Jump to content
9para

British Airborne Jeeps

Recommended Posts

Afternoon all,

 

I'm in the very early stages of converting my 1943 Ford GPW into a Brit ABN Jeep, and was wondering if anyone on here has any advice and a good source of period photos. I've got the book by Rob Van Meel but the quality of the pics in that is not the best.

 

I'm looking at keeping the mods to the absolute minimum just because I prefer jeeps that are devoid of just about everything!!

 

Any help gratefully accepted!

 

Regards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are any pictures, please note all are from internet, not my.

captured_british_airborne.jpg

10Rampton.jpg

DykesC.jpg

vyH_025886.jpg

1st_airb2Sola airport.jpg

ab7.jpg

ABtrailerArnhem, 1944.jpg

vyBU_002554.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi.

Could someone here tell me what color

airborne / recce jeep in Arnhem, had on their unit sign?

All written info I have read says that it is green over blue, but most reenakting jeeps is marked yellow slant on green?

 

Frank

ParaJeep.jpg

images.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi.

Could someone here tell me what color

airborne / recce jeep in Arnhem, had on their unit sign?

All written info I have read says that it is green over blue, but most reenakting jeeps is marked yellow slant on green?

 

Frank

 

Hi Frank,

Green over Blue ARE wartime Reconnaissance colours. and as such are right for the period you wish to depict with your jeep; (as 1st Airborne Div, it would be 1st Airborne Armoured Recce Regt.)

 

No idea of what the Yellow/Green marking,........except maybe's post war one being used in error ?? ( only mentioning in passing as there are a few vehicles marked up as RASC ww2 but carrying post war colours.)

 

All the best,

 

Andy.

 

( in Radeks post, pic 4 and 5, the step seems to be still in place, behind wheelarch, from what I'm led to believe, whis was normally removed,.........also, whats mounted to front grill on pic 4 ??)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looks like a lamp of some sort

Or a spare tyre mount?

 

Was thinking same, fron angle of pic, looks to be offset too much for spare wheel mount,..........and a funny place for a light, :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron was the smallest of the Recce units. A normal Recce unit attached to an infantry division would be of regiment size, 4 squadrons consisting of 4 troops each, operating armoured cars and universal carriers. 1st Airborne Recce was just 1 squadron consisting of 4 front line troops, 1 HQ troop and 1 support. Each of the front line troops had a HQ section and 3 sections each of 10 men and 2 jeeps instead of the armour used by the other Recce regiments.

What was to become 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron was formed in January of 1941 from 31st Independent Brigade Anti-Tank Company and was renamed 31st Independent Reconnaissance Company. With the personnel trained for glider operations the unit was renamed 1st Airlanding Reconnaissance Squadron under the command of Major T. B. H. Otway. Otway was succeeded by Major C. F. H. Gough who was instrumental in building up the squadron, selecting only the finest men who displayed great initiative and imagination.

On return from Italy in late 1943 the squadron completed training as parachute troops and was finally renamed 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron. The squadron was now capable of deploying by a mix of gliders and parachutes. It was around this time that the jeeps of the squadron were equipped with the distinctive Vickers 'K' machine-gun.

 

 

6th Airbourne Armoured Recce Rgt

By R Mark Davies and Andy Parkes

In early July 1941 ‘C’ Special Service Squadron Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) was formed with 60 men, mostly volunteers from 5th Lancers and 10th Hussars, and six

Tetrarchs at Ogbourne St George. In October 1941 the unit was transferred to Freetown in West Africa in case Spain entered the war.

In March 1942 they went to Madagascar and took part in the allied landings there. Only half the squadron went, consisting of four troops each of one Valentine and two Tetrarchs (under the command of ‘B’ Special Service Squadron). They suffered heavy casualties and lost nearly all the tanks. Their 2iC Captain Peter Llewellyn-Palmer was recommended for a Victoria Cross, but was later awarded, posthumously, the

Military Cross.

Even before that operation was finished, the HQ of the squadron was already being formed in the UK as the Airborne Light Tank Squadron. The squadron was to utilise the new Hamilcar glider that had been specifically designed to carry the Tetrarch. When 1st Airborne Division left for North Africa they stayed behind in the United Kingdom.

