Regimental Nicknames

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Gerry Chester, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    To add to Gerry's nicknames:

    "Busty" to denote someone with a bit of a pot belly

    "Tiny" for someone who was over 6'6

    or, in reverse connotation,

    "Lofty" another name for very tall chaps

    "Stinker" for anyone with the Surname Murdoch
    (or who was unfortunate enough to suffer from flatulence)

    "Goldy" for anyone with a surname such as mine :)

    Many years after the war a taxi-driver bellowed "Goldy" at me at Hyde Park corner but disappeared before I had a chance to see who it was :(
    Nido likes this.
  2. craftsmanx

    craftsmanx Junior Member

    The North Staffords were known as The Black Knots from their facing colour of Black and the Stafford Knot on their cap badge.
    I'm amazed that no-one mentioned the 17th /21st Lancers "The Death of Glory Boys" from their cap badge , or motto as it's called in the regiment.

    The Royal Artillery were commonly known as 9 Mile snipers.
    The Devon and Dorsets were known as the D and Ds or the Devon Donkeys.
    The ACC were universally known as Andy Clyde's Commandos.
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  3. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

  4. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    British Army Regimental and Division Nicknames
    Compiled prior to later MoD cuts.

    Assaye Regiment.
    The 74th Foot, later 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry, now part of the Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret’s Own Ayrshlre Regiment). The regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Assaye (1803) when 2,000 British and 2,500 Sepoy troops under Wellesley defeated 50,000 Mahrattas.
    Belfast Regiment.
    The old 35th Foot, later 1st Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, now 3rd Battalion The Queens Regiment, was raised in Belfast in 1701.

    Bengal Tigers
    The 17th Foot, later The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, now the 4th Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, was granted a badge of a royal tiger to honour their services in India (1804—1823).

    Blngham’s Dandies
    The 17th Lancers, now 17th/21st Lancers. When the regiment was commanded by Lord Bingham (later the Earl of Lucan) from 1826 to 1837 it was noted for its smart appearance.

    Bird Catchers.
    This name is used for three regiments, each of which captured a French Eagle Standard: (1) 1st Dragoons, later Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons), captured an Eagle at Waterloo. The regiment merged with the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) in 1969 to form “The Blues and Royals”, (2) 2nd Dragoons, the Greys (see in later segment), captured an Eagle at Waterloo; (3) 87th Foot, later Royal Irish Fusiliers, captured an Eagle at Barossa (1811). This regiment became the 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rangers. Disbanded 1969.

    Black Horse.
    The 7th Dragoon Guards, now the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, from their black facings.

    Black Watch.
    In 1725, six companies of clansmen loyal to the King were raised, and were stationed in small detachments to keep watch on the Highlands and the clans. Their tartan was dark, and their name was coined from a combination of this and their function, and was used to distinguish them from the English troops performing the same duty. These companies later became the 42nd Foot, now The Black Watch(Royal Highland Regiment). Black Watch has been a part of the official regimental title for overone hundred years.

    Blayney’s Bloodhounds.
    The 87th Foot, the RoyalIrish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s). The regiments received thisname fortheir success in capturing Irish rebels in 1798 when commanded by Lord Blayney. The regiment became the 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rangers. Disbanded 1969.

    Blind Half-Hundred.
    Many of the men of the 50th Foot suffered from ophthalmia (a common cause of blindness) during the Egyptian campaign of 1801. The regiment later became 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, and is now pert of the 2nd Battalion The Queen’s Regiment.

    Bloody Eleventh.
    The 11th Foot later Devonshire Regiment, now part of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. After their stubborn fight in the Battle of Salamanca (1812), the regiment had 75 out of over400 men left fitfor duty, and many of these survivors were wounded.

    Blues, The.
    See Oxford Blues in a later segment.

    Bob’s Own.
    TheIrish Guards. Field-Marshal Earl Roberts (known to the Army as “Bobs”) was the first Colonel of the regiment.

