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Find-Share-Discuss: November/December 2013

Extreme cold and hungry polar bears, Far North, 1953-54. Gary Smith of Peterborough, Ont., shares a couple of photos from his time in the Far North with No. 1 Airborne Medical Platoon. Gary says he and the other members of his platoon landed on the frozen tundra after parachuting out of a C-119 Flying Boxcar. It was no picnic with severe wind and temperatures of -65˚C. However, he remembers that life inside an igloo was toasty warm—a lot more pleasant than sleeping in an arctic tent. Patrols (top) allowed the men to study the Arctic environment and learn ways to cross the frozen landscape safely. Encounters with polar bears were common. Gary can certainly attest to that after a full-grown bear sized him up for a meal. “There were 50 in our platoon and there are only four of ...
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Find-Share-Discuss: September/October 2013

Ankle deep in water and mud, August 1918. Retired major Robert Gillan of Surrey, B.C., shares two photos of his grandfather, Corporal Thomas Gillan, taken during the First World War. Gillan says his grandfather served with 9 Field Ambulance of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. He believes the photo, showing Cpl. Gillan (centre) and other soldiers standing in muddy water, was probably taken near Arras, France, where the unit was located in 1918. “They were difficult conditions for a medical unit to operate under to say the least,” offers Gillan. “Note the field kitchen in the background at right.” The portrait of Cpl. Gillan was taken in Perth, Scotland, while he was on leave to visit his wife. On Aug. 28, 1918—not long after the “muddy waters” photo was taken—Gillan was wo...
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Find-Share-Discuss: July/August 2013

R & R in Japan, August 1951 Mike Gray of Omemee, Ont., shares a photo of his father, Lawrence Reimer (centre), enjoying a draft while in good company at the Ginza Beer Hall, Tokyo. Gray points out that his father had just turned 19. “I recall him telling me that they were so young, all of them”…and while engaged in military operations in Korea with 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, a lot of the boys “owed their survival to the skill, talent and ability of platoon Sergeant Tommy Prince.” Prince was Canada’s most decorated aboriginal war veteran. During the Second World War he was summoned to Buckingham Palace where the king presented him with the Military Medal and—on behalf of the United States president—the Silver Star with ribbon. Prince did two t...
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Find-Share-Discuss: May/June 2013

Heat and Danger In Italy—Summer 1944 Canadian war veteran Lloyd A. Carter of Hemet, Calif., shares two photos taken while he was attached to a gun shop detachment with 1st Canadian Division. The top photo was taken near Alife, Italy, when summer’s heat “reduced me to my work clothes.” The other one shows Carter sitting next to a pile of freshly dug dirt outside his tent at the Metauro River. Carter also remembers pulling into a field where there was a line of grapevines and a line of trees. The grapes looked good so he decided to settle in. A Sergeant Kierstead came along and asked him to move his equipment closer to the trees because he wanted to park a vehicle—in need of repairs—on the level ground next to the grapes. “Always co-operative, I moved my equipment,” recalled...
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Find-Share-Discuss: March/April 