Thursday, December 3, 2015

1000 Men, 1000 Stories - Dedication

They Were Right There, WW2

"North Africa, November 1942: A Canadian Combined Ops crew* transports
US troops ashore at Z Beach, Arzew" Photo Credit - Imperial War Museum"

To the Canadians who volunteered for and determinedly served in Combined Operations during World War II - in such places as St. Nazaire, Dieppe, North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy - I dedicate this website.

Canadians served from 1941 - 1945 as Able Bodied Seamen, Leading Seamen, Coxswains and Officers in the Combined Operations organization, endured long days, weeks and months of work upon various ships and landing craft transporting Allied troops and all materials of war to beaches in the Mediterranean, on the coast of France, and more. These men were not trained observers but nonetheless witnessed the chaos and carnage of war - "Sicily was hot action": They were right there - lost comrades in a burst of pink mist before their eyes, cried at losses, cheered the victories.

Some returned home to Canada with stories to tell, others remained silent. Some soon went back to work at the job they vacated three or four years earlier, surely struggled to clear their minds, but became productive members of a growing, healthy, more confident society. Some found their place, shared a story or two in later years while others did not.

If there were 1,000 Canadian men in Combined Operations during WW2 then surely there must be 1,000 stories to tell.

Some will be found here. If you know even one story, tell it here as well.

*The editor believes that the Canadian crew manning ALC 428 consists of Coxswain Jack Dean (back right), Sub. Lt. McDonald (standing on board, left of open ramp), and Leading Seaman Doug Harrison (front and centre, knee deep in water). Doug Harrison is the editor's father.

Link to Welcome to Canadians in Combined Operations

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