    This name is derived from the brick-red facings of the 53rd Foot King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. The regiment became the 3rd Battalion The Light Infantry in 1968, and is also known as the “Fiveand Threepennies”, a play on their old number and the old rate of an Ensign’s pay.

    Buckmaster’s Light Infantry.
    The 3rd West India Regiment (disbanded 1870)was so called after Buckrnaster, a tailor who sold unauthorized Light Infantry uniforms to the officers of the regiment.

    Buffs, The.
    The 3rd Foot was descended from a regiment raised for Dutch service in 1572 and the London Train-Bands all of which had buff uniform or facings. The name became part of the official regimental title almost 300 years ago, but in recent times the regiment has been titled The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and is now part of the 2nd Battalion The Queen’s Regiment.

    The 1st LIfe Guards; from 1788 when the regiment was remodelled, some commissions were refused because certain officers were the sons of merchants and were not “gentlemen”. The 1st and 2nd Life Guards were amalgamated in1922 to form the present regiment.

    This name was given to the 11th Hussars when a detachment was surprised by French cavalry while picking cherries in a Spanish orchard in 1811 and had to fight a dismounted action. This regiment amalgamated with the 10th Royal Hussars to form the Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales Own) in 1969.

    A name naturally given to the 11thHussars When they adopted crimson overalls (trousers) in .1840.

    8th Hussars, now part of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussar. During the Battle of Almenara (1710), the regiment almost destroyed a Spanish cavalry regiment. The 8th Hussars removed the Spaniards’ crossbelts and wore them overt he right shoulder. [​IMG]

    More to follow.

    Cheers, Gerry
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  5. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    The RAF used to be called the brylcream boys.
  6. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Nicknames - part two

    Desert Rats.
    The name associated with the 7th Armoured Division, whose divisional sign was the desert rat (jerboa), which was adopted during its “scurrying and biting” tactics in Libya. The final design of the badge was a red rat outlined on a black background. The division served throughout the North Africa campaign, and in North-West Europe from Normandy to Berlin.

    Devil's Own.
    Has been given to two regiments. Tradition has it that it was given to the Inns of Court Yeomanry (a Territorial unit, now disbanded) by George III when he found that the regiment consisted mainly of lawyers. It was also applied to the 88th Foot, later 1st Battalion Connaught Rangers (disbanded In 1922), by General Picton In honour of their bravery in the Peninsular War.

    At the Battle of Albuera (1811), the 57th Foot, later 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment, now 4th Battalion The Queen’s Regiment, had three-quarters of the officers and men either killed or wounded. Colonel Inglis was badly wounded, but refused to be moved, instead he lay where he had fallen crying, “Die hard, my men, die hard.”

    Dirty Half-Hundred.
    The 50th Foot, later 1st Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment, now part of the 2nd Battalion The Queen’s Regiment. At Vimiera in 1808, the men wiped their sweating faces on their cuffs, transferring the black dye from their facings.

    Dirty Shirts.
    The 101st Foot, later 1st Battalion Munster Fusiliers (disbanded 1922), fought in their shirt-sleeves at Delhi during the Indian Mutiny (1857).

    Duke of Wellington’s Bodyguard.
    The 5th Foot, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. The name dates from the Peninsular War, when the regiment was attached to Army Headquarters for a long period. The regiment became the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968.

    Earl of Mar’s Grey-Breeks,
    The 21st Foot, later Royal Scots Fusiliers, now part of the Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret’s Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment), from the colour of breeches when the regiment was raised by the Earl of Mar in 1678.

    Elegant Extract.
    The 8th Foot, the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, was remodelled in 1813 when the officers were removed after a number of courts- martial. New officers were selected from other regiments to take their places. This regiment became the 3rd Battalion The Light Infantry in 1968.

    Eliott’s Tailors.
    The 14th (King’s) Hussars, now part of the 15th King’s Royal Hussars. In 1759, Lt-Col. Eliott (later Lord Heathfield) enlisted a large number of London tailors into a new cavalry regiment modelled on the Prussian Hussars. In 1768, the regiment was granted the title of the “King’s Light Dragoons”; the later title was adopted in 1806.