In early 1944, the Squadron was expanded to a full regiment

6th Airborne Armoured Recce Regiment RAC (6 AARR)

under command of Lt Colonel Godfrey R Stuart – and was attached to General Richard Gale’s 6th Airborne Division. The light tanks now designated ‘A’ Squadron of this new

regiment, while ‘B’ Squadron was formed as a ‘light recce’ squadron of carriers and jeeps. There was also a support squadron of mortars, machine-guns and motorcyclists. It was with roughly this organization that the regiment was to go to war in Normandy.

The organisation was as follows:

Regimental Headquarters (Two Light Tanks) Headquarter Squadron in which are included the parachute harbour party (one officer and nine OR’s), intercommunication troop (one sergeant, one provost corporal, seven motorcyclists and two M/C mechanics) plus a landing head party and an administration troop.

Light Tank Squadron (A) consisting of headquarters (three light tanks) and five troops (each with three light tanks). Reconnaissance Squadron (B) consisting of a headquarters (one car 5cwt, one carrier universal with two LMGs

and a 2” mortar and three motorcyclists), four troops (each of one car 5 cwt, one carrier universal with two LMGs and a 2” mortar) and five motorcyclists. Support Squadron © consisting of a headquarters (two cars 5 cwt and five motorcyclists) one support troop

(two carriers universal each with a 3” mortar) and one assault troop (one carrier universal with two LMGs and one 2” mortar) and twenty motorcyclists.

••

This above organisation was slightly altered for the actual operation with an addition of two machine gun troops (each with four Vickers carried in Jeeps and trailers). This information comes from a line in the war diary that states “1800 - B Squadron and 4 Medium Machine-Guns, HQ Squadron together with Regimental Headquarters Tanks moved in support 8 Para Battalion in counter attack role at Le Bas de Ranville 105735.

A Squadron and Assault Troop and 4 Medium Machine-Guns remained at Le Mesnil”.

During D-Day twenty Hamilcars flew in carrying eighteen to twenty Tetrarch light tanks of ‘A’ Squadron (including 3-5 tanks armed with 3-inch howitzers). A further three

Hamilcars flew in with six Recce Carriers of ‘B’ Squadron, another flew in with two 3” Mortars Carriers and another arrived with the Slave Battery Carrier and a Jeep.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest jcpdw
Hi.

Could someone here tell me what color

airborne / recce jeep in Arnhem, had on their unit sign?

All written info I have read says that it is green over blue, but most reenakting jeeps is marked yellow slant on green?

 

Frank

 

frank maybe I can tell you how I see this.

the recce troops had a different shoulder tab color and in 1943 the WD office ordered it to be green with yellow letters. I don't now what the color was before 1943. some soldiers had a square flase on there helmets in the colors green over yellow. (see picture). this is a picture I think many reenacthing guy's have seen and thay think this was on the vehicles as well, wrong !!

as you see old black and white pictures you only see the white number on a dark background.(see pic). so if you putt white numbers on a green / yellow background you would not see the part of the number that is on the yellow background, when you take a black and white picture would you.

so I think they only chainced the uniform shoulder tabs and not the signs on the vehicles, this was green over blue with white numbers on them.

I hope this makes a difference.

cheers jaap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am new to this forum. I am from Malaysia. I have request, wonder if it is alright for you all? Do any of you have any image of the airborne jeep use by the airborne unit with Lt Col Paul Crook in Suez 56. This jeep is a post WW2 airborne jeep with modification or as some claim was used jeep in Cyprus or Malta modified by airborne for Suez 56 operation. Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. Would I be right in thinking that in the top picture, the jeep is not a Recce corps vehicle. The 110 on the bumper would indicate that the vehicle belongs to an Airlanding battalion. In 1st Airborne Div, 110 was 2nd South Staffordshires.

 

Dave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This pic might help with your Jeep project...these are actually Dragon Models 1/6th 'Willy's' Jeeps that are kit-form. The kit-form model allowed me to make the necessary modifications and turn them into a jeep section of the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron...took me several weeks to make overall.

