Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

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Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by DDTrustee » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:34 pm

A. If an Armor Battalion was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division what would be the Command symbol on the hull? E.g. normally a tank or tank destroyer would have the armored ‘triangle’ and the number….. Would it change if the assignment was from an Armor Division or would the earlier Armor Division symbol stay?
Example:
1. If the 833TD Battalion was in the 11th Armored Division it would have the 11th Armored Division triangle on the hull

2. If it transferred to the 101st airborne Div. while in the 11th Armored Div. would the triangle symbol change? Be removed? Would the 101st AB Div. symbol be painted where the triangle symbol was?

B. If an armored unit was assigned to Combat Command B (CCB) would the CCB symbol (or something designating CCB) appear in place of the triangle?
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by lehotskyt » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:24 pm

For World War II:
A. Independent Armored Battalions were not assigned to Infantry Divisions. They were temporarily (for varying lengths) attached to Infantry units, as opposed to units who received permanent attachment status such as the 501st/506th. This means that while they were serving under the Infantry Division/Regiment/Battalion's command, any and all vehicles would remain marked to the Armored Battalion as the vehicles remained their parent organization's property. In the Armored Division, the units would be marked for the Division/Battalion and attached as mission dictated. The modern difference would be "assigned vs OPCON'd).

So for your examples:
1) 833TD BN was not active in WW2, let alone attached to the 11th AD [https://web.archive.org/web/20201107003 ... AD-ETO.htm] but for TD Battalions, it appears that the Battalions retained independent markings (utilizing their Army as the parent organization rather than the Division) through the end of the war with minor variations depending on which TD Battalion it is.

2. The markings would not change.

B. For the Combat Commands, markings would not be applied as the Task Organization of the Commands changed frequently and units were moved between them quite often. The vehicle would retain DIV/BN markings.

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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by DDTrustee » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:57 pm

The 833rd I used was a phony/made-up example -just to ask the question!!!! No intended to even imply there was a 833rd TD
I'm actually remarking my M18 to the go back to the original markings: 705th TD (company B) which was part of the 5th Armored Division in England and where Company B fought with the 101st regiments; (one M18 going to the 501st Parachute Infantry, two going to the 506th Parachute Infantry, two going to the 502nd Parachute Infantry and four to the 327th Glider Infantry in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. The battalion was (1945) transferred to the 11th Armored Division from the 5th. They had various attachments from June, 1944 through spring of 1945 and that is why I asked the questions!!!!!
I mistakenly used the wrong vehicle serial number in the registration number sequence and am remarking the hull ending in -899 which is correct for Hellcat serial no. 2023. When I ordered the paint masks from Larsen I reversed the last two serial number digits and came up with ---908 for serial no. 2032 - WRONG! My memory on the phone call to Larsen I as trying to recall the serial no. from memory and came up with serial no. 2032, when in fact it was 2023.
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by The Fireman » Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:09 pm

To all,

Many years ago, I restored a 42 Chevy 1 1/2 ton. I put the 3 rd Armoured, 32nd Armored, I company markings on the vehicle. My wife's uncle, Bert Close was a tanker with that outfit. He was a replacement bow gunner/assistant driver for Sgt. Pool in a Sherman with a 76 named "In The Mood". When he came down from Portland, OR to visit on his way to the Bay Area to see his sister, I showed him the Chevy I had done. The first thing he said was it looks nice, the second thing he said was " We never had unit markings on our tank as we didn't want the jerry's to know which unit we were with. " The only markings on the outside of the tank, was the name "In The Mood".

He served with Pool until the "In The Mood" tank got knocked out, then was sent to be a replacement crew member in other Sherman's. After the fourth Sherman he was assigned to was knocked out, he was sent to a hospital/rest area with what is now known at PTSD.

If you wish to do some research for Sgt. Lafayette Pool.

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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by Railsplitter » Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:59 pm

All,
Point well made in the last post; up in the front lines of the battle, the unit designations (left side) were removed before going into combat to keep the enemy from which unit they were fighting. The vehicle admin number on the right side may have been retained for use during a unit movement. These bumper markings were done with gasoline soluble paint and were easy to remove. Some combat units were attached to another unit (task force) and detached when no longer needed. Many WWII histories list “Attachments” and “Detachments” and the time period they were in effect. No change in vehicle marking were necessary.
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by The Fireman » Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:37 am

To all,

If you haven't read the book "Spearhead" by Adam Makos, I would highly recommend it. From my previous conversations with Bert Close, I think Makos did a very good job of describing life in a "Tank".

