Divisional Markings

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    Battalion Colours
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    Divisional Markings

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:21 pm

    Are the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division markings pictured in the following photograph done in subdued colours (i.e. black on green)? If yes, how common was this? Is this a decal?




    National Archives of Canada (PA-130175, photo by Harold G. Aikman).

    Chaplains, Working with R.A.P., Evacuate Wounded of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, Caen, France, 15 July 1944.

    Bill
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Bill on Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:35 pm

    Hello Adam, I think the image is part of the issue. I believe the correct colour was a gold / yellow leaf on the gray rectangle.

    Battalion Colours
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:04 pm



    You are correct Bill. The formation sign for the 3rd Canadian Division was a yellow maple leaf on gray rectangle. Even if the background rectangle on this jeep is gray, the maple leaf is definitely not yellow.

    Other forum members may find the following article on Canadian vehicle markings of interest:

    http://home.cogeco.ca/~gdavidson1/home.html


    mk1rceme
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by mk1rceme on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:40 pm

    Awesome link! I've been looking for divisional signs for eons now...guess I wasn't looking hard enough.


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    qsamike
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by qsamike on Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:08 am

    Battalion Colours wrote: Is this a decal?

    I think that this is a stecil not a decal, I remember one of the first jobs I had(as a summer student) was working at a Canadian Army supply depot destroying items so they could not be missued and then sold as scrap, there was a large sencil machine for written words, numbers and figures..... I am not sure if they had decals in 1944 especially the weather proof glues.......

    Could have even been hand painted.....

    Mike

    Darrell
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Darrell on Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:36 pm

    Hi

    To me it looks like it has some thickness to it and it could be a placard.

    For reference on Vehicle markings, I always find Barry Beldam's site helpful. Here's the link for his WW2 Cdn Jeep markings:
    http://www.armouredacorn.com/Reference/CVM/CVMs/CVM%20009/CVM%20Part%209%20(Jeeps).pdf

    Colin Stevens has a bit on vehicle markings in general:
    http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/markings_on_military_vehicles.htm

    Also please find the link for British Formation signds from WW2:
    http://www.petergh.f2s.com/flashes.html

    regards
    Darrell

    Battalion Colours
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Battalion Colours on Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:45 pm

    Darrell wrote:Hi

    To me it looks like it has some thickness to it and it could be a placard.

    For reference on Vehicle markings, I always find Barry Beldam's site helpful. Here's the link for his WW2 Cdn Jeep markings:
    http://www.armouredacorn.com/Reference/CVM/CVMs/CVM%20009/CVM%20Part%209%20(Jeeps).pdf

    Colin Stevens has a bit on vehicle markings in general:
    http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/markings_on_military_vehicles.htm

    Also please find the link for British Formation signds from WW2:
    http://www.petergh.f2s.com/flashes.html

    regards
    Darrell



    Mike and Darrell:

    I lose certain clarity under magnification. With that said, I think it could well be a placard with a stenciled on maple leaf. Any guess as to colors?

    Barry Beldam's website is another great source for vehicle markings.

    Darrell
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Darrell on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:02 pm

    Hi Adam

    And the Allied Recognition Star and CM number are supposed to be white....right? Maybe you'll agree that some B&W pics just don't take the shades we think they should from colour. Many B&W photos of medal ribbons show have shown me that!!

    I can't do any better with the pic but it does seem to me that the marking has substance. Could be a leftover from the tin plates on brackets? hmmm

    regards
    Darrell

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Battalion Colours on Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:51 pm

    Darrell wrote:Hi Adam

    And the Allied Recognition Star and CM number are supposed to be white....right? Maybe you'll agree that some B&W pics just don't take the shades we think they should from colour. Many B&W photos of medal ribbons show have shown me that!!

    I can't do any better with the pic but it does seem to me that the marking has substance. Could be a leftover from the tin plates on brackets? hmmm

    regards
    Darrell



    Darrell:

    Yes, the Recognition Star and CM number are normally white, but not on this jeep. The Medic armbands clearly show they are white and the Divisional placard is close in color to the 3rd Division patches on the BD.

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Battalion Colours on Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:00 pm

    http://bcoy1cpb.pacdat.net/markings_on_military_vehicles.htm




    "WWII formation sign stencil painted on an aluminum plate. Original is in colour but this scan is in B&W. This one was never mounted on a vehicle (no holes drilled.) Brought home by a Canadian soldier who served with a First Canadian Army transportation unit. - Colin Stevens' collection."

    Colin Stevens website is very useful. In regard to the above 3rd Canadian Division photograph, I strongly believe the 3rd Canadian Division formation sign is stenciled on an aluminum plate. The plate is probably painted gray and the maple leaf maybe a black (?). I also believe the Recognition Star and CM number are painted in gray.

    Mike, according to Colin Stevens water based decals were being used by 1944.

    Darrell
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Darrell on Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:26 pm

    Hi Alan

    You could very well be right about the formation sign.

    However in this pic it actually look painted to the windshield frame!