    Emperor's Chambermaids.
    The 14th King’s Hussars, now the 14th/20th King’s Hussars, who captured Joseph Bonaparte’s carriage and retained a silver chamber-pot as a trophy after the Battle of Vittoria (1813).

    Eversworded 29th.
    The 29th Foot, the Worcestershire Regiment. When the regiment was serving in North America in 1746, the officers were attacked in their Mess by Indians who had been thought to be loyal. The Indians were beaten off, but to guard against any similar attack in the future, the unique custom of officers wearing swords at dinner in the Mess was instituted. The custom is now observed by the Captain of the Week and the Orderly Officer at dinner and on certain other occasions. This regiment amalgamated with the Sherwood Foresters to form the Worcestershure and Sherwood Foresters’ Regiment in 1970.

    54th Foot, the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. The name came from a saying attributed to the Duke of Wellington, “The Ever-Fighting, Never-Failing Fifth.” The Regiment became the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 1968.

    Flamers, The.
    The 54th Foot, later 2nd Battalion Dorset Regiment, now part of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. In September 1781, the 54th Foot was part of a force which captured the privateer base of New London after a fierce fight. The force burnt the town and a number of ships in the harbour.

    Green Dragoons.
    The name given to the 13th Dragoons in the period 1715-1784 when they wore green facings; later the 13th Hussars. Now part of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own); the facings later changed to buff and are now white. (See also Lilly Whites in the next segment.)

    Sourced from "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable". [​IMG]
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  7. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Anyone mentioned the Beds & Herts Regt, known as the Honeymoon Regt yet?
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList

    What, the old Charps and Dils? Also known as the Peacemakers, weren't they, from a longish period of relatively inactive service?
  9. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    Army Catering Corps - Aldershot Cement Company
    RHA - Rocking Horse Artillery
  10. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    British Regimental and Divisional Nicknames- Part 3

    Green Howards.
    The 19th Foot, from their facings and Sir Charles Howard, Colonel of the Regiment 1738-1748. The name became part of the official title of the regiment in 1920, the present title is The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own Yorkshire Regiment).

    Green Linnets.
    The 39th Foot, later 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment, now part of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. The name refers to the green facings of the regiment and dates from C.1741.

    Grays, The.
    The Royal Scots Grays (2nd Dragoons) were raised in 1678. It is now uncertain whether the name comes from their grey horses or uniform, but within 30 years of formation the regiment was known as the “Grey Dragoons”. “Scot’s Greys" has been part of the offlcial title since 1866, with “Royal” being added 11 years later. By 1971, they amalgamated with 3rd Carabirners (Princess of Wales’s Dragoon Guards) to form the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabinlers and Greys).

    Heavies, The.
    The heavy cavalry, especially the Dragoon Guards, which consisted of men of greater build and height than Lancers and Hussars. This term has been applied to the larger guns manned by the Royal Artillery and one of its predecessors, the Royal Garrison Artillery.

    Hindustan Regiment.
    The 76th Foot, now the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding), was so called because the Regiment distinguished itself in the Hindustan campaign of 1803-1805.

    Holy Boys.
    The 9th Foot, later Royal Norfolk Regiment, now part of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment. During the Peninsular War, the Spaniards thought that the regimental badge of Britannia represented the Virgin Mary.

    Horse Marines.
    The 17th Lancers, now 17th/21st Lancers. In 1795, two troops of the regiment served on board the frigate H.M.S. Hermione on the West Indies Station.

    Immortals, The.
    The 76th Foot, now Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding). During the Mahratta War (1803—1805), almost every man had one or more wounds.

    Kiddies, The.
    A name given to the Scots Guards, when in 1686 James II formed a large camp on Hounslow Heath as a precaution against unrest in London. The (then) three existing Guards regiments were present, and the Scots, being the junior of the three, were given this name.

    Kirke’s Lambs. The 2nd Foot, later Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), now 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment. After Sedgemoor (1685), the regiment, under Colonel Percy Kirke, were feared for their cruelty in Somerset and the surrounding area when hunting the rebels. By the time of Monmouth's Rebellion the regiment was already using the Paschal Lamb as its badge.

