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  #1  
Old 11-06-20, 09:08 AM
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phaethon phaethon is offline
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Default BAOR MSO 323rd Company patch

Hi all,

I picked up this interesting patch and I would like to learn more about it - what type of Mixed Service Organisation unit 323 Company was? It is my understanding that it was transport unit but I am not sure. Because the shields, I assume it consist civilians and ex-POWs from Baltic States. Was it established around 1948 and was ceased somewhere in early 50s?

Also, does any of you have seen it before, are these faked as well and where it was worn (on the sleeve?)?

Any information of this patch and unit would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!



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I am always looking early (pre 1939) British ribbon bars with foreign awards; interesting devices or just different construction solutions. Also I am seeking Royal Dublin Fusiliers items. I can help in small scale to research RDF soldiers (MICs, medal rolls, additional information, etc).
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  #2  
Old 11-06-20, 09:19 AM
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phaethon phaethon is offline
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Same metal badge was sold here:

https://www.vitber.com/en/lot/46703

(does anybody knows how much it went for?)
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I am always looking early (pre 1939) British ribbon bars with foreign awards; interesting devices or just different construction solutions. Also I am seeking Royal Dublin Fusiliers items. I can help in small scale to research RDF soldiers (MICs, medal rolls, additional information, etc).
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  #3  
Old 11-06-20, 10:09 AM
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mike_vee mike_vee is offline
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Found a list of post 1945 units but it doesn't really give any details about 323 company.

c1953 : 323 Company MSO : Germany : Latvian

Royal Army Service Corps» Companies 131 to 500

But emblems on badge are for :

Estonia - Blue/Black/White
Latvia - Carmine Red/White/Carmine Red
Lithuania - Yellow/Green/Red

One interseting point is that during Soviet occupation (from 1940 - 1990) the use of the Latvian national flag was suppressed.

" During the period of occupation by the Soviet Union (and briefly by Nazi Germany), the red-white-red Latvian flag was rendered useless from 1940-1941 and 1944-1991. Any production and public display of the nationalist Latvian flag was considered anti-state crime and punishable by law."
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  #4  
Old 11-06-20, 10:27 AM
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engr9266 engr9266 is offline
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I have the metal version of this badge and it is my understanding that they were a Transport company with mixed nationals, I would also assume that the cloth/embroidered badge was worn by a "senior" member of the unit properly on the left or right breast pocket. I could be wrong on that. A lot of the MSO units were made up by displaced poles.
Jerry

German Support Organisation
606 MCTG
At the end of World War II, the Allies were faced with the daunting task of administering their respective Occupation Zones. To assist in this task, a number of Transport units were formed from prisoners of war. They were called 'Dienstgruppen' (DGs). Initially, the personnel in these units wore their German Army uniforms, but in July 1947 these were replaced by a dark-brown battledress. Later in that year, a redesignation to the German Civilian Labour Organisation (GCLO) took place.

The units were used on practically any task, but in the main supported major BAOR exercises, using a wide variety of American, ex-Germany Army, Canadian and British Army vehicles. Amongst the many undertakings of this difficult period was the Berlin Airlift. GCLO Transport Units provided the vital links between supply depots, railheads and the airfields. The enthusiasm with which the GCLO workers supported the West German end of the Airlift operation is something which all who witnessed it will never forget.

In October 1950, a further reorganisation was undertaken, and retitling to the German Service Organisation (GSO) took place. At the same time the number of groups was gradually reduced, mainly by amalgamation. In 1957 the GSO Transport Units became Mobile Civilian Transport Groups (MCTGs), taking the same numbers as their predecessors.

The next few years saw a significant change of emphasis in the role of the MCTGs. From being largely operational transport in support of the RASC in the field, they took over the buses established for school children, family administration and the newly introduced air trooping. The RCT Freight Service, which started in BAOR in the late 1960s, was operated to a large extent by MCTG vehicles and drivers.

The survivors of an almost non-stop round of reviews, cuts, restrictions, streamlining and financial stringency, the MCTGs have earned an almost Darwinian reputation for evolving and adapting to change. Over the entire period that they have served the British Army in Germany, these units have built up a tradition of loyal service and good vehicle husbandry, which was carefully cherished and much admired.

603 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Hohne
604 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Dortmund
605 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Münster
606 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Mönchengladbach
607 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Paderborn
608 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Mönchengladbach
626 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Düsseldorf
627 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Minden
629 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Osnabrück
632 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Lohne
633 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Celle
636 Mobile Civilian Transport Group RCT - Werl

Mixed Services Organisations

At the end of the Second World War, there were over 2 million Poles stranded in Europe. Although Poland had been the first nation to succumb to Hitler's aggression, its Army remained in the field throughout the war and by 1945, it was the fourth largest Allied army, behind the USSR, USA and Great Britain. After the war, without an independent homeland, many Poles faced a future in exile. Some emigrated but some remained in Germany, and were absorbed into military guard companies.

