed more logical but it was feared that then the Royal Signals would siphon off the highly trained operators for other purposes. Later Phantom was transferred to the Reconnaissance Corp which was a logical move since Phantom carried out many of the roles of the reconnaissance unit, but was providing information about its own forces rather than the enemy. When the Reconnaissance Corp became a sub division of the Royal Armoured Corp Phantom became a part of that arm also. However there was never any doubt that it was virtually independent and working to GHQ. Eventually as well as providing patrols for every corps and division of 1 Army and 2 Canadian Army Phantom also provided patrols for US forces, 1 Airborne Army and for the SAS. Since the members of Phantom were intelligent and literate there are several books written about its work. The most informative is probably ‘Phantom was there’ by R.J.T Hills, published in 1951. This gives a lot of small scale detail including the precise personnel and tasks in patrols. It also seems that when the fighting was over Phantom left its records in exceptionally good order and these are available at the Public Record Office. As with many units the actual organisation was flexible and was changed according to circumstances. Most units in the army had Royal Signals attached to them and the Royal Signals had their own War Establishment. In the case of Phantom the Royal Signals personnel are an integral part of the unit and are included in the War Establishment. GHQ LIAISON REGIMENT (Phantom) Personnel. The strength of the Phantom organisation lay not in its equipment, vehicles or even in its training. It depended on the personal qualities of its personnel. A large proportion of the other ranks were from the Royal Signals but the rest came from almost every branch of the army. The most important role was that of the patrol officer. At Corp level these were captains but at division level they were lieutenants. In either case they had to win the confidence of the General Officer Commanding, and be able to obtain information from senior staff officers without interrupting important work or otherwise making a nuisance of themselves. For this sort of work officers did not need to be regular army but were what Monty called ‘bright young chaps’. There were many famous names to be found in Phantom, many of them no longer well known perhaps. David Niven was a Major commanding a squadron until he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and sent to work at General Eisenhower’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. Below is a list of the units to which Phantom patrol leaders in March 1945 belonged. Seaforth Highlanders Royal Armoured Corp Royal Tank Regiment Royal Artillery East Surreys Reconnaissance Corp 12 Royal Lancers Somerset Light Infantry Lovat Scouts Welsh Guards Sherwood Foresters Rifle Brigade Durham Light Infantry Royal Engineers Wiltshires Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry There were of course many more units represented. The commanding Officer was from the 11 Hussars. The commander of F squadron was Major the Honourable J. J. Astor who was from the Life Guards, as was the Regimental Serjeant Major. All officers and men wore the badge of the unit to which they belonged. Vehicles carried a 9 inch black square with the letter P in white. Uniform was normal battledress but the RAC black beret was normally worn. Phantom was organisationally part of the RAC and the beret was the usual wear for personnel wearing earphones for much of the time. Patrols with US Army units often wore US uniform in whole or part. Sometimes they wore US formation badges but kept their own rank badges. An exception was the patrol with the US 17th Airborne Division who wore complete US uniforms including US rank badges. Although British uniforms were not much like those of the enemy it paid not to take risks when operating near the front with troops of a different nationality. GHQ LIAISON REGIMENT JULY 1944 War Establishment XIV/1236/1. July 1944. This establishment superseded War Establishment III/253/1. September 1943. The only changes were to the attached personnel. Eight signalmen and drivers RS were deleted. ACC personnel remained at fourteen but with three corporals and ten men instead of one corporal and thirteen men. The regiment was organised as follows Headquarters Headquarters Operations and Intelligence Troop Administration Troop Signals Troop Army Group Squadron Headquarters 3 X Captains Patrol 3 X Subalterns Patrol J Troop 2 X Army Squadron each Operations and Intelligence Troop Administrative Troop Signal Troop 6 X Captains Patrol 3 X Subalterns Patrol J Troop Personnel