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  #1  
Old 24-03-07, 04:49
cletrac (RIP)'s Avatar
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David Pope
 
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Location: Eston, Sask, Canada
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Default Driver mechanic C

My cousin served with the 1st Canadian Field Regiment RCHA. He took a 3 month Signals course then an oral Driver Mechanic C test. When he landed in Sicily he was a Driver Mechanic C according to his service records and he drove trucks in Italy until he was injured when he ran over a land mine near Monte Cassino while hauling ammo. For a while he was running a mule train hauling ammo in the mountains. In 1944 in Italy he was redesignated as Driver Mechanic MV "C".
Now for my question. What's the difference between a Driver Mechanic C and a Driver Mechanic MV C? Would he have been driving a signals truck in Sicily with the RCHA or would a signals driver have been in a signals unit?
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1940 Cab 11 C8 Wireless with 1A2 box & 11 set
1940 Cab 11 C8 cab and chassis
1940 Cab 11 C15 with 2A1 & Motley mount & Lewis gun
1940 Cab 11 F15A w/ Chev rear ends
1941 Cab 12 F15A
1942-44 Cab 13 F15A x 5
1942 cab 13 F15A with 2B1 box
1943 cab 13 F15A with 2H1 box
1943 Cab 13 C8A HUP
1944 Cab 13 C15A with 2C1 box
1943 Cletrac M2 High Speed Tractor
MkII Bren gun carrier chassis x 2
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  #2  
Old 24-03-07, 16:06
Gunner Gunner is offline
T' Guns thank God t' guns
 
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Default Gunner sigs

Hi Cletrac:

1st Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery is part of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery and the present day 1 RCHA is garrisoned in the Home Station of the artillery- Shilo, Manitoba.

The artillery depends absolutely on good signals. To this end it had and still has two types of signallers- artillery signallers (arty sigs) and Signallers from the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS)/Communications and Electronic Engineering Branch (CELE) (RC Sigs).

At the Troop, Battery and Regimental level the arty sigs handle short range communications between observers and guns as well as mobile stations (CO, etc) and the regimental, battery or troop nets. Regimental net is 'owned' by the Regimental Command Post Officer (RCPO) and he has a troop of RC Sigs (complete with Capt/Lt TC and a TSM) who handle long range communications external to the regiment, radio rebroadcast (relay stations) as well the maintenance of the regiment's radio equipment.

In WWII much of the communications was still by wire and line laying was a significant responsibility for both types of signallers. Line to higher formations and operating the switchboard was usually the sole province of the RC Sigs, the arty sigs looked after inter troop and intra battery line laying. The RC Sigs would drop connections in each battery area for the arty sigs to hook into.

Based on your description, your cousin was likely an arty sig- an artilleryman qualified to operate motor vehicles as well as operate signals equipment. In WWII multiple qualifications were not as common as today, nowadays after qualifying as a Gunner an artillery soldier will usually be trained as a driver and signaller or a driver and artillery technician (the guys who do all the math and computer plotting). To get to Sergeant a gunner will usually have all three qualifications as well as extensive leadership training and more advanced gunnery training.

As to the "C", as in civi street it is simply a class of licence which describes the types of vehicles he was qualified to operate. I do not have my research library close to hand as I am on military duty in Ghana but, if memory serves me correctly, he would have been qualified to operate small vehicles (jeeps,etc), medium trucks and artilley tractors as well as small tracked vehicles like the "Bren Carrier".

The RCA Museum in Shilo has extensive records including the detailed war diaries of 1 RCHA. Your cousin's wounding will likely be mentioned in the diary entry for the day he was wounded. The diaries are fragile and the staff are small so don't ask them to photocopy a page for you. Only researchers who make reservations and come in person are able to view the records. It is simply a time and economics issue.

There are a number of MLU members who live in the vicinity of Shilo who might offer to take a look at the diairies for you... be prepared to offer up a case of beer or a bottle of Saskatchewan's finest wine!

Hope this helps,

Mike
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  #3  
Old 26-03-07, 05:25
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David Pope
 
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Location: Eston, Sask, Canada
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Thanks for the input. Here's a copy of one of the pages from his service record.
Attached Thumbnails
fred service email.jpg  
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1940 Cab 11 C8 Wireless with 1A2 box & 11 set
1940 Cab 11 C8 cab and chassis
1940 Cab 11 C15 with 2A1 & Motley mount & Lewis gun
1940 Cab 11 F15A w/ Chev rear ends
1941 Cab 12 F15A
1942-44 Cab 13 F15A x 5
1942 cab 13 F15A with 2B1 box
1943 cab 13 F15A with 2H1 box
1943 Cab 13 C8A HUP
1944 Cab 13 C15A with 2C1 box
1943 Cletrac M2 High Speed Tractor
MkII Bren gun carrier chassis x 2
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  #4  
Old 26-03-07, 15:11
Noel Burgess Noel Burgess is offline
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Couple of thoughts here from someone who is no expert and stands ready to be corrected.

1. Royal Signals had "Signalmen", Royal Artilery had "Signallers" (Canadian assumed to be same?)

2.British ToE use a description "Driver IC" meaning Driver, Internal Combustion (presumably to avoid confusion with Driver, Mule and similar), though itseems your Cousin drove both. I have seen Driver IC used for drivers of anything from a Jeep to a 10 ton truck and was not aware of there also being a description of the class of vehicle driven.

Hope I will learn more from this.
Noel
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  #5  
Old 26-03-07, 21:32
Rob van Meel Rob van Meel is offline
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British Army Form A 2038 (Identification card for mecahnical drivers) come sin two versions:
up tp 1943 it simply gave information on the person mentioned on the card, (this was a landscape form AF) and the 1943 onwards was a portrait shape AF, and this version gave classes of vehicles that the driver was entitles to drive/ride.

Rob and Robje
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  #6  
Old 30-03-07, 06:28
cletrac (RIP)'s Avatar
cletrac (RIP) cletrac (RIP) is offline
David Pope
 
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On closer inspection of these records he passed a driver class B test in August 1942. On another page it says "qualified 3rd class drivers" in April 1942. He was "reclass driver mechanic (MV) in August 1944 while in hospital after hitting the land mine. His progression of drivers qualifications goes; driver 3rd class; driver B; driver mechanic C; driver mechanic "MV" C.
When wounded he was in 15 Canadian General Hospital and 5 Canadian General Hospital. I've seen reference of 5 CGH at Catania, Sicily late in 1943 and 15 CGH in Algeria at the same time but would they have still been located there by May to August in 1944? At one time he told me that he was at a hospital in Italy.
__________________
1940 Cab 11 C8 Wireless with 1A2 box & 11 set
1940 Cab 11 C8 cab and chassis
1940 Cab 11 C15 with 2A1 & Motley mount & Lewis gun
1940 Cab 11 F15A w/ Chev rear ends
1941 Cab 12 F15A
1942-44 Cab 13 F15A x 5
1942 cab 13 F15A with 2B1 box
1943 cab 13 F15A with 2H1 box
1943 Cab 13 C8A HUP
1944 Cab 13 C15A with 2C1 box
1943 Cletrac M2 High Speed Tractor
MkII Bren gun carrier chassis x 2
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