    Lacedæmonians, The. A nickname of the 46th Foot, later and Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, then part of the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry. In 1777, during the American War of Independence, their Colonel is supposed to have made a long speech under heavy fire on Spartan discipline and the military system of the Lacedæmonians. In 1968 this regiment became the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry.

    Lilywhites, The. The 13th Hussars, now 13th/18th Hussars. When the regiment was converted from Light Dragoons to Hussars In 1861, buff facings were adopted, but for some reason they were pipeclayed white. When the 13th Hussars and the 18th Hussars were amalgamated in 1922, the nickname was adopted by the new regiment.

    Minden Regiments.
    (1) 12th Foot, later Suffolk Regiment, now 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Reglment.
    (2) 20th Foot-the Lancashire Fusiliers, known as “The Minden boys”, later the (disbanded) 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
    (3) 23rd Foot-the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
    (4) 25th Foot-King’s Own Scottish Borderers.
    (5) 37th Foot-later Royal Hampshire Regiment, now part of Royal Regiment of Goucestershire and Hampshire.
    (6) 51st Foot-King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who became the 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry in 1968.
    On 1st August 1759, these six regiments won the most spectacular victory of the Seven Years War by attacking and defeating a superior force of French cavalry. As the regiments advanced to the attack across Minden Heath the men picked wild roses and stuck them in their caps. To commemorate this victory, the regiments (with the exception of the Royal Welch Fusiliers) wear roses in their caps on Minden Day.

    Mutton Lancers, The.
    2nd Foot, later Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), now 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment. When the regiment was raised in 1661, the badge of the Paschal Lamb (a lamb bearing a flag) was adopted. [​IMG]
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  11. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    I feel left out of it
    No mention of my old mob
    The Somerset Light Infantry
  12. spidge


    My dad's battalion 2/8th of the 19th Brigade, 6th Australian Division AIF.

    No nickname that I can gather however their patch was red and white and was referred to as "Blood and Bandages"

    Their Motto: "Nulli Secundus" (Second to None) was the motto of the original 8th Battalion of the First AIF.
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  13. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I feel left out of it
    No mention of my old mob
    The Somerset Light Infantry

    Hi Hoolig,

    "Red Feathers"?
  14. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    British Nicknames - part 4

    Nanny-Goats, or Royal Goats.
    The 23rd Foot, now the Royal Welch Fusiliers, which has a regimental mascot, a goat, supplied from the Royal herd.

    The 3rd Foot, later The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), now 2nd Battalion The Queens Regiment, from their exploits aganst the French during the Peninsular War.

    Old Bold Fifth.
    The 5th Foot, later Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, now 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

    Old Braggs.
    See Slashers, below.

    Old Dozen.
    The 12th Foot, later the Suffolk Regiment, now part of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment.

    Old Fogs.
    The 87th Foot, the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s); the name comes from their war cry at Barossa (1811)—”Faugh-a-Bailagh’ (Clear the Way). This regiment became the 3rd Battalion Royal Irish Rangers. Disbanded 1969.

    Orange Lilies.
    35th Foot, later 1st Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, now 3rd Battalion The Queen’s Regiment. The regiment was raised in Belfast in 1701 by the Earl of Donegal, who chose orange facings in honour of William III. The lilies come from the white plumes which the regiment took from the French Regiment of Royal Rousaillon, whom they defeated at Quebec (1759).

    Oxford Blues, The.
    The Royal Horse Guards were so called in 1690, from the Earl of Oxford, their commander, and their blue uniform which dates from 1661. The nickname was later shortened to “The Blues” and was incorporated in the regiment’s title as The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues). In March 1969, the regiment amalgamated with the Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) to form The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons).

    Paget’s Irregular Horse.
    The 4th Hussara, now part of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars. When the regiment returned to England in 1842 under Colonel Paget, it had lost almost 900 officers and men in its 20 years in India. As the replacements were not as highly trained as the original men, the general standard of drill fell, and the name was coined.