Lieutenant Colonel, commanding officer Major, second in command 3 X Majors, squadron commanders 3 X Majors, in charge of intelligence Captain, adjutant Captain, technical officer 2 X Captain, administrative 21 X Captain, intelligence 26 X subaltern, intelligence Quartermaster Regimental Serjeant Major Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant 3 X Squadron Serjeant Major 2 X squadron quartermaster serjeant serjeant clerk serjeant mechanist 3 X intelligence serjeant serjeant storeman, technical 4 X serjeant 65 X corporal (including seven lance serjeant) 281 X trooper (including thirty two lance corporal) Total 423 Attached Royal Signals Major 3 X Captain 4 X Subaltern Company Serjeant Major 2 X company quartermaster serjeant, foreman of signals company quartermaster serjeant 6 X serjeant 37 X corporal (including eight lance serjeant) 145 signalman and driver (including thirteen lance corporal) Total Royal Signals 200 Army Catering Corp 4 X corporal cook 13 X cook Total ACC 14 Total including attached 637. Trades 14 X clerk 2 X driver mechanic 174 X driver operator electrician equipment repairer 2 X storeman, technical 34 X vehicle mechanic 2 X batman 12 X batman driver 5 X corporal for administrative duties 19 X driver IC 4 X medical officer’s orderly 38 X motorcyclist 12 X orderly (also for duty as batman) 3 X sanitary dutyman 4 X storeman 3 X water dutyman Royal Signals trades 2 X clerk 15 X despatch rider 38 X driver mechanic 6 X electrician 12 X equipment repairer 6 X linesman 91 X operator, wireless and line 2 X storeman, technical 2 X vehicle mechanic 2 X batman 4 X batman driver 2 X driver of vehicle Transport 106 X motorcycle 42 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 5 X car 4seater 4 X 4 19 X 15cwt GS 36 X 15cwt wireless house 38 X 15cwt 4 X 4 personnel 11 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS 4 X 3ton 4 X 4 troop carrier 10 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 3 X 3ton 4 X 4 cipher 57 X 10cwt trailer 3 X water trailer 3 X 1ton trailer Headquarters GHQ Liaison Regiment This was a fairly static formation and was usually situated fairly close to Main Headquarters 21 Army Group. It could be accommodated in tents but for much of the autumn and winter of 1944/45 it was situated in the Club House of a golf course near Waterloo in Belgium. There were offices upstairs but the downstairs area consisted on two large rooms. One was used for Operations and Intelligence while the other was the Signals Room. Headquarters and Operations and Intelligence troop This was the heart, and brain, of the Phantom operation. Here there were arrays of maps showing the position of every unit down to battalion size, plus information about the units and their operations. There were also maps showing the operational intentions of major units in 21 Army Group. The Operation Room was always manned by the two duty intelligence officers and a senior officer. These officers - supervised the display of information on the maps - decided if the information was confirmed or not - evaluated incoming information - filtered the information so as to select the most relevant - passed selected information to Main Headquarters 21 Army Group. The officers were assisted by intelligence serjeants, intelligence corporals and others, plus a teleprinter operator with a direct line to Main Headquarters 21 Army group. Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Officer Major, Second in Command Major, Intelligence Captain, Adjutant Captain, Technical Officer Captain, Intelligence 2 X Subaltern, Intelligence Regimental Serjeant Major intelligence serjeant 4 X corporal 6 X trooper 3 X batman driver 3 X intelligence dutyman 2 X motorcyclist. 2 X batman orderly, for duties as batman for Regimental Serjeant Major 2 X driver IC Motorcycle 1 intelligence serjeant Motorcycle 2 intelligence dutyman Motorcycle 3 intelligence dutyman Motorcycle 4 motorcyclist Motorcycle 5 motorcyclist Car 4seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD) 1 Lieutenant Colonel, orderly, batman, driver IC Car 4seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD) 2 Major, batman, intelligence dutyman, driver IC Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) 1 Technical Officer, Regimental Serjeant Major, batman driver, Tows a 10cwt trailer Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) 2 Adjutant, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) 3 Captain Intelligence Officer, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt 4 X 4 (White) 1 Intelligence Subaltern, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 Carries a Bren lmg 15cwt 4 X 4 (White) 2 Intelligence Subaltern, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 