Use of Formation Signage

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by gmyles, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    The attached picture is from a film clip of 50 RTR (dismounted - acting as infantry) attacking the EAM building on Korai Street, Athens, on 6th December 1944. They were supported by 2 x 46 RTR Sherman tanks and 2 companies of 6 Parachute Battalion. The picture shows a 50 RTR SNCO taking a suspected ELAS insurgent away.

    The formation sign shows a liver bird which was 23 Arms Bde's unit emblem, the number 53 is for 50 RTR and the circle represents C Squadron.

    This is the first time I have noticed this type of signage. But what was it used for? Was it directions to Squadron HQ? Was it the starting point? Was it the forming up point? Did it have another function?

    Any thoughts are most welcome.


    Attached Files:

  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Is it possible that the message is on the other (smooth) side of the board and those markings simply indicate who owns it?
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Gus & SDP….

    where have you been…..? - this is standard identification of the unit - one important fact is that it tells the various echelons who are carrying food - mail - ammo

    etc to the troops of "C" Squadron - little use in dropping mail to "A " Squadron 40th RTR - which was the third unit of 23rd AB……it's an address - similar to

    #10 Downing Street…nothing more…….my own address was a Triangle 5 - 174 - Gremlin - which the echelons could find me in Troop #5 - "A" Squadron - 145th

    Regiment of 21st Tank Bde…….only thing NOT identified was that I was W/op to the Troop Sergeant, but even the dullest could have figured that out

  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    While I totally agree, of course, with what you say about the markings , I was wondering why they painted that lot on the 'reverse' side of the board. Would be more 'natural' to paint on the 'smooth' side and hence my comment about whether the real message is on the other side......and that could, of course, be the same as on this side of the board!
  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member

    Thanks Tom.

    So its no more exciting than a street sign. I was just unsure what its purpose was in the big shape of things. SDP is also right, it could have "HQ ->" on the other side or something like that.

    The diaries confirm that C Sqn 50 RTR was in action at the same time this film/pic was taken. This is just before they were given a subtle hint that their white desert painted webbing was sticking out like a dogs wotzit and they were easy targets for ELAS snipers.

  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    SDP & Gus
    The 50th RTR might have held the smooth side for the Football scores, or something equally important - the whole of the 23rd AB had been in action

    in many places in Italy prior to the Greek hoo haa - so the colour of their webbing was not an item

  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    :) :)


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