Firefly Blondie

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by JackGe, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. JackGe

    JackGe Junior Member

    I've seen this picture captioned as being lost by Sherbrooke Fusiliers during June 7th 1944, but it has also been associated with 4 CLY at Villers-Bocage.


    This photo, a still from a German film, is suppose to be conclusive evidence that they are of the same tank, and therefore a British Firefly.


    My question is, why does a B squadron nickname appear on an A squadron vehicle?
    Is this one of those instances of never say nerver, or simply Blondie was moved up as a replacement to A squadron?

  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It's possible that 'Blondie' was the lap gunner's wife or girlfriend as they were often added to the vehicles. One of the German newsreels has shots of Rifle Brigade halftracks with girls' names on them.

    A Sqn 4 CLY also had 'Shufti Kush' which also follows a female, not an alphabetic, theme.
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Idler ......A "Lap Gunner "...? Both 3rd and 4th CLY were known to do their own thing at times and would have a shufti kush at anything not too many females to kush at in the desert - especially

    with their foul mouthed C.O.......and Canadians also had blondes....

  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Tom - an interesting comment which tallies with soemthing I dimly recall hearing about Col. Cranley. Any chance you could expand a bit, please?
  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    The lettering looks too informal so I go with the view that Blondie was a 'nickname'. My Dad told me his Sherman was called Muriel after my Mum but that was also clearly an affectionate name as he was in 'A' squadron 24th Lancers and I know that they followed the usual naming protocol. Was it also possibly a way of boosting morale......good time to feel 'at home' having a loved one accompanying you into battle just like the photo tucked into a pocket?
  6. toki2

    toki2 Junior Member

    My dad was in the RASC and had my mum's name on his truck. He also had a small bust (that he made himself) of Monty on the bonnet. I am surprised that it was allowed. Maybe he thought that the enemy would shoot at the bust and not at him. Monty himself saw the bust and got his picture taken with my dad and the truck.
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    wouldn't dare to print anything he might say apart from Driver Halt - Gunner Traverse right 300 - Operator smoke.....but you can believe it....

  8. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    'Blondie' is indeed a 4th CLY vehicle lost at Villers Bocage. No doubt at all.




    There are other images that I believe to be 4th CLY tanks from Villers Bocage


    Uploaded with
    dbf likes this.
  9. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for these. I knew of BLONDIE ( although I too mis-Id'd her too at one point ) and PISTOLPACKINMAMA but ALICE T II is a new one on me. Do you know of any others or is there an on-line source?


  10. JackGe

    JackGe Junior Member

    Thanks everyone, specialy m kenny for those photo links (for some reason my second pic didn't show up).

    I've found a youtube video of a couple Canadian Fireflys with nicknames BLITZ and CHASER, and can see the lettering style was quite different, and written in black or some kind of dark paint. at about the 6.39 mark.

  11. Those two are from the Sherbrooke Fusiliers (27 CAR).


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