Field Artillery Unit Codes


To explain how unit codes marked on L-4 and L-5 airplanes were issued I would like to quote K. Wakefield:

Blocks of two digit identity code numbers were issued to each Army Head Quarters in North - West Europe by the Artillery Air Officer, 12th ( formerly 1st) Army Group. Within each Army the respective Army Artillery Air Officer issued codes from his allocated block of the corps, divisions and Field Artillery Groups under his jurisdiction. Unit codes were applied in white ahead of the fuselage ‘Star and Bar’, followed by an individual airplane identification letter, also in white, to the rear of the insignia. The letters I and O were normally not used ( to prevent confusion with 1 and 0) but there are numerous exceptions. The first airplane received the letter A and so on. In case they ran out of letters, a double letter was assigned, eg. AA. and so on. Since there was not enough room available, a double letter was applied in form of an underlined letter on the fuselage. On our L-4 for example, the 69-OO is displayed as 69-O_.

A different system, using two letters only, was used for unit identification in Southern and Central Europe by 5th and 7th Armies. This system did not provide for individual airplane identification. That meant the standard two airplanes (2 for each Battalion)or more or other units were carrying the same unit code. 

There are no records illustrating each different unit code and the list is not complete.



The listed Unit codes are the result of research performed by K. Wakefield, Arno L., J. O’Leary and Bart "Cubman". If you are aware of errors or you have an update please let us know and we will update this list. Last Update 26.03.2020. Changes are highlighted in red.


Note by Paul Smith and Bart Cubman:

Unit codes were not always changed on individual aircraft that were transferred from one Corps to another or from one Army to another unless the unit that particular code identifies had its code changed. He also mentions that codes for non-divisional units (eg. “ bastard FA Bn’s”) appear to have been assigned by the respective Corps. Paul reached this conclusion based on tracking individual aircraft as they moved around as described in the NUSA journals. 


As an example we use our L-4J 44-80344. It served in the 547th FA Bn and was issued a unit code under the 19th Corps, 34th FA brigade, 404th FA Gp. On March 17, it joined the 40th FA Group to support the 2nd Britisch Army and transferred afterwards back to the 404th FA Group keeping the unit code. In other words, there is no 100% guarantee that the unit codes are always adhering to the list.


In contrast, there are several records showing L-4’s being flown in to MR&RS Units to have their Unit Codes changed. E.g. Col. Leich illustrates in his personal records that two L-4’s of the 258th FA Gp and  258th FA Bn visited the 50th MR&RS strip at München-Gladbach on March 23, 1945 to have their unit codes changed. Most likely these were changed from 59* to 32* 



12th Army Group; 1ST, 3RD, 9TH AND 15TH US ARMIES

Update 26.03.2020 J.O’Leary provided the following information and supplied pictures to correct the Unit Codes 25 & 35.

Unit Code 25. V Corps. He refers to the V Corps unit history book, p.161 that shows three photos from the family of a V Corps, 987th F.A Bn. pilot named Lt. George Abright from Hannibal, Mo. He transferred to J. O’Leary’s dad  9th Armored air-section in March 1945. George’s L-4 is coded  25 * L and is at Cerisy la Foret, Normandy, July ‘44. He maintained this same L-4 from June ‘44 thru March 1945.

Unit Code 35. 2nd Div. He refers to a photo of 15th F.A. pilot Lt.Ted Timreck. Ted gave hime about 30 pictures he brought back from the ETO. One of Ted’s photos was taken in a field at Brest in August of ‘44. His L-4 is at center and is coded 35 * H.


Update 28.2.2020 Unit Code 77. 929th FA Bn. A confirmation given by Matthew B., the senior curator for the Museum of Flight in Seattle which has a large collection of documents and items off 1st Lieutenant Charles Shoop who flew L-4s with the 929th FA Bn. of the 104th Infantry Division. In several wartime photos (probably taken in Belgium or Germany), the code 77 appears on an L-4. Mr M. B. can only assume that is part of the code used by the 929th FAB.


Unit Code 40. Bart “Cubman” came across a picture in “Light Planes at War” by K. Wakefield showing a Bücker Bü 181 in US markings. On the same picture is an L-4 with the Unit Code 40 * C and is flown by the 395th FA Bn, 16th Armd Div.


Important Note. There is a complete different opinion between the unit codes 25 & 35. According the research of Ken Wakefield, 25 is 2nd Div. Arty and 35 is V Corps. Evidence by means of pictures supplied by J. O’Leary shows it vice versa in contradiction to K. Wakefield’s research. I changed the unit codes according the evidence but do ask for more information on these codes in form of pictures and history books. Thank you.