    Pompadours, The.
    The 56th Foot, later 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment, now part of the 3rd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment. When the regiment was raised in 1755, the facings chosen were purple, the favourite colour of Madame Pompadour the mistress of Louis XV.

    Pontius Pilate’s Bodyguard.
    The 1st Foot, now the Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment). Tradition states that when in French service as Le Regiment de Douglas, a dispute arose with the Regiment de Picardie as to seniority, and an officer of the latter claimed that his regiment was on duty on the night of the crucifixion, to which an officer of Douglas’s replied, “Had we been on duty, we would not have slept at our post.”

    Queen’s Bays.
    The 2nd Dragoon Guards. From 1767 the regiment was mounted on bay-coloured horses, while other cavalry regiments had black horses. In 1870 the name became official, the regiment being titled 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Bays); it is now part of the 1st (Queen’s) Dragoon Guards.

    Red Feathers.
    The 46th Foot, later 2nd Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, then part of the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infarnry. During the American War of Independence, the 46th Foot defeated an American force at Brandywine (1777). The Americans promised to have their revenge, so the regiment dyed their cap feathers red to aid identification by the enemy. The regiment became the 1st Battalion The Light Infantry in 1968.

    Ross-Shire Buffs.
    The 78th Foot, later 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlander (Ross-Shire Buffs, the Duke of Albany’s), now part of the Queen’s Own High- landers (Seaforth and Camerons). This name became part of the official title soon after the formation of the regiment, and commemorates the colour of their facings and the recruiting area.

    Sankey’s Horse.
    The 39th Foot, later 1st Battalion Dorset Regiment, now part of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. Sankey was Colonel of the regiment when in Spain (1708—1711), and tradition has it that he mounted the men on mules to enable them to reach the scene of a battle in time to take part.

    Saucy Sevenths
    The 7th Queen’s Own Hussars, now part of the Queen’s Own Hussars. A regimental recruiting poster of c. 1809 uses this name, an allusion to the regiment’s smart appearance.

    Saucy Sixth.
    The 6th Foot, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. In 1795 the Regiment returned from the West Indies and recruited in Warwickshire, but the required standard was so high that few recruits were found, and the name was coined. In 1968 this regiment became the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

    Slashers, The.
    The 28th Foot, later Gloucestershire Regiment, now part of the Royal Gloucestershire and Hampshire Regiment. When the regiment was stationed in Canada in 1764, a magistrate harassed the soldiers and their families. A party of heavily disguised soldiers broke into the magistrate’s house one night, and during a scuffle the man’s ear was cut off. Officially, the identity of the culprits was never discovered, but the 28th acquired the nickname of “The Slasher,”. Two other names attached to the regiment are “The Braggs” and the “Old Braggs”, from Lieut.-General Philip Bragg, Colonel of the regiment 1734—1759.

    Snappers, The.
    The 15th Foot, later East Yorkshire Regiment, now part of the Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire. During the Battle of Brandywine (1777), with ammunition exhausted, the men “snapped” their muskets to give the impression that they were firing; this misled the Americans and they retired.

    Springers, The.
    The 62nd Foot, later 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, now part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire). In 1775-1776, during the American War of Independence, the 62nd were used as Light Infantry and the nickname commemorates their alertness and speed in their temporary role.

    Tangerines, The.
    The 2nd Foot, later Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), now 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment. The regiment was raised in 1661 for service in Tangier, which had become a British possession as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, Queen of Charles II.
    Vein-Openers, The.The 29th Foot, later Worcestershire Regiment, now part of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters’ Regiment. In 1770, when American colonial discontent with Enland was increasing, the 29th were in Boston, and while a detachment was guarding the Customs House it was pelted by a mob. During a scuffle a soldier mistook a shout from the crowd for an order and he fired. Other shots followed and four rioters were killed and several wounded. The name was given to the regiment by the Americans for their part in what was called the “Boston Massacre”.

