War Museum Pays Tribute To Farley Mowat

September 18, 2014 by Legion Magazine

As a tribute to author Farley Mowat, who died May 7 in Port Hope, Ont., the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa put on display some military treasures brought to Canada under his direction following the Second World War.

A V-1 flying bomb collected by Farley Mowat’s team sits on display at the Canadian War Museum. [PHOTO: TOM MacGREGOR]

A V-1 flying bomb collected by Farley Mowat’s team sits on display at the Canadian War Museum.

Mowat enlisted in the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment in 1942 as a second lieutenant. He went to England and then was part of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. He served in Italy where he suffered from battle exhaustion and transferred to intelligence operations. He was serving in North-west Europe when the war ended in 1945. He wrote about his war experiences in several books including And No Birds Sang and His Father’s Son.

After the war Mowat, who had been promoted to captain, led the First Canadian War Museum Collection Team which travelled the Netherlands and occupied Germany, collecting hundreds of tons of German military equipment and arranging for its transport to Canada.

Highlighting the exhibit in the main lobby was a V-1 flying bomb developed by Germany. This one is unusual in that it could be manned. The V-1s were used by Germany late in the war to hit targets in London and southern England. Mowat collected the artifact in Dannenburg, Germany, in 1945.

Special signs were also erected in the permanent collection to identify other objects that were collected by the team, including a Jagdpanzer anti-aircraft tank and a Goliath tracked mine. The Goliath, which the Allies called a beetle tank, was a tracked demolition vehicle capable of carrying 60 to 100 kilograms of explosives and was operated by remote control. This one was found in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Other items collected by the team were distributed to various museums in Canada.

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