Stuart named ................Fish'Chips !
Hundreds thousands of young Americans came and fought to bring Liberty back to Europe in 1944. Among them, only a few of them are still alive and able to come back. We had the honor to know and meet some of them. They became friends.
We dedicate our work to them,They represent all those to whom we would like to say "Thank You Veteran"
THE Unbelievable STORY OF FISH'CHIPS
Major TUCKER was in command of the 83 rc reconnaissance Battalion third Armored Division
Under his command a stuart 3047787 was the first armored vehicle to enter in Mons ( Belgium)
picture taken 2 september 1944 18h30
In the year 1945 the City of Mons addressed the General Staff of the 3rd Armoured Division with the request to recover, if possible, the light Stuart tank numbered 3047787
During a night in the year of 1945 a tank transport coming from Germany, loaded down the Stuart 3047787 in the Rue d'Enghien. The drivers of the convoy were not able to find anybody responsible and left the tank in the street without any explanation on the gate of the fire department ! . The next day the men of the Fire Department were quite surprised to find this imposing present. During 39 years the tank was placed in a display in the Jardin du Mayeur before the Town House of Mons.
The first life of the Stuart 3047787 ended........in a garden !!.
During those years, the motors of the
tank, two Cadillac V8, (the same type used in the Cadillac passenger cars
until 1956), were cannibalized by the fire department to be used in their
Cadillac ambulance which, by the way, was taken from the German Army!.
the second life began
1984 a team of " The Royal Mons Auto Moto CLub works on FISH 'CHIPS
December 1983 on my demand, our club
was charged by City officials with getting the tank operational by September
1984. So we began the restoration .The Stuart needed a great deal of repair,
including two Cadillac engines and new tracks. Under many coat of paint we
found a nickname :Fish ' Chips
Original markings found on the Stuart (under many coats of paint)
But the Coat of arms found on the tank were identified as belonging to the 113th Cavalry and not to the 83rc of the 3rd Armored Division ! May be it wasn't the good tank .....was it a tank-jacking ?
At the time of the restoration I was also able to trace the tank commander of the 83 rc ( John Randolph Tucker ) and contact him
On june 1984, for the first time i
had the pleasure to met John Tucker
I also was able to trace the life of the Stuart M5A1 baptized 'Fish and Chips', (the name was found under several coats of paint when it was restored) Fish ' chips arrived in England in February 1944 with the 113"' Cavalry and disembarked in Normandy on 2 July 1944. We do not know why , but on 2 september 1944 'Fish and Chips' (used as reconnaissance tank of the 83 rc battalion) under command of John Randolph Tucker crossed the French-Belgian border between Vilers sire Nicole and Givry at 1610 hours. It continued towards Harmignies -Nouvelles -Mesvin-Hyon , and reached Mons via the Rue Leon Save and the Avenue Reine Astrid. At 1830 hours and stopped in the Place des Flandres. The sheriff of Mons wrote down the serial number of the tank 3407787
look in the turret it's again J.Tucker
And in 1989 we invited John Randolph Tucker who accept to come back in Belgium to run .. in one of his tank .on the same road . at the same time as on 2 september 1944.
We invited again john , but due to his age he was afraid to risk an other long trip to Europe, that is why I decided : if john could not come, well, we'll go to him .
1994 the third life began
What an organization go to States with Fish' Chips to thanks Américan soldier. Many thought that we were crazy and that we never got the autorisations to go to States with Fish'Chips .......... but it is an other story.
On july 2000 we were in the town of Richmond with John aboard, 3 days latter we were in WDC In the 4th jully Parade , and some days latter in Alabama. .
4Th JULY 2000 FICH'CHIPS IN WDC
19/01/2003 Joseph DeMarco e-mail :
USA Registration Numbers of tank casualties
from the 33rd AR on Nov.15, 1944
In the case of 3047787, it looks like
it's listed as a victim of friendly aircraft fire.It's noted that the tank
was penetrated, but repairable.
Tanks Joseph tha's the proof we were waiting for 54 years!.
FISH 'CHIPS ORIGINAL MARKINGS
front wing left