Carries a Bren lmg 3ton 4 X 4 Troop Carrying Intelligence Major, 5 X clerk, driver mechanic Tows a 1ton trailer Note: Previously the Regimental Serjeant Major had a motorcycle. This is deleted in WE XIV/1236/1. Administrative troop This troop was responsible for the routine administration and housekeeping for the Regimental Headquarters. It was commanded by the Quartermaster. Quartermaster Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant serjeant clerk serjeant technical storeman 2 X corporal 13 X trooper clerk 2 X cook 2 X driver IC medical orderly sanitary dutyman storeman water dutyman Motorcycle medical officers orderly 15cwt GS 1 2 X cook, driver IC Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 2 water dutyman, sanitary dutyman, driver IC Tows a water trailer 15cwt GS 3 serjeant mechanist, electrician, driver IC Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 4 serjeant clerk, serjeant technical storeman, equipment repairer Tows a 10cwt trailer 3ton 4 X 4 GS Quartermaster, Regimental Quartermaster Serjeant, clerk, storeman, orderly, driver mechanic Note: Previously the Quartermaster has a motorcycle. This is deleted in WE XIV/1236/1. Signals troop The major part of this troop was placed next to the Operations and Intelligence troop. Here were the Duty Signals Officer and serjeant Royal Signals, plus sufficient signalmen to man the links with squadrons. The actual transmitters and receivers were situated a mile or so away and connected by telephone line. This enabled the transmitter to have the best available site and avoided giving away the position of the headquarters. Initially communications were provided between the headquarters and - Tactical headquarters 21 Army Group via the Army Group Squadron - Main Headquarters 21 Army group - 1 Canadian Army via B squadron - 2 Army via A Squadron Later links were also provided for the flanking US Army formations - US 12 Army Group Main and Tactical Headquarters via L Squadron. Royal Signals personnel Major Captain Subaltern Company Serjeant Major company quartermaster serjeant serjeant 2 X clerk 5 X despatch rider 7 X driver mechanic electrician instrument mechanic 2 X linesman 16 X operator batman 2 X batman driver 2 X driver of vehicle plus 10 X trooper for general duties cook ACC Motorcycle 1 Company Serjeant Major Motorcycle 2 despatch rider Motorcycle 3 despatch rider Motorcycle 4 despatch rider Motorcycle 5 despatch rider Car 4seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD) Major, company quartermaster serjeant, batman driver Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) Captain, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 2 X lineman, driver IC Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt Wireless House 1 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle acts as anchor for Army. 15cwt Wireless House 2 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle acts as anchor for Army. 15cwt Wireless House 3 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle acts as anchor for Army. 15cwt Wireless House 4 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle acts as anchor for Army. 15cwt Wireless House 5 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle acts as anchor for Army. 3ton 4 X 4 GS 1 2 X clerk, operator, driver IC Carries stores Carries a Bren lmg 3ton 4 X 4 GS 2 electrician, cook, batman, driver mechanic Carries stores and spares Carries a 4kw charging set 3ton 4 X 4 Cipher Lieutenant, instrument mechanic 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless I serjeant, driver mechanic Carries 6 X R107 recievers In January 1945 Regimental Headquarters began to broadcast daily situation reports. These were sent in code and could be received by all units in 21 Army Group. To do this the Signals troop gained a powerful Golden Arrow 4Kw transmitter together with its train of vehicles and associated personnel. Army Squadron There were two Army Squadrons, one for 1 Canadian Army and one for 2 British Army. Squadron Headquarters The squadron headquarters was located at Army Headquarters and had a total of eleven officers and 83 other ranks. Squadron Headquarters received information from the patrols and displayed it on a map for the use of the Army Commander and forwarded information to General Headquarters Liaison Regimental Headquarters. Each patrol reported to a separate operator at Squadron headquarters so that there was no delay in receiving information. All patrols could report at the same time if necessary. Messages arrived in ciphered Morse, were written down by the operator and handed to a cipher clerk. If the information quoted a confirmed source it was marked on the ‘confirmed