Jeeps complete pair clear.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you sure that the airborne jeeps used suport bar for the vickers K GO mg? :???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Radek...

 

If you're refering to the VGO gun mounts on the model jeeps...yes, the Recce Sqn, in particular, used Vickers-K guns mounted on cut-down armoured vehicle PLM mounts. If you look closely at the period pics of the Recce jeeps used at Arnhem (which formed the basis of my research for the 1/6th model recce jeeps) as well as refer to a website that covers Vickers guns (of all types) then the PLM mounts are evident.

 

Originally, The Squadron's OC - Maj 'Freddie' Gough - requested twin mounted VGO's in order to beef up the firepower of his jeeps due to the coup-de-main assault on Arnhem road bridge that his Squadron was tasked to carry out as part of the overall flawed 'MARKET GARDEN' plan (based on the excellent results of such pairs by the SAS desert raiders). However his request was turned down largely because of resupply ammunition requirements. Hence, most of his jeeps were only fitted with the single gun.

 

I can't find too much on the PLM mount itself. Another VGO item was the spare magazine containers...whilst the SAS jeeps had their spare drums contained in wooden ammo boxes nestled between the seats of their jeeps, research suggests that many of the recce jeep crews utilised large biscuit tins and these were positioned in the passenger foot wells (inbetween the legs of the machine gunner) for ease of changing out the magazines. Some pics also show the magazines fitted in brackets onto the outside and on the upper dashboard.

 

I have many books on the Battle of Arnhem, and I scoured every website and jeep book I could find in order to try and get the jeeps accurate (John Fairley's 'Remember Arnhem' was a favourite for research as was Rob van Meel's 'British airborne jeeps 1942-45 - Modifications and Markings). I'm always up for changing out the many modifications made to the jeeps if new research indicates that my results are incorrect.

 

As such, whilst many of the mods were fun to make...others were purely frustrating based on insufficient or ambiguous information...however, I believe I've done the Recce Sqn justice....not to say that I won't appreciate any feedback if there are indeed things that I've missed...however, every single mod that I could find is on the jeep (right down to the white painted rear dif plate and switch on the rear of the jeep to turn the axle flood light on)

Comms jeep complete passenger side clear.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a view of the rear of the communications jeep as used by the Recce Squadron which highlights the rear of the jeep. The wireless is a No.19 (most jeeps were fitted with the No.22). The wooden lead-acid battery cases and their frame carriers were scratch-build...so was the PLM VGO mount and spare magazine tin. I even put in a detachable steering wheel clamp amongst the many mods...suffice to say...every mod I looked at often led me to another mod...I have place 1/6th British airborne figures in the jeeps since these pics were taken...enjoy...hope they help with your research.

 

Steve

Comms jeep complete rear oblique clear.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing missing mate , are the oil leaks underneath .(when mine stops leaking , i know it needs oil):nut: Cracking models!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question : would the normal procedure in WW2 on the empty MG magazines been to tose them out of the Jeep or throw them in the back ?

 

So many details, I could spend quite a bit of time just looking at each of the items you have included and still find more . Well Done !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers 'Willyslancs' for the comments...whilst I tried to apply every detail I could find...I could not replicate oil leaks from the sumps.

 

As for 'abn deuce' question...Vickers K guns were not normal issue to British forces at that time of the war (as the BREN was the standard issue LMG) and even more so by the Recce Squadron as they were the only troops in the division to use such machine guns. Hence - I'd imagine the purpose built drum magazines used would not be a common sight at the resupply dumps so I reckon the jeep's crews would keep hold of any empty magazines for refilling later.

 

Attached pic is the reasoning behind the making of the jeeps...originally made to be part of a 1/6th British airborne diorama...I later decided to put the jeeps on display by themselves. Yes, I know...the backdrop of books (on Arnhem) and some other dude's display of a 1/6th U.S. Civil War cannon and crew somewhat take away the realism.

 

Steve

Window display Battlebridge ground view.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Radek...

