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rob love 08-03-13 04:55

WW2 Canadian Artillery Vehicle Markings.
We are changing some of the signs on some pieces at work, and there is some conflicting info about what is the correct format.

So I have looked at a few sites on the web trying to decipher what is correct for markings on the artillery tractors. The Brigade and unit markings are fairly constant, in that the various sources agree on what is correct. Where my puzzle comes in is on the Battery/Troop/Gun marking.

Basically, the blue square with a 1/4 of it in red to denote which battery is understandable enough.

But a few sites quote that for the 8 guns in the battery (2 troops of 4 guns) one troop's guns are identified with A, B, C, or D, and the second troops tractors and guns are ID'd with E, F, G and H. That means for the first gun in the first troop in the first Battery, you would have the smaller red square in the top right corner, and a large letter A superimposed over it.

Another site shows the guns ID'd by troops. So the first gun in the first troop on the first battery would be ID'd by a Blue square, small red square in the top corner, and the letter A with a 1 superimposed on it. Some sites and photos show a smaller 1 next to the A. Still other sites show another format of AA for the same gun.

So which is correct, and if it's all, were there certain time periods for each?

rob love 08-03-13 19:22

1 Attachment(s)
Attached are some examples of what I am talking about. All would seem to indicate the same gun in the same battery, but different formats. Which is correct? Does anyone have a manual on vehicle markings for the WW2 time period?

Ed Storey 09-03-13 03:16

Royal Canadian Artillery Tactical Markings
The information you are looking for is in Barry Beldam's self-published book on Royal Canadian Artillery Tactical Markings from 1995.

Dan Martel 09-03-13 03:43

Identified by Troop

What I've always understood it to be, and this would be for the mid to late war War Establishment of a three battery field regiment with 24 guns, is that the six troops of the regiment were lettered independently from A Troop to F Troop. A and B Troop would belong to the senior battery through to E and F Troop in the junior battery. (Battery seniority was solely dependent upon the battery's number and not its history.)

Each gun within a troop was also allocated a letter; from A to D. So, gun AA was the first gun in the first troop of the senior firing battery. Gun CB was the second gun of the first troop of the intermediate battery. Gun FD was the fourth gun in the second troop of the junior battery.

However I think you are correct when you state that at different time periods, and maybe even in different theatres, the system could have been different. I know you wanted documentary proof which, if I find, I will pass on.


rob love 09-03-13 05:24

Dan (and Ed): It is documentry proof that I am looking for, as opposed to modern books.

I went through a lot of the google images of Canadian Artillery during WWll, and found primarily the Apla-Numeric style, such as B1. But I have not been able to see enough photos of guns or tractors to form a solid opinion.

I did not see any photos of the single letter type, where the battery would be indicated by the small red square, and the guns identifier would indicate which troop (1 troop =A,B,C,&D, 2 troop=E,F,G,andH). This format is shown on Micheal Dorosh's site:

Hoping for more input from those in the know.

Ed Storey 09-03-13 12:44

Artillery Markings
Beldam's book does describe how the markings changed over time and according to which theatre they were being used.

rob love 09-03-13 20:03

Thanks Ed, that will be the info I am looking for. I think I saw a few pages of his book on the net, but not enough to form an opinion.

Where does one find this book?

Edited to add: Found his site and have sent him an email. Apparently he will reprint copies as ordered, and they include new information.

servicepub (RIP) 10-03-13 03:59

See if you can locate CAMT 4-2-1 in the RCA library as it has drawings of markings.

rob love 10-03-13 06:04

Thanks Clive, I'll have a look for it.

I shot Barry Beldam an email, and haven't heard anything back yet. On looking some more, I can't be sure whether he is still selling copies or not. I found one web page which still had the paypal and shopping cart format all set up to order, another page with higher prices but only mailing address and email contact, and then another webpage showing that they are all out of print.

Ed Storey 10-03-13 18:50

Barry Beldam

I will see if I can get ahold of him for you.


Frank v R 10-03-13 21:57

since we are talking ARTY markings I have a question that no one has been able to solve , my wifes 1953 M38A1 is a Arty radio jeep , now comes the big question the unit is a 63 on the ARTY tactical sign , I was not able to find a command logo due to body repairs in that area front and rear , it was 3rd battery , hope some one can help,
regards Frank

Dan Martel 11-03-13 01:28


Two quick questions. Are you positive that the number on the tactical sign is 63 and not 13? And what do you mean by 3rd Battery? Are you saying 3 Battery, RCA, or the 3rd Battery of the unit involved?


Frank v R 12-03-13 17:28

Hi Dan , it is 63 , I took photos of the vehicle as I was taking the layers of paint off, 3rd of that unit, also found that it was the signal Sgt. vehicle , looks as if it at some point was also a line vehicle,
regards Frank

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