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Use of air recognition panels on British/Commonwealth Cromwells?

August 15 2005 at 5:52 PM

Grant M Vogl  (Login GrantVogl)
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from IP address

Was this common or not? Did the Poles use air recognition panels on their Shermans and Cromwells? Any photos?


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Martin Dogger
(Login MartinDogger)
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Air ID panels

August 15 2005, 7:03 PM 

as far as I know, the British and Commonwealth hasd acces to them, but didn't use them very often.
There were several ways for airmen to ID allied vehicles,and these included the panels, yellow smoke, and yellow triangle shaped panels. The latter were only used by British or Commonwealth troops, so these would seem a plausible option.

Cheers, MartinD

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Al Bowie
(Login Albowie)

Not doctrine

August 16 2005, 1:58 AM 

The Circled White star on the vehicle turret roof was the official Air ID at the time (Normandy) and the Brits eventually followed the US practice as more stocks of ID panels became avail; apparently not till late 44 and then not widespread.

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Mike Barnett
(Login MichaelMBarnett)
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An Example

August 16 2005, 12:30 PM 

In Bill Bellamy's new memoir: "Troop Leader: A Tank Commander's Story" he mentions using their "red air identification strip" which he laid across the front of his Cromwell "to warn the Typhoon pilots that we were friendly" just after 'Operation Goodwood' (pg. 80). He also mentions using 'yellow smoke' as I recall, in another situation in Normandy, with less effectiveness, as they were strafed anyway. Bellamy was a troop leader with the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars.
On pg. 89 in "The Black Bull" by P. Delaforce it mentions "the Fife and Forfar Shermans at Pavee" [France] using "orange phosphorescent panels displayed on the top" of their tanks to let American Thunderbolts know they were Allies along with "yellow smoke emitted by special smoke generators." This was on August 4, 1944 during 'Operation Bluecoat.' This effort did little good as they were bombed anyway.
Couldn't locate any photos but I'm inclined to think they would exist somewhere (didn't take the time to peruse the Concord bks. on British tanks in NW Europe, or maybe one of the old Osprey/Vanguards?). Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I could point you in the right direction!
HTHs -Mike

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Grant M Vogl
(Login GrantVogl)
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thanks. n/t

August 17 2005, 7:01 AM 


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Martin Dogger
(Login MartinDogger)
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RE: An Example

August 19 2005, 7:44 PM 

AFAIK, there are no photos of air ID panels in the Concord books, thought I must say I havent looked for that really. I do have both books, so if needed, I can get them out.

Cheers, MartinD

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