12TH ARMY GROUP: 1ST, 3RD, 9TH AND 15TH US ARMIES 30.03.20
 
21 8 Armored Division Artillery 398 Armd FA Bn 399 Armd FA Bn 405 Armd FA Bn
22 1? US Army Artillery (HQ)
23 1? US Army Artillery (HQ)
24 3 US Army Artillery (HQ) 357 FA Bn
25 5 US Corps Artillery (HQ) 987 FA Bn
26 7 US Corps Artillery (HQ) 188 FA Group
28 12 US Corps Artillery (HQ) 774 FA Bn
29 15 US Corps Artillery (HQ) 250 FA Bn
32 119 Field Artillery Group 228 FA Group
33 9 Infantry Divsion Artillery 26 FA Bn 34 FA Bn 60 FA Bn 84 FA Bn
33-V 256 FA Bn
34 1 Infantry Divsion Artillery 5 FA Bn 7 FA Bn 32 FA Bn 33 FA Bn
35 2 Infantry Divsion Artillery 12 FA Bn 15 FA Bn 37 FA Bn 38 FA Bn
36 4 Infantry Divsion Artillery 20 FA Bn 29 FA Bn 42 FA Bn 44 FA Bn
37 76 Infantry Divsion Artillery 302 FA Bn 355 FA Bn 364 FA Bn 901 FA Bn
38 8 Infantry Divsion Artillery 28 FA Bn 43 FA Bn 45 FA Bn 56 FA Bn
39 ? US Corps Artillery (HQ)
40 16 Armored Division Artillery 395 FA Bn
41 63 Infantry Divsion Artillery 718 FA Bn 861 FA Bn 862 FA Bn 863 FA Bn
43 29 Infantry Divsion Artillery 110 FA Bn 111 FA Bn 224 FA Bn 227 FA Bn
44 30 Infantry Divsion Artillery 113 FA Bn 118 FA Bn 197 FA Bn 230 FA Bn
45 35 Infantry Divsion Artillery 127 FA Bn 161 FA Bn 216 FA Bn 219 FA Bn
46 79 Infantry Divsion Artillery 183 FA Bn
47 83 Infantry Divsion Artillery 322 FA Bn 323 FA Bn 324 FA Bn 908 FA Bn
48 90 Infantry Divsion Artillery 343 FA Bn 344 FA Bn 345 FA Bn 915 FA Bn
49 2 Armored Division Artillery 14 Armd FA Bn 78 Armd FA Bn 92 Armd FA Bn 696 FA Bn
51 69 Infantry Divsion Artillery 724 FA Bn 879 FA Bn 880 FA Bn 881 FA Bn
52 3 Armored Division Artillery 54 Armd FA Bn 67 Armd FA Bn 391 Armd FA Bn
53 4 Armored Division Artillery 22 Armd FA Bn 66 Armd FA Bn 94 Armd FA Bn
54 5 Armored Division Artillery 47 Armd FA Bn 71 Armd FA Bn 95 Armd FA Bn
55 6 Armored Division Artillery 128 Armd FA Bn 212 Armd FA Bn 231 Armd FA Bn
56 7 Armored Division Artillery 434 Armd FA Bn 440 Armd FA Bn 489 Armd FA Bn
57 82 Airborne Division  319 Glider FA Bn  320 Glider FA Bn  376  Para FA Bn  456  Para FA Bn 
59 258 Field Artillery Group 196 FA Bn
61 70 Infantry Divsion Artillery 725 FA Bn 882 FA Bn 883 FA Bn 884 FA Bn
62 8 US Corps Artillery (HQ)
63 9 US Army Artillery (HQ) 349 FA Group 659 FA Bn
65 94 Infantry Divsion Artillery 301 FA Bn 356? FA Bn 390 FA Bn 919 FA Bn
66 95 Infantry Divsion Artillery 378 Inf Reg
67 9 Armored Division Artillery 3 Armd FA Bn 16 Armd FA Bn 76? Armd FA Bn 73 FA Bn
68 13 US Corps Artillery (HQ)
69 US Corps Artillery (HQ) 547 FA Bn
70 42 Infantry Divsion Artillery 232 FA Bn 292 FA Bn 402 FA Bn 542 FA Bn
72 2 French Armored Division
73 17 Airborne Division
74 26 Infantry Divsion Artillery 101 FA Bn 102 FA Bn 180 FA Bn 263 FA Bn
75 4 Infantry Divsion Artillery
76 102 Infantry Divsion Artillery 379 FA Bn 380 FA Bn 381 FA Bn 927 FA Bn
77 104 Infantry Divsion Artillery 385 FA Bn 386 FA Bn 387 FA Bn 929 FA Bn
78 10 Armored Division Artillery 419 Armd FA Bn 420 Armd FA Bn 423 Armd FA Bn
82 16 US Corps Artillery (HQ)
86 78 Infantry Divsion Artillery 307 FA Bn 308 FA Bn 309 FA Bn 903 FA Bn
87 84 Infantry Divsion Artillery 325 FA Bn 326 FA Bn 327 FA Bn 909 FA Bn
88  87 Infantry Divsion Artillery 334 FA Bn 335 FA Bn 336 FA Bn 912 FA Bn
89 99 Infantry Divsion Artillery 370 FA Bn 371 FA Bn 372 FA Bn 924 FA Bn
93 103 Infantry Divsion Artillery 382 FA Bn 383 FA Bn 384 FA Bn 928 FA Bn
94 106 Infantry Divsion Artillery 589 FA Bn 590 FA Bn 591 FA Bn 592 FA Bn
96 12 Armored Division Artillery 493 Armd FA Bn 494 Armd FA Bn 495 Armd FA Bn
97 14 Armored Division Artillery 499 Armd FA Bn 500 Armd FA Bn 501 Armd FA Bn
98 219 FA Group
13 Airborne Division
101 Airborne Division
11 Armored Division Artillery 490 Armd FA Bn 491 Armd FA Bn 492 Armd FA Bn
13 Armored Division Artillery 496 Armd FA Bn 497 Armd FA Bn 498 Armd FA Bn
16 Armored Division Artillery 393 Armd FA Bn 396 Armd FA Bn 397 Armd FA Bn
20 Armored Division Artillery 412 Armd FA Bn 413 Armd FA Bn 414 Armd FA Bn
BC  3 Infantry Divsion Artillery 9 FA Bn 10 FA Bn 39 FA Bn 41 FA Bn
5 Infantry Divsion Artillery 19 FA Bn 21 FA Bn 46 FA Bn 50 FA Bn
28 Infantry Divsion Artillery 107 FA Bn 108 FA Bn 109 FA Bn 229 FA Bn
36 Infantry Divsion Artillery 131 FA Bn 132 FA Bn 133 FA Bn 155 FA Bn
? 44 Infantry Divsion Artillery 156 FA Bn 157 FA Bn 217 FA Bn 220 FA Bn
45 Infantry Divsion Artillery 158 FA Bn 160 FA Bn 171 FA Bn 189 FA Bn
65 Infantry Divsion Artillery 720 FA Bn 867 FA Bn 868 FA Bn 869 FA Bn
66 Infantry Divsion Artillery 721 FA Bn 870 FA Bn 871 FA Bn 872 FA Bn
71 Infantry Divsion Artillery 564 FA Bn 607 FA Bn 608 FA Bn 609 FA Bn
75 Infantry Divsion Artillery 730 FA Bn 897 FA Bn 898 FA Bn 899 FA Bn
79 Infantry Divsion Artillery 310 FA Bn 311 FA Bn 312 FA Bn 904 FA Bn
80 Infantry Divsion Artillery 313 FA Bn 314 FA Bn 315 FA Bn 905 FA Bn
86 Infantry Divsion Artillery 331 FA Bn 332 FA Bn 404 FA Bn 911 FA Bn
89 Infantry Divsion Artillery 340 FA Bn 341 FA Bn 563 FA Bn 914 FA Bn
? 95 Infantry Divsion Artillery 358 FA Bn 359 FA Bn 360 FA Bn 920 FA Bn
97 Infantry Divsion Artillery 303 FA Bn 386 FA Bn 389 FA Bn 922 FA Bn
100 Infantry Divsion Artillery 373 FA Bn 374 FA Bn 375 FA Bn 925 FA Bn