map’ and on the Army situation map. If the information was unconfirmed it was shown on the ‘unconfirmed map until such time as it could be confirmed. Information from J patrols was generally unconfirmed and Squadron Headquarters might ask the Phantom patrol to obtain confirmation. In addition - One copy of all messages was sent to Air Support Headquarters based at Army Headquarters and passed on to the relevant 2 Tactical Air Force group. - One copy of all confirmed Phantom patrol reports was sent to Army operations staff. - Any message on which action might be taken was sent to the relevant Army staff. - Every day the squadron sent out a statement giving the location of units and their fighting states. Operations and Intelligence troop Major, Commanding officer Major, Intelligence 2 X Captain, Intelligence 4 X Subaltern, Intelligence intelligence serjeant 5 X corporal 13 X trooper Motorcycle 1 Intelligence Subaltern Motorcycle 2 Squadron Serjeant Major Motorcycle 3 intelligence serjeant Motorcycle 4 motorcyclist Motorcycle 5 motorcyclist Car 4seater 4 X 4 (Humber FWD) Major (intelligence), Intelligence Subaltern, driver IC Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) 2 X Intelligence Subaltern, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 3 X clerk, driver IC Carries a Bren lmg Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt 4 X 4 Personnel 1 Major, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 15cwt 4 X 4 Personnel 2 Intelligence Captain, orderly, driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 3ton 4 X 4 Troop Carrying Intelligence Captain, 4 X intelligence dutyman, orderly, driver IC Carries a Bren lmg Tows a 1ton trailer Administrative troop Captain squadron quartermaster serjeant 4 X corporal 12 X trooper cook Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) Captain, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 1 cook, orderly, driver IC Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 2 water dutyman, sanitary dutyman, driver IC Tows a water trailer 15cwt GS 3 2 X vehicle mechanic Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 4 technical storeman, orderly, administrative corporal, medical officers orderly Tows a 10cwt trailer 3ton 4 X 4 GS squadron quartermaster serjeant, clerk, storeman, orderly, driver IC Carries a Bren lmg Signals troop All personnel, except cooks, and vehicles were Royal Signals Captain Subaltern company quartermaster serjeant (foreman of signals) 2 X serjeant 9 X corporal 42 X signalman and driver batman driver 2 X driver 2 X cook Trades 5 X despatch rider 9 X driver mechanic 2 X electrician 5 X equipment repairer 2 X lineman 21 X operator, wireless and line storeman vehicle mechanic Motorcycle 1 Lieutenant Motorcycle 2 vehicle mechanic Motorcycle 3 foreman of signals Motorcycle 4 despatch rider Motorcycle 5 despatch rider Motorcycle 6 despatch rider Motorcycle 7 despatch rider Motorcycle 8 despatch rider Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) Captain, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 2 X lineman Tows a 10cwt trailer This vehicle for cable detachment 15cwt Wireless House 1 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle for Rear Link to Army Group 15cwt Wireless House 2 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle for anchor to No1, No2 and No3 patrols 15cwt Wireless House 3 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle for anchor to No4, No5 and No6 Patrols 15cwt Wireless House 4 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle for anchor to No7, No8 and No9 Patrols 15cwt Wireless House 5 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle for anchor to J Troop 15cwt Wireless House 6 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle for J stepping set at Army 15cwt Wireless House 7 3 X operator, driver mechanic This vehicle for guard set at Army 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless I 2 X serjeant, driver mechanic Carries 6 X R107 receivers 3ton 4 X 4 Cipher electrician, instrument mechanic 3ton 4 X 4 GS 1 4 X instrument mechanics, storeman, 2 X cook, driver IC Carries a bren lmg This vehicle for Technical Workshop 3ton 4 X 4 GS 2 electrician, driver mechanic Carries a 4Kw charging set 9 X Patrol War Establishment XIV/1236/1 does not distinguish between patrols led by a Captain and those led by a Subaltern and all nine patrols were identical Motorcycle driver operator Motorcycle motorcyclist Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep) driver operator, vehicle mechanic Carries wireless receiver R107 Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt 4 X 4 armoured truck (White) Intelligence Officer (Captain or Subaltern) 2 X operator