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Abbreviations used in this website
A2A - Access To Archives:
The online website listing documents and providing content summaries of the records held at the various English record offices.
6AD -Sixth Amored Division:
an armoured division of the WW2 US army. Known as the Super Sixth, it was commanded by General Grow and was part of the American Third Army commanded by General George S Patton junior. Above him in the ETO was General Bradley and then General Eisenhower.
CCB - Combat Command B:
This was the name of a component of the WW2 era United States Army. In an American Armored Division there were three Combat Commands, CCA, CCB and CCR (Reserve). Various other components of the Division were assigned to a Combat Command as and when needed. The three Combat Commands were used to attack or defend under orders from Divisional HQ (Headquarters) and the Division's CG (Commanding General).
CT n - Combat Team and a number:
e.g. Combat Team 9 would mean Combat Team 9th Armored Infantry in a WW2 American Armored Division. These teams were temporary units created to perform a specific task at a particular time. It was CT9 and Captain Fred Keffer who discovered the Buchenwald Concentration Camp near Weimar on 11th April, 1945.
D-Day - 6th June, 1944:
D-Day was military shorthand for the day scheduled for the Allied Normandy Landing in WW2. Originally scheduled for 5th June they were delayed by bad weather and took place on the 6th. H-Hour was the time of the attack. Both terms could be used for any military operation but D-Day has gone into the language as meaning the Normandy Landings, the largest ever combined seaborne and airborne invasion in history.
DEFRA - The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Current UK government official department.
DEMS -Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship:
British and Canadian merchant ships equipped with a variety of defensive weaponry that was developed during the course of WW2.
ETO - European Theatre of Operations:
during WW2 this was the war in Europe. The war in the Pacific was termed the Pacific Theatre and other theatres of war were in the Mediterranean and in North Africa.
FW - 'Farmers Weekly':
The farming magazine that launched Anne Hughes Diary back in 1937. Farmers Weekly celebrates its 75th anniversary this year (2009).
Gn - e.g. G3:
'G' numbers 1 to 5 were assigned, according to their function, to different sections in a US Army Division HQ. For example G1 was the section dealing with personnel. G2 was for military intelligence and security. Similar functions existed lower down at Combat Command level, but they were assigned 'S' numbers'.
GI - General Infantryman:
Used here to mean an ordinary American soldier, although strictly speaking many in our story were not in the infantry. Another name for a US Army infantryman in WW2 was 'doughboy'.
HQ - Headquarters
HQ Co. - Headquarters Company:
Combat Command B HQ had its own HQ Co. who were billeted in Sarsden during most of their stay in England in 1944. They were equipped with Stuart light tanks, two and a half ton trucks, half-tracks and jeeps, known in the Armored Divsions as 'peeps'. For a while they also had 'Indian' motorcycles. The enlisted men carried M1 carbine rifles but they also used other weaponry. The HQ Co. carried out the functions of the Combat Command HQ, liaising with and co-ordinating the units under its command. It was also responsible for organising air support, generally from USAAF P47 Thunderbolt ground support fighters. Essentially the HQ Co. supported and defended the Combat Command HQ and was frequently in the thick of some heavy fighting. The Sixth Armored Division's CCB's HQ Co. was among the longest serving elements of the Third Army.
LAD - Light Aid Detachment.:
A LAD was a small group of army technicians who were seconded to maintain and repair vehicles, guns and other such equipment outside their own main workshops. Originally they were assigned from RAOC units and after its formation in October 1942, from REME.
NAAFI - Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes:
Her Majesty's Forces' official trading organisation. Its patron is HM The Queen. In WW2 it fulfilled a similar function to the American PX and was found in military locations in the UK and overseas. It served food and drink and cups of tea and beans on toast were popular. NAAFI packs were issued to all British troops involved in the D-Day landings.
NCO - Non Commissioned Officer:
NMR - National Monument Record
sometime referred to by the slang term 'Non-com'. Military rank with authority but below officer level, i.e. without a commission. Included are the ranks of corporal, sergeant, warrant officer etc.
