RAF signal vehicle types.

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Trux, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Difficult to know where to post this. It could be Technology and Equipment or War in the Air, or Units but:

    I have collected a fair amount of information on the RAF units landing on British beaches on D Day and D+1. I have a fair amount of information on RAF vehicles, RAF ground units organisation and the links with Army and Navy. Now I need to correlate some of this information.

    A good start is to ask if anyone can identify these RAF Signals Vehicle Types (all landing on Gold and Juno)
    100 A two vehicle set with 150. Austin K6 3ton 6 X 4, 'F' Type body, with VHF set T1131 (Transmitter).
    105 Commer Q2 15cwt VHF Direction Finding set.
    115 Bedford MW with low power, single channel transmitter and receiver.
    130 Crossley 3ton 4X4.
    131 Crossley 3ton 4X4 GP. Technical.
    140 Bedford QL 3ton 4 X 4, 'J' Type body.
    150 Austin K6 3ton 6X4, 'F' Type body, with VHF Receiver R1342 plus TR1143.
    314 Two vehicle VHF short range wireless set. Bedford MW 15cwt with E Type Body. Transmitter.
    315 As above. Receiver.
    316 Bedford MW 15cwt with E Type body. Mobile Servicing Vehicle.
    346 30cwt Fordson or Austin twin 5.6 Kva generator tender.
    358 Austin K6 6X4 with 15 KVa generator.
    367A Austin K6 6X4, 'F' body for mobile servicing workshop.
    405 Crossley 4X4 VHF Transmitter for GCI.
    409 Crossley 4X4 Receiver/Operstions vehicle for GCI.
    430 15cwt Light Warning Set.
    432 Austin K6 6X4 Operations/Control for Radar Type 11.
    433A Austin K6 6X4 with Radar Type 11.
    456 Diesel Generator. Austin K6 3ton 6X4.
    457A Type 15 radar on Austin K6 3ton 6X4.
    460 Thorneycroft Nubian 3ton 4X4 with winch.
    461 Type 13 radar on Austin K6 3ton 6X4.
    462 Type 14 radar on Austin K6 3ton 6X4.

    I know a (very) few of these but confirmation would be good. I will add more information as (or if) progress is made.

  2. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Mike
    You'll find a few on the thread I opened some time ago at:


    PS. do you have any photo's of them? I'd like to co-relate the equipment with the suffix letter of the mobile unit. e.g. A "Q" unit was equipped with a R1154 Receiver and had a rotatable double di-pole + reflector elements array that was operated from within the vehicle for triangulation with similar units tololcate a transmitting source, It was on a Commer chassis.
  3. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Sorry Mike, just noticed you've already visited there and posted. I should have looked before opening my big mouth! But haven't had too many hits there recently.
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    I have been reading your thread for the last year but have only now reached a point where I might be able to put something together. I have found that Forum members can provide a lot of information in small snippets. Added together they eventually make a pattern.

    I see that a MSU Type Q was a cosy unit of 3 men and one vehicle, Signals type 105. Was this a Commer 15cwt? The Landing Tables give two men and one vehicle. The army used 15cwt Morris in a similar role.

    I think I have a photo of the Commer. I will have to check. You have already pointed out an error. the two VHF types are 100 and 150 (not 105).

    Get there one day.

  5. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    Mike the entry you have for type 105 is actually a type 150;; type 105 was the Commer Q2 direction finder. Type 100 & 150 normally acted a a pair. I noticed you have carried forward that error from your 2TAF entry. I have the AP sheet for 100, 105 & 150. I have started compiling a list but a few too many domestic duties at the moment.


    just seen you have already corrected while I was typing.
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    Thanks. I know what you mean. I have just spent 7 weeks decorating and am enjoying the freedom to do other things.

  7. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    Type 100 & 150 later mounted on WOT1 & WOT1A1 chassis.
    Type 105 later mounted on Austin K9.
    Type 316 was a Bedford MW with E body and kitted ( as required) as a mobile servicing station, ( later on Bedford KC).
    Type 346 Austin K2 or Fordson WOT3 GS body modified with canvas rtilt. twin 5.6KVa power supply vehicl.
    Type 358 Austin K6 later WOT1 Sigs body Type P 15KVa power supply vehicle.
    Type 367A, Austin K6 type F sigs body equipped (as required) as mobile servicing workshop.
    Type 456 later on WOT1 WOT1A/1 and AEC Matador.
    Obviously the chassis in italique I mention were post invasion. Somewhere in the Jigsaw will be the Crossley Ops bodies, Bedford QL OPs bodies.

  8. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    Typre 405 , I have a Wheels of the RAF, several views of a Type 405. Its a Crossley 4x4. solid body with what look like large gas proof extraction /vent units just below roof level on the front of the body. Some sort of Ops van?? I have a part shot of a similar looking vehicle with Type 409 legible; So I think both could safely be flagged up as Crossley 4x4.
  9. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Mike and Ted

    My MSSU, in UK, was initially equipped with two 'large' main workshop vehicles on three-ton Austin chasses (367A perhaps?), one utilised by Signals bods and the other by RDF (Radar) bods; in UK I was responsible for the DI's (daily inspections) on one of these. They served as Base Workshops and were only moved when the Unit moved. We had seven or eight 15cwt Bedford (316?) servicing workshops that we used for service visits to other MSU's (and en route sleeping!). We also had two Thorneycrofts each mounting a 20kVA Diesel Generator set, a couple of three-ton Crossleys and Bedford QL's that were canvas tilted for carrying tents, cookhouse equipt and provisions, personnel and general domestic kit, a Bedford Water Bowser and a Motor Cycle (equipped with Despatch Rider).

