Tim's bought a Firefly. Research help needed.

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Packhow75, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    Yup - when I contacted the archives to ask for a copy - they just said... oh... it's online for you to look at... we cannot make another copy.

    May well have to spend a week or two downloading images!!

    Photos of Canadian Fireflies are always good... though quite where they are all hidden I have no idea.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I wonder if the tank passed through the 25th Armoured Delivery Regiment just as part of disposal. edit: well, in your reference.

    The reason I bring this is up is that the 25th was split up by squadron amongst multiple armoured units. (So in a sense I think it was just a way of giving those delivery units a designation...?)

    And on the previous page of the forum your reference is to B Squadron which, as you'll see from the wikipedia link I posted, was attached to 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade. But the GGFG were in *4th* Canadian Armoured Brigade. In the 4th, the unit of 25th that was present was D Squadron.
     
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    P.S. there are a couple of digitized photos here. I don't know if there is a publication of NWE Canadian tanks. I believe Service Publications is supposed to have a Canadian Armour in Italy book coming out soon, but then again Italy didn't receive Fireflies until later.

    Sorry this is a VERY long link. Also contains some Firefly airplanes

    Archives Search - Library and Archives Canada
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer Pearl Harbor Myth Buster

    If you save the page the images should be saved as well.
     
  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Incidentally, the GGFGs have a small museum I have yet to visit in Ottawa, but I hope to correct that sometime. I went to high school in a building adjacent to the drill hall!

    I don't know if they'd know anything, though I imagine they would be interested in your project... About Us - Governor General's Foot Guards Regimental Museum
     
  6. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    Have had contact with some of the former Commanding Officers of the Regiment... and through them a little with the museum, but so far no major breakthroughs.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  7. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    A slow road... but we are getting there... a few of the publications acquired along the way... rebuild starts in September...

    Sherman-C-Armaments.jpg Sherman-C-Parts-MK-IV.jpg Sherman-C-Range-Tables.jpg Sherman-V-Armaments-Pamphlet.jpg Sherman-V-Vehicle-Pamphlet.jpg

    Keen to find ANY more publications in ANY language... especially any for the 17pdr with pictures.

    Photographs/Photocopies are fine... the info is key... though of course, I'd love more original manuals.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I'm sure I saw a GGFG history in an Ebay search earlier today, if that's any help.
     
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  9. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    Thanks - I have the CCFG regimental history and "Green Route Up", "Tank - 40hrs of Battle - Aug 44" by Ken Tout... plus a few other similar titles... however, am always open to book suggestions... best to assume I have not seen it rather than assume I have.

    Still on the hunt for any Firefly manuals - especially any in other languages. Whilst there are few produced by the AFV Publications section, my assumption is the countries the Fireflies were sold/given to after the war must have had their own manuals for these vehicles to allow them to service and maintain them correctly... anyone know please?

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  10. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    After a long degree of silence here, I thought it worth an update.

    Hull rebuild works have started and we have completed:
    • Repairs to sponson stowage elements with complete new reproduction battery box - all other elements are original
    • Repairs to Bow Gunner's ammo box
    • Wheel units rebuilt
    Though this does not sound like a great deal, this is because we had an opportunity to swap with another collector and as a result have now got the following additional original parts which need only very minor repair and repaint:

    • Loader's ammo box
    • Gunner's ammo box (1 of the 2 only - but an excellent pattern to copy for the other)
    • Turret Basket (some elements to remove and some to replace, fortunately we already have all the parts missing from this)
    • Elevation Mechanism
    • Mantlet
    • Loader's Hatch Spring mechanism
    • Loader's Hatch complete with sufficient remains of the cushions to copy
    • Rotary Junction Box Data Plate
    • Turret adjustable mount for round seats

    In all, together with the other regular Sherman parts already collected, we now have the major parts to complete the hull.

    For the purists out there - unfortunately we do not have a Multibank engine, so unless someone has one hidden in their shed, we will have to stick with the Ford GAA we do have.

    The Key wants list is now fortunately much smaller...
    • Multibank Engine and radiator
    • 17pdr Breech Assembly (any parts) for Firefly 17pdr Mk4 or Mk7
    • Gunner's telescope mount
    • Deflector Guard
    • Rear Engine Deck barrel rest
    • Gunner's telescope night illumination device
    • Externally mounted Bromide Fire Extinguishers
    • Spare firing mechanism case

    Overall then... with a bit of luck we should have something resembling a Firefly on the road for the 30 corps event in the Netherlands in September.

    I am still deliberating on markings...

    Foremost is my intent to mark to represent a vehicle from Canadian 21st Armoured Regt (GGFG) with whom this vehicle ended service in June 45... but the main markings for this need to be correct also to reflect a 30 corps vehicle for the Hell's Highway event.

    My thoughts therefore are:

    • Allied star in circle on engine deck
    • T289477 census number on side in dark blue
    • "51" in White on Red background for GGFG or whichever other appropriate unit front and rear UK Driver side
    • "Formation Sign" front and rear UK Passenger side (This to be water slide transfer for 30 Corps which can then be changed to 4th Canadian Armoured later)
    • Red Square on Turret Side and centre rear plate.

    Would this be correct... if not what should be changed?

    Cheers

    Tim
     
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  11. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    An observation on the above from another source is that the Unit ID number (51) is always seen on the left side... and the Formation Sign (Maple Leaf) is always seen on the right side... when viewed by someone standing either in-front of the vehicle or behind it.

    Additional to the above, I will also need to have the Bridge Classification painted onto the front Left side also.
     
