Vampire V2 restoration

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by peterb110, Jul 25, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. If any of you worked in 14 Sig with the 1 tonne Vampires you may be interested in a six page article that appeared in one of the Land Rover magazines on the restoration that I'm carrying out on V2 75FL93 Whisky Trp, 1 Sqn.

    PM me if you'd like a copy of the article.

  2. All vampires were in one troop when at Celle as I was on V5, I will get somebody to email you more details regards jj
  3. As far as I recall ('85-'89):

    V1-4 - W Tp 1 Sqn
    V5-8 - X Tp 1 Sqn

    V9-16 were in 2 Sqn, not sure how it worked after V Tp formed up.
  4. I've deduced the following, so it is probably wrong!

    In the period 1984 [first date Vampires went operational?] to 1990.

    V1 - 4 Whisky Trp, 1 Sqn.
    V5 - 8 X Ray Trp, 1 Sqn.
    V9 - 12 Yankee Trp, 2 Sqn.
    V13 - 16 Zulu Trp, 2 Sqn.

    Can anyone confirm that the V numbers were transferable from Vampire to Vampire? Any ideas why / when the numbers changed?

    75FL93 only came into service on 24/02/87 [it was the last one to join 14] and at some point after that "V2 the very good looking crew" was scribbled on the inside of the radio compartment door. There was another V2 prior to 02/87.

    I'm wondering if '93 became V2 when it went to 237 Sqn at Hullavington on 18/02/93.


  5. For the authentic paint job.... is it pink?
  6. I was on V5 in yankee troop in celle 90 -91, fat kev was in the same troop JJ
  7. Some of you may be interested to know that I was the Global Equipment Manager for (among other things) the 1 Tonne Land Rover. The procurement of the actual EW systems and vehicles to carry them was a Cluster only the MoD could arrange. :(

    The vehicles came from Pre-positioned Unit Equipment (PUE) stocks and whilst they may not have had many miles on the clock they were a heap of sh1te and were actually Obsolescent when they were issued to you - hence the high VOR rates.

    We ended up having to issue loads of knackered old 1 Tonnes to keep 14 Sigs mobile :oops:
  8. Hi Rickshaw Major

    "We ended up having to issue loads of knackered old 1 Tonnes to keep
    14 Sigs mobile"

    I'd always understood that Marshalls of Cambridge only made 18 or 20 of the Vampire bodies on the 1 tonne chassis.

    Given the high VOR rates you mention were GS's being cannibalized to keep the Vampires operational or ?

    Any photos you can PM me?

  9. I haven't I'm afraid as the 1 Tonne was just another vehicle to me from and Equipment Management viewpoint. The Box Bodies weren't the problem - they were new. The problem was automotive trains e.g. engines, gearboxes, clutches (I'm sweating again :twisted: ), brakes, doors, body panels etc, etc. In the end ALL of the GS and any other variant that was VOR (bearing in mind ALL of the variants were Obsolescent) became BER and were reserved for 14 Sigs including RHD variants in the UK.

    IIRC some were kept on the sales Park at Moenchengladbach and the rest either at FVD Recklinghausen or at 14 Sigs itself.

    And don't even mention Project BATES :evil:
  10. Accepted wisdom at the regiment in the late 80s was that the Van 1-tonne EW/Y - the basic variant, non-Vampire - was based on ambulance chassis. The rebuild was extensive on both them and the Vampires, the 12/24/240 volt power provision being particularly loathsome. Pre-Granby the Regiment also had a number of 1-tonne rebros, which may also have been unique.

    Altogether a horrible vehicle - overpowered and undertorqued, a nightmare to drive cross-country and downright dangerous to drive - my troop had one relatively minor RTA which saw one of the complex vehicles hit a tree and the entire cab crumpled around the crew. God be thanked the injuries were minor, it could have been a disaster.
  11. Hi Glad

    All 1 tonne variants started life as GS's and used the same chassis, engine and transmission, there were variations in shock absorbers according to weight. The Radio van, Ambulance and Vampire body conversions were all carried out by Marshalls of Cambridge.

    The Complex 1 tonners [Radio vans] were converted to role at 33 Central Workshops, REME, at Chilwell.

    It was generally thought that the GS's that went to Marshalls for initial conversion were pulled from reserve stocks held at Ashchurch.

    If you've got any photos of V's or Complex 1 tonners I'd appreciate sight of them.

    I've managed to assemble a database of the Vampire variant and am about 70% there with a Complex database, so any info is appreciated.

  12. They were indeed - I signed the Issue Order :D They were PUE vehicles. As an aside in those days they were (after conversion) reclassified from B Vehicles to E vehicles - a B Vehicle that has been modified so much it is no longer used for its original purpose and requires specialist Equipment Management. In other words the bodies were worth a damned sight more than the wrecks I issued :D

    IIRC they were also petrol engined!

    Edited to add - and the Ashchurch UIN was CA 005A.

    I need a drink :(
  13. Hi Rickshaw Major

    "In other words the bodies were worth a damned sight more than the wrecks I issued".

    Undoubtedly! I've got a Vampire MMI from 1985 where the unit cost is given as £440K....

    They were petrol, early Range Rover 3.5 litre V8's. Today the MPG on V2 with EW trailer "on the hook" and a train weight of around 4.3 tonnes is 9 MPG.

    What does PUE mean?

  14. Pre-positioned Unit Equipments (PUE) were vehicles specifically held for issues to REDRUM (REDistribution of Regular Unit Manpower) and TA Units etc on Mobilisation, Ex etc. The net result is that the veicles didn't move much but they were old and only received the minimum of servicing in Depots so they weren't as good as everybody thought they were.

    If it is still in good nick with all of the bits from original manufacture it may still have its Equipment Asset Code plate fitted by the drivers seat and it will say something like VB 18NN NNNN.

    The NNNN bit will tell you if it RHD or LHD. The first N of the second Numeric Group will be less than or equal to 5 for RHD and 6 or greater than 6 for LHD.

    e.g. VB 1720 8100 was an FFR LHD L/Rover 110 and VB 1710 8100 was the GS version.

    AND while we are at it there is no such thing as a VRN - it is an Equipment Registration Mark (ERM) and vehicles were Category 1(A)1 items i.e. they were so expensive/war winning that they were controlled both by Quantity and ERM.

    AND WMR vehicles were just that - A War Maintenance Reserve. So if mobilisation happened and the CO's vehicle was in workshops having an engine replacement a WMR vehicle could be issued. There were no Battle Casualty stocks held except of A vehicles and some specials.

    AND there is NO SUCH THING as WMR ammunition - it is War Reserve. (I feel SO much better for getting that off my chest :D )

    Feck me this is digging up some hidden info. I need a drink :D