    The twenty, or so, of us that made up 'A' Echelon, took about a third of these for landing on Omaha Beach, leaving 'B' & 'C' Echelons to land elsewhere some weeks later.

    Meanwhile there must have been a considerable increase in the Unit's assets for, when we eventually were reunited, in Brussels, we found that the unit had acquired several more Sergeant Wireless and Radar Mechanics, a Nursing Orderly, a Corporal Tin Smith, a Warrant Officer MT Driver, a Cobbler, another Corporal Cook/Butcher, and even a Barber!

    But since, from that time on, we were living in civilised established accommodation things like water bowsers, tentage and even the base workshop vehicles became virtually redundant, the main work horses being the 15cwt Bedford Servicing Workshops and the three-ton Bedford ration carriers.

  10. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    85 Group GCI. 'A' Echelon.

    A good start. I can piece this together.

    Recce Party.
    A Jeep with 3 men.

    'A' Echelon.
    Signals Type 405. VHF transmitter on Crossley 4 X 4.
    Signals Type 460. Thornecroft Nubian with winch. For erecting VHF aerial mast.
    Signals Type 409. Receiver/Operations vehicle on Crossley 4 X 4.
    Signals Type 457A. Radar Type 15 on Austin K6 6 X 4.
    3ton Tender with spares and AI Beacon.

    This is the heart of the Ground Controlled Interception Unit. It was landed on D Day to control night fighters over the beaches on the night of D/D+1.

    Types 405 and 409 are similar house bodies. Both have large powered ventilators on the body front, rear access doors and a penthouse at the rear. 409 houses the radar displays. The controller sits in front of a PPI (Plan Position Indicator) display with an assistant to his left with a Height/Range display. A teller sits behind to report to GCC. There is a flap which can be lowered and a canvas screen erected to accommodate the teller. Alternatively another vehicle can be backed up to the opening. 405 does not have the flap. It carries the VHF transmitters for communicating with aircraft.

  11. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    Les , Mike;;; cracking stuff ! I have a Thorny Nubian noted as a common winch truck. Similar body to the GS and power supply vehicle but the body mounted a fraction higher and with a flat bottom ; i.e. no cut outs for the rear wheel clearance.

  12. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Ted. The GCI 'A' Echelon does not seem to have a generator listed. Could be on the 3ton tender. It must have one.

    Some more correlation and a little deduction.

    85 Group for GCI.
    Radar Unit Type 21.
    Signals Type 462.
    2 X Signals Type 456.
    Signals Type 432
    Signals Type 461

    We know that Radar Unit Type 21 is a five vehicle unit for Radars 13 and 14.
    456 are generators on Austin K6 6X4.
    462 is Radar Type 14 on Austin K6 6X4
    461 is Radar Type 13 on Austin K6 6X4.
    So 432 must be the Operations/Control vehicle. Type unknown.

    Radar Unit Type 11.
    Signals Type 456.
    Signals Type 432.
    Signals Type 433A.

    This is a three vehicle set for Radar Type 11. A back up set to Type 15.
    456 is a generator on Austin K6 6X4.
    If 432 is Operations Control then
    433A must be Radar Type 11 on Austin K6 6X4.

    A number of photos show type numbers on vehicle doors. Often they are only partly legible or we have no idea what the role was.

    Mobile Signals Unit Type Q.
    Signals Type 105.
    A single vehicle unit. Commer Q2 15cwt with folding and rotating mast and twin dipole aerials. For Direction Finding. See above (Thanks Les).

  13. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron

    Another easy one.

    Mobile Signals Unit Type 'P' for 85 Group GCI.
    Signals Type 100. Austin K6 House Type Body carrying VHF Transmitter T1131. Twin telescopic aerials carried in the body and erected on brackets at the body rear in action.
    Signals Type 150. Austin K6 House Type Body carrying VHF Receiver R1342 plus TR1143. The Receiver vehicle can control the transmitters, which need not be permanently manned

    Designed as a two vehicle set. MSU Type 'P' has only 8 men and only 6 landed initially. It provided VHF communications for the GCI unit. The vehicles could be some distance apart from the Radars and be connected by telephone line or two way wireless (TR1143?)

    I am here submitting what little I know and welcome confirmation, corrections, additional information etc. Some forum members who are too shy to post information do send it to me by other means. I will try to keep to include such information but usually without crediting the source.
  14. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    Hi Mike, will have a further dig, bit bogged down at the minute domestic duties (wife's carer) and getting the Austin Gipsy ready for moT .
    regards TED
  15. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    No hurry at all. I have been ferreting away for years and expect (or hope) to do so for several more. The only other thread I started is still active after 7 months.

    I know young people pose a question in the morning, hope for answers by midday and say thank you and sign off by evening but.....

  16. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    I used to own one of these...

    316 Bedford MW 15cwt with E Type body. Mobile Servicing Vehicle.

  17. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    Mike 2 questions, do you want to keep this thread just for D Day and the following immediate period or all RVT numbered types. second sticking to text only or can I post some pictures ??
  18. Trux

    Trux 21 AG Patron


    This is a very democratic forum. I would not dream of telling anyone what to do. However I would love to see as complete a list as possible. Yes I would love to see more pictures. I must learn how to do it.

    This is a sadly neglected area and I have only pottered around the edges. I have concentrated on D Day because I have a pretty complete set of Landing Tables from which I am trying to build a complete picture of what units crossed the beaches, and what they did.

    Not as obscure as RN shore signals though.

  19. ted angus

    ted angus Senior Member

    I think the attached show RVT 405 & 409. The radar I am not sure about. The power supply truck is possibly an RVT 456.


    Attached Files:

    Trux likes this.
  20. lesfreathy

    lesfreathy Member

    Guys, this K6 must fall in here somewhere
    Les F

    Attached Files:

Share This Page