Charlotte Elwyn 'Shirley' Yeager (シャーロット・エルウィン・イェーガー, Shārotto Erū~in Iēgā) is a witch of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing. She originates from Liberion and is affiliated with the Liberion Army Air Corps and the Elite Eighth Air Force. A famous test pilot that has set numerous speed and altitude records, Shirley became renowned as 'Glamorous Shirley' (グラマラスシャーリー, Guramarasu Shārī), out of her prodigious speed and sparkling beauty. Due to her famous records of speed, she also received the nickname 'The Queen of the Speed' by some press and photographers. Also nicknamed 'Boing boing' due to her big breasts by her close friend, Francesca Lucchini.
Charlotte was born to farming parents in Myra, West Virginia, Liberion. She has two little brothers and two little sisters.
Before joining the 501st she was also a motorcycle racer who broke the land speed record on Bonneville Salt Flats using a modified Indian motorcycle (with magic engine) identical to the one used by legendary New Zealand speed bike racer Burt Munro in the 1950s. She was able to break many of these records several times and gained a big popularity through the press. Due to this, she is famous as a fast Witch. Pilot Officer Gerard seemed to admire Shirley, and, due to their status as fellow Liberions, the two of them became friends. Shirley was also admired by Flight Lieutenant Carl, who met Shirley to receive a lecture about increasing the speed of the machine. After she set a world record of 178.24 miles per hour (286.9 km/h), Shirley volunteered to the Witch Corps to challenge the speed record further.
Although enlisting was difficult in Liberion, she was enlisted in 1943 as she had deep knowledge of machinery and had encountered large numbers of military personnel. She was shot down on her first flight. After her training in Liberion, she was submitted to Europe. Her original unit is the Army of Liberion's 363rd fighter squadron. This unit is part of the Eighth Air Force, with the mission to aid Europe, and belongs to the 357th Fighter group. She was likely to be expelled from her home unit, accused of repeated unauthorized modifications of the Striker Unit. But some senior members spared her due to her high ability as a witch, and she was sent in the 501st JWF who requested reinforcements after being promoted Flying Officer. Even in the witch corps, she set a variety of altitude and speed records.
She became an entire member of the 501st, where she was able to freely demonstrate her abilities, and achieved repeated individual results. She is also a mood maker that liven up the atmosphere of the troops, and has made great contributions especially to make Ensign Lucchini, who was a problem child, act as a member of the unit. She has set numerous variety of speed records in the military in the local salt flats before the anime. However, she gets confined to her room very often due to repeatedly doing things like violation of orders, disregard for military regulations and destruction of Striker Unit. However, her abilities were so high that a letter of promotion to Flight Lieutenant was sent by Wing Commander Wilcke. It was lost in a pile of papers somewhere, but she finally gets the promotion. Although her character often conflicts with captain Barkhorn, they seem to trust each other in their ability to work.
Shortly after Miyafuji Yoshika was assigned to the unit, during a special training at the beach, Miyafuji spots something: a high-speed Neuroi. Shirley scrambles to intercept and destroy the Neuroi, but she notes something rare in her Striker Unit. In the previous night, Pilot Officer Lucchini accidentally causes an accident with Shirley's Striker Unit and had to reassemble it. However, this allows her to not only destroy the Neuroi, but also exceeded the speed of sound, making her the fastest Witch ever. She collapsed after a collision with the Neuroi and was rescued by Sergeant Miyafuji and Sergeant Bishop (currently a Flight Sergeant). Although she breaks the sound barrier, it is not present in the official registration for failing of witnesses.
After the liberation of Gallia and the disbanding of the 501st JFW, Shirley and Lucchini travel across North Africa, established in the 31st Joint Fighter Squadron Afrika's base and meet some of the African witches, like Hanna-Justina Marseille. They participated in some recapture and defense operations in the Mediterranean front, and the African front. The Liberion military lost track of her and so she never got any supplies. As a result, she had to live on what she could get from the place where she was at the moment. Her new red outfit is from Britannia, where she went to get her bike repaired.