    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/faces/001048-119.01-e.php?&mikan_nbr=3191706&&PHPSESSID=tcvmgtmfuucis4olcpmo3u4585

    And the number and star look white too. I dunno, maybe shadows or type of paint? Weird eh?

    regards
    Darrell

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Battalion Colours on Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:46 pm



    Title: H/Major J.W. Forth, chaplain of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, assisting the Regimental Aid Party of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa in loading a wounded soldier onto a jeep near Caen, France, 15 July 1944.
    Location: Caen, France (vicinity),
    Date: July 15, 1944
    Photographer: Aikman, H. Gordon., Photographer
    Mikan Number: 3191706




    Different angle, different shadows, different exposure. It's really hard to tell based on these two photographs whether the formation sign is a placard or painted on. I think it's safe to say the formation sign is gray with a dark color maple leaf.

    In this photograph we can't see the Recognition Star and the CM number.

    In any case I think they are great photographs. Thanks Darrell for posting the second view.

    Adam

    Bill
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Bill on Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:24 pm

    The leaf may have been a gold colour. That would explain why the leaf looks darker than the gray patch. Gold also reflects light in odd ways when photographed.

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Bill on Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:41 pm

    A link to a thread on formation signs for vehicles on the Maple Leaf Up Forum. The decals were done in the divisional colour with gold maple leaves. The gold, when the light hits it certain ways can reflect as a dark colour. Examples of the decals are about the middle of the thread.

    http://www.mapleleafup.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15674

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:29 pm

    Bill wrote:A link to a thread on formation signs for vehicles on the Maple Leaf Up Forum. The decals were done in the divisional colour with gold maple leaves. The gold, when the light hits it certain ways can reflect as a dark colour. Examples of the decals are about the middle of the thread.

    http://www.mapleleafup.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15674



    Thanks for the heads up Bill.

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Seaforth Highlander on Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:36 pm

    The formation sign on the jeep (small "j" is correct as the tradename came later) is almost certainly a decal. It was a metal plate (pointless when you have a nice jeep windhield us paint on) there would be mounting bolts showing. I have a collection of virtually all of the WWII Canadian used vehicle decals (NOS) and most have the Gale & Polden Catalogue numbers on the back. These same numbers appear in Canadian Army orders overseas. Earlier in the war they used stencils, and even hand painted, but no doubt someone noticed how long it took to paint multicoloured (read: leave one colour to dry before applying the next colour) unit and formation signs on thousands of vehicles. The original 3 CID decal I have is the jeep sized one Gale & Polden "CAT. No. BMT 2349" The British called these "transfers."

    Unit signs had a coloured background and these too were provided as decals. Then the unit simply had to stencil on the unit serial number. An exception was the airborne formation sign as used by 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion. I have several original variations. The oldest appears to be Pegasus and Bellerophon figures only and applied to a maroon painted background. I have the only original airborne jeep formation sign metal plate that I know of (traded an original F-S Fighting Knife in Regina about 30 years ago) and it has the figures only decal. The other original WWII airborne decals I have include the maroon background as well.

    The French Grey for 3 CID is darker thatn the illustration shown by another reader. The maple leaf is gold. Note the WWII style maple leaf as many "restorers" do not do their homework and their maple leaves look like either a marijuana leaf or the modern Canadian flag maple leaf.

    The jeep by the way appears to be a Willys W-LU 440-M-PRS-1 made on Contract Demand Light Vehicle 505 and was probably made about July 1st, 1942. Stamped griulle and no Black Out Drive Light (BODL) on left fender). Note that the bridge plate is over the starboard headlight hole and the black out headlight on the port side is not a relocated BODL as many people think. I have one and they are a different fixture.

    The number on the side of the hood (bonnet to Brits) would be in white. The airborne used light blue. The star & broken circle aerial recognition sign was also white. I joke that American pilots could not tell the difference between a red/white/blue/yellow roundel and a 4-pointed white cross, but they could tell the difference between a 5-pointed white star and a 4-pointed white cross. On the other hand, only the RAF and RCAF chose to risk USAAC wrath and keep using the roundel on the vehicles in 1944-45.

    303 Colin

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Seaforth Highlander on Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:23 pm

    DELETED - Did not see my earlier response so there was duplication so I deleted it.

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Seaforth Highlander on Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:43 pm

    The WWII Canadian and British formation signs were NOT painted /stencilled or manufactured as subdued. The colour of the maple leaf is gold, not yellow as often portrayed in books and web-sites, though it is possible that some units lacking gold paint might have used yellow.

    Colin Stevens
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    Battalion Colours wrote:Are the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division markings pictured in the following photograph done in subdued colours (i.e. black on green)? If yes, how common was this? Is this a decal?




    National Archives of Canada (PA-130175, photo by Harold G. Aikman).

    Chaplains, Working with R.A.P., Evacuate Wounded of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, Caen, France, 15 July 1944.

    Cameraguy
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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Cameraguy on Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:53 am

    There are a few of these on Ebay right now...repros I'd imagine,but they still look cool.

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    Re: Divisional Markings

    Post by Seaforth Highlander on Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:05 am

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