    Virgin Mary’s Bodyguard.
    The 7th Dragoon Guards, now part of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards. During the reign of George II the regiment was sent to assist the Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria.

    Wolfe’s Own.
    The 47th Foot, later the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), so called for their distinguished service under General Wolfe at Quebec (1759), now with the Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Volunteers), the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment. [​IMG]
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  15. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    I feel left out of it
    No mention of my old mob
    The Somerset Light Infantry

    1st battalion long bore the nickname of the "Yellow-banded Robbers", and the 2nd battalion that of the "Bleeders". "The Bleeders", "The Illustrious Garrison", "The Jellalabad Heroes", all referring to the Afghanistan Campaign of 1842.
  16. bern

    bern Senior Member

    Household Cavalry- Donkey Wallopers it used to grate on me because I darent go on the ceremonial side I stuck to tanks and armoured cars.
  17. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    United States Army -
    In the following representative selection all are Infantry Divisions unless otherwise stated. Unofficial nicknames are suffixed **.

    1st: The Big Red One.
    Name given it by the Germans, who saw the red “I” on their shoulder patch. According to legend, the original red “I” was improvised from the cap of an enemy soldier killed by a 1st Division Doughboy in World War I when the division earned the right to proclaim itself the first American division (1918) in France, first to fire on the enemy, first to suffer casualties, first to take prisoners, first to stage a major offensive, and first to enter Germany.

    2nd: Indianhead
    A long-forgotten truck driver of the division in World War I adorned the side of his vehicle with a handsome shield framing an Indian head which was adopted by the division as its shoulder insignia. Hence the name “Indian Division”.

    3rd: Marne Division.
    In World War I, because of its impregnable stand against the Germans’ last counter-offensive. The three diagonal stripes in its insignia symbolize its participation in three major battles in 1918.

    4th: Ivy Division.
    From its insignia. The selection of that design is one of the few known instances of authorized miiitary frivolity. “1-v” is simply spelling out in a letter form the Roman numeral for “four”.

    5th: Red Diamond.
    From its insignia. The Red Diamond was selected at the suggestion of Major Charles A. Meals that their insignia be the “Ace of Diamonds, less the Ace”. Originally there was a white “5” in the centre. This was removed when they reached France.

    8th: Pathfinder.
    From their insignia, which is a golden arrow through a figure “8” pointing the way. Also called the “Golden Arrow Division”.

    9th Hitler’s Nemesis**.
    A newspaper at home dubbed them this. Ai\lso called “Old Reliable* and “Varsity”**.

    10th; Mountaineers
    Formerly 10th Mountain Division. This division was given the task of dislodging crack German mountain troops from the heights of Mt. Belvedere. It was composed of famous American skiers, climbers, forest rangers, and Wild Life Service men.

    13th: (Airborne) Blackcats.** Gets its name from its flaunting of superstition. Its number is “13”, and it was reactivated on Friday the 13th.

    17th: (Airborne) Golden Talon**
    Gets its name from its shoulder patch, stretching golden talons on a black field, representing ability to seize; black suggests darkness, under which many operations are effected. Also called “Thunderbolt”**.

    14th: Victory.
    The Filipinos on Leyte greeted them with the “V” sign.

    15th: Tropic Lightning.
    Activated from elements of the Hawaiian Division, Regular Army troops. No other division was so quickly in combat after it was formed.

    26th: Yankee.
    Originally composed of National Guard troops from the New England (Yankee) States.

    28th: Keystone.
    Troops from Pennsylvania, which is known as the “Keystone State”,

    29th: Blue and Gray.
    Organized in World War I from National Guardsmen of New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Its shoulder patch of blue and grey, the colours of the rival armies in the Civil War symbolizes unity of former embattled states. They are combined in a monad, the Korean symbol for eternal life.

    30th: Old Hickory.
    Composed after World War I from National Guardsmen of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee, Andrew Jackson’s old stamping grounds. He was known as “Old Hickory”.

    31st Dixie.
    Originally composed of men of the “Deep South” or “Dixie”.