In 1947 the first British units employing Poles were formally established. They were formed in Fallingbostel on the site of the POW camps, in which some of the Poles had been incarcerated. 317 Unit MSO RASC was the first Polish tank transporter unit and it took the Diamond Ts and other equipment from 15 Company RASC. In 1952, 312 Unit MSO RASC, the second Polish Tank Transporter Unit, was formed. These two units were based in Fallingbostel and Hamm: from these the proud Polish tank transporter tradition within 7 Regiment was developed. Unit titles changed over the years, but the personnel were the same; loyal and hard-working with an outstanding reputation amongst the customer units.

The first three senior Superintendents were holders of either the Polish Victoria Cross, the Virtuti Militar (VM), or the Cross of Valour (KW). The most dynamic of the early Superintendents was Staff Superintendent Stanislaw Ostapowicz, an Austrian trained officer, who had fought with the artillery from 1914-18, later winning the VM and the KW, with two bars, in the Russian War. By 1939, he was commanding an artillery regiment with whom he served until captured by the Germans. Late in 1939, he dressed in the uniform of a dead corporal to avoid being taken for an officer when captured by the Russians. He escaped, only to be recaptured by the Germans. After the war, he set up an Officers' Mess for his Polish Officers in Fallingbostel, where behaviour was as strict as the old traditions demanded.

Although the MSO connection ended in 1985, the links remain with this special group of men. Each Christmas, 16 Tank Transporter Squadron hosts a party for Polish ex-members. On Christmas Day in 1990, whilst deployed on Operation Granby, the Commanding Officer's Orders Group broke bread together in honour of the Polish tradition. The flag of 7 Regiment is the Polish National Flag of white over scarlet and is flown at all Regimental locations. The Polish Eagle is proudly worn on the Mess Kit. The Regimental grace and toast are both Polish and one of the Regiment's centre pieces is a magnificent silver Polish Eagle. These men from Poland made a deep impression on everyone who ever had the privilege of serving with them. Their ethos and traditions will not be forgotten.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 25 MSO 323 metal#.jpg (57.7 KB, 30 views)
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Last edited by engr9266; 11-06-20 at 10:41 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-20, 01:58 PM
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phaethon phaethon is offline
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Thank you so much guys! This is a cracking metal badge engr9266 - if one if these pop up for a sale I will be very interested!

I am confident that the unit 323 consist as well Estonians and Lithuanians and not only Latvians. Other way the flags of each countries would not make sense on the badge.
I found out now that there was a MSO unit where at least 3 platoons were made up by Estonians (27 men in each) but not sure was it the same 323 Co. There may be another companies as well. Obviously majority of MSO units looks like was put together by Polish nationals.

I had been more familiar with the similar units in US side - labor service and also for a civilian guards.

I have in my collection this patch for Estonian units and a smaller scroll "Baltic".



One interesting piece of history of these units are here on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qcEFnGeZ6A
__________________
I am always looking early (pre 1939) British ribbon bars with foreign awards; interesting devices or just different construction solutions. Also I am seeking Royal Dublin Fusiliers items. I can help in small scale to research RDF soldiers (MICs, medal rolls, additional information, etc).
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  #6  
Old 11-06-20, 03:50 PM
Hawthorn Hawthorn is online now
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Some more background information from The British Medal Forum

https://britishmedalforum.com/viewto...hilit=baor+mso

Regards Simon.
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  #7  
Old 12-06-20, 12:09 PM
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phaethon phaethon is offline
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Thank you all for the extra information!
__________________
I am always looking early (pre 1939) British ribbon bars with foreign awards; interesting devices or just different construction solutions. Also I am seeking Royal Dublin Fusiliers items. I can help in small scale to research RDF soldiers (MICs, medal rolls, additional information, etc).
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  #8  
Old 22-05-24, 10:12 AM
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phaethon phaethon is offline
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Picked up this last week, when I was on my "holidays" at a NATO Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise.

It is an USA 4229 Labor Service Company (also known as Estonian Guard Company) Private LÕOKE permanent pass. There were in total 4 companies of Estonians in US military after 1945 and their unit numbers were 4221, 4027, 4228 ja 4229. They were even used for guarding the Nuremberg tribunal and war criminals in there.

Weird twist in history - most of these men were escaping from communist Soviet Union (Estonia was occupied by the Red Army 1944) and therefore fought in German side, including private LÕOKE, who actually was forced to wear German uniform until end of the war!

I thought it was an interesting piece to pick up and share here too.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Raimond Lõoke_1.jpg (68.6 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Raimond Lõoke_2.jpg (77.0 KB, 5 views)
__________________
I am always looking early (pre 1939) British ribbon bars with foreign awards; interesting devices or just different construction solutions. Also I am seeking Royal Dublin Fusiliers items. I can help in small scale to research RDF soldiers (MICs, medal rolls, additional information, etc).

Last edited by phaethon; 22-05-24 at 02:00 PM.
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