Carries Wireless set No22 later 6 X Captains patrol This was assigned to a Corp Headquarters. Its duties were much as for the Subalterns patrol but it included listening into the Phantom and J patrol rear links and deciphering the messages before passing them on to the Corp staff. One extra vehicle and four extra personnel were provided for this duty. This service meant that the Corp staff usually knew about the position of its divisions by Phantom communications before it learned of them direct from the divisional staff. Motorcycle despatch rider Motorcycle cipher corporal Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep) Subaltern, batman driver Carries wireless receiver R107 Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt 4 X 4 armoured truck (White) 2 X operator, cipher clerk, driver mechanic Carries Wireless set No22 (later Wireless set Canadian No9) and 2 X wireless receiver R107 15cwt Wireless House 2 X operator, driver IC Carries 2 X wireless receiver R107 This was a later addition not shown on the original War Establishment. 3 X Subalterns patrol This was assigned to a divisional headquarters according to need. Usually they were assigned to armoured division. In theory they would be assigned for a specific action but every effort was made to leave them in situ so that they could form good relationships with the divisional staff. This was a responsible position for a subaltern. At divisional level a Phantom patrol obtained information from whatever source was available. The means by which information was gathered was at the discretion of the patrol officer. Often information cam direct from divisional staff officers and the divisional situation map. On occasion the patrol officer would go further forward, especially if there was some confusion of if Phantom headquarters had asked for specific information. When the information was obtained it was transmitted as soon as possible directly to Phantom Squadron headquarters based at Army headquarters. Information was sent in high grade cipher by Morse wireless. If possible the transmission quoted - the source of the information - the time at which it was obtained - the rank and appointment of the staff officer providing the information. Note that information was not transmitted from the divisional patrol to Corp Headquarters but it was usual for the Captains patrol at Corp headquarters to listen into transmissions and provide a copy of the reports sent to Army Headquarters to the Corp staff. Motorcycle despatch rider Motorcycle cipher corporal Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep) Subaltern, batman driver Carries wireless receiver R107 Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt 4 X 4 armoured truck (White) 2 X operator, driver mechanic Carries Wireless set No22 (later Wireless set Canadian No9) and wireless receiver R107 The six other ranks were barely sufficient to maintain continuous operating. The two operators could take shifts but it would often be necessary for one of the other personnel to relieve them in quieter periods. The same was true of the cipher corporal who would need some assistance if 24 hour operation was required. The driver mechanics were generally kept buy. There may not have been much driving but the White, jeep, two motorcycles, generator and charging engine all needed maintenance. Usually the driver batmen doubled as a cook for the patrol, the despatch rider doubled as coder, and either or both stood wireless watches. There were quieter periods between actions however. J Troop This was assigned to an armoured division. Since armoured divisions relied heavily on wireless for the issuing of orders and making of reports, listening to wireless transmissions gave an immediate, but not always full or accurate, picture of an action. The heart of the J patrol was not the officer but a team of wireless listeners with R107 receivers. Each R107 receiver was tuned to a different command net and important information was recorded (in the sense of being written down) and sent to Phantom Squadron headquarters. Such information was treated as unconfirmed. J patrols needed to be well forward, within five miles of the fighting in order to be sure of good reception from the Wireless set No19 most often used by armoured units. 