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LarryH57

RAF Airfield Follow Me Vehicles in WW2 ?

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We also need to remember that the controller was supposed to have a vehicle to hand so that he could run around the airfield to examine the landing area, investigate things and generally make himself look more important to the poor erks busy working!

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6 hours ago, ted angus said:

  Anyway here is a shot from St Mawgan which appears on the Control Tower website.

 

 

Looks like a Humber Snipe Utility

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On 12/1/2018 at 4:31 PM, ted angus said:

A Standard Tilly of Coastal Command 

 

Clipboard0gggggggggg1.jpg

If ever a example is needed how basic history can be lost after 75 years , then this topic is proof.  I can't comment more - can any more be gleaned from this Tilly photograph , location date , wing markings   ?      Again it may be just highway control , no follow me on the rear.   I do know public highways were used for access to / from  aircraft dispersal sites ,  so would expect the full role..  If it was not 'follow me'  , then this is another uncertain role.  BUMP.

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I get the impression from the photo that the bonnet the young Waaf is sat on is Yellow and possibly the front (if not all) of the canvas tilt is yellow.

I can only ASSUME that ONE vehicle carried out the role of 'Follow Me' (FM) and traffic control but I am aware that there were barriers along the A16 at Grimsby (in what form can not longer be determined), and I have no doubt even the humble 'Erk' could have indicated that the road was going to be closed to on-coming traffic and then dragged/placed a barrier of sorts across the road.  I would also presume you would STOP the traffic in both directions so more than just one man needed and the fact that the STOP sign is visible from the front indicated to ME, that it faced on-coming aircraft and not traffic ? Seemingly both the RAF and USAAF had the F-M vehicle to guide diverted aircraft around airfield sites but I have never heard mention of 'traffic Control ' but perhaps that role was included by the Flying Control Section ??

Would that be 3 or 4 vehicle now with photographic evidence to support the role of FM??

Edited by Bowser1107

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6 hours ago, Bowser1107 said:

I get the impression from the photo that the bonnet the young Waaf is sat on is Yellow and possibly the front (if not all) of the canvas tilt is yellow.

I can only ASSUME that ONE vehicle carried out the role of 'Follow Me' (FM) and traffic control but I am aware that there were barriers along the A16 at Grimsby (in what form can not longer be determined), and I have no doubt even the humble 'Erk' could have indicated that the road was going to be closed to on-coming traffic and then dragged/placed a barrier of sorts across the road.  I would also presume you would STOP the traffic in both directions so more than just one man needed and the fact that the STOP sign is visible from the front indicated to ME, that it faced on-coming aircraft and not traffic ? Seemingly both the RAF and USAAF had the F-M vehicle to guide diverted aircraft around airfield sites but I have never heard mention of 'traffic Control ' but perhaps that role was included by the Flying Control Section ??

Would that be 3 or 4 vehicle now with photographic evidence to support the role of FM??

As yet I see no photographic evidence only a photo or two of post-war vehicle of war time vintage serving as control vehicles with STOP across the front nothing to show the rear other than by recollection. With the pamphlets and official documents amassed by member of the forum and public records books and film no definitive text or photo has emerged. It’s interesting to watch film of RAF single seat aircraft operating in NW-Europe Italy and Yugoslavia often carrying a member of the ground crew on the wing gesturing to the driver which direction the aircraft should go. Film of multy engine aircraft appears to show they got around unaided. The first recollection I have of a follow me board on a vehicle was at Wethersfield open day in the fifties and the vehicle used a 6 x 6 GS with a crude hand painted board tied on with rope. Its personal choice something official or recollections

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23 hours ago, Bowser1107 said:

I get the impression from the photo that the bonnet the young Waaf is sat on is Yellow and possibly the front (if not all) of the canvas tilt is yellow.

I can only ASSUME that ONE vehicle carried out the role of 'Follow Me' (FM) and traffic control but I am aware that there were barriers along the A16 at Grimsby (in what form can not longer be determined), and I have no doubt even the humble 'Erk' could have indicated that the road was going to be closed to on-coming traffic and then dragged/placed a barrier of sorts across the road.  I would also presume you would STOP the traffic in both directions so more than just one man needed and the fact that the STOP sign is visible from the front indicated to ME, that it faced on-coming aircraft and not traffic ? Seemingly both the RAF and USAAF had the F-M vehicle to guide diverted aircraft around airfield sites but I have never heard mention of 'traffic Control ' but perhaps that role was included by the Flying Control Section ??

Would that be 3 or 4 vehicle now with photographic evidence to support the role of FM??

Yep looks yellow tops and its WW2 - see headlight mask.   Stop follow me is a flying control (ATC ) task;  road control could be a duty undertaken by a range of personnel, eg ground gunners,  they were partly mobile, service police, special constab  etc etc.

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On 12/9/2018 at 1:18 AM, ruxy said:

If ever a example is needed how basic history can be lost after 75 years , then this topic is proof.  I can't comment more - can any more be gleaned from this Tilly photograph , location date , wing markings   ?      Again it may be just highway control , no follow me on the rear.   I do know public highways were used for access to / from  aircraft dispersal sites ,  so would expect the full role..  If it was not 'follow me'  , then this is another uncertain role.  BUMP.

Single masked headlight so def WW2 era, C/18 coastal command 18 group,  yellow tops indicates aerodrome duties  TED

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On 12/9/2018 at 1:18 AM, ruxy said:

If ever a example is needed how basic history can be lost after 75 years , then this topic is proof.  I can't comment more - can any more be gleaned from this Tilly photograph , location date , wing markings   ?      Again it may be just highway control , no follow me on the rear.   I do know public highways were used for access to / from  aircraft dispersal sites ,  so would expect the full role..  If it was not 'follow me'  , then this is another uncertain role.  BUMP.

As Ted said, coastal command 18 group, but nothing to definitively locate, or date it. I hate to disagree with Ted, but having seen a fair few photographs that have been recorded as being taken in the few years that follow the war where the vehicle in question still carries the blackout covers because it never went out on the open road and presumably nobody could be bothered to remove them.

On 12/9/2018 at 9:31 AM, Bowser1107 said:

I get the impression from the photo that the bonnet the young Waaf is sat on is Yellow and possibly the front (if not all) of the canvas tilt is yellow.

I can only ASSUME that ONE vehicle carried out the role of 'Follow Me' (FM) and traffic control but I am aware that there were barriers along the A16 at Grimsby (in what form can not longer be determined), and I have no doubt even the humble 'Erk' could have indicated that the road was going to be closed to on-coming traffic and then dragged/placed a barrier of sorts across the road.  I would also presume you would STOP the traffic in both directions so more than just one man needed and the fact that the STOP sign is visible from the front indicated to ME, that it faced on-coming aircraft and not traffic ? Seemingly both the RAF and USAAF had the F-M vehicle to guide diverted aircraft around airfield sites but I have never heard mention of 'traffic Control ' but perhaps that role was included by the Flying Control Section ??

Would that be 3 or 4 vehicle now with photographic evidence to support the role of FM??

As Baz said, we've had photograph of the front of vehicles with STOP signs that could be used for any number of reasons, but no wartime images of follow me vehicles.

It is likely that they could be used by the marshal, waiting on the taxiway to let the aircraft know when they can proceed onto the runway, or once they've landed so that they can be told which dispersal to go to. 

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Yes possibly mask not removed in a timely manner, but for me BOWSER1107's post on 28 oct  is enough for me to be content that these were follow me vehicles to aid safe movement on the aerodrome, just as we did in the early 1950s. Ted

stop  follow me.jpg

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Yes - I would agree the Tilley bonnet & hood roof canvas are it seems a different colour , as the WAAF uniform is not middle-east / warm climate , then I assume this paint can't be sand colour therefor most probably yellow.

Looking with my x5 glass , above the drivers position the tilt toof canvas , the paint seems to be flaking off - again - I would expect that if the dressing has not washed off and the duck weathered.

The  S1  Land Rover photograph is very interesting and good that  49AA79 can be dated  (later my 1/4 ton book by Warehouse Publications should reveal) & for w.b.  - it seems not as shorty as a 80".

 

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I agree that's an interesting colour photo of a series one, (ted angus) have you any more, certainly hard to ignore it as it says on the door Apron Control vehicle  and like the follow me board attached to the rear no disputing its function.  I agree with ‘ruxy’ the distance from the rear wheel arch to the B-door post looks too great for an 80-in S/W/B so possibly a 107-in ? One point regarding follow me vehicles apart from as yet no photo evidence of RAF use in WW2, how many would be required to receive the average inbound aircraft from a raid or fighter sweep would for example aircraft be required to orbit until a follow me became available or land on as soon as the runway was cleared and land then clear the runway possibly follow the taxiway as per instructions until an airman guided them into a dispersal and shutdown. Personally I think if a follow me vehicle was deemed to be of use by the station commander then a vehicle would likely as not be configured for such a use after all who would take issue with him in regulations or not. The reference in the book to a vehicle so configured relates only to one Airfield and not a group or command and not an Air-Min publication

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SWB series 1 Landrovers were only 80"wb until 1954. They then went to 86" wb which resulted in the rear edge of the cab doors to be vertical instead of sloping and the load area became 6" longer inside. In 1956 another 2" was added to make room for the diesel engine so the front axle and front cross member were moved forward. The resulting 88" wb was carried on into the series 2.

I think the one in the photo is an 86" so built 1954 to 56.

David

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RAF vehicle numbers 48 AA 85 to 50 AA 07 are listed as LAND ROVER 1 86 GP vehicle

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