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 Post subject: WW2 Motorcycle Insignia
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 17:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 18:28 pm
Posts: 7
Hi;

Can anyone help with some information.

In the window of our local surf board shop is an old WW2 BSA which I have seen previously but today as I walked past I noticed on the tank the insignia which is a black and yellow diagonal (Black top left, yellow bottom right) with the number 84 on it, the paint is believed to be original.

Can anyone help identify this formation insignia, the reason for this request is below.

During WW2 my Grandfather was in the Royal Signals and was in 16 Air Formation Signals which was part of 85 Group RAF (confirmed today). I have a picture of him taken in London where he lived at the time standing behind a Motorcycle, which I think is a BSA, the tank has been removed and his oppo is obviously doing the work (oily hands) there is a helmet or the tank on the back seat? (picture attached).

Anyway on spotting the insignia, which I had not noticed previously, I had a thought that this motorcycle could have served with my Grandad's unit, 84 Group RAF however after checking my records I realised my mistake in that my Grandfather served with 85 Group.

In comparison to the main Royal Signals Units, the Air Formation Signals was such a small organisation not a lot is known or listed on the web and the on discussing the motorcycles history with the owner I found out that he has no idea what unit it served with but does know that it served with the Royal Signals this partly confirmed my thought that this could have been an Air Formation Signals motorcycle (albeit not in my Grandad's unit but near enough to take extra interest.

Sorry don't have a pic of the bike from the shop yet but I will post one up later.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 21:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 16:18 pm
Posts: 1093
Location: London
Real Name: Bryan Legate
Group: ATQM, AASI, S Co.
As far as I'm aware Air Formation Sigs used the blue and white of Royal Sigs, even the RAF marked signals vehicles and dispatch riders with blue and white.
All my reference books are on my desk at work, but numbers in the 80's were used for RASC units and I know post war the RASC flash was yellow and dark blue so it might be that?

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Always interested in anything related to WW2 military catering and field cookery.

Also interested in any and all RFC/RNAS/RAF Mechanical Transport (vehicles to you) information and images, from 1912 till 2012+.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 22:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 22:03 pm
Posts: 686
Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
Group: Poor Bloody Infantry
I can tell you straight off that the motorcycle pictured is not an BSA M20. I'll have a quick research and see if I can place the make and model for you.
The large side-vale rod inspection cover, rebated magneto drive cover and exhaust outlet coming from the underside of the over-sized head all shout 'Ariel' or early 'Norton' to me.

EDIT: It's a WD Norton 16H!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 23:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 22:03 pm
Posts: 686
Location: Hemel Hempstead & Derby
Real Name: Rob Fenn
Group: Poor Bloody Infantry
Video of restored RAF 16H here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0wHSAayNzY


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