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  #1  
Old 22-11-23, 07:50
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Default Unit & Truck ID: 4 Line of Communication (Railhead) Company R.A.S.C.

Colleagues - it was already back in late 2015 when I asked here about the census numbers of some trucks. I started to "research" about the unit mentioned in the title. But all came to nothing and the "project" got stuck. Now, I thought it may be good to take it up again - the idea is to a have a special issue of the TRACKS-magazine with the (provisional) tittle "Mack & White".

To take up the discussion of 2015, I will copy the relavnt posts here below.

And then the big question: Where can I find information (or who could provide me with) about 4 Line of Communication (Railhead) Company R.A.S.C.?

This unit was located in Egypt, and a part of it got the task to help supplying Kufra. They were equipped with the big Mack and White trucks. Their war diary is kept at TNA - unfortunately not mentioning the Kufra convoys with a single word. But they were there - the photos give the evidence. You have probably seen a photo where a Gloster "Gladiator" is loaded on such truck, that was them. They also carried the broken down small CMP back to Wadi Halfa. The biggest convoy the had (as per the caption on a photo), was 21 of these big trucks at once ploughing through the desert.
Now - whilst I have photographs, I have hardly any information about this unit and its missions. Should it be that accidentally somebody of you would find something one day - please let me know.

And since the photos are subject of a coming (small) book project - please understand that I cannot just post them here in advance :-)

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  #2  
Old 22-11-23, 11:16
wally dugan wally dugan is offline
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Default unit and truck id

the RLC MUSEUM will hold details of all railway companies the old museum of army transport had them before it closed
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  #3  
Old 22-11-23, 20:20
Kuno Kuno is offline
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I am not sure if the unit is related to "railways" - they had heavy trucks but no trains/railways (or do I understand something wrong?)
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  #4  
Old 22-11-23, 22:15
wally dugan wally dugan is offline
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Default unit and truck id

the RLC MUSEUM HOLDS UNIT IFORMATION ON RASC and military railways so they MAY BE OF HELP
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  #5  
Old 22-11-23, 22:18
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Here the planned cover:
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Mack & White_Cover temp.jpg  
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  #6  
Old 23-11-23, 01:40
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Looks good.......

........thanks Kuno for all the hard work........ looking forward to the new issue.

Bob C
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  #7  
Old 23-11-23, 05:42
Kuno Kuno is offline
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I expect that this will take quite some time, Bob...
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  #8  
Old 24-11-23, 11:04
KevinHann KevinHann is offline
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The book project sounds good.
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  #9  
Old 25-11-23, 06:23
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Unfortunately the documents of the museum say that the 4 L.o.C. did not exist anymore after the fall of France. This is confusing since I have its war diary of 1941 when it was in Egypt and Palestine. But also the war diary does not help me much further since it only mentions that A Section with 40 trucks was in Sudan.
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  #10  
Old 25-11-23, 17:46
David Dunlop David Dunlop is offline
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Hi Kuno.

It looks like one of the challenges you have with this current, very interesting, project is understanding what the RASC and Railways have in common. You are correct in your assumption they do not share common railway equipment. The key to how they compliment each other is in the term "Railhead" assigned to RASC Units.

In railway terminology, a 'railhead' is essentially the end of the line. The railway terminates there and goes no further. That can create a serious problem for the military trying to get supplies to their troops where needed. Typically the nearest major military supply base could be many miles away from the railhead. In a high risk war zone, it is not in the best interests of either the railway, or the military, for the offloading of cargo at a railhead to take a long time. That ties up rail cars and puts railway equipment and RASC personnel at risk of attack, and significant loss of men, equipment and needed goods for everyone. So the military need to get goods at the railhead offloaded as quickly as possible and into their supply chain. That is where these RASC Railhead Companies were employed. As you have noted, they were issued with cargo trucks at the high end of the load carrying capacity. This enabled them to offload goods from a train as quickly as possible and get them on the road to the nearest military supply base, where other RASC units with fleets of smaller GS trucks could take over getting the required supplies out to where they were needed.

This is a bit of a generalization, Kuno, but hopefully helps you see how these Railhead Companies fitted into the supply distribution network. In a way, they worked most often well away from the front lines and the critical work they performed is ofter forgotten.

Good luck with your project!


David
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  #11  
Old 28-11-23, 05:13
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Thank you very much for this explanation, David.

Last edited by Kuno; 03-12-23 at 08:18.
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  #12  
Old 29-11-23, 04:47
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default To whom ever knows.....

There was a major port on the far Eastern side of the Mediterean that ships were dropping off Canadian CMP and parts...... they were taken to a rail depot in Russia by trucks over Arab territory....... thinking of Bhasra.... so that would have the port...British truck depot...... overland by HD trucks convoy to a railhead in Russia??? Could have been RASC personnel.

Does anyone remember the sea port????
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Last edited by Bob Carriere; 29-11-23 at 05:20.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-23, 08:18
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Thanks Bob - I am afraid I have to limit myself to the time where one section of the unit was detached to the Kufra-Convoys.
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  #14  
Old 29-02-24, 06:17
Kuno Kuno is offline
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I am afraid but it appears that nobody (not only here) knows about this unit... so it will remain one of the "desert misteries"...
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  #15  
Old 02-03-24, 00:08
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Keith Brooker Keith Brooker is offline
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Hi Kuno,
Do you have any photographs with a unit sign on them as they might be in this book i had printed.
Keith
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  #16  
Old 15-03-24, 17:38
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Hi Keith - this is the only photo where a unit sign is visible... do you recognize it?


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  #17  
Old 16-03-24, 03:08
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Confused.....

Is the driver lying on his side or has the truck flipped????

Unit color sign could be red/Green for RASC or CDN....RCASC with a white cross for the theatre they were in.....like RCASC had a white bottom border for Canadian based vehicles....
PS...I have a shipping way bill addressed to Bashra.....crates contained 6 headlight assembly possibly for the desert 42 LRDG trucks or other Chev lend-lease trucks.
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  #18  
Old 16-03-24, 08:58
Kuno Kuno is offline
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The truck is lyig on its side.
There were no Canadian units in North Africa - and this photo was taken on the road between Tobruk and Tripoli in Libya.

Would you recognize the "logo" with the camel?
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  #19  
Old 17-03-24, 18:51
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default Except for the cigarettes.........

.....nope...... but French people called out idiots...... Chameaux!!!!!!

Sure would make for easier off loaded at ground height.....
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  #20  
Old 19-03-24, 21:09
wally dugan wally dugan is offline
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the camel is that of the GHQ MIDDLE EAST FORCES
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  #21  
Old 23-03-24, 10:26
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Thank you, Wally - and would you have an idea on what is shown on the other plate?
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  #22  
Old 23-03-24, 13:07
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default RASC General Transport Coy

I consulted my friend Bert Lindeboom and he told me 2264 stands for a RASC General Transport Coy. He cannot ID the number, but 2262 was 36 General Transport Coy and 2263 was 562 General Transport Coy.
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  #23  
Old 24-03-24, 09:04
Kuno Kuno is offline
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Thank you Hanno - this is a good hint!
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