3 X Subaltern serjeant 5 X corporal 30 X trooper cook Royal Signals 3 X corporal operator, wireless and line 6 X operator, wireless and line 3 X driver mechanic Motorcycle 1 driver operator Motorcycle 2 driver operator Motorcycle 3 driver operator Motorcycle 4 motorcyclist Motorcycle 5 motorcyclist Motorcycle 6 serjeant Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) administrative corporal Tows a 10cwt trailer Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) cook, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) vehicle mechanic, batman driver Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt Wireless House 1 3 X operator, driver mechanic Carries a Wireless No22 set Carries a Bren lmg 15cwt Wireless House 2 3 X operator, driver mechanic Carries a Wireless No22 set Carries a Bren lmg 15cwt Wireless House 3 3 X operator, driver mechanic Carries a Wireless No22 set Carries a Bren lmg 15cwt Wireless House 4 2 X driver operator Carries 2 X R107 recievers 15cwt Wireless House 5 3 X driver operator Carries 2 X R107 recievers 15cwt 4 X 4 Personnel 1 Intelligence Subaltern, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 Carries a Bren lmg 15cwt 4 X 4 Personnel 2 Intelligence Subaltern, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 Carries a Bren lmg 15cwt 4 X 4 Personnel 3 Intelligence Subaltern, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 Carries a Bren lmg 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 1 5 X driver operator Carries 4 X R107 recievers Carries a Bren lmg 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 2 5 X driver operator Carries 4 X R107 recievers Carries a Bren lmg 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 3 5 X driver operator Carries 4 X R107 recievers Carries a Bren lmg The organisation of the patrols remained constant but the number of patrols per squadron was variable. Phantom was always flexible and mobile, and as the campaign progressed the growing demand for patrols meant that - the depot was emptied of any personnel who could fill a role - headquarters had to shed staff to fill up patrol establishments - some US Army personnel were used in Phantom patrols operating with the US Army For the Rhine crossing A Squadron with 2 Army fielded a total of twenty three patrols whereas its establishment was nine plus two J patrols. Six patrols were borrowed from B squadron, normally with 1 Canadian Army, and the rest for formed form scratch (headquarters and depot personnel). Army Group Squadron Army Group Squadron Headquarters remained at 21 Army Group Tactical Headquarters and performed for that headquarters the same functions that the Army Squadrons performed for Army Headquarters. All confirmed information was displayed on the confirmed map and a fully up to date picture was available for the Commander in Chief at all times. Information was received directly from Phantom Regimental Headquarters and the two Army Squadron Headquarters so that the maps at 21 Army Group Headquarters, Army Headquarters and Corp Headquarters all agreed. This Squadron was originally L Squadron which served with 52 Division in Scotland, training for an invasion of Norway which never happened. It was smaller than the Army Squadrons, having only six patrols. GHQ Liaison Regiment was reorganised in 1943. At that time the six squadrons in the UK were intended to provide one squadron for each Corp Headquarters. It was later decided that squadrons should report to Army headquarters and the previous six squadrons were re organised into two large squadrons. This re organisation left two of the previous smaller corps squadrons which were used for special purposes. One was to form a squadron trained in parachuting and was eventually employed with the SAS. The other was intended to accompany an expedition to Norway. This invasion never took place but on D Day the squadron was still training for its mountain warfare role in Scotland. Very shortly afterwards it was sent to the South of England and then to France to provide General (as he then was) Montgomery’s Tactical Headquarters with information on the US Corps which served under him in Normandy. One patrol was attached to each US Corp and captains patrols were located at General Bradley’s Tactical and Main Headquarters. Information was sent from Phantom Regimental Headquarters to Headquarters US 12 Army Group and later to other US formations also. The liaison with US forces continued since they were operating on the flank of 21 Army group and information on their progress was highly desirable. Squadron headquarters This headquarters remained under canvas at 21 Army Group Tactical Headquarters. The operational centre was based in two vehicles which parked tail to tail with a canvas penthouse between them. One vehicle was a Bedford QLR House Type I with four R107 receivers. The other was a Bedford QLT troop carrier converted to an office. Major Captain, Intelligence Squadron Serjeant Major serjeant 4 X corporal 29 X trooper batman driver corporal clerk 3 X driver IC 4 X intelligence dutyman 4 X motorcyclist storeman 3 X cook plus Royal Signals Subaltern