Use of air recognition panels on British/Commonwealth Cromwells?

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Hosted by John Prigent and Steve Zaloga, this is a discussion group dedicated to the armoured forces of the many Allied nations of the Second World War.

Use of air recognition panels on British/Commonwealth Cromwells?

Joined: April 15th, 2004, 9:05 pm

August 15th, 2005, 9:52 pm #1

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

Thanks-
Grant
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Joined: April 19th, 2005, 9:18 pm

August 15th, 2005, 11:03 pm #2

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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Joined: April 24th, 2005, 12:23 am

August 16th, 2005, 5:58 am #3

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.
Cheers
Al
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Joined: April 20th, 2005, 9:50 pm

August 16th, 2005, 4:30 pm #4

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

Thanks-
Grant
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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Joined: April 15th, 2004, 9:05 pm

August 17th, 2005, 11:01 am #5

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Joined: April 19th, 2005, 9:18 pm

August 19th, 2005, 11:44 pm #6

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
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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