Vehicle ID?

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by KevinT, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Can you one confirm the TAC markings of the Chevy 3 tonners from Tom's post:-

    3 Regt RHA 1944 Vehicle numbers

    I am assuming A1 and A3 refer to an ammunition vehicle and FIT refers to a Fitters vehicle.
    Can anyone confirm O.2, P, R and S?


    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2019
  2. fairlie63

    fairlie63 16FdBty

    Hi Kevin,

    Sorry, I replied on Tom's post.

    P is almost certainly Petrol Oil and Lubricants (POL) from the battery echelon
    O.2 might actually be Q.2, also part of the battery echelon, O was a post-war tactical marking for Observation Parties of LAA and LAA/SL Regts RA and I don't think it was ever in use in fd regts.
    S is normally indicative of the regimental signal section, RC Sigs, although these vehicles were numbered S.1 upwards

    I can't explain R which is part of a Troop Commander's tac marking (followed by the troop letter, i.e. RC, etc). He definitely wouldn't be in a 3-ton truck. Possibly this is H, the Bty CP vehicle.

    A1 and A3 would definitely be battery ammunition vehicles being 3-ton trucks.

    FIT may well be the Fitter, normally they appear on motorcycles.

    Somewhere on one of these threads is a list of vehicles and allotted personnel for G Bty of 5RHA about May 1944, this being the SP fd regt of 7 Armd Div in NW Europe, while 3RHA appears to have been the towed fd regt.

    Cheers, Keith
  3. fairlie63

    fairlie63 16FdBty

    Hi Kevin,

    See if this comes thru, I can't attach anything to that PM.

    Cheers, Keith

    Attached Files:

  4. op-ack

    op-ack Senior Member

    My research into RA terminology indicates some variation from the above. Ammunition vehicles are usually shown using the tactical sign Amn 1, Amn 2, etc.

    P does indeed indicate a POL vehicle, the letter is usually shown followed by a number, as in P1, P2 etc..

    A1 was the Adjutants vehicle and subsequent A vehicles, A2 etc., are shown in Organization for Manoeuvre for the various Regiments as office trucks, carrying such people as the RSM and clerks.

    I agree that the O at this period is most likely a Q.

    But be aware, Tac Signs are a major minefield as there were numerous variations of usage across the different types of RA Regiment.


    Keith if you have any more Tac Signs for Artillery vehicles, I would be grateful if you could let me have them, as I will incorporate them into the next edition of my RA Glossary.


  5. fairlie63

    fairlie63 16FdBty

    Sorry Phil, something went wrong there, I'll start again!

    <Keith if you have any more Tac Signs for Artillery vehicles, I would be grateful if you could let me have them, as I will incorporate them into the next edition of my RA Glossary.

    In general we followed the policies laid down in the various Arty Trg Volumes but WW2 is a bit of a grey area and there are other variations as listed below -

    Y WW2 - battery survey veh (fd branch RAA); computing centre veh (svy btys RAA)
    L WW2 - battery echelon veh (fd and a tk branches RAA) - probably not all regts but definitely those in Australia 1942-43, perhaps later.
    H WW2 - BK veh, BHQ trucks and tp sgts of LAA Btys RAA 1942 onwards, not certain when this disappeared but I think British practice or similar was followed for AA from at least mid 1945
    B WW2 - battery echelon, tp ammunition, stores and instrument veh of LAA btys RAA 1942 onwards
    G WW2 - gun tractors, LAA btys RAA, 1942 onwards; section sgts of Flash Spotting Btys RAA 1945 onwards (probably from 1943)
    P WW2 - instrument operators veh, LAA btys RAA 1943 onwards
    MO WW2 - RMO, AA regts RAA 1945 onwards, was also laid down for RMO of RA bdes (fd branch) in 1938
    W WW2 - AA regt workshops, 1945 onwards, was also laid down for Wagon Line Officer for RA bdes (fd branch) in 1938
    O WW2 - Chaplain, AA regts RAA, 1945 onwards
    OP WW2 - GOR veh, hy AA btys RAA 1945 onwards
    METS WW2 - met sections of svy btys RAA 1945 onwards
    T WW2 - Tank OP for fd branch regts, 1943 onwards (TX, TA, TB, etc)
    SUR WW2 - regt'l survey veh
    TL WW2 - troop leader

    Like yourselves not every unit necessarily used the same signs. AIF regts returning from the Middle East probably stuck with RA practices, regts in Australia modified these to suit Aust WEs. The method of display was left to formations to implement although there was an attempt to standardize in principle in mid 1943. We didn't adopt the blue square with red bty designator until 1952 or thereabouts and different methods (or none at all) were used to distinguish btys within regts. I'm still researching on the subject.

    Post war there were others -
    A Ammunition veh from 1960's
    LO Liaison Officer, 1980s on for HQRAA
    AMMO Ammunition, RAA from at least 1983, RCA from at least 1961
    T Tractor, Full-Tracked, in mdm regts RAA. I think this was also in use early WW2 in ME for the battery scout carrier. Also for section sgts of LAA and AD btys RAA 1960's onwards
    SL searchlight veh of movt lt btys
    GEN Generator veh for movt lt btys
    ADMIN replaced A veh for regt'l office, RAP, Chaplains, etc. In 1960 it was intended to introduce N for these when A was appropriated for ammunition vehicles but I'm not sure whether N was eventually used.
    RP Regimental Police, RAA 1983 on
    MET Meteorological, used by RCA from 1961, RAA from 1983 at least, probably earlier
    SR Sound Ranging, RAA
    SRG Sound Ranging, RCA
    CB Counter bombardment staff veh, RAA and RCA
    LAD Light Aid Detachment, SSM btys RCA
    EVA Electronic Velocity Analyzer veh, calibration section of div loc btys RAA
    LP Listening Post
    NUC Nuclear Warfare Section veh, loc btys RCA
    RAD Radar veh, loc btys RCA
    SVY regt'l svy veh RAA. In 1960 this was to be replaced by V but although the odd reference crops up from time to time I have no proof that V was used and SVY was still in use by div loc btys in the 1960's, as now.

    Some of those might be of use or interest. It is probably not all of them, there are some big gaps between the late 1950s and 1983 - on the other hand the RAA was organized on Tropical Warfare establishments from 1965 into the 1970s, with vehicles being cut to a minimum (LAA regts had 17 veh plus one RASigs veh, a fd regt (CS) had 40 plus one sigs and six LAD veh) and a lot of tac signs probably disappeared for a while.

    That's a pretty comprehensive book you produced.

    Cheers, Keith
  6. op-ack

    op-ack Senior Member


    Thanks for the list, there are some there I haven't got. Also, thanks flr the comment about my book. The second edition, if it ever gets published will be well over twice the size and more of a Regimental encyclopaedia, including more pn equipment and organization.

    Always happy to help with RA queires.

  7. fairlie63

    fairlie63 16FdBty

    No probs Phil. Organization would be a major work in itself!!

    Question - do you have tactical markings for HQRA Div and Corps, HQ AGRA(Fd) and (AA), and CB Staff Tps post-WW2?

    Cheers, Keith

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