Following the report of the fall of Venice, they left the front and joined the former 501st JFW members. Ever since the 501st JFW was reformed in Romagna, Ursula Hartmann developed the first Jet Striker Unit prototype, the Me 262 Swallow, which was delivered to the 501st JFW for testing. Shirley initially seems to show interest in the prototype, but after Lucchini tests it, and felt something was wrong with the unit and leaped out, she lost interest. Shirley makes a race with Barkhorn but, during its third test of speed Trude fainted and crashed into the Adriatic sea. However after scrambling to intercept a Neuroi, it was soon discovered to be too fast and maneuverable even for the Liberion Witch. Barkhorn broke into the hanger and took off in the 262. She arrived just in time to save Yeager from being caught between two sections of the Neuori which had surrounded her after her gun had jammed. She quickly dispatched the Neuroi, but soon fainted again. The 262 started to accelerate uncontrollably and would soon drain Barkhorn of all her magical powers and subsequently crash and kill her. However thanks to some quick thinking and going supersonic again for only the second time, Yeager was able to catch up and pull the emergency release cable on the 262.
In the Movie, Shirley and Lucchini are rowing a boat through a canal in Venezia and Shirley participated in a speed race with Luciana Mazzei. At first, the Romagnan Witch seems to have the upper hand, but Shirley soon picks up the pace, and Fernandia forces Luciana to use her magic. A very angry Shirley immediately responds by activating her own and vastly outdistances them, reaching the goal in seconds. Later, she and the other witches combat with a Neuroi.
Magnanimous in character, tall and buxom in appearance, Charlotte ("Shirley" to her friends) is a thrill-seeker who is fascinated by speed and her dream is to break the sound barrier. Concerned with cleanliness, Charlotte had her personal bath transported all the way to the Strike Witches Britannia base when she was transferred from the Liberion Army 363rd Fighter Wing. She is strong, confident and sociable. Although she usually doesn't care about trivial matters, she has a broad view and always looks at the situation objectively. She's the kind of person who thinks about how to use her strong points in battle. She's an individualist, very freedom loving. Someone who cares about getting time over to do the things she wants to do. But she still gets along very well with everyone else, and she always plays her part well when it really matters.
She is not good at cooking, but she is good at making barbecue which does not require fine seasoning or cooking. She is carefree and capable to become friends with just about anyone. Charlotte is full of self-confidence and willingness to take risks, but has a rather carefree attitude to life - if you watch them, they did not come up with the idea that the unit is at war. She appreciates the finer things in life, such as the comfort of a bath. Also, she drives like crazy and while not as destructive as most in the one scene she's shown driving, she drifts on mountainside dirt roads and leaps across chasms in a military supply truck.
Charlotte likes to travel. Her dream was to become a singer, but after viewing the Witches flying in the sky, her dream becomes to break the sound barrier. She is also proud, but friendly. Her favourite glasses was the pair that she used to break the land speed record, before she enlisted. They are rare items that have already been discontinued. Later, when Lucchini wanted them, she searched for the same product and purchased it. Charlotte rarely was scary, actually, she is very reckless. She doesn't back down from any challenge even going so far as to charge a Neuroi in an unarmed plane. Shirley spends her spare time in the machine shop and making further modifications to her Striker. Yeager has an honest and straightforward nature. At times, it may seem rough, but natural good nature makes it a popular favorite.
She is a good friend of Pilot Officer Lucchini, whoever is almost always cuddled up in Shirley's bosom (which Shirley allows). They hold a very close relationship, often pulling on pranks and makes adventures together. Because of the age difference, she refers to her as his beloved younger sister, supports and takes care of her. Shirley has an orange plane named Glamorous Shirley. She actuates like an older sister to Sergeant Miyafuji and Flight Sergeant Bishop, and also has a rivalry with Flight Lieutenant Barkhorn. They really don't like each other, and they are not exactly shy about showing it either. Shirley is also a friend of Pilot Officer Gerard, who admired her a lot.
