Tactical Signs - Field Ambulance Units

Tactical signs were introduced in order to help designate special roles, functions or equipment performed/carried by certain vehicles. The signs were to measure 8 by 6 inches, be painted in black with a 5/8 inch yellow border, and have yellow characters measuring 3-1/2 inches by 2-1/2 inches. These signs were generally applied to the right front bumper (or fender) and located on the rear centre of the vehicle's body, though sometimes the signs were located instead on the right rear near the formation sign. The signs were also placed on vehicle sides, either centrally on the leading door, on the turret of armoured vehicles, or on the body of Universal Carriers.

In addition to distinguishing tactical uses of vehicles, listings of tactical sign markings are useful to researchers in establishing scales of issue of numbers and types of vehicles to particular units.

Note that the lists should be taken as a general guide only. Not all units were always up to full establishment of vehicles due to equipment shortages (or, less commonly, may have had surplus equipment on hand extra to establishment). The tables do not provide information on specific vehicle types, which changed during the course of the war for various reasons (tactical requirements changed, as did tables of organization and war establishment; Canadian production vehicles, which were preferred, also became increasingly available overseas as the war progressed).

The following list was promulgated by Headquarters, Canadian Corps, on 24 March 1942 and provided a list of tactical markings for a Field Ambulance unit of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps.

Light Field Ambulance, RCAMC1

Headquarters Company - Vehicle Types

No. of veh Tactical Marking(s)
Staff Car 3 Z (CO), Z1 (Quartermaster), H (2 i/c)
Motorcycle 5 H1, H2, H3, H4, H5
Lorry, 30-cwt 13 H11, H12, H13, H14, H15, H16, H17, H18, H19, H20, H21, H22, H23
HQ Ambulance, 15-cwt, light, 2-stretcher 8 H31, H32, H33, H34, H35, H36, H37, H38
HQ Ambulance, 30-cwt, heavy, 4-stretcher 6 H41, H42, H43, H44, H45, H46
Water trailer 1 H51
"A" Section - Vehicle Types No. of veh Tactical Marking(s)
Staff Car 1 A
Motorcycle 1 A1
Lorry, 30-cwt 1 A11
"B" Section - Vehicle Types No. of veh Tactical Marking(s)
Staff Car 1 B
Motorcycle 1 B1
Lorry, 30-cwt 1 B11
"C" Section - Vehicle Types No. of veh Tactical Marking(s)
Staff Car 1 C
Motorcycle 1 C1
Lorry, 30-cwt 1 C11
"D" Section - Vehicle Types No. of veh Tactical Marking(s)
Staff Car 1 D
Motorcycle 1 D1
Lorry, 30-cwt 1 D11

Notes

  1. From original document reproduced in Dingwall, Don Canadian Vehicle Markings: A Comprehensive Guide to the Colours and Markings of the Canadian Army Overseas During WWII (Canadian Tracks Publishing, Carp, ON) The document is dated 24 March 1942, signed by the Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General of the Canadian Corps.

 


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