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WW2 RAF vehicle markings.


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I think you might find that 'Type 123A' Humbers may have had something to do with Bletchley Park and 'Enigma'.

 

MI6 kept control of the 'Enigma' intelligence traffic, even to the point of attaching operators to military commands. As a general rule, only army group commanders (and RAF Command, well, commanders) had access to the full picture... Lower down had increasingly more limited access.

 

The operators had their own vehicles, which were managed by the RAF- the operators also held RAF ranks, commensurate with their position.

 

From my detailed exploration of the garages at Bletchley Park, it appears the operators initially had Packard Station Wagons, but ended up with Humbers and Dodge WC53/4s (it was thought that an US vehicle would be less obvious in the US sector).

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As per this picture of a Commer Q2 tractor:    

Come on , The first cab 11 CMP`s where built in 1940 , Cab 12 in 1941, yours is not a prototype , so as Hanno said they where painted Khaki Green , next the C15 was the only one produced for the Briti

Came across this picture the other day: Bedford MWC serving with RCAF squadron which added the (unofficial) Maple Leaf roundel to their ground vehicles. This was eventually adopted as the official nat

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The Special Liason Units that were attched to the HQ's were the ones that decoded the Traffic from Bletchley. Humbers were used as Y service intercept vehicles, and by RAF Brixmis post war.

slu cd.jpg

Edited by Tony B
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When Bryan mentioned the Type 123a being for Y units only my olde brain didn't think of enigma - now that is a whole huge subject in its own right- I wonder if all the petty in fighting has stopped at Bletchley Park.

 

regards TED

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  • 2 years later...

Came across this picture the other day: Bedford MWC serving with RCAF squadron which added the (unofficial) Maple Leaf roundel to their ground vehicles. This was eventually adopted as the official national marking after WW2.

53071308_810698292600714_6204787030300295168_n.jpg

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Rupert, I'm not sure you're reading the trace of the marking correctly.

It should be the command letter (F for Fighter, B for Bomber etc.) followed by the number of the group. so F/11 would be 11 Group, Fighter Command. There are some exceptions where a different number is used if the unit does not belong to a group.

The AMO you posted applies only to "home" units, those in Africa or the Middle/Far East would be covered by the regulations laid down by their respective command.

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Hi RAFMT

It was just a shot in the dark as i knew about the F & B prefix,

just in case there were more symbols,

i have found that Canadian units used the unit serial number followed by /1

this does not add up as this came into force in 1943, which time the ambulance was in Australia., having travelled from i think the middle east or Singapore.(unlikely)

But it is a front wing after all.

regs

Rupert

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  • 7 months later...
On 5/20/2016 at 10:29 PM, ted angus said:

; So many people put the RAF on the doors, but they were done away with when the roundel was introduced; once camo came in the RAF ( which should be screwed on ali letters) was painted over.

As per this picture of a Commer Q2 tractor:

 

 

5E326471-6E40-47F4-AF97-5E8F0134A66B.jpeg

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hello friends we have a 1938 chevrolet c15a that has served as a radio car for the RAF.  we have given it the blue color because we want to imitate the early war.  what we don't know is which RAF number the vehicle should get and which command number.  we thought the command number was F / 11 because this is a radio car.  we would also like to know how large the roundel should be on the sides and back of the radio cabin and what the color codes are.  we would like to have had some help with this.  thank you in advance.

 

Jolien from belgiuml29zq8cnmfxtr.jpeg

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Hello Jolien, your truck is a C15A with Cab No.12. Although this is an early example, it was not built in 1938 but more likely in 1941. By that time the RAF no longer painted their vehicles blue. The CMP trucks like your C15A were delivered in Khaki Green #3, (ref. my web page http://www.mapleleafup.nl/cmpvehicles/paint.html), and if used by the RAF they would have used them in that colour, maybe adding camouflage paint.

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52 minutes ago, mcspool said:

Hello Jolien, your truck is a C15A with Cab No.12. Although this is an early example, it was not built in 1938 but more likely in 1941. By that time the RAF no longer painted their vehicles blue. The CMP trucks like your C15A were delivered in Khaki Green #3, (ref. my web page http://www.mapleleafup.nl/cmpvehicles/paint.html), and if used by the RAF they would have used them in that colour, maybe adding camouflage paint.