    32nd: Red Arrow.
    On tactical maps the enemies’ lines are indicated in red. Their patch is a reminder to those who wear it that the enemy has never stopped them. Another name “Lea Terribles”, was given them by an admiring French general during World War I, when they earned four battle streamers and were first to crack the Hindcnbcrg line.

    34th: Red Bull.
    Its patch is a red bull’s skull on an olla, a Mexican water bottle. Inspired by the desert country of the South-west where it trained in World War I.

    35th: Santa Fe.
    So called because the ancestors of its personnel blazed the old Santa Fe Trail. Insignia is the original marker used on the traiL\l.

    36th: Texas.
    Personnel was from Oklahoma and Texas. The arrowhead of its insignia represented Oklahoma and the “T” was for Texas.

    37th: Buckeye.
    Composed of Ohio troops. Ohio is known as the “Buckeye State”. Insignia is that of the state flag.

    38th: Cyclone.
    Got its name in 1917 at Shelby, Mississippi, when the tent city in which it was bivouacked was levelled by winds. The division struck like a cyclone when it landed in Luzon.

    42nd: Rainbow.
    Nickname originated from the fact that the division was composed of military groups from the District of Columbia, and 25 states, representing several sections, nationalities, religions, and viewpoints. They blended themselves into one harmonious unit. A major in World War I, noting it, various origins, said, “This division will stretch over the land like a rainbow.”

    43rd: Winged Victory.
    Received its name on Luzon. It is formed from the name of its commanding general, Maj.Gen. Leonard F. Wing, and the ultimate goal of the division.

    Blood and Fire. When the division was activated in June 1943 following the Casablanca Conference they adopted the Conference’s resolution, to make their enemies “bleed and burn in expiation of their crimes against humanity’, as their symbol.

    69th BattleAxe**.
    Its patch is a white halbert on a white shield. The halbert, a sharp-pointed battle-axe, was a potent weapon of the 15th-ccntury foot soldier, being suitable either for a powerful cutting smash or for a quick thrust. It is an emblem that signifies both the shock action and the speed of the modern infantry division.
    66th: Black Panther**.
    The black panther on its shoulder patch symbolizes the attributes of a good infantryman: ability to kill, to be aggressive, alert, stealthy, cunning, agile, and strong.

    70th: Trailblazer.
    Their insignia combines an axe, a snowy mountain, and a green fir-tree, symbols of the pioneers who blazed the trail to Oregon and the Willamette Valley, where most of their training was accomplished.

    76th: Onaway.
    The alert call of the Chippewa Indians in whose hunting grounds they trained. Also unofficially called “Liberty Bell” ** from the shoulder patch of a Liberty Bell worn in World War I. The 76th was the first draft division from civilian ranks and in 1919 their device became a shield with a white label, indicating the eldest son.

    77th: Statue of Liberty.
    Their insignia bears the picture of the Statue of Liberty, because most of the personnel in World War I were from New York City.

    78th: Lightning.
    The shoulder patch originated in World War I because the battles of that division were likened by the French to a bolt of lightning, leaving

    79th: Cross of Lorraine.
    Having distinguished itself at Montfaucon in Lorraine, the division selected the ass of Lorraine, a symbol of triwnph, as its insigniaa.

    80th: Blue Ridge.
    Its insignia symbolizes the three Blue Ridge states, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, from which most of its World War personnel were drawn.

    81st: Wildcat.
    Gets its name from Wildcat Creek that flows through Fort Jackson, S.C. It is generally credited as the first to wear the shoulder patch.

    82nd: (Airborne)All American.
    In World War I the division was composed of men from every state in the union. Originally an infantry division, when it was reactivated as an airborne division it retained its insignia, adding the word ‘Airborne”.
    84th: Rallsplitters.
    Primarily made up of National Guard units from Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana, the Lincoln states. They called themselves the Lincoln Division. Their Insignia is a red disc with a white axe which splits a rail. In World War II they called themselves the “Railsplitters”. The Germans called than
    the "Hatchet-men”.