5TH AND 7TH US ARMIES

5TH AND 7TH US ARMIES 30.03.20
A 5 US Army Artillery HQ    
AA 1 Armd Div, Div Arty HQ    
AB 1 Armored Division Artillery 27 FA Bn
AC 1 Armored Division Artillery 68 FA Bn
AD 1 Armored Division Artillery 91 FA Bn
BA 3 Inf Div, Div Arty HQ    
BB 3 Infantry Divsion Artillery 9 FA Bn
BC 3 Infantry Divsion Artillery 10 FA Bn
BD 3 Infantry Divsion Artillery 39 FA Bn
BE 3 Infantry Divsion Artillery 45 FA Bn
CA 34 Inf Div, Div Arty HQ    
CB 34 Infantry Divsion Artillery 125 FA Bn
CC 34 Infantry Divsion Artillery 151 FA Bn
CD 34 Infantry Divsion Artillery 175 FA Bn
CE 34 Infantry Divsion Artillery 185 FA Bn
DB 36 Infantry Divsion Artillery 131 FA Bn
DE 155 FA Bn
E 17 FA Gp.    
EE 7 Army
FA 13 FA Bgde    
FH     141 FA Bn
FJ 248 FA Bn
FP 935 FA Bn
FX Corps Artillery  977 FA Bn
JA 6 FA Gp. Arty HQ    
JB     59 FA Bn
JC     69 FA Bn
JD     93 FA Bn
UC     602 FA Bn
UD 460 Para FA Bn

Liaison Squadrons in the ETO
6C 14 Liaison Squadron
47 Liaison Squadron
N/A 72 Liaison Squadron
121 Liaison Squadron
2B 125 Liaison Squadron
8R  153 Liaison Squadron
158 Liaison Squadron
167 Liaison Squadron
173 Liaison Squadron