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"Date for SCR-538 being superseded by SCR-528 in tanks" Topic

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Starfury Rider27 Jan 2023 9:22 a.m. PST

I asked this over on Axis History forum but got no response, so thought I'd try here as well.

As I understand it, in the five Tank Platoon of either a Light or Medium Tank Company, the allocation of radio sets as of late 1943 was on these lines;

Platoon commander with SCR-528 (with one receiver and one transmitter unit)
Staff Sergeant with SCR-528 (as above)
Three Sergeants, each with SCR-538 (with one receiver unit only)

By Nov/Dec 1944 the set allocation had become;

Platoon commander with SCR-508 (with two receiver units and one transmitter unit) – also one AN/VRC3 if available
Staff Sergeant with SCR-528 (with one receiver and one transmitter unit) – also one AN/VRC3 if available
Three Sergeants, each with SCR-528 (with one receiver and one transmitter unit)

It occurred to me that I hadn't seen a date for the change that removed the SCR-538 from the bulk of the Platoon tanks. Having a look in the JJ Hays books on the US Armoured Division he gives it as one of the various amendments made with Change 3 of 16th June 1944. I think offhand I would have expected it to have been earlier in 1944, certainly pre Overlord. As a comparison, the USMC Tank Company showed SCR-528s as the basic tank set in their April 1944 T/O, with command/officer's tanks on the SCR-508.

I was wondering then whether the US Army introduced the SCR-528 as the basic tank radio set ahead of the change being notified in the Tables of Equipment, even if only for units in the ETO. Has anyone seen anything on the subject?



robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2023 7:19 p.m. PST

You need a better archivist than me for this one, let alone to figure out how quickly the additional sets were provided for units already overseas at the changeover date. But let me point out that TO&E can be an uncertain guide. Blumenson spends some time in Breakout and Pursuit on radios not authorized but still installed on a regular basis, especially sets which worked on infantry frequencies. Elsewhere I've seen reference to sets being salvaged from downed aircraft to improve air-ground coordination. My guess would be no tank was ever sent back for repairs with a working SCR-528 until everyone in at least the platoon had one.

Andy ONeill28 Jan 2023 1:10 p.m. PST

Have you read link you could convert a set between 508, 528 and 538.

Starfury Rider30 Jan 2023 11:44 a.m. PST

Thanks Andy, I had happened across that site oddly enough. A lot of the US radio manuals are on which is really helpful. As you say an SCR-538 could be uprated to SCR-528 with the transmitter unit being added, I just thought that was done much earlier than 1944 I suppose.

I did find a layout for the radio sets of DD tanks produced by the US Assault Training Center, I think dated to around March 1944 (not sure though), certainly pre June 1944. That says that for the eight DD Platoons expected for an assault, all the tanks would have the SCR-528, with four command tanks on the SCR-508, one command tank per two Platoons. A note says the Table of Basic Allowances had 24 SCR-538 set deleted, with 22 SCR-528 and two SCR-508 sets added.


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