25th Dragoons Nominal Roll

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by NikToo, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    Dave I've looked through the 25 Dragoons 1944 War Diary, which lists some of the serial numbers of the Lee tanks. I couldn't find T25989 but did find T25909. Could someone have misread the 0 for 8 perhaps?
     
  2. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    I'm reassured it is. However, this is the side:
     

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  3. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    Dave, quite difficult to make it out! Does the tank still exist somewhere? What happened to the tanks when they were withdrawn from service? Were they shipped back to the US?
     
  4. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    This tank was in Australia, we are told it was in Burma and ended in oz through Malaysia.. having trudged through the aus military vehicle records it didn't get there via the army but was imported post war privately. It's currently being renovated here in the UK. The chassis no. (On the tow lug) is 4501 and the us no. Is w. 03. 058 092 we have been told that all them numbers (T25989) all match to Chrysler plant. But that t number maybe different in my opinion.
     
  5. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    I really appreciate the effort chaps..
    I hope we can find info about it so we can repaint in original livery and do its crew justice. We hope to have it complete by September..
     

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  6. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    Looks amazing.
    Have a look at The Lee/Grant Tank in British Service by Bryan Perrett. See Vanguard 06 the lee grant tanks in british service
     
  7. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    I'll check tomorrow, if it is wrong it could help in the search. (Could it be T25928???) Hard to tell... but if it is, this may be a great discovery, especially for you Richard. We shall see
     
  8. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    It looks more like T25928 but needs delicate treatment from a specialist paint conservator, not someone with a wire brush! You could also try heightening the contrast of the image in a photo editing application to get better definition. I wonder if this might have been my father's tank.
     
  9. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    Update.
    It appears that the original numbers may not be correct. We are yet to trace it fully, but there is strong evidence to support a new t number. (T25928 or T25929) we have Specifically left a number un shotblasted so we can try to remove matter and release the full original number. Not sure how easy that might be though. Any thoughts and original sources in these tank numbers would also be good to help with the project.
    If it is "Bristol" replacement it would be good to get original livery on her. So if you have any specifics Richard, it would help massively.
    Knowing we may have it and it served if really exciting!
     
  10. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    I've found one 25th Dragoon Lee listed as 25930,(if yours is 25929 it's the next serial number!) which is exciting as the other I've found is 25934. The list is about 38 Lees and only relates to Lees "struck off strength of Unit" to O.C. No.1 Tank Delivery Troop, Order A.46 21/05/1944. Authority H.Q 15 Ind. Corps. Tom Grounds(page 163 "Some Letters from Burma") records that as from 27th February 1944, Lt.Colonel Frink, as commanding officer of the 25th Dragoons had under his command: 25th Dragoons (52 tanks plus 3 FOO tanks). Eight Lees were also destroyed by Enemy Action in addition to the 38, so 46 in two lists. There is also another earlier list, which records a Lee as serial no. 25828. Very similar. Could yours read as 25928 be 25828? In which case I've found your tank! In any case, given the above, the evidence so far is that your Lee may well have been one of the tanks of the 25th Dragoons in The Battle of The Admin Box. Might an ultra violet lamp as used by professional picture restorers be worth sourcing perhaps to bring up the numbers?
     
  11. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    Oooh.. bloody good point. I shall get one and try... great research. It's certainly looks like more and more strong primary evidence is coming to light. I will keep you informed.
     
  12. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    Dave, I spoke to my paintings restorer, this morning. Firstly he says an infra red lamp in sunlight would be better to pick out the painted numbers. Also use a clean damp cloth, not wet , with deionized water and wipe it over but don't leave wet. If this doesn't work add a tiny bit of ammonia to the water, just enough so that you can smell it.
     
  13. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    Excellent! That's my Thursday sorted then :D
     
  14. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    I think I have it!!
    A bit of restoration and Adobe to fil in the blanks a layered image is...
     

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  15. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    Dave, that is utterly amazing. What a perfect job.
     
  16. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Dave,

    T25928 is BRISTOL B Sqn 4 Troop.

    Cheers

    Kevin
     
  17. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    Do we know if it was 25th dragoons or 3rd carabiniers?? Or are they the same unit at that time.
     
  18. DavidCarr10

    DavidCarr10 Member

    Restoration continues... the other side is revealing the original T25989??? Hugely frustrating...
     
  19. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    Kevin, my father, 2nd Lt. Eric Miles, was Troop leader of 4 Troop, B Squadron, 25th Dragoons in the Battle of The Admin Box! Maybe this was his replacement tank, replaced the next morning, when his caught fire and blew up, whilst towing another Lee in his troop of three tanks, that had been hit down the open main gun hatch by a lucky single Jap mortar shot. He told me that the cordite charges just laid out for firing had ignited in a terrible flash and horribly burned the crew. He opened the side hatch and tried to get a man out and his skin just peeled off when he grabbed his arm and another started shooting at him from within with a revolver, as he thought he was a Jap . He had to close the hatch. Sgt John Monger, his tank driver, said that the hit tank was probably in neutral and so they attached a tow to try and get it out of Jap range and to rescue the survivors. John Monger succeeded in attaching the tow and they started to tow the stricken tank out of danger, when my father felt heat on the back of his neck in the turret, turned around and saw flames in the ammunition store and around the engine. He shouted "fire,fire". The crew thought he meant "open fire" initially, but they all bailed out and very shortly after, the turret blew up and according to my father, blew about 30ft in the air. He recommended John Monger for a M.M, which was approved. My father thought that the exhaust of his tank became red hot when dragging the other tank out and that it started a small fire, which spread to the highly volatile aviation fuel as Lees had adapted aviation engines.
     
  20. richardmiles

    richardmiles Active Member

    Can you find any trace on the hull of the name given by the crew? Kevin lists T25928 as "Bristol", 4 Troop, B Squadron 25th Dragoons, which my father commanded, I wonder if it was then given another T number when his was replaced after catching fire and blowing up. John Leyin, my father's gunner mentions that when he joined the crew after the replacement, the Lee was named SEAC. Perhaps Kevin has a record.
     

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