WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Radio Telephone and Telegraph Transmitting and Receiving Equipment
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RobL
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WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by RobL » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:45 pm

Hi,
I'm trying to find info on what radios would have filled an M3 halftrack that served as a tank battalion commander's CP.
What radios would have been used to link a commander to his companies of Sherman's, perhaps artillery, and armored infantry - late in the ETO. Maybe even 'air liaison' radios too?

Any layouts, lists, links, pix and suggestions are very welcome.

My uncle served as a radio operator in a tank battalion and regaled us with stories of his days freezing in the command halftrack during the Bulge. Fun stuff like that!

Thanks,
Rob Lihani


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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by brian in denver » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:11 am

two things you have to look at are TO&E , and the instillation manuals TM 11-2700's
the S-3 halftrack (HQ-33)? would have had a SCR-506 set, and a SCR-508/528 set for sure. http://militaryresearch.org/17-26%2018Nov44.pdf
maybe liason artillery, set as needed.
the TO&E is online at military research. http://militaryresearch.org/
portrayal press has all the instillation manuals.
to my noldge no ones ever done a command track.

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by Farrell Fox » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:54 pm

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by Frank USMC » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:06 pm

Some one sent me photos of their M2 halftrack sat up with radios, but they were on our old computer that crashed. The radios were sat up on the drivers side where the ammo storage box was. The ammo storage box was removed and a radio rack was in it's place full of radios. I wish I could remember who sent me the photos, getting old sucks.
Also, in the book "WALK AROUND" M2/M3 halftrack by squadron/signal publications, there is some great photos of a M2 halftrack sat up with radios, again, in place of the drivers side ammo storage box. The photos are in color, one of the better halftrack books I own.
My M2 halftrack was found with full armor and was missing the drivers side ammo storage box, maybe it was a command vehicle at one time?
One of the few, Frank USMC RET.

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by Farrell Fox » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:02 pm

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by RobL » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:27 pm

this is all very helpful guys...thanks.

I just ordered the Halftrack Walk Around...so that'll help too.

Appreciate all the tips.

Rob L.

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by Tapper02 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:30 pm

It's funny how wrong the caption is...that is an SCR-528 setup with a BC-604 transmitter, a BC-603 receiver and the CH-264 spare parts box in between.

The SCR-193 is a completely different beast.

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by Farrell Fox » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:34 pm

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by RobL » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:36 pm

I gave that a double take...but I wasn't sure because the way Farrell cropped the image that there might be another "above" or "above left" photo that matched the caption.

But it just goes to show ya, you have to always double check and seek more than one source for this info.

Tom, thanks for pointing it out and clarifying what we're seeing in that particular image.

Rob

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by RobL » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:41 pm

I like the pictures too.

And I can tell I'm either getting old, or really starting to geek out, because I now peruse their pix with a magnifying glass.

RL

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by John Neuenburg » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:22 am

Rob you may know this but that SCR-528 turns into a SCR-508 by adding a second receiver in the place of that spare parts box. That's almost a sure thing for a company or battalion commander because they'd want receivers tuned to Co and Bn nets. 528 would be for platoon leaders and unit members. Another set sometimes installed in tanks, not sure of halftracks, is SCR-510 which is the same low freq range as SCR-508 but with receiver and transmitter in same box. This is a typical radio seen in jeeps.

To talk with artillery they probably used SCR-608/628 which is just like SCR-508/528 but at a higher freq (with a small overlap). These used BC-684 transmitter and BC-683 receiver(s). This or the 508/608 were on the FT-237 mount/tray. A halftrack or truck would probably have all this in a CH-74 cabinet with FT-284 legs.

A command vehicle with room in it, like a halftrack, might have had a SCR-506 AM set which could get voice out to 50 miles, far beyond the 10 miles of the above FM sets. This had BC-653 transmitter and BC-652 receiver on FT-253 base.

What are you planning? If you want to re-create one of these halftracks, you'll probably want an installation manual:
TM 11-2718 Installation of Radios in M2A1. This talks about SCR-193, 284, 506, 508, 528, 608, 510, 610, 593
TM 11-2714 for M3
TM 11-2721 for M3A1

If looking for manuals or radios or to meet halftrack guys, the Camp Delta fall rally at Tower Park is your last big chance this year in California. 3rd week in September near Lodi as you know. I could bring a SCR-608/628 manual if you want to see photos and numbers for all the widgets and accessories that come with these things. If you ever need SCR-508 components I have extras that will be available after I get the set running in the M20. May "if" is a better word. Fear of turning into a sparkie has held me back.

At the big Spring version of that meet next April we are featuring an ARMOR showcase so probably at least several halftracks will show up. Also the halftrack guys have been getting together for lunch and a discussion group every year so that might be a good place to get info.

Hope this helps.
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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by steve1973 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:51 pm

Rob,
In regards to the photo above in an M2 it shows a correct radio mounted in a CH-74 cabinet and in mounted on a FT-285 stand. The stand is not correct to that location per the installation manual. For that location it should be using a FT-284 stand which is a shorty stand only about 4 inches high. The stand shown, FT-285, goes in the rear against the back and mounts to the diamond plate on the floor. Right or wrong I have seen several halftracks with the FT-285 stands in that location I'm guessing because they are easier to find. I've only seen a photo of an original FT-284 and someone here on the G has made reproductions. I'm expecting mine any day now. As for your M3 I recomend getting a radio instal manual as it lists all radio combinations for that style halftrack. Now, I have seen a photo at one time where the entire rear of the halftrack was a radio communications center with a table on one side with several radios and a long bench on the other side for the radio operators. With that said the chance of me finding that photo again is a needle in a hay stack but I will look for it and post it if I find it.

Steve A.
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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by steve1973 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:35 am

I found the photos you are looking for of a M3 communication halftrack! I can't believe it was in the first two books I looked through. It is usually the last book I look at. Anyway, I tried posting the photos on the G503albums site but failed on each photo I tried to post. I've been having problems posting for the last several months. I've even tried different computers and internet sources and still no luck. Anyone else having problems with that site? I will keep trying or gor to another hosting site. Sorry for the delay. Anyway, I found the photos in two different books. First book is a second volume to a Polish publications titled Half-Track vol. 2 in a series called Gun Power, author is Patryk Janda. Both volumes I highly recommend right up their with Hunnicutt's book. The second book is TM Tankograd Technical Manual Series #6009, U.S. Half-track. Each book has a section on radio halftracks.

Steve A.
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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by Farrell Fox » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:24 pm

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Re: WWII Command Halftrack radio rigs?

Post by steve1973 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:05 am

OK, G503 Album is working for me again so here are the photos. I'm listing them in order from each book. Some are duplicates. First book in the Polish vol. 2.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Both of these books can be found on eBay. Hope these help.

Steve A.
1941 White M2A1 (90% restored)
1945 M10 ammo trailer (restored)


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