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USAAF use of British Armoured Cars


LarryH57
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Those with an interest in the USAAF in the UK in WW2, will no doubt be familiar with the reverse Lend Lease of Austin K2 ambulances and Crossley Crash Tenders that the USAAF used, etc. But I was unaware of the use by the USAAF of British Armoured Cars I think for airfield defence, as seen in these photos of a Morris Armoured Car used at Thorp Abbotts airfield, the home of the 100th BG.

I'm not familiar with the V serial on the front. Any clues as to it and the type / identity of the defence unit hat used these?

And why do MG ?

I don't believe these were armoured crash tenders

Morris Armoured Car (1.).jpg

Morris Armoured Car (2.).jpg

Morris Armoured Car (3.).jpg

Edited by LarryH57
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Moris Mk11 LRC manufactured up to 1945 for some strange reason.

 

Could possibly have been supplied to the americans for Airfield Defence.    Not aware of any Home Guard use.  Also used by the RAF Regiment which may explain the picture.

Edited by REME 245
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I'm assured they were USAAF personnel, and in at least two separate locations - plus unlikely to have been borrowed from the Home Guard for a 'jolly'. I guess a Home Guard A/C would have a proper serial used on A/Cs in British Army and not V520

BTW - I have just noticed the B-17s in the background in photo 1 & 2 with the D on the tail matching 100th BG.

Without an MG I guess they could have used it for a runabout - after all they had more petrol than we have now! Ha ha!

I thought this would be simple for those who know the USAAF!!!

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I don't believe that is a MkII LRC. They were 4x4. This one is 4x2 with five stud wheels intended for 9.25 - 16 tyres but with 9.00 - 16 American NDCC fitted. These won't easily fit onto normal eight stud British wheels but will onto the lighter ones intended for 9.25 - 16s.

David

After Adrian's correction lower down this thread, he is quite right, the LRC in the first post has got Firestone directional tread tyres ( I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote American NDCC) However I still think that they are 9.00-16 as 9.25-16 are much lower profile so from the side look much less chunky. See the photo of three LRCs with Dunlop TrakGrip 9.25-16 in the post below this.

Edited by David Herbert
Talking bollocks !
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19 minutes ago, David Herbert said:

I don't believe that is a MkII LRC. They were 4x4. This one is 4x2 with five stud wheels intended for 9.25 - 16 tyres but with 9.00 - 16 American NDCC fitted. These won't easily fit onto normal eight stud British wheels but will onto the lighter ones intended for 9.25 - 16s.

David

Looking again you appear to be correct so giving the americans vehicles which would not have been considered suitable for active service in NW Europe.

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18 hours ago, David Herbert said:

I don't believe that is a MkII LRC. They were 4x4. This one is 4x2 with five stud wheels intended for 9.25 - 16 tyres but with 9.00 - 16 American NDCC fitted. These won't easily fit onto normal eight stud British wheels but will onto the lighter ones intended for 9.25 - 16s.

David

The first pic if study it the front beam axle is just visible, it is 4x2

Edited by Nick Johns
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17 hours ago, David Herbert said:

I don't believe that is a MkII LRC. They were 4x4. This one is 4x2 with five stud wheels intended for 9.25 - 16 tyres but with 9.00 - 16 American NDCC fitted. These won't easily fit onto normal eight stud British wheels but will onto the lighter ones intended for 9.25 - 16s.

David

Those are Firestone Ground Grip 9.25-16 British or Canadian tyres. They are a directional tread.

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I think the evidence points to these Morris A/Cs being for USAAF station defence, of Thorpe Abbots,  as we now know the USAAF had them as per those Morris A/Cs  shown in Ted's photo, and despite the lack of US stars and armament in my photos.  They might have just been delivered and are being tried out by the Officers (who else gets first go).

Edited by LarryH57
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Morris Car Light Reconnaissance Mark I and Mk II were very capable vehicles used in there intended rolls of reconnaissance. Get in, look and depart without upsetting the opposition being quiet, low silhouette even the 4 x 2 Mk I. they were quiet when running with reasonable cross-country performance and lower silhouette compared to the Mk II. Bouncy over undulating ground used by forward air-controllers often with the turret removed. Never issued to the Home Guard and a white star on the side of a vehicle during WW-2 is not an indicator the vehicle is in use by American forces – it is an Allied Star. Used by the Army – RAF and apparently the US-AAF

Morris A-Car Mk 1 as was.jpg

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The star was only applied to UK based British army vehicles  as a D Day preparation.  Very few R.A.F. vehicles of  2TAF carried the star. The extra large roundel applied on all vertical and  horizontal surfaces was their air recognition symbol. Whereas.   USAAF and US army carried the star almost from their arrival in the UK.

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Baz48, Thanks for your reply. I have an idea that RE Field Sqns used Morris A/Cs

Also I must correct you on the use of stars on RAF vehicles, the 2TAF used the roundel and I don't think stars were used in Far East - but you knew this already so its a slip of the hand!

Edited by LarryH57
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On 9/29/2021 at 6:47 PM, LarryH57 said:

Baz48, Thanks for your reply. I have an idea that RE Field Sqns used Morris A/Cs

Also I must correct you on the use of stars on RAF vehicles, the 2TAF used the roundel and I don't think stars were used in Far East - but you knew this already so its a slip of the hand!

I did not specify any theatre of operation only the white star was used by the Allies and yes the 2nd Tactical Air Force did occasionally use the allied star on vehicles in preference to the Roundel - in the time I have been involved in restoration of vehicles and there marking I have become very careful of saying the word never or supposing I know more than the one I'm talking to as this can lead to gross embarrassment and humble pie time - thank you for the information on use of the A/C I like them

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Hi,

 

as an addition, the two officers are wearing the two different patterns of British Made European Theater of Operations (ETO) jackets, supplied under reverse Lease/Lend to US Troops.

This also means that the photo should not be before 1943 when these became available.

image.png.4fa7c14b9315d9be4e27c5510cac6655.png

image.thumb.png.4a1680e851a2b25c877929df5e0d9936.png 

Photos Sourced from AIOLFI

Best Regards,

Adrian

Edited by Le Prof
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On 9/27/2021 at 8:47 AM, LarryH57 said:

Thanks all!

And BTW Ted what MGs are fitted to the A/Cs in the photos you posted?

They are indeed .303” Mk2* Brownings, they must have been on good terms with a local RAF base to get .303” air service ammo in links (probably life ex on hours).

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Posted (edited)

Adrian, In view of your comment on the availability of those battle dress tops, I can tell you that the 100th BG didn't arrive until 9th June 1943, so that fits.

Incidentally I have never heard of such British made clothing and I am amazed they wore such tat! It does not fit with my wifes belief  that they all looked like Richard Gere in Yanks.

And Baz, apologies!

Edited by LarryH57
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