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[REF] Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings
Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 14:50
I have recently been trying to research Preparation for Overseas Movement Markings (or POM Markings), in order to identify the units to which some of the items in my collection were sent. These markings consisted of a 5 digit number, and three coloured bars representing the number. They were used to replace unit identification for the purposes of moving materiel overseas, and unfortunately not a great deal of information has been made available about their use during WW2.
What I do know is that the middle bar of the three coloured bars represents the final digit, while the top and bottom stripes represent the penultimate number of the shipping code. Numbers and colours correspond as follows:
1 > Buff
2 > Olive Drab
3 > Bright Yellow
4 > Bright Green
5 > Grey
6 > Dark Blue
7 > Maroon
8 > Bright Red
9 > White
0 > Dark Brown
There are a number of questions that I still have surrounding these markings however, and I wonder if anyone on this Forum might be able to assist. Firstly, to what level were the markings assigned (for example Divisional, Regimental or Company)? Also, does anyone know of a source which offers a list of the codes and their corresponding units?
Advanced thanks for any help on this topic,
Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 19:23
Jon Gawne has gone the extra mile to discover the list for the various units that were issued the 5 digit numbers for invasion purposes, but without result.
The list is either destroyed or buried somewhere in the Archives.
I think the colored bars go back to the Sicily invasion and were used mainly in the ETO.
For Normandy it seems all number started with a 4 with a lot of units having 43 as first two digits...
I believe numbers were assigned to Battalions and maybe even as low as Companies...
Here's an example on a makeshift Officer's mapcase from my collection. This one came from Normandy too.
Maybe someone should start a database where everyone that has numbered and color barred items that have been identified to a specific unit could be grouped...
Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 23:11
Thanks for your reply. I meanwhile note your comments about the endeavors of Jon G. It would seem that numerous people have attempted to research the topic in the past, but with little success. I did come across one source which indicated that the POM markings for Company E, 1st Infantry Division were 43366. As such, it would seem that perhaps the markings were indeed issued to Companies.
With regard to your comments about starting a database containing all of the shipping codes and colours from identified items in collections, this was in fact the only solution I could think to try and recompile the list. I shall consider ways of which we can achieve this, coordinating everything. Out of interest, what unit was Harry Whitney a member of?
I have a number of items which currently have these markings painted on them, and will photograph and collate everything.
Thanks again for your thoughts and comments,
Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 08:53
Ben wrote: Out of interest, what unit was Harry Whitney a member of?
Have never found out anything about Whitney.... Bought this from another collector several years ago...
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:31
Here's another oddity...
This M1935 Bedding Roll ID'd to a Warrant Officer has a number consisting of only 4 digits followed by a letter: 1804-L
The same letter L is painted next to the color bar code.
And the colors of the bars don't match the ones used on other gear
This roll was found on a local flea market many years ago, so I doubt it ever returned to the US after the war...
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 13:23
This is certainly an interesting variant, and one which I have not seen before. It's interesting to note that the "L" character matches the colour of the middle bar.
Here are two examples of the POM markings painted onto items in my collection. The first one appears on the lid of one my Lantern Crates which was retrieved from Falaise:
Unfortunately, I don't know of any more information about the unit, and as far as I can tell, there are no other indications of unit markings on the Crate itself.
This second example has been taken from a Large Blanket Set Case. This particular was purchased in Normandy about 4 years ago, and so once again it's unlikely that it ever returned to the US. The seller had a couple of other examples which he was keeping for his personal collection, which featured in a number of locations the word "OMAHA", whether this indicates the destination, one cannot say for certain:
In addition, the following marking appears on both ends of the Case:
And this on the bottom:
Which reads "GLUE G MED II SA 205 ADV". If anyone can provide any additional information about these markings, kindly let me know.
Also, please feel free to share with us any items from your collection which bear these POM markings...
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 14:15
Here's another example, but sadly no history on this one.
Bought at a European Show
Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 21:14
Hey Ben -
I have been racking my brain to figure out where I saw those numbers referenced and finally figured it out.
If you can find Annex 2 of the Operation Neptune Operation Plan, about half way thru it talkes about changes to the "First US Army Consolidated Build Up Priority Tables". Column B of that document looks like it has those numbers. Annex 2 only has changes (about 44 pages worth
) so not all the information is there, but you can see some of the unit numbers were replaced by others as well as changes to the places (camps?), units, vehicles, pax, etc. If you could find that Build Up table, I think you would have full circle on this research. It took me a while to find as I had to remote to a computer at home via satellite which is dog slow. The actual table we are looking for might be on one of my external hard drives, but I won't have access to that for a month or so.
Looking at the change list, almost all of the numbers start with a 4xxxx. There are a lot of 42xxx and 43xxx and some 44xxx. There are even a couple 30xxx. So not all the Normandy units started were 4xxxx!
I could not find any of the unit numbers previously listed in this topic on the change list.
I'm tring to figure out where I downloaded the OPPLAN to see if the Build Up tables are available. As soon as I find the link, I'll post it.
Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 21:31
This lead certainly sounds very interesting, and I'm most anxious to learn whether or not you still have access to the files. Any help on this would be most gratefully received indeed, and I really am keen to learn more about these markings.
I will continue to search for the document, and as soon as I have anything to report, will post back here.
Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 23:06
I don't remember Ben. I remembered seeing the numbers and wondering about it but didn't know to make the connection to the color bands. As I said searching a remote computer with RDP thru a satellite link ... you know what I mean.
To be honest, I don't think I have ever seen the color bands on any piece of equipment here in the States. I'm quite sure I don't have anything in my collection even after almost 20 yrs worth of stuff.
You can get me a case of Licher as my finder fee
Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 23:22
I think I have located the document on my computer actually. I have just printed it all out (around 200 pages) and will go through everything to see what can be gleaned from it regarding these particular markings.
Johan > I found this picture whilst researching another topic for a friend. You'll not the variation of POM markings on the cab door of the GMC. It would seem that this particular format of four digits and a letter was in fact a system from an earlier Operation (in this instance, Torch). Perhaps the bag and markings that you posted up actually pre-date the Normandy campaign?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 01:21
Do you mean you have the build up tables?
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 08:41
No, sorry for the confusion. I should have been clearer. I have found Annex 2 to which to which you refer.
Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 21:25
No problem Ben. I wasn't sure if you got lucky right away. I was going back thru what I had - I was looking at Annex 2 of the V Corps OPPLAN for Neptune. For 1st Army, I don't have anything from before Annex 9. Not sure if the Build Up table was in Annex 2 of the 1st Army plan or if it was a separate document. Still can't figure out where I downloaded them from to determine if anthing more is available.
Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 22:57
I decided to go ahead and create a database to hold all of the codes and units that we know about. You can view them at the following address:
I think that it would be wise to keep this particular list up to date as we learn of more Codes and units etc. As you will note, the list contains the codes that we know to have existed, but for the majority, complete data are missing. If anyone can complete the information that has already been gathered, kindly let me know so that I can update same.
I'd certainly welcome your comments and thoughts.