Our vehicle is clear from 1938 because these were the precursors of the cab 13 also because it was in the identification plate. At the sandblasting of our vehicle we came across the blue color. As follows, we have sent an email to the raf museum to be sure. They then confirmed to us that the predecessors of the cab13 were in blue. And this is on Wikipedia: The Ford and Chevrolet vehicles had a standard driver's cab. There were three versions with the designation: numbers 11, 12 and 13 respectively. The first two designs were largely identical, with the exception of the protection of the radiator. The cabin with number 13 was introduced in early 1941 and remained in use until the end of the war. Now this actually has nothing to do with our question. Unfortunately, the museum could not help us with those numbers.

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Come on , The first cab 11 CMP`s where built in 1940 , Cab 12 in 1941, yours is not a prototype , so as Hanno said they where painted Khaki Green , next the C15 was the only one produced for the British army , the C15A went to the Canadians themselves .

Cab 13 is anyway from 1942.

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1 hour ago, Maurice said:

Come on , The first cab 11 CMP`s where built in 1940 , Cab 12 in 1941, yours is not a prototype , so as Hanno said they where painted Khaki Green , next the C15 was the only one produced for the British army , the C15A went to the Canadians themselves .

Cab 13 is anyway from 1942.

dear maurice, can you prove to me that ours is 41. we have called, emailed with the raf museum and they have confirmed that ours has been in blue. but what does this have to do with our question, maurice? so you want the history books that we have, wikipedia and the raf museum to lie. what we want to know are the tags and the size no more.
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52 minutes ago, Jolien said:

dear maurice, can you prove to me that ours is 41. we have called, emailed with the raf museum and they have confirmed that ours has been in blue. but what does this have to do with our question, maurice? so you want the history books that we have, wikipedia and the raf museum to lie. what we want to know are the tags and the size no more.

You cannot rely on Wikipedia for accuracy or fact.

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18 minuten geleden zei Richard Farrant:

U kunt niet vertrouwen op Wikipedia voor nauwkeurigheid of feit.

Richard Farrant dat is waar. Maar met het zandstralen kwamen we de blauwe kleur tegen, om deze reden hebben we getwijfeld en naar het rafmuseum gebeld en gemaild. Nu maakt het niet uit. ons voertuig blijft blauw ongeacht wat hier wordt gezegd. we wilden gewoon de markeringen weten.

Edited by Jolien
Fout bij intypen
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Jee,  you are trying to change history , the body on your truck is anyway post war , and from a British trailer , your engine is out of a Bedford , so it had a civilian life , and you can`t be sure who slapped a blue color paint on in its past .

So a paper tells you it is from 38 , but the statistics tell us that this model truck was not produced before 1941.

Ok you can paint your vehicle in the color you want , but don`t ask then for correct RAF numbering , because it is going to be bogus at all .

 

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Jolien,

I'm not sure which of my colleagues at the RAF Museum supplied you that information, but I can assure you that they were incorrect, and possibly misunderstood what was being asked. 

Firstly the RAF had long stopped using blue-grey by the time the C15 was introduced into the RAF.

Secondly, even assuming it was blue-grey, the roundel on the front offside wasn't officially introduced until April 1941, around the time some commands were camouflaging their vehicles.

Thirdly, the command letter was introduced in August 1941 at the same time the RAF mandated all vehicles would be camouflaged. The group number that came after the command letter wasn't introduced until January 1942. 

Also, there would not have been roundels on the sides of the body, and the only roundel on the rear would be a small one on the nearside the same as that carried on the front offside wing.

 

If your example has evidence of RAF blue-grey paint on it, then this is likely from it's post-war service.

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  • 2 months later...

I have photos of RAF Mountain Rescue Humber Ambulances and instead of the B/11 type marking they have a M and number. Does this stand for Maintenance Unit or was there a Maritime Command before it was Coastal Command?

Perhaps it stands for Middle East Command? Some of these ambulance were in sand colour having returned from N Africa as MR was formed in 1943. One ambulance in sand has what looks like red and white stripes across  roof perhaps with a red cross on one of the white bands. . Was this a desert marking?  The sand colour was initially used in UK. perhaps until they got around to repainting but it must have  been some time judging form the amount of photos that exist. .

Also what to the numbers on the yellow discs signify/

Thanks guys

MR Troop

 

 

  

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