M-227 Signal Lamp
Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:04 PM
Here is mine. The nomenclature for the whole set is Signal Lamp, Equipment, SE-11. Since this picture was taken, I have obtained the goggles, but I still need the spare lamp holder and the binocular filters. Nice little set of pathfinder equipment.
Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:37 PM
They were created for USAAF use, to signal from aircraft to aircraft in flight or on the ground, and from ground personnel on an airfield to aircraft, either on the ground or aloft. They were used in lieu of radio or to supplement radio traffic. They had a trigger to facilitate Morse code or pre-arranged codes. Most frequently, Troop Carriers used them to direct marshalling and power-up and "go" signals. Under radio silence, planes used them to signal between each other with simple messages, i.e. "open up formation", "nearing IP -- 5 minutes".
The Normandy Pathfinders were given some in their training work-up phases in the UK but they soon found them "useless". They were not bright enough to be seen at a distance of more than a couple hundred yards and not applicable to any purpose in NEPTUNE. No Pathfinders on the ground in Normandy tried passing a message with them to planes, Troop Carrier or otherwise, dashing overhead through a hail of flak.
Instead, the Normandy Pathfinders were equipped with the larger and more powerful British ALDIS lamp. ALDIS lamps were taken along and jumped with, but I have not seen any report of them actually being used to send dot-dit messages to aircraft aloft. They may have been switched on as continuous beacons, or spotlights.
Posted 10 February 2010 - 02:30 PM
I can't speak to their use in other capacity at Normandy, but they were used, at least, by the Navy's 2nd Beach Battalion signalmen on Utah Beach. Regards, Paul
Posted 03 April 2010 - 11:44 AM
Are their actually more pictures were you can see that the signal lamp was in use during WWII? I know that I have seen a picture were the signal lamps was in use during training in the 13th airborne original history books. Even any ETO related such as the Utah beach picture.
Posted 04 April 2010 - 02:52 PM
Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:29 AM
Are their actually more pictures were you can see that the signal lamp was in use during WWII?
Not really in use, but I have always thought the bag carried by the paratrooper with the roll under the left arm to be SE-11 Equipment... He also has the CS-34 linesman pouch which confirms the Signal Corps link or specialty...
I believe the general misconception that these were Pathfinder lights was started with the Osprey Elite Series booklet about the US AB Forces, back in the early 90s...
Edited by DesertRatTom, 16 June 2014 - 03:39 PM.
Pictures transferred from off-site server. drt
Posted 05 April 2010 - 06:21 AM
The bag in your photos appears to be, without question, the BG-131 for the signal lamp. Here is an enlargement of a Life
magazine photo of troops embarked for D-Day. The 2nd NBB signalman at the rear appears to have a BG-131 bag on his lap with his carbine. Note, they are both wearing the green dyed, Navy two piece anti-gas impregnated suits. Regards, Paul
Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:22 AM
That's definitely an SE-11 Equipment bag. As you say most people misconcept these signal lamps as pathfinder lights.
Probably their are equipment list out there that confirm that these were issued to certain units.
Posted 13 April 2010 - 07:12 PM
Posted 20 April 2015 - 07:02 AM
A Navy signalman from the 4th Naval Beach Battalion told me that he used these during amphibious landings in Sicily, Italy and S. France.
Posted 27 November 2016 - 09:18 AM
Posted 27 November 2016 - 11:14 AM
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