    85th: Custer.
    The initials on its insignia "CD” stand fha Custer Division, because they were activated at Camp Custer, Michigan, in World War I.

    86th Blackhawk**.
    Its insignia is a black hawk with wings outspread superimposed on a red shield. On the breast of the hawk is a small red shield with black letters "BH” for its nickname. Its personnel in World War I were drawn from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the territory inhabited by Chief Blackhawk and his tribe. The bird symbolizes keenness, cunning and tenacity.

    87th: Golden Acorn.
    Their patch is a green field with a golden acorn which symbolizes strength.

    88th: Blue Devil.
    Their patch is a blue four-leaf clover formed from two crossed arabic numerals, “88”.

    89th: Rolling W**.
    The "WW” on its insignia within a circle forms an “M” when it is inverted, the two letters standing for Middle West, the section of the country from which its personnel were drawn. The circle indicates speed and stability. Also called “Middle West’**.

    90th: Tough ‘Ombres.
    The letter “T” of its insignia, standing for Texas, the letter “0” for Oklahoma. The the division say it stands for “Tough ‘Ombres”.

    92nd: Buffalo**.
    Insignia is a black buffalo on an olive drab background with black border. In the days of hostile Indians a troop of Negroes who were on border patrol killed buffaloes in the winter and used them for clothing. The Indians called than the “Black Buffaloes”, The men of this Negro division in World War I were trained at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.\.

    96th: Deadeye**.
    Their name came from their perfect marksmanship while in training.

    97th: Trident**.
    Their insignia Is a trident, white on a blue field. Neptunes’s trident represents the coastal states of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, from which they came. There is a prong for each state. The blue represents their freshwater lakes, and the white their snowy mountains.

    98th: IroquoIs.
    Its patch consists of a shield in the shape of the great seal of the State of New York. The head of the Iroquois Indian chief is in orange. These were the colours of the Dutch House of Nassau, which was responsible for the settlement of New Amsterdam, later New York. The five feather. worn by the Indian represent the Five Nations who formed the Iroquois Confederacy. The personnel were from New York.

    99th: Checkerboard**.
    The blue and white squares resembling a checkerboard formed part of the coat of arms of William Pitt (sable, a fess chequé or and Azure between 3 Bezants). The home station of the division was Pittsburgh.

    101st: (Airborne). Screaming Eagle.
    Its white eagle’s head with gold beak on a black shield is based on Civil War tradition. The black shield recalls the “Iron Brigade”, one regiment of which posessed the famous eagle “Old Abe” went into battle with them as their creaming mascot.

    102nd: Ozark.
    A large golden “0” on a field of blue. Within the “0” is the letter “Z”, from which is suspended an arc. This represents the word “Ozark”. The personnel came from the Ozark Mountains region.

    102rd: Cactus.
    A green Saguaro cactus in a blue base superimposed on a yellow disc was adopted by this Reserve division which had its headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Yellow disc represents the golden sky, while the green cactus growing in the blue sage-covered earth is characteristic 0f the South-west.

    106th: Golden Llon**. Their patch represents a golden lion’s face on a blue background encircled by white and red borders. The blue represents the infantry, red the supporting artillery, and the lion’s face strength and power. [​IMG]
  18. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    Hi Hoolig,

    "Red Feathers"?

    Thanks for taking the time to reply
    Thats one I have never heard of.
  19. hoolig

    hoolig Member WW2 Veteran

    1st battalion long bore the nickname of the "Yellow-banded Robbers", and the 2nd battalion that of the "Bleeders". "The Bleeders", "The Illustrious Garrison", "The Jellalabad Heroes", all referring to the Afghanistan Campaign of 1842.
    Hi Sol,
    I know the history of Jellalabad, but I have never heard of those nicknames.
    We had a lot of Londoners in my mob, they called them the "Swedes".
  20. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    I can only pop in on one of these, 53rd Reconnaissance Regiment - 'Daffodil Boys' due to being 53rd Welsh Division's Reconniassance Regiment and the green/yellow FS caps. A nickname they did not enjoy!

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