Artifacts

Back on display
Artifacts, Military History

Back on display

A Korean War-era jeep is lovingly restored The jeeps Canadian troops used in the Korean War were all-round workhorses. The four-wheel-drive utility vehicles carried commanders, military police and signal corps dispatch riders, and were used as ambulances, for reconnaissance and for carrying light cargo. Waterproof electrical systems allowed them to cross shallow rivers even when their engines were submerged. They could be hoisted by a helicopter. They towed anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons and could be fitted with 106-millimetre recoilless rifles. In a pinch, their hoods stood in for desktops or dining tables. About 50,000 were made in the United States and Canada for use in Korea, including 2,135 Willys M38s assembled in Windsor, Ont., by the Ford Motor Company in 1952. Th...
Shell‘s bell
Artifacts

Shell‘s bell

After being attacked by Korean shore batteries, HMCS Iroquois wound up with a shiny new ship’s bell unlike any other in the navy The only Canadian ship to suffer deaths due to enemy action in the Korean War, HMCS Iroquois (DDE 217) joined the fight there on June 12, 1952, and was assigned patrol duty on the west coast. “We were always in close proximity to the 38th parallel,” recalled Ron Kirk in a Memory Project interview. The crew had to be ready for action at all times. “We would go on patrols three to six weeks at a time. At night we would anchor out and we had armed guards walking around the upper deck and a 40-millimetre Bofors gun armed. We had to sit by that gun for our four-hour watch and be ready in case there were any problems,” said Kenneth Snider. In late Septembe...
ARTIFACTS: Cool idea?
Artifacts

ARTIFACTS: Cool idea?

Aircraft carriers were a great innovation in protecting convoys out of range of land airbases during the Second World War. But aluminum and steel were in great demand. Could another material be used? Geoffrey Pyke, a researcher with Britain’s Combined Operations Headquarters, knew how difficult it is to destroy an iceberg, and he wondered: what about an airfield on the levelled top of a berg? Problem was that only about 10 per cent of an iceberg is above the surface, so one large enough to accommodate a runway would need hundreds of metres of ice below water and be impossible to tow. Besides, icebergs have a tendency to melt in mid-Atlantic. Enter pykrete, a mixture of water and wood pulp which proved amazingly strong after freezing. Invented by polymer chemists but named for Pyke...
Discarded Medals
Artifacts

Discarded Medals

It is oh, so easy for a veteran’s service and sacrifice to be forgotten. Veterans themselves may not tell their stories—perhaps to avoid painful memories or to spare loved ones from experiencing, even second-hand, the horrors of war—and this chapter in the family history, and its importance, is not passed along. Perhaps that’s how some First World War medals were nearly consigned to the rubbish heap in Winnipeg in the early 2000s. A family clearing out an apartment after a death put out boxes of unwanted stuff and invited other residents to help themselves. One neighbour picked out a small box containing a crest with the initials KOSB, and four medals, three from the First World War. Mistakenly discarded, he thought, but a family member told him they were not wanted. He kept them, not ...
The winged ship: HMCS <em> Bras d’Or </em>
Artifacts

The winged ship: HMCS Bras d’Or

Legion Magazine sat down with Lt. (N) Jason Delaney, Naval Historian at the Directorate of History and Heritage for the Department of National Defence, to discuss Canada’s hydrofoil project of the 1960s – HMCS Bras d’Or. During sea trials in 1969, the vessel exceeded 63 knots (117 km/h; 72 mph), making her the fastest unarmed warship in the world at the time. The project was ultimately scrapped, but lots can be learned from it. This is part 1 of 2 videos on Canada’s Hydrofoil. Browse our previous artifacts video interviews here. During the Cold War, fast and deadly Soviet nuclear-powered submarines were deployed along the North American coast, capable of launching a nuclear weapon attack practically without warning. Tasked with anti-submarine duties by the North Atlantic Treat...
Box of memories
Artifacts

Box of memories

  In early March, a large number of military artifacts from a little-known Canadian engagement was nearly lost to history. A boxful of photos and documents, leftovers from an estate sale, ended up donated to a Goodwill store in Port Colborne, Ont., which recognized its historic importance and turned it over to the Niagara Military Museum. “It’s a treasure trove,” said Jim Doherty, president of the museum. Inside the box were artifacts documenting the deployment of Colonel Frank Campbell to Vietnam in 1973. He was a member of the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) delegation. A briefcase, albums, documents, photographs and mementoes of his military career were in the box. When the United States withdrew from Vietnam, it asked Canada to participate i...

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