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    When you say 30 Corps, are you proposing the 'rampant boar' itself, or one of their formations (Guards Armoured being the obvious choice)?

    I'm not sure there would have been any Fireflies with Corps Troops but am willing to be corrected.
     
  13. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    For 30 Corps, I am thinking perhaps Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry to be different - they were equipped with Fireflies. Though am open to other suggestions.
     
  14. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    Latest...

    Collecting parts is on going... I have been fortunate to acquire a complete 17pdr Mk 7 in good condition manufactured at ROF Cardiff in 1944, plus the missing turret basket parts and some headlights and other small brackets... I have also found patterns for some of the other pieces on the key wants list, so in the event I cannot find original items, I can consider having copies made.

    This said... some of the parts need to be repaired... so, there is still a bit of work left.

    Key wanted parts list is now "only" down to the following in order of importance, including a couple of bits I forgot before!

    • Semi-Auto Mount
    • Loader Safety switch
    • Rear Engine Deck barrel rest
    • Deflector Guard
    • Gunner's telescope mount
    • Spare firing mechanism case
    • Gunner's telescope night illumination device
    The Multibank Engine and radiator are though "important" any time... though anything is likely to go into longer term storage as I will get the vehicle up and running with a GAA to start with.

    I was kindly let inside the Belgian Tank Museum's Firefly at Bovington Tankfest recently and came away with more valuable information which has filled a few small gaps of knowledge.

    Unfortunately I have made the decision to pull out of the 30 corps event in September - there is just too much still and I want this project right first time... so, the completion date is tbc... hopefully in 2020.
     
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  15. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Shame you can't make that event in September, but thanks for the update and best wishes on your continued hunting for parts :)
     
  16. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    Chris

    It's a great pity, but unfortunately finding all the bits and getting evidence for what goes where etc, has taken a lot longer than I estimated... no point rushing, making mistakes or creating lots of additional work (and cost).

    Cheers

    Tim
     
  17. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    A small amount of progress in terms of vehicle history for T289477 after conversion to 17pdr.

    • 9th January 1945 - Vehicle received by F Sqn 25 CADR (Elgins) from 17 Veh Coy in "Unfit condition" (Canadian Ref - T12739-0262)
    • 20th February 1945 - Vehicle Issued to E Sqn 25 CADR (Canadian Ref - T12379-1379)
    • 1st April 1945 - Vehicle Issued to D Sqn 25 CADR (Canadian Ref - T12740-1462)

    unknown​

    • 27th June 1945 - Vehicle Issued by B Sqn 25 CADR (ex-21 CAR) to 264 Special Delivery Sqn RAC in class 1 (best) condition.

    At this rate it looks like there is a chance it never actually got used in action... which seems a remarkable feat for a vehicle manufactured in August 1942... but there is a lot that could have happened between 1st April 45 and 5th May 45.

    Questions therefore if anyone can assist please

    09JAN45 to 01APR45 - What is likely to have happened to the vehicle... just sitting in a vehicle park waiting for a new owner... or used for something?

    I assume from "Unfit", this means it would have needed to be loaded up with ammo and stores ready to be issued and that this would only happen once the vehicle had been assigned to a unit. Is this a correct assumption - or would the vehicle have been used for training, or indeed in any combat role by 25th CADR?

    Restoration wise, sadly due to CV19, this are progressing very slowly and we are still working on repairing the 17pdr ammo boxes and other fittings which go in the hull.

    Cheers

    Tim
     
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  18. Packhow75

    Packhow75 Senior Member

    Bit quiet here - though I thought worth sharing that I have just acquired (albeit in kit form) a complete Chrysler A57 Multibank engine and radiator.

    Another load of work required to get that rebuilt... and not until the rest of the tank is done.

    Tim
     
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  19. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Wow, congratulations! That's amazing.

    Thinking of making a Firefly for my next scale model build :)

    I wish I could answer your question about what would have happened to the tank while it was classed as unfit, but I don't know enough about the inner workings of those processes. Although I would have actually thought that "unfit for service" meant there was something mechanically wrong with it, or it had simply not yet been checked over in order to be declared fit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  20. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Tim,

    Fascinating thread.

    Apologies if the following is old information to you.

    D Squadron of the 25th Armoured Delivery Regiment (Elgin Regiment) was assigned to the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. The Elgins were purely a tank delivery regiment with various squadrons supporting different front line armoured formations. It appears that personnel in the 25th also served as reinforcements to the assigned formations.
    As I understand it, "E" Squadron was attached to ll Canadian Corps. and "F" Squadron attached to the First Canadian Army. Essentially it appears that E and F were organized as front and rear units. The "front and rear" functions being necessary due to the great distances involved in forwarding replacement tanks to the front. I assume that as a replacement tank neared the front it would be transferred to a different squadrons along the way.
    If the vehicle was received on 9th January 1945 in an unfit condition, could that be assumed to be a result of battle damage?
    The 4th Armoured was in army reserve near Breda from 21 December 1944 up until late January when it participated in Operation Veritable. At the time, there were 3 armoured regiments where the tank may have originated:
    • 21st Armoured Regiment (The Governor General's Foot Guards)

    • 22nd Armoured Regiment (The Grenadier Guards)

    • 28th Armoured Regiment (The British Columbia Regiment)

    The 25th Regiment is now the 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins), a reserve unit of the Canadian Armed Forces, supporting 31 Canadian Brigade Group. Have you contacted either of the current squadrons? 7 Engineer Squadron in St. Thomas, Ontario, and 48 Engineer Squadron in Waterloo, Ontario.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020

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