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Mixed Service Organisation (MSO) BAOR

Article about: Mixed Service Organisation (MSO) BAOR cap badge (43mm dia.) Post-WWII, Poles served with the Mixed Service Organisation (MSO) a branch of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). "Mojo's&q

  1. #1

    Default Mixed Service Organisation (MSO) BAOR

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    Mixed Service Organisation (MSO) BAOR cap badge (43mm dia.)

    Post-WWII, Poles served with the
    Mixed Service Organisation (MSO) a branch of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). "Mojo's" as the British servicemen nicknamed those serving in the MSO were mainly made up of released PoWs and DPs from across Eastern Europe who felt unable to return to their homelands under Stalin's imposed communist regimes.

    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 Virtuti Militari (VM), or the Krzyż Walecznych (Cross of Valour or 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....' BAOR locations website

    Today the British Army 7 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps still wears a Polish eagle in tribute of working with the Poles of MSO-BAOR.

    "...After the Second World War in 1948 the Regiment had under its command a Polish Mixed Service Organisation Squadron made up of Polish Soldiers. They were disbanded in 1987 yet the Regiment continues to proudly fly the Polish Eagle as its emblem and has a strong affiliation with a Polish Logistic Regiment."

    The regiment also wears a small
    silver Polish eagle lapel badge worn on Mess Dress to this date. 16 Tank Transporter Squadron

    The MSO wore navy blue battledress similar to that worn by the US CCG (US Control Commission Germany). The personnel were issued with service recognition awards for 10, 15, 20 and 25 years service with badges being worn on the breast pocket. Many MSO also received the BEM and MBE during their periods of service.
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    Last edited by StefanM; 06-30-2014 at 04:25 PM.
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  2. #2


    MSO 15 year service badge:

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  3. #3


    One of the cap badges came into work today.

    Cheers, Ade.
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