Like her namesake, Charlotte becomes the first person to break the sound barrier, making her the fastest Witch ever, which may be due to her magic ability Speed Boost (超加速, Chō-kasoku, lit. "Super Acceleration"), which is classified in the Telekinetic lineage. It allows her to perform a task rapidly when she focuses, such as running or flying. She used it unconsciously when he set the speed record on her motorcycle. Shirley is a very fast Witch, thanks to her inherent magic. It is likely that her magic is of a similar magic Linage as Francie Gerard's magic ability. Her magical ability allows her to enhance her Striker Unit's performance and increase her airspeed exponentially, giving her the responsibility to pursue and destroy high-speed Neuroi.
Other than that, she got the abilities to match any mechanic. She takes care of the maintenance and adjustments (to make it faster) of her Strike Unit, she is also good at restoring planes and vehicles. When the Britannia Navy Air Corps Swordfish Mk.I torpedo bombers deployed at the 501st Search and Rescue Squadron was dismissed and discarded, she seized one of the damaged ones as a contact aircraft and restored it. She also obtained an unusable transport truck at a nearby base, strengthened the frame and suspension, and installed a powerful engine. She can easily assemble a radio wave detector.
In battle, her favourite tactic is to look at the battlefield from a distance. And then, when the enemy shows her a weakness, she comes flying in and takes it out using her special speed. Her abilities as a test pilot are also high and, as she can clearly express in words and numbers things like a unit's special qualities and its output balance, she is also trusted by the engineering staff. With her abilities, she set a variety of altitude and speed records on prototype and experimental craft.
Her Striker Unit is a North Liberion P-51D Mustang. Designed and manufactured in Liberion, the engine wasn't very good. She has tunned and changed the assigning barriers for high speed. She also swapped the original engine for a type 60 Merlin. After these changes, she got an unexpectedly good result. She nicknames her Striker Unit 'Merlin' (due to the engine) and is connected with a strong attachment to it. Before joining the Witches she worked on motorcycles and airplanes, consequentially her Striker Unit is heavily modified.
She's using a Browning automatic rifle M1918 but there are a lot of things about it she doesn't like. Because it can only hold a few bullets, Shirley is using a new, larger type, test-developed 40-round magazine. On the other hand, it's really durable, so Shirley doesn't take much care of it.
Shirley's Comments On Other Characters
- "The Wing Commander is a good Commander. She never complains about me doing whatever I want as long as I complete my missions as I should. That's why I want to do my best for her sake. You have to give back for what you take, after all."
- "Lynne? Yeah, she seems happier since Miyafuji came here. She's like a little sister, so I was a little worried about her. I was thinking it might be better for her to leave the unit since she was never able to get anything done, but she should be fine now. She might be a little too kind sometimes, but as long as there's something she wants to protect, I'm sure she'll get stronger."
- "That Miyafuji is quite an interesting girl. While everyone else takes fighting the Neuroi for granted, she wondered if it really is the right thing to do. And she doesn't seem to understand that soldiers should always obey orders. I wonder what kind of interesting training she's gone through with Major Sakamoto? Anyway, she seems intrigued by my breasts? Well, who can blame her?"
- "I'm glad to fight under an extraordinary Commander like Major Sakamoto. Her instructions are always easy to understand, she cares about her subordinates and serves as a good example to us all. It's very motivating! I'm usually not very good at taking orders from others otherwise."
- "Glasses? Yeah, she's actually a good person, but why can't she be a little more true to her own feelings? She's talented both when it comes to dog-fighting and magic and she's way more serious than the rest of us concerning training. But well... I guess she just wants to be close to the Major. She tries to hide it, but that stubbornness just makes it even funnier."
- "I guess she's still attached to her mother. She might look fine, but she's actually having quite a rough time. Of course, I'm happy she's taken a liking to me. She's like a little kitten. But did you know? Her familiar is actually a black panther! I was sure it was a cat at first! I wonder where they met?"
- "She's a true Karlslandian soldier. Overly serious, formal, always complains when someone is late and just loves rules and regulations. Who cares about that as long as we do what we're supposed to? Sometimes you just have to tease her a little so she can get a break or I'm afraid she might explode. Well, she's a good person, but this is my duty as someone with the same rank."
- "She's an ultra ace, and yet she's worse than me in some regards! She gets confined to her room more often than I do, and her room is a mess... But she's like a different person in the air, and she's really an amazing fighter. She also never seems to get stressed up or agitated, so I'm kind of looking up to her."
