Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Service No. 2211848 Vercesi, Joseph W/Op. France & Germany

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Service No. 2211848 Vercesi, Joseph W/Op. France & Germany

    Hi there everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone knew anything about RAFVR Vercesi, Joseph. W/Op, Service No. 2211848. 1939 - 1945. Awarded the 1939 - 1945 Star, France & Germany, War medal.
    He was posted overseas, France and Germany. I think he was with a ground crew, possibly a mobile unit of some kind. I have a few old pictures that show mobile units.
    (I can add these photo's if anyone would like to see)

    Photo 1.
    The identification number on one vehicle says;
    RAF 112090 (lefthand side)
    Type 346a (lefthand side)
    5159T MSU (over drivers front wheel arch)
    This picture also has a couple of tents in the background.

    Photo 2.
    TAF 84
    This is possible the back of the vehicle in photo no. 1
    Has a canvas camouflage cover (light with dark patches) over the top.

    Photo 3.

    The identification number on this vehicle says;
    RAF 99896
    8AF 0/84
    84GCC

    I have various other photo's of what looks like....
    A woodworking room, with benches and vices, planes wood etc.
    A room with a few radio's, headphones, etc..
    A room with a typewriter
    A few planes that have crashed/landed badly. (can barely make out a number one one plane, seems it's a Royal Navy aircraft (6X173- could be a Z not a 7 ... and the 6 could be an S)

    Any information anyone can provide would be much appreciated.

    Thank you all in advance.

    Yaya.
    Last edited by Yayaduck; 25th February 2015 at 15:59.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    1,116
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Sounds like this is 84 Group of the Tactical Air Force. Formed at Oxford, it was one of the controlling formations for the tactical aircraft which first attacked targets in occupied Europe and after D-Day, deployed to the continent. The Group would have controlled several Wings and their subordinate squadrons (although I haven't checked all those associated with 84) and there would have been a significant supporting 'tail' comprising all sorts of specialists needed to back up mobile air operations throughout the 11 months following D-Day particularly.

    Colin Cummings

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,382
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Hello

    MSU stands for Mobile signal Unit, and there were MSUs within No. 84 Group. I've already tried to find further details about them, for the ones which were based in my area in September-October 1944, but the Operations Record Book are few, and their content limited.

    One can find them in AIR 29/150 at The National Archives in Kew, but not 5159 (T) MSU. There might be other files in AIR 51/326, /342, /344 and /356 which I haven't checked.

    Joss

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,601
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts

    Default

    Just a slight word of caution about Mobile Units (of whatever sort) and their ORBs. The smaller Units only normally put enough personnel into the field that would enable that bit of it to operate on a “8hrs-on/8hrs-off” 24/7 (or similar) technical shift system. There were no dedicated “scribblies” as such. Whatever might have happened was recorded from memory when that bit of the Unit returned to whatever passed as their “base” to re-fuel/re-ration. I served in, and with, mobile units for a couple of decades! It was not unknown for that magic RAF section – “a Cpl and 2xAirmen” – to be sent off into the bundoo in a Landrover housing some bit of Comms kit, with some 24-hr ration packs, and told to just go and get on with it!! I have to admit that when in “the field” the last thing on your administrative/organisational mind was what should appear in the 540/541!!! Too difficult!! Sometimes they were never written!

    HTH

    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 28th February 2015 at 13:33. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

    Colin Cummings
    Thanks for the information on Tactical Air Force. I have read up a little on it after you mentioned it. I'm rather new to this and had no idea where to start. Now I have something to go on. So thank you.
    The photographs I have were my Grandfathers. I found quite a few of his nagatives and so I scanned them and that's how I've managed to get the information.
    I vaguely remember my Grandfather mentioning many moons ago that he went ahead and checked it was safe before others followed or something of the sort. After reading up on 2TAF this does seem to fit as the Group Control Centre (GCC) did on ocassion have a Forward Control Centre. His release book (which I cannot place) says he was a Wireless Operator and a MSU would have been attached to a Forward Direction Post who was responsible for the surveillance of an area forward of the front line. I could just be making it all fit of course :o)

    Joss
    Thanks for the National Archive information. I've had a quick look for the AIR 29/150 you suggested and the others too. It's a shame you can't have a browse through the documents before having to order them though :o( I've no idea where to start or which of the many files would be beneficial to purchase. Eeek! It's a bit like a needle in a haystack. Hehehe Thank you again though, I will most definitely look in to it further. Hopefully i'll find something :o)
    I have since found out from another member that 5159(T) is documented in a 2nd Tactical Air Force Location Statement showing 5159T as part of 83 Group's GCC situated west of Bazenville in France. (July 1944).
    I googled Bazenville and found it's in the Normandy region. There was an Airfield here. Construction of the Airfield was started in June 1944.

    Peter Davies
    Thanks for taking the time to reply and for your information on Mobile Units. I'm not really sure what a 540/541 is but i'm still hoping to find something recorded of those days. I can only hope! Thank you for your insight.

    After reading up a bit on 2TAF I have also learned that some of these units had a Repair and Salvage Unit too. 84 Group was responsible, according to what i've read for so far, when a damaged aircraft couldn't make it back base. The Salvage section was responsible for the collection of all 2TAF aircraft which crashed within its parent groups. 84 Group did have a salvage section which looked after Spitfire, Typhoon, Mustang, Tempest and Auster. They made sure the aircraft were safe for transport. This might explain the photo's i found with an aircraft that looks like it's crash landed. I did spot on one that the site looks like a beach (sand) and what looks like a boardwalk. On a closer look actually... the wood or whatever the material used is quite thick. It's more like a railway sleeper. The aircraft is on it's back.

    Sorry for rambling on, It's just that i've learned so much from just understanding what those few numbers and letters were on a few old photographs. I can't thank you all enough. It's exciting!

    Yaya.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •