Who is Felix?
Felix is the unofficial mascot of British Military Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search teams.
Cats have an innate ability to always land on their feet, known as a ‘righting reflex’. It is this ability that has always associated them with luck.
Otto Messmer gave his cartoon cat the name Felix, Latin for ‘happy’ or ‘lucky’, in 1919. He was a cheerful, thoughtful character who never failed to survive mayhem unscathed. These are traits much coveted by bomb disposal personnel and many bomb squads world-wide adopted Messmer’s character as their symbol. Even conventional munitions have been named after him.
SSgt Brian Shepherd, an Ammunition Technician serving in Northern Ireland in the 1970’s, drew our mascot. A young signaller went to the Officer Commanding 321 Squadron to ask which radio call-sign to use. The OC, having lost two operators that morning, decided on ‘Phoenix’. To reflect the Squadron rising again from the ashes to conquer terrorism in Ireland. The signaller misheard this as ‘Felix’ and it never changed. Whenever Bomb disposal personnel find a suspect device, they still use the phrase ‘Fetch Felix’.
Felix appears on numerous pin badges, T-shirts and other items. Sporting a variety of headgear to represent various units and campaigns. Operators, emergency services and general public wear these pin badges to show support.
To buy Felix merchandise visit our SHOP.