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Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 17:20
by Ben
Thanks for kindly sharing the Musette Bag with us. These are certainly additional POM markings which can be added to our database. I have managed to secure the First Army Build-Up Table which lists the numerous codes and their respective units. Hopefully I will receive it shortly and can then complete our database.
Thank you once again for sharing this goodie.
Ben :D

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 16:59
by johan willaert
I spotted this Jeep at the 2009 edition of Tanks in Town in Belgium on August 31st, 2009
Don't know if the colors match or if the number's correct for F Company / 16th Inf Regt, but it says 43131
These markings also show the tactical markings of the 16th Inf Regt, described earlier...


Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 23:28
by Ben
Thanks Johan, hopefully I will be able to confirm this as soon as I receive the Build-Up Tables from the National Archives...

Ben :D

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 22:58
by Ben
Hi all,

Sorry that I have not posted on this topic in a while. I have been trying to obtain a copy of the First US Army Priority Build-Up Table List A which contains the numerous Unit Serial Numbers and their respective units. Unfortunately it seems that locating this document is proving extremely difficult indeed. I received a letter from the senior archivist at the National Archives last week indicating that despite the efforts of three archivists, they have been unable to locate the Table itself, only the Amendments to it (which have been discussed elsewhere on this thread).

However, with the help of Lois M, we have been able to identify the following Unit Serial Numbers and respective units, which is taken from Appendix No. 5, Specimen Force Loading Forecast, representing Marshalling Area "C" (Southampton) as of 22 June 1944:

32430 - HQ / HQ Det. 76th Ordnance Batallion
32231 - HQ / HQ Det. 76th Ordnance Batallion (including Medical Detachment)
33960 - 661st Quartermaster Truck Company
33314 - 3682d Quartermaster Truck Company
32367 - HQ / HQ Det. 103d Quartermaster Battalion
31460 - HQ / HQ Det. 467th Quartermaster Group
30547 - Detachment 17 Base Post Office
32070 - 3520th Ordnance MAM Company
32053 - 3870th Quartermaster Truck Company (10 T Semi-Tlr)
32054 - 3871st Quartermaster Truck Company (2 1/2-ton COE)
32178 - HQ / HQ Det. 180th Quartermaster Battalion
49523 - Det. A HQ / HQ Det. FECZ 1st
49523 - Det. HQ Co FECZ
30758 - Det. A 9th General Hospital
31466 - Det. A 3626th Quartermaster Truck Company
30758 - Det. A 6809th Quartnermaster Car Company (FECZ) (Prov.)
30970 - HQ / HQ Co. 12 Major Port (with Fire & Util. Det.)
50322 - 70th Service Group (HQ / HQ Squadron - L/Det)
50750 - 1087 Signal Company Service Group (HQ & Operation Platoon)
51496 - 39 Mobile Rest & Recouperation Squadron HQ
50734 - 1054th Quartermaster Company Service Group (less Det. A)
50324 - 380th Service Squadron
50751 - 1087th Signal Company Service Group (less Det. A)
50496 - 39 Mobile Rest & Recouperation Squadron (4 Units)
50662 - 808 Chemical Company AO (less Det. A)
50888 - 1767th Ordnance S&M Company
51887 - 2196th Quartermaster Truck Company (less Det. A)
50494 - HQ 323d Bomb Group (M) Advanced Echelon
50495 - 453d Bomb Squadron Advanced Echelon
50496 - 454th Bomb Squadron Advanced Echelon
50497 - 455th Bomb Squadron Advanced Echelon
50498 - 456th Bomb Squadron Advanced Echelon
50143 - 19th Station Company Squadron (Det. B)
50739 - 1060th Military Police Company (less Det. A)
51800 - 2037th Engineer F&F Platoon
50159 - 21st Nea. Squadron (Mobile) (Det. Z)
50224 - 40th Mobile Communications Squadron (Det. Z)
52428 - 200th Medical Dispensary (Advanced Section)

I'll be adding these to the database in due course, but thought that I would post them here for reference. Both Lois and I are currently looking into contacting numerous other research institutes in order to try and obtain a copy of the Build-Up Table, but in the meantime I fear we're going to have to continue adding those POM markings that we know about as we come across them. Please continue to keep us informed of any Unit Serial Numbers that you come across.

Ben :)

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 20:29
by Alain
Hi All,
I went through some of my old "Army Motors" series (being an MVPA member) and discovered part of an article written by a Major Stephen C. McGeorge, US Army, who briefly discusses the use of 'special' markings on baggage, equipment, and vehicles during the period 1942-45 (unfortunately the article is not complete).
He refers to "Headquarters European Theater of Operations, SOP # 3", entitled "Movements", containing 2 volumes entitled "POM, Short Sea Voyage", and "POM, Long Sea Voyage". Ref. Section VI, dated July 43, (i.e. Long Sea Voyage, SOP). Para 89.a. "Markings of Vehicles" states: Each vehicle which is to accompany a unit on an overseas move will have painted on the right front bumper the unit serial number and color stripes as provided for in paras 81, 82 and 86.
Para 81 designates the color codes (see Ben's previous message): Three color stripes will be stenciled horizontally and will approximate 1 inch by 4 inches in size and in colors allotted numbers as follows (see color codes).
Para 82.a. "Color Scheme" states: The color representing the last figure of the unit serial number is used for the middle stripe. The color representing the next to the last figure in the unit serial number will be used for the top and bottom stripes.
Para 86 "Placement of Unit Serial Number" states: The unit serial number will be placed above the three stripes (allocated to all units, after arrival in the UK).
Para 53 "Distinguishing Marks - Vehicles" states: No unit titles, divisions, corps or other official formation insignia will appear on vehicles, but each vehicle will have the unit serial number and color stripes painted on the right front fender. Stars painted for identification of Allied Forces will not be removed.
The author also states that both the 1st Inf Div + 29th Inf Div not only used unit serial numbers and color stripes BUT also markings as specified in AR 850-5 (i.e. full unit markings). He continues by proving (poor b/w photos) that the system of unit serial numbers and color stripes was used as early as Sicily, and Italy, before it was applied for the D-Day landings...

