Sunday, June 28, 2015

Books re Combined Operations

SAILOR REMEMBER by William H. Pugsley

Pugsley's dedication to friends lost during WW2

William H. Pugsley wrote two fine books about his WW2 experiences as member of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve, Saints, Devils and Ordinary Seamen and the above. 

Pugsley is ex-R.C.N.V.R. and this book is his memoir concerning his life as a seaman during his RCNVR days in the early 1940s. He writes about his experiences in Corvettes in the North Atlantic, destroyer action, and training activities at Comox BC, HMCS Cornwallis NS, Greenock, Scotland, and more.

Though he did not volunteer for the Combined Operations organization he did train in some of the same places as did members of Combined Ops, perhaps about two years earlier than Doug Harrison and Lloyd Evans, two members of RCNVR and Combined OPs mentioned on this website.

Pugsley also writes in an informative fashion about day to day experiences related to training as a 'subbie' (young officer) and surviving dangerous wartime conditions, and in SAILOR REMEMBER includes countless photographs from his own collection. Though he was not a member of Combined Operations I include his book on this site because a few pages about his training in Comox, British Columbia and accompanying photos reveal a rare look at a camp that was soon to become a Combined Operations training school (HMCS Naden III, commissioned HMCS Givenchy III in 1943) during the latter stages of the Second World War. "Givenchy III" was home to expanded seamanship, gunnery and assault training (using landing craft built in the area) until the end of WW2.

1930s Photo of The Spit courtesy of Comox Museum

The following eight photographs are from pages 90 - 97 of SAILOR REMEMBER and reveal rare glimpses of "Naden III" (today known as HMCS Quadra, Sea Cadet training base, property of Canada's DND):

Copies of the book are available for sale/shipping at AbeBooks.

Please link to more Books re Combined Operations

Unattributed photos by GH

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