serjeant 6 X driver mechanic electrician instrument mechanic 15 X operator batman Motorcycle 1 Lieutenant RS Motorcycle 2 instrument mechanic RS Motorcycle 3 motorcyclist Motorcycle 4 motorcyclist Motorcycle 5 motorcyclist Motorcycle 6 motorcyclist Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) Squadron Serjeant Major, medical officer’s orderly, driver IC 15cwt GS 1 2 X vehicle mechanic, intelligence dutyman Carries a Bren lmg Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt GS 2 serjeant, administrative corporal, driver IC Carries a Bren lmg Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt Wireless House Type 1 3 X operator, driver mechanic Carries a Wireless No12 LP set 15cwt Wireless House Type 2 3 X operator, driver mechanic Carries a Wireless No12 LP set 15cwt Wireless House Type 3 3 X operator, driver mechanic Carries a Wireless No12 LP set 15cwt Wireless House Type 4 3 X operator, driver mechanic Carries a Wireless No12 LP set 15cwt 4 X 4 Personnel Major, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 Carries a Bren lmg 3ton 4 X 4 GS 1 intelligence dutyman, storeman, 2 X cook, driver IC Carries a Bren lmg 3ton 4 X 4 GS 2 electrician RS, batman RS, cook, driver mechanic RS Carries a 1,260 watt charging set 3ton 4 X 4 Troop Carrying Intelligence Captain, 2 X intelligence dutyman, batman driver This vehicle for use as an Office 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless I serjeant RS, driver mechanic RS Carries 4 X R107 receivers 6 X Patrol Motorcycle driver operator Motorcycle motorcyclist Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (Jeep) driver operator, vehicle mechanic Carries wireless receiver R107 Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt 4 X 4 armoured truck (White) Intelligence Officer (Captain or Subaltern), 2 X driver operator Carries Wireless set No22 (later Wireless set Canadian No9) and wireless receiver R107 J troop It is uncertain if this troop was ever used in its intended role. It seems to have been used as the cadre for two Phantom patrols when there was a great demand for these. Subaltern serjeant 3 X corporal 7 X trooper plus Royal Signals corporal operator 2 X operator driver mechanic Motorcycle driver operator Motorcycle serjeant Car 5cwt 4 X 4 (jeep) vehicle mechanic, intelligence dutyman Carries a R107 receiver Tows a 10cwt trailer 15cwt Wireless House 1 3 X driver operator Carries 2 X R107 receivers 15cwt Wireless House 2 2 X driver operator Carries 2 X R107 receivers 15cwt Wireless House 3 3 X operator RS, driver mechanic RS Carries a Wireless No 12 set Carries a Bren lmg 15cwt 4 X 4 Personnel Intelligence Subaltern, 2 X driver operator Carries a Wireless set No22 Carries a Bren lmg Phantom with the SAS. RESERVE SQUADRON, GHQ LIAISON REGIMENT War Establishment III/304/1 with an effective date of January 1944 The Reserve Squadron was not really a part of 21 Army Group. It was formed from F Squadron and was originally intended and trained for an assault role on D day. In the event each of the assault divisions had their own Phantom patrol and there was no need for F squadron. Instead it used its expertise to operate with the SAS in Europe after D Day. SAS units were dropped into France to work with local groups in disrupting enemy transport and communications. F Squadron’s combined operations training for its D Day role had concentrated on operating with minimum equipment for a short period of time. The ideal was to be able to carry everything on the men’s backs and be able to function for 72 hours without further support. A jeep per patrol was to be landed as soon as possible with other vehicles and personnel following when shipping was available. Later complete patrols were sent to provide extra cover for specific operations. Squadron Headquarters Major, Commanding officer Captain, Intelligence Squadron Serjeant Major squadron quartermaster serjeant 2 X lance serjeant 2 X corporal 12 X trooper Trades included clerk 2 X driver operator vehicle mechanic 2 X batman driver 2 X driver IC 4 X intelligence dutyman medical officers orderly 2 X motorcyclist storeman Attached Royal Signals Lieutenant serjeant 6 X driver mechanic 12 X operator signals electrician instrument mechanic batman corporal cook ACC 3 X cook ACC 4 X motorcycle 1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 2 X 15cwt GS 1 X 15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured Personnel 4 X 15cwt Wireless House 2 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS 1 X 3ton 4 X 4 Troop Carrying 1 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 2 X 10cwt trailer 1 X water trailer 1 X water trailer 3 X Captains Patrol each Captain corporal driver operator 3 X driver