Monday, May 7, 2018

Articles: About Sicily, July - Aug. 1943 (18 Parts).

Canada is Heavily Involved in Operation HUSKY
In the Air, on Land, and on the Sea.

Operation Husky: The Sicily Landings 9-10 July 1943: Landing craft (a Landing
Craft Mechanised - a Mark 3) going ashore in the early morning during the start
of the invasion of Sicily. Photo Credit - A17955. Lt. H.A. Mason,
RN Photographer, Imperial War Museum


Canadian pilots, among many things, flew Hurricanes and helped keep the skies somewhat safe and clear as Allied troops and all the materials of war were delivered to various shores from troop and supply ships in July 1943. 

The Canadian Army landed near the south-east corner of Sicily and helped Allied forces under the command of General "Monty" Montgomery (of British 8th Army) push Italian and German troops to the point of surrender or off the island by way of Messina on Sicily's north-east corner.

Members of the Canadian Navy worked aboard British troop and supply ships in the largest armada in history, i.e., up to the date of Operation Husky. As well, about 250 members of RCNVR and Combined Operations manned four distinctly Canadian Flotillas of Landing Crafts during this significant invasion.

The 55th and 61st flotillas of assault landing craft (LCAs) took troops ashore before retiring to North African ports; The 80th and 81st flotillas of mechanised landing crafts (LCMs - see top photo) transported the materials of war (fuel, food, guns, ammunition, lorries, etc.) from July 3 - Aug. 7 (approx.) while scrambling to escape bombings, strafings, anti-personnel mines, etc. and find accommodation, meals, uniforms, etc. at the same time.

In the 18 entries (with links) that appear below, one will find photographs and news clippings from The Montreal Daily Star (digitized),  The San Bernardino Sun (California, digitized), The Madera Tribune (California, digitized) and The Winnipeg Tribune (also digitized), along with related - and rare - passages from Navy memoirs (e.g., from Canadians in Combined Operations who manned the barges) and excellent photographs from several sources (e.g., the Imperial War Museum, and Joe Spencer of RCNVR and Comb. Ops.).

I have searched many newspaper files related to the invasion of Sicily and have provided links to only a portion of the available material. Briefly, I provide details about the invasion of Sicily and subsequent Allied actions up to late August, 1943 (75 years ago as of this year, 2018).

Some items relate closely to Canadians in Comb. Ops., others do not. However, hopefully all items will provide some context for what was happening in Sicily for about eight weeks during WW2.

Readers will notice that the quality of digitization varies from one newspaper to another.

Please use the Links provided below -

1. Wartime Coverage by The Montreal Daily Star.

2. More Wartime Coverage by The Montreal Daily Star.

3. Wartime Coverage in The San Bernardino Sun.

Caption: One of the most-bombed ports in Sicily is Messina, the city just across
the straits from the Southern tip of Italy, whose hills are seen in the background.
Photo Credit - The San Bernardino Sun, issued July 11, 1943

4. More Wartime Coverage by The San Bernardino Sun.

5. Wartime News Coverage from The Madera Tribune.

6. Winnipeg Tribune - News from Operation HUSKY.

Canadian troops land west of Pachino, above; Canadian sailors manned
landing crafts at Avola and Noto, just north of Pachino.
Photo Credit - The Winnipeg Tribune

7. More Coverage from The Winnipeg Tribune.

8. Local Tars and Canadians in Combined Operations in Sicily.

9. Navy Boys Get a Word In Edgewise!

10. Focus is On The Troops Now.

Photo Credit - @

11. Focus Still On The CanadianTroops.

12. And The Work Goes On.

13. One More Week for Canadian LCMs.

14. Near the End of Canada's Days in Sicily.

Photo - The Winnipeg Tribune, August 13, 1943

15. Gearing Down in Sicily. Gearing Up for Italy.

16. Canadian Army and Navy Win Praise in Sicily.

17. Sicily Falls, Italy is Next.

18. Italy Bombarded: D-Day But One Week Away.

Canadians in Combined Ops were heavily involved
in the subsequent invasion of Italy as well.
Photo Credit - The Winnipeg Tribune

Please link to a compilation of articles related to the subsequent invasion of Italy - Articles: About Italy, Sept.-Oct. 1943 (13 Parts).

Unattributed Photos GH

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