Unit Serial Numbers - 11th Armoured Division

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by Old Git, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Tom, Hodges and Taylor's lists (primarily Peter Taylor's earlier lists) are slightly all over the place. This is the last page of his 21st AG listings.

    Afbeelding (319).jpg
  2. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    I presume you mean the photo of the Morris? I'm afraid I can't as the photographs are not mine and copyright belongs to the family of the chaps whose life I am researching. They're pretty clear on the fact that I need permission from them before publishing anything. I'm pretty sure that there are a couple of LRC's on IWM's website, belonging to 43rd Wessex, and marked up for RE. Pretty much all LRC's in NW Europe from June 1944 on wards are in RE usage.
  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    How far does 'British' stretch?
    Are (British) Indian Army Divisions covered?
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The Altmark title is only British and primarily North-West Europe. I have a copy of the original 1971 edition. It is a great book with a lot of information, pictures, badges and charts jammed into 64 pages.
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  5. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    @ Charley Fortnum
    The second edition of Hodges and Taylor has a couple of pages on Indian and Commonwealth formations (which means not much!). However, if you can get hold of Malcolm Bellis' 'Commonwealth Divisions 1939-1945' it has a lot of information on AoS numbers, though I have found the odd error. It includes Polish and Free French formations.
    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Cheers, chaps.
  7. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Thanks for that page. I'll put together the numbers I have at some point and post them up.


  8. Tom,

    AoS [1725c] is 305 GT Coy RASC, under command 104 Beach Sub Area. I believe its platoons were lettered I, J, K & L.

    L5193572 of J Platoon (veh J5) was photographed on board LST 308 (2817) on SC 190059, downloadable in high resolution (tiff format) here: SC 190059 Normandy Invasion, June 1944

    This photo was posted on your thread Loading Schedule 50 Division RASC Normandy - June 1944. Attached is a slightly compressed version.

    Could you post Rich Payne's photo showing the serial number? It is probably part of the same series as SC 190059, and would show the other vehicles from another angle.

    Another example is L5192967 of K Platoon (veh K13) in IWM A24365:
    © IWM (A 24365)


    Attached Files:

  9. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Michel, Its this image. It appeared on FB....It is L5193572 again. Looking a little more 'used' by this stage.
    Austin K5 L5193572.jpg
  10. Thanks Rich. This is a great photo! Nice to see that this one at least was still rolling some days after D Day ;).

    I thought this was an IWM photo but just traced it to the NAM:
    Members of QAINS arrive at the Normandy bridgehead, June 1944.
    NAM 107314.jpg


    P.S. Are my eyes failing me, or does one of the nurses sport a moustache?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  11. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Thanks for the links. The only contradictory evidence I can find is that in the war diary for 305 Coy RASC there is a landing schedule which has J5 embarked on LST serial 2815 [rather than 2817 as you suggest above] together with J4, J6, J7 loaded with .30 mxd belt 75mm and J17 loaded with POL.

    I can confirm that 305 Coy RASC platoons were number I, J, K, L.

    Have you a source for your description of the unit serial number as 1725c (I'm wondering whether that indicates that 1725a and 1725b would have been the Beach Group RASC Coys for Juno and Sword?

    You might like to see the war diary extract for D Day:

    6 June 1944 Channel, D-Day Off shore JIG & KING Sectors, Normandy
    NTR, convoy proceeding satisfactorily, no enemy action.
    1130 LAND first sighted, numerous gun flashes, heavy firing, mines being exploded.
    1210 LST of convoy for JIG and KING Sectors now proceeding to individual unloading positions. Coastal gun action observed on JIG Sector, with destroyers, approx 35 rds fired, no LST (II) hit. First sight of medical DUKWs with casualties proceeding to LST to unload. Unloading proceeding with RHINOS – slow procedure, 4 addit ones required. Craft Serials landed at JIG and KING Sectors as follows:-
    No 2301 – 1200 hrs. No 2302 – 1215 hrs. No 2303 – 1400 hrs.
    No 2916 – 1515 hrs. No 2917 – 1500 hrs. No 2918 – 1530 hrs.
    No 2919 – 1530 hrs. No 2920 – 2345 hrs.
    Total landings – Personnel 125, Vehicles 63.