Although incomplete, the above may shed a little extra light on the subject ...
Alain :idea:

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 23:55
by johan willaert
Alain wrote:The author also states that both the 1st Inf Div + 29th Inf Div not only used unit serial numbers and color stripes BUT also markings as specified in AR 850-5 (i.e. full unit markings).

Well, period pictures of 1ID vehicles in Normandy confirm this, but the ones showing vehicles from the 29ID proof him wrong...
In fact it seems that the only 29th vehicle bearing both AR markings AND the color bars was VIXEN TOR, the Jeep of Gen Gerhardt, Divisional CO...
For the rest the 29th followed AR stating to remove the first and second group of marking in Operations.
These groups were replaced by the Division's own Tactical Markings...

Come to think of it, vehicles from the 1IS bore three sets of markings: AR850, Divisional TacSigns AND Color Bars...


Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 21:24
by Bob M

Any clou about this one? Marked with 42070.


Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 14:48
by Alain
Hi All,
While cleaning and sorting through some old files, I discovered a small list of data containing a number of "bar" code figures with corresponding units. Unfortunately, there's no indication of any source, except for the date that I wrote on subject file, i.e. May 2002.

Here they come:

40724 - 35th Infantry Division
43028 - 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment / 101st Airborne Division
43236 - 28th Infantry Division
43463 - Headquarters / 28th Infantry Division
43833 - 5th Engineer Special Brigade
46371 - 55th Armored Infantry Battalion / 11th Armored Division
47871 - 44th Engineer Combat Battalion
49604 - 3042d Quartermaster Graves Registration Company / 3d United States Army
49678 - 16th Field Artillery Observation Battalion

Merry Christmas
All the best,
Alain S. Batens :wink:

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 22:02
by Ben
Thank you for kindly consulting your files and sharing these additional codes with us. I will begin the process of updating our Database with these codes.
Best wishes,
Ben ;)

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 20:30
Ben, in your new unit history of the 24th Evacuation Hospital, the 4th picture down shows a field laboratory set up in a tent. On the bottom right is a crate marked with numbers, and the top one--49632--looks a lot like the POMS "unit serial number" series. Think that's what it is?

The picture is not actually the 24th, though, is it?


Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 22:33
by Alain
Hi Lois,
Just for the record, the picture you refer to was published in a Belgian "Patriote Illustré" Magazine published in 1945 or 1946 (after my country was liberated) and relates to a series of pictures illustrating different branches of the US Army, such as the Medical Department, Antiaircraft units, Transportation Corps, etc.
Some of the pictures have captions, some have not ... the ones with captions included the 24th Evac, the 42d Fld, and the 13th Fld, some covered Staging Areas in S. France, in Antwerp, Airfield Holding Units, and various Military Bases as well. As you will understand it is almost impossible to verify whether everything that is printed is correct.

You will have noticed that some of our Unit Histories are incomplete as well, and although regulations existed governing the annual reporting of units in the field, it doesn't mean that everybody followed the rules. Some of the Unit Histories that we purchase from NARA, or that are received from Vets or their next-of-kin, sometimes lack specific parts too ...

On the other hand, it is also true that many war publications were censored and thus lack specific captions to photographs, or just have very general descriptions or legends ...

Should you be able to help, or correct anything, we'll always be ready to amend.
Alain :wink:

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 23:17
Hi Alain.

I only mentioned the origin of that particular picture, to indicate that if the numbers on the wooden crate are indeed
a POMS "unit serial number", they might not be the POMS serial number of the 24th EH. I didn't mean to question the labeling or inclusion or anything like that.

I know, alas, how difficult it is to identify pictures. One thing that helped me sort and identify some, were the numbers that developers printed on the backs of pictures, in the 1940's. All of the photos in a single roll, professionally developed, were stamped with the same number.

A fair number of original pictures at NARA which were taken by the signal corps, have good descriptions printed on the back, identifying locations, units, and often the names and home towns of the military personnel in them. A lot of that printing has faded, though.


Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 00:20
by Ben
Thanks Lois,
I must admit that when I saw the markings on the crate I did wonder whether or not they were the 5 digit POM codes. However, it's difficult to say for certain because usually, as you know, they should be accompanied by the 3 coloured bars.
I'm still trying to locate the Priority Build-Up Tables so that we can compile a more comprehensive list, but unfortunately they're proving rather difficult to locate. I tried the First Infantry Division Association Archives, but unfortunately they don't have the record either.
I will try and send a mail to the Big Red One Assault Museum in Normandy, France. I know the owner has done a great deal of research into the 1st Division in Normandy, with particular emphasis on the build-up, so perhaps he might be able to help some way.

Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:49
by Florence
Hello all,
any info which colors are used by the 34th Infantry Division in Italy and Tunisia?
Found this pics on the web and would be very interested in the colors they used:




Re: [REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 20:00
by Ben
Unfortunately, it's not possible for us to identify the colours of Unit Serial Numbers issued in the MTO. These markings seem to have adopted a different colour scheme than the later one used for the invasion of Normandy. In addition to the colour differences, it also appears that these earlier markings used a combination of digits and alphabetical characters, whereas the later markings used only a series of digits.
I'm hoping to obtain some documents which might shed light on this subject in the not so distant future. I'll be sure to keep you posted.
Kind regards,
Ben ;)