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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by DDTrustee » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:17 am

My interest in marking for the 705th is their Battle of the Bulge exploits....unlikely to have been any warmer in the M18 than troops on the ground...maybe colder since you couldn't stand next to fire in the hull and engine air is drawn in from inside the hull meaning cold air is sucked in through the open turret into the fighting compartment.
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by Falldownjaeger » Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:35 pm

Post WWII, into the 90s, the 82nd Airborne Division had Airborne Tankers, 4th Bn 68th Armored Regiment, first with M551 Sheridans then M1 Abrams Tanks, until finally replacing them in the TO&E with LAV-25s, with plan to pull tanks from 24th ID at Ft Stewart if needed.
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by dpcd67 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:07 pm

Just saw this; and regarding modern tanks in the 82nd AB; I am qualified in the M551A1, ARAAV, (152mm), specialty 1204, and when we got rid of those after Desert Storm, we had no more Air Droppable tank like armored vehicles; see above; he describes it. I was also assigned to the 24th ID which was the Heavy component of the 18th Airborne Corps. Of course, we had to deploy via ship since Abrams tanks can only go one per airplane and that would be a waste. Don't confuse the phrase "pulling tanks"; we deployed as Heavy task forces. We don't use tanks as Infantry support like the Marines do. And we would not change our vehicle markings. Not like we would just send some tanks their way.
I was also on the task force to develop the "next" light air deployable tank, the M8 AGS, Armored Gun System. That program was killed and none was produced but prototypes. It was a little tank.
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by Falldownjaeger » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:30 am

dpcd67 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:07 pm
Don't confuse the phrase "pulling tanks"; we deployed as Heavy task forces. We don't use tanks as Infantry support like the Marines do. And we would not change our vehicle markings.
Which makes the current USMC doctrine to remove tanks from their TO&E less than ideal, they expect Big Army to give up Armor to support their new lean battle doctrine.

101st Airborne had M113A2 APC and M125A2 and M106A2 Mortar Carriers in the late 80s until the early 90's believe it or not. Not CONUS but what was considered 101st AB (FWD), the Berlin Brigade, 4th-6th Bns-502nd Inf. Even had 155mm M109A2 SP guns (E Bty 320th FA) and a single Company of M-1 Tanks (Co A 6/40th AR)
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by dpcd67 » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:26 pm

Interesting; I had not heard that. But if they divest themselves of tanks, then they will revert to Infantry pure missions. I would disband the USMC and give this missions to the Army.
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Re: Armored vehicle markings when changing units - assignments out of the armored divisions

Post by Ron D » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:19 pm

When the Marines ditched their tanks they also cut the slats out of their artillery and fixed-wing aircraft (F/A-18) as well. Probably lots of reasons why, mostly political, and having to do with how to best spend our tax-payer dollars. The party line says they now want to lean towards Special Operations. No tanks required for SpecOps......until you need one. LOL

I think eventually the swamp bean counters will get around to melting all the armed services together and just issue name tapes called "U.S. Armed Forces" instead of U.S. Army or U.S. Navy, etc, etc. Makes perfect sense to a bureaucrat. $ave all that duplication. Tradition be darned. The guy (or gal) who successfully sells that idea will get a promotion.

Do you know the Marine Corps has more than 60 General Officers for 225,000 Marines (Active and Reserve)? That works out to one General for every 3700 Marines.....something that used to be a Colonel's job to command a Regiment. And the Marine Corps only has 12 Infantry Regiments and 4 Artillery Regiments (Reserves included). Think about it. Don't even ask how many Colonel's.......or Lieutenant Colonels.....Space Force? Just an excuse to make more General's and Colonel slots if you ask me. Hard to blame them, they're just doing what the swamp does best. But I digress...

The other services are even more top-heavy and bloated than the Marines. Makes me wonder how many Corporal's and Sergeant's there really are.

Kind of makes you feel good about the next war don't it?
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