    Sadly there is nothing in the war diary about transporting nurses (moustachioed or not!).


  12. Tom,

    Thanks for confirming the platoon letters in 305 GT Coy and for the extract from its War Diary. LTIN 2815-2817 are conspicuously absent from it.

    The contradictory evidence is indeed puzzling, because the other lorry whose WD number is visible on the photo (L776339) is listed on your Loading Schedule for 522 Coy RASC as due to embark on LTIN 2817, not 2815 like L5193572 of 305 Coy. But both lorries are on the same LST! This means that one of the two Schedules was not followed (or there was a typo in one of them), and thus that the photo might have been taken on either of the two LSsT.
    But because the Landing Table does not list any 305 GT Coy for LTIN 2815 (only six 3 tonners in 2816 & eleven in 2817), this is probably a typo, or the Schedule was amended later?

    I do not have a direct source for the AoS Serial Number 1725c. As an aside, please bear in mind that [1725c] is my personal way of noting that Serial 1725 has the White Bar in the diagonal "climbing" position (i.e. from bottom left to top right), meaning Army Group Troops, not that the Serial has a "c" in it. See Ford GPA & DUKW's for an explanation of the MSSAOSWBPMCS, which I hope will become the new standard for AoS notation :D. It is therefore unlikely that the Beach Gp Coys in the other Areas might have had the same Serial Number with a different White Bar position.

    I deducted the identity of the unit from a doc found in the Operation Overlord Report 104 Beach Group Sept 44 | WW2Talk (WO 205/905) kindly uploaded by Malcolm Grover. Appx 'B' STOWAGE PLANNING (attached) says that

    "8. The method adopted was similar to that for stowing craft. All load
    carrying vehicles were numbered throughout the fmn.

    ie, No 1 Pl 536 GT Coy - DUKW AI - A33
    No 4 Pl 305 GT Coy - 3 ton GS JI - J33."

    The numbering (or rather "lettering") of GT Coy platoons in sequence was consistent with what I had found with other GT Coys in 104 Beach Sub Area. I already had the following (underlined letters indicate platoons for which I had a photo of a vehicle):

    A, B, C, (D) pls - 536 GT Coy (DUKW)
    E, F, G, (H) pls - 705 GT Coy (DUKW)

    plus photos of two odd DUKWs with respectively 'N' and 'Q' (possibly 'O) platoon letters.

    The 104 Beach Sub Area Report fell in nicely into that scheme, with a continuation of the sequence:

    I, J, K, L pls - 305 GT Coy (3 tonners)

    Therefore, when I found IWM A24365 showing a Beach Group lorry with the vehicle number K13 (and AoS [1725c]), I deducted that it must belong to 305 GT Coy.

    Note: Since DUKW Coys had only 3 DUKW platoons, the letter for their 4th platoon was either unused, retained for future use or for a possible 4th platoon equipped with lorries, I don't know.

    The two odd DUKWs would therefore probably belong to the units as follows, further continuing the sequence:

    M, N, O, (P) pls - 9 GT Coy (DUKW)
    Q, R, S, (T) pls - 168 GT Coy (DUKW)

    Confirmation of the platoon lettering above would be most welcome!


    P.S. For those who do not wish to register on the Missing Lynx DG linked above, here is the latest version of my "DUKW Table", with the added bonus of 305 GT Coy. Any contribution towards filling in the missing info (or correcting errors) gratefully appreciated:

    DUKW Units OVERLORD v5.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    Aixman likes this.
  13. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member


    Thanks for all of these fantastic details.

    One of my research sidelines a few years back saw me pick up many of the DUKW GT Coy war diaries - it must have been something to do with trying to find out what type their domestic 3-Ton vehicles were I think. I’ll have a look through them when I get home at the weekend to see if they contain any useful AoS details or pre-load information.

    I’ll post the details of 305 Coy WD for 7 and 8 June as well, which saw the rest of the unit landing.


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