Month: March 1996

Memoirs

To Burma And Beyond

by Mac Johnston You seldom hear the phrase ‘the Far East’ these days, but during WW II it was a significant theatre for our military, involving more than 10,000 Canadians in many roles. That’s why Veterans Affairs Canada conducted a Far East pilgrimage from Nov. 28 to Dec. 14, 1995. Organized under the Canada Remembers program, it was the last major event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of WW II. Diversity abounded in this theatre. The Royal Canadian Air Force was a major player, providing two transport squadrons–435 and 436–that supplied the British 14th Army as it drove the Japanese out of India and Burma (now Myanmar) in 1944 and ‘45. A number of individual Canadians served with the 14th Army, including Major Charles Hoey of Duncan, B.C., who was awarded the...
Army

Hong Kong: There Was A Reason: Army, Part 6

Last year Canadian veterans who fought in the defence of Hong Kong were awarded a bar to be worn on the ribbon of the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal. This recognition reminded us of the debt we owe to the men and women who endured so much pain on our behalf. Unfortunately media coverage of the events provided little beyond the most superficial references to it being a "sacrifice" and "a hopeless cause."To understand the decision to reinforce the colony we must try to place ourselves within the swirling events of 1941 and remember that none of the decision makers, including the Japanese, knew that war in the Pacific would begin before the year was out. The United States took the lead in shaping policy in the Pacific. Throughout 1941 American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to fi...

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An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.