- "Sanya? Yeah, she's a good girl. No one else is fit for doing night patrol every day like she does, so I'm thankful she does that. If only she would have more confidence in herself, I'm sure she would be an excellent night witch. An expert on night battles, doesn't it sound cool?"
- "Eila's miraculous dog-fighting techniques are really amazing. It's almost like the bullets are avoiding her, you know? Not only has she never been shot down, she's never even been scratched! Everyone else has been shot down once or twice at least. Me? Yeah, I was shot down on my first flight. Hahaha!"
Strike Witches "What If" — 1947
Flight Lieutenant Yeager went to serve in her own country. She is cheerful and sociable, and she always has people around her, but she still needs some time alone. When she is in the land of memories, Bonneville Salt Flats, she thinks about the European sky where she flew with her little partner.
- This shouldn't be considered entirely canonical, because it was only tweeted by Humikane.
- Strike Witches OVA
- Strike Witches Season 1
- Strike Witches Season 2
- Strike Witches Movie
- Operation Victory Arrow, Volume 2
- Strike Witches: 501 Butai Hasshin Shimasu!
- Strike Witches: 501 Butai Hasshin Shimasu! Movie
- Strike Witches Road to Berlin
- Himegoe Voice Albums
- Hime Uta Song Albums
- Himebana Drama Albums
- Himeroku Drama Albums
- Strike Witches Gakuen
- Himegoe CD 2 Voice Albums
- Starlight Stream, only mentioned in some episodes
- Strike Witches: Otome no Maki
- Strike Witches 2
- Strike Witches Short-Shorts: After the Sky
- Ichimen no Ao
- Strike Witches 2 Visual Short Story
- 500overs in Africa
- Strike Witches the Movie: The sky I want to return to
- Noble Witches: The 506th Joint Fighter Wing (light novel)
- Strike Witches: Memorial Episode Together
- Tenkū no Otome-tachi
- Kimi to Tsunagaru Sora
- Strike Witches: 501 Butai Hasshin shimasu!
- Strike Witches Gekijouban: 501 Butai Hasshin shimasu!
- Strike Witches: 501 Butai Hasshin shimasu! Zoku
- Strike Witches: The 501st Joint Fighter Wing
- Strike witches: Chii Sanya
- Strike witches: Chii Size
- Katayoku no Majotachi, mentioned in the Prologue, first chapter and Epilogue
- World Witches: Contrail of Witches, cameos in chapter 10
- What I Can Do Along With You - A Little Peaceful Days
- Blitz in the Blue Sky - New Commander Struggles!
- Shirogane no Tsubasa
- Iyasu, Naosu, Puni Puni Suru
- She is based on Chuck Yeager, a retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force and record-setting test pilot. Shirley shares many characteristics with her archetype: Yeager was the first pilot to travel faster than sound in 1947, Shirley does in 1945, and would later break further speed and altitude records in his life, like Shirley does; he was a mechanic, similar to Shirley's tinkering, both of them has reckless conduct and flew a plane he named the Glamorous Glennis (similar to Shirley's alias Glamorous Shirley).
- Possibly in reference to model and photographer Bunny Yeager, Charlotte's familiar is the rabbit, although it's said it is a hare. However, although it is confirmed that it is a White Rabbit, in the anime she gained a hare tail, instead of a rabbit's. In the official art, her tail is a rabbit's.
- It is unknown her true middle name. It is supposed to be Elwyn, because her ace archetype's middle name was Elwood, the male form of Elwyn. Other sources said that her middle name is Eldwood.
- Her motorcycle in the S1 Ep 5 eyecatch is likely a 1924 Indian Big Chief with sidecar modification
- Charlotte holds a lot of similarities with Katharine O'Hare. Both of them are tall and buxom (and has the same height), are originating from Liberion, are related with Striker Units (Katharine has lost a lot of Strikers, and Shirley is a mechanic), are bright, sociable and optimist, they are considered beautiful, has a good relationship with the 'little girl' of the squadron (Ursula Hartmann and Francesca Lucchini, respectively) and are important characters in their respective media.
- ↑ Strike Witches Official Fanbook Complete File, page 35