England's National Monument Record is housed in the former Great Western Railway works at Swindon. It's part of English Heritage and holds records and photographs of buildings and landscapes in England.
NPRC - National Personnel Records Center:
Based in St Louis in Missouri, it holds twentieth-century US Military Personnel Records (MPR). From our perspective it holds Morning Reports and Unit Rosters of WW2 army units. Many records were lost in a fire here in 1973.
PAC - Parachute Aerial Canopy:
Also referred to as Parachute And Cable it was part of a WW2 British system of devices used to protect allied merchant ships against aerial attack. Found on DEMS, it involved launching parachute deploying rockets with wires suspended from them to deter or entrap attacking aircraft. The FAM or Fast Aerial Mine, another such device, had an explosive device attached to the cable.
PX - Post Exchange:
Found on American air bases and army locations. Here American servicemen could buy personal requirements and other items such as chocolate. The one at Sarsden was happy to sell things like chocolate to local civilians who could not otherwise get more than their ration book entitlement. I think the PX is similar to the British NAAFI organisation.
PFC - Private First Class:
the first enlisted rank above private in the WW2 era US Army and just lower than corporal. Wearing one inverted stripe on his uniform a PFC was possibly equivalent to a Lance Corporal in the British Army. There doesn't seem to have been an equivalent Technician grade in the US Army.
RAF - Royal Air Force:
Britain's air force during WW2 and now. During WW2 the British Empire still existed and the RAF was also home to men from both free Commonwealth countries such as Canada and Australia and occupied countries such as Poland and Czechoslovakia.
RAOC - Royal Army Ordnance Corps:
a part of the British Army maintaining and making available ammunition, stores, uniforms etc.
RASC - Royal Army Service Corps:
a part of the British Army mainly involved in distribution of materiel.
RCN - Royal Canadian Navy:
Canada's navy who fought with the allies in WW2. Canada was then a member of the British Empire.
REME - Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers:
formed in 1942, largely from the RASC and RAOC in order to consolidate and co-ordinate maintenance and repair of vehicles, anti aircraft guns etc. A continuing part of the modern British Army.
Tec4/Tech4 - Technician Grade Four:
an enlisted rank in the WW2 era US army. Not to be confused with Technical Sergeant, a much higher rank, or sergeant. A Tech4 wore three inverted stripes over a letter 'T', for Technician. A sergeant's stripes lacked the 'T'. Despite this a Tec4 might still be addressed as "sergeant".
Tec5/Tech5 - Technician Grade Five:
an enlisted rank in the WW2 era US army. Not to be confused with corporal. A Tech5 wore two inverted stripes over a letter 'T', for Technician. A corporal's stripes lacked the 'T'. A WW2 Tech5 was a lower rank than Tech4.
USAAF - United States Army Air Force:
USAF, the modern United States Air Force was formed after the war. During WW2 the American air force was still a part of the US Army.
TF surname - e.g. Task Force Baum:
A task force was like a combat team that would be sent away from the main fighting to perform a particular task. The surname would be that of the senior officer in charge. In a disastrous mission, 'TF Baum' was sent to relieve a German POW camp holding, among other American prisoners, General Patton's son-in-law.
Sn - e.g. S3:
S numbers 1 to 5 were assigned, according to their function, to different sections in a Combat Command HQ. For example S5 was the military government section. S3 was for air support. Similar functions existed at the higher division level, but they were assigned 'G numbers'.
WI - Women's Institute:
The UK's Women's Institute was, and is, a social organisation catering for women of all ages. During World War Two, members of the Women's Land Army's headquarters staff were recruited from this organisation by Lady Denman, herself a leading member of the WI.
WLA - Women's Land Army:
There were Women's Land Armies in other countries such as the USA and New Zealand but here we are referring to the UK's organisation of that name. Although called an 'army' it was a civilian organisation and was one of the approved work options open to women over 18 years of age who were required to do war-related work or join one of the services.
WO - Warrant Officer:WW2 - World War Two
a senior NCO in both British and American armies and in the RAF.