operator vehicle mechanic motorcyclist 2 X motorcycle 1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 1 X 15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured Personnel 1 X 10cwt trailer 3 X Subalterns Patrol each Subaltern corporal driver operator 3 X driver operator vehicle mechanic motorcyclist 2 X motorcycle 1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 1 X 15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured Personnel 1 X 10cwt trailer J Troop Subaltern serjeant driver mechanic RS 3 X operator RS 8 X driver operator vehicle mechanic 2 X intelligence dutyman 2 X motorcycle 1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 3 X 15cwt Wireless House 1 X 15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured Personnel 1 X 10cwt trailer Anchor Detachment Captain Subaltern corporal operator 2 X operator signals electrician driver IC intelligence dutyman motorcyclist 1 X motorcycle 1 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 1 X 15cwt Wireless House 1 X 15cwt GS 2 X 10cwt trailer When working with the SAS the patrols were parachute trained and carried everything on their backs. The transmitter was a Jedburgh set which was carried by two men and did not use batteries. A hand cranked generator was used. The Jedburgh set was a modified Wireless set No18 with a Morse key and no microphone. Midget receivers were also provided. These were MCR1. They were small for the day being 9inches long, 3¾ inches wide and 2½ inches deep. Weight was 2lb 9ozs. It could use batteries or mains power and could receive Morse or voice messages. It was sensitive enough to receive UK based BBC transmissions or RCA set transmissions anywhere in Western Europe. The first patrol was dropped into France on D Day plus 2. RESERVE SQUADRON, GHQ LIAISON REGIMENT War Establishment III/304/2 with an effective date of March 1945 By 1945 there was a change of role for the SAS. As the army prepared to enter Germany there would be no local resistance with which they could operate and SAS units were reorganised as reconnaissance patrols. There was no longer any need for Phantom patrols. At this date the Reserve Squadron was re organised to give nine patrols. This was achieved by using vehicles and personnel from J troop. The patrols could be used as required, including operating with A Squadron. With the end of the war the squadron went to Norway. Squadron Headquarters Major, Commanding officer Captain, Intelligence 2 X Subaltern, Intelligence Squadron Serjeant Major squadron quartermaster serjeant intelligence serjeant 2 X lance serjeant 3 X corporal 19 X trooper Trades included clerk 4 X driver operator vehicle mechanic 3 X batman driver 4 X driver IC 6 X intelligence dutyman medical officers orderly 3 X motorcyclist storeman Attached Royal Signals Captain serjeant 2 X despatch rider 8 X driver mechanic 25 X operator 3 X radio mechanic corporal cook ACC 2 X cook ACC 4 X motorcycle 1 X car 4 seater 4 X 4 4 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 3 X 15cwt 4 X 4 GS 2 X 15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured Personnel 8 X 15cwt 4 X 4 Wireless House 1 X 3ton 4 X 4 GS 1 X 3ton 4 X 4 cipher Office 1 X 3ton 4 X 4 Troop Carrying 1 X 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless ‘I’ 9 X 10cwt trailer 1 X 2 ton trailer 1 X water trailer 9 X Captains Patrol each Captain corporal driver operator 3 X driver operator vehicle mechanic intelligence dutyman 2 X car 5cwt 4 X 4 1 X 15cwt 4 X 4 Armoured Personnel 2 X 10cwt trailer Phantom in Airborne Operations For airborne operations Phantom provided a small and compact squadron. This reported to 1st Airborne Army which at the time it was formed consisted of - 1 Airborne Division - 82 US Airborne Division - 101 US Airborne Division - 52 Division which was air transportable, although not used in this role. Squadron Headquarters. This was very small and existed to receive wireless communications from the patrols with airborne divisions. It did not land with the airborne troops. Major, Commanding Officer Captain, Signals Officer 2 X operator 2 X driver coder 2 X signalman despatch rider. Patrol Each division had a patrol which was limited to the following vehicles 1 X Airborne signals jeep 1 X Lightweight trailer 1 X Lightweight motorcycle. The jeep was an airborne jeep with all the modifications usual for the signal role. The Wireless set no22 was carried in the trailer. And the following personnel Subaltern cipher corporal despatch rider 2 X operator batman driver Airborne forces were not very mobile. Having being dropped by parachute, landed by glider or flown into an airfield in Dakotas they concentrated on their objective and held it until relieved.