 

If you're refering to the VGO gun mounts on the model jeeps...yes, the Recce Sqn, in particular, used Vickers-K guns mounted on cut-down armoured vehicle PLM mounts. If you look closely at the period pics of the Recce jeeps used at Arnhem (which formed the basis of my research for the 1/6th model recce jeeps) as well as refer to a website that covers Vickers guns (of all types) then the PLM mounts are evident.

 

Originally, The Squadron's OC - Maj 'Freddie' Gough - requested twin mounted VGO's in order to beef up the firepower of his jeeps due to the coup-de-main assault on Arnhem road bridge that his Squadron was tasked to carry out as part of the overall flawed 'MARKET GARDEN' plan (based on the excellent results of such pairs by the SAS desert raiders). However his request was turned down largely because of resupply ammunition requirements. Hence, most of his jeeps were only fitted with the single gun.

 

I can't find too much on the PLM mount itself. Another VGO item was the spare magazine containers...whilst the SAS jeeps had their spare drums contained in wooden ammo boxes nestled between the seats of their jeeps, research suggests that many of the recce jeep crews utilised large biscuit tins and these were positioned in the passenger foot wells (inbetween the legs of the machine gunner) for ease of changing out the magazines. Some pics also show the magazines fitted in brackets onto the outside and on the upper dashboard.

 

I have many books on the Battle of Arnhem, and I scoured every website and jeep book I could find in order to try and get the jeeps accurate (John Fairley's 'Remember Arnhem' was a favourite for research as was Rob van Meel's 'British airborne jeeps 1942-45 - Modifications and Markings). I'm always up for changing out the many modifications made to the jeeps if new research indicates that my results are incorrect.

)

Here is some pics of the position of the gun mounts on the SAS Jeep I used to own, the mounting went down through the glove box and attached to the toe board

SAS 040.jpg

SAS 031.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for the pics Nick...originally I had planned to go for the single gun mounts as per those fitted to the SAS' desert raiders...it was not until I was doing research on the VGO guns themselves that I stumbled upon a bizarre looking mount called the P.L.M which was often used by British armoured vehicles...several of the period pictures of recce jeeps at Arnhem clearly show these mounts and there is a classic photo of a shot-up recce jeep that was taken on the Ede-Arnhem road several months after 'MARKET GARDEN' by a AFPU photographer during the Canadian liberation of Arnhem which shows the P.L.M mount (I'll have to scan and attach later) with the VGO still, surprisingly, fitted as well as several pics from the Arnhem battle showing recce jeeps with these mounts (the double volume 'Then & Now' series on 'MARKET GARDEN' carries said pics which was where I first got a good (though grainy) look at them.

As stated, I can't find too much at all on these mounts other than photographic evidence. I've been thru loads of books but non explain why this perculiar mount was used in-place of the standard single fitting. I had to scratch-build them for the model jeeps out of plastic piping and thin plastic sheeting...probably the most frustrating mods required.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was the other mod that 1st A/B recce used. Not my jeep or pics, they are from the web. Shows a bren gun adapter with bren gun instead of a Vickers K.

 

 

 

 

Picture of my repro PLM mount for my recce jeep with Bren adapter.

 

 

Picture of a real PLM mount on my Humber.

 

 

Complete PLM mount with a single Vickers GO, which they modified for Recce jeeps.

 

jeep92.jpg

jeep93.jpg

jeep91.jpg

102_4838.jpg

plm mount.jpg

humberscout1abovyMcNeilly22.jpg

humberscout1abovyMcNeilly24.jpg

humberscout1abovyMcNeilly23.jpg

Edited by lssah2025

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for the additional pics lssah2025, probably the first time I've seen such pics of such mounts (some very perculiar ones amongst them)...as stated in an earlier reply thread...the PLM mounts that I made came from whatever research (pics) I could find...though I may have to add a few more nut/bolt bits to the vertical support brackets judging by some of your pics.

I've taken a break from the 1/6th models for the time being...I've got an all-metal German SdKfz 222 recon car that I was planning on doing this year but will now have to be next year due to posting cycle (such is Army life). I've just recently finished a Dragon models 1/6th SAS jeep...other than that, I'm spent for the time-being, any other pics or suggestions to the Brit airborne jeep models would be most welcome as I reckon there's always room for detail improvement (though hopefully not too many).

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...