Month: May 2002

O Canada

Wings In The Wilderness

A prospector unloads supplies from a bush plane at Taltheillie Narrows, N.W.T. In 1919, most of Canada's 3,700,000 square miles were still uncharted wilderness. People could sail along parts of Canada's extensive coastline or travel coast to coast on a single railroad line that virtually hugged the Canadian-American border, but if someone wanted to penetrate into Canada's interior, they were pretty well limited to the horse, canoe or dogsled. But on June 15, 1919, ex-Royal Naval Air Service pilot Stuart Graham helped change the course of history ...
Memoirs

Reeled In

by Allan W. Waddy   As a sailor on board Her Majesty's Canadian Ship St. Croix (2nd) during the mid-1960s, I had the honour to be a member of the Royal Canadian Navy in the exciting era prior to the unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968. We wore blues, saluted the White Ensign, and many of us, including me, served in new destroyer escorts, operationally known as DDEs. Built by Marine Industries Ltd. of Sorel, Que., and commissioned in October 1958, St. Croix was an impressive looking warship. She was 366 feet long, sleek in design and boasted one of t...
Memoirs

Normandy, A Soldier’s View

by Ken Huxtable Soldiers take a few moments to relax with some music amid the destroyed and very dusty city of Caen, France. After rushing through breakfast on the morning of June 6, 1944, members of our unit—the 203 Canadian Infantry Ordnance Sub Park—left the military base at Arbourfield, just outside Reading, England, and drove in a long convoy to Hardway near the city of Portsmouth. We parked our vehicles along the village's narrow back streets, and then waited our turn to board the landing barges that would presumably take us to Europe. T...
O Canada

Barging Down The Mackenzie

The river tug Vic Ingraham awaits its skipper at Fort Providence, N.W.T. Sir Alexander Mackenzie never had it this good. I'm in the middle of the river named after him, soaking up the Indian summer rays that bathe the deck of the river tug Vic Ingraham, lost in an after-dinner reverie brought on by two oversized platefuls of roast prime rib and a generous chunk of Black Forest cake. As we pass a small backwater just south of the Arctic Circle where Mackenzie and his crews camped for the night more than two centuries before, I watch a startled bear spl...
War Art

Francis Forster

Stevedore. Travel and adventure have been a big part of war artist 's life. Born in 1907 in Calcutta, India, he and his family immigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto in 1928. He studied art in London, England, and Paris and held teaching positions in Ontario before his life took another significant turn in 1943. That's when the National Gallery of Canada asked him to paint a merchant navy convoy from Halifax to Jamaica. Forster went into the job with enthusiasm, believing it would pave the way to more opportunities. In October 1944, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. The works created during his earlier run with the merchant navy served as a bridge to his commission as a war artist in November of that year. However, before For...
Defence Today

Heroism: On The North Atlantic

by Robert C. Fisher German U-boat U-210 as seen from the deck of the Canadian destroyer Assiniboine during a deadly encounter on the North Atlantic in August 1942. The Battle of the Atlantic, which is commemorated the first Sunday in May, was the longest continuous battle of World War II. It began In September 1939 and ended in May, 1945. The Royal Canadian Navy's main role was to enable as many merchant ships as possible to reach their destinations, which was achieved by forming merchant ships into convoys protected by warships. This effort was designed to prevent Germany from squ...

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