Royal Signals SDS Jeep - Italy

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by David_Moss, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. David_Moss

    David_Moss New Member

    Hello, This is a great forum and my first post!

    I'm hoping that someone may be able to give me a start to trace my father, Joseph Moss, who served in North Africa and Italy, ending up in Austria with (I think) the Royal Signals. All I have is a photo album but no service number, unit or other documents.

    Attached is my dad sat on the bonnet of a jeep and also next to a couple of other vehicles with the same formation marking and unit identifier. I can just about identify the census number of another jeep - M56267 23. I can't match the marking to any of the divisional markings that I've been able to find.

    I'd be really grateful for any clues as to the vehicle unit and formation.

    Many thanks

    J MOSS SDS Jeep 1.jpg J MOSS SDS Jeep.jpg
  2. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    I’ve seen the marking of the AIRCRAFT on the square with “two colours”. (Top is While, Bottom I think would be blue)…….trying to remember where I saw them…..unless a smarter than me member comes on to help
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search.
  4. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    That would be an Air Formation Signals unit - they provided the comms between the RAF and the Army. The rectangle with a white top and a dark bottom is the Tactical Sign for the Royal Signals. The aircraft badge is still in use with 21 Signal Regiment whom provide comms for the RAF.

    This is the badge of 21 Signal Regiment:


    4th Air Formation Signals were in North Africa and Italy.


    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
    vitellino likes this.
  5. David_Moss

    David_Moss New Member

    Thanks for your replies.

    Frank, that’s great information and gives me a place to start. Much appreciated.

  6. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    Found the one I thought I had seen, narrow it down a bit more for you


    The Air Formation Signals Crescent
    [​IMG] › download › i › mark_dl › u › 4006995744 › 4525784500 › THE_AIR_FORMATION_SIGNALS_CRESCENT.pdf

    4th Air Formation Signals (North Somerset Yeomanry)
    In 1938 the War Office and Air Ministry had agreed that the Army would provide all communications (except wireless) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) deployed overseas. The units concerned were termed 'Air Formation Signals' (AFS), and their number expanded rapidly as the Second World War progressed. Ideally there would be one AFS regiment assigned to each RAF Group or higher formation, but the fluid nature of air operations in the Middle and Far East theatres led to difficulty in meeting this target from Royal Signals resources, which was why the North Somerset Yeomanry was converted to the role. The regiment absorbed 4th AFS, which was already supporting the RAF in the theatre, and subsequently provided signal support (telephone and telegraph landlines, and despatch riders) for the Desert Air Force (DAF) in the highly mobile fighting that characterised the Western Desert Campaign.

    In 1942 the DAF's two fighter wing HQs could leapfrog forwards in the advance, and they were split into several flying wings of two squadrons, each with its own landing ground (LG). Three flying wing LGs linked by land-line to their parent wing HQ formed a 'fighter airfields area'. As Eighth Army and the DAF advanced, new LGs could be rapidly established, the earlier ones being taken over by bomber squadrons in the rear. All this imposed a heavy burden on the AFS units maintaining communications as the fighting ebbed and flowed.

    In 1943 a standardisation committee regularised the various HQ signal units, and AFS units were supposed to adopt the following organisation:

    • 2 Line Troops
    • 2 Construction Troops
    • 2 Terminal Equipment Troops
    • 3 Telegraph Operating Troops
    • 2 Despatch Rider Troops
    • 1 Technical Maintenance Troop
    • 5 Wing Troops
    4th AFS (NSY) served throughout the operations in the North African Campaign, including the Alamein and the advance into Tunisia, followed by the Allied invasion of Sicily and the greater part of the Italian Campaign. In August 1944 the unit was relieved by 8th AFS and the Yeomanry were sent home under the 'Python' scheme having served overseas for four and a half years. After home leave, the majority were then drafted to 14th AFS Regiment serving in North West Europe until the end of the war.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2022
  7. Temujin

    Temujin Member

  8. Hodges & Taylor give the following AoS Serials for AFS:

    1 AFS - Serial 402
    2 AFS - Serial 403
    4 AFS - Serial 465

    Regrettably Serial 470 is not among those listed.

  9. David_Moss

    David_Moss New Member

    Thank you Michel, that’s really helpful. I’ll investigate further and post results.

  10. David_Moss

    David_Moss New Member

    Thanks a lot for this great information.

  11. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    I posted some info on 2 AFS, some of who were in Greece which may be of some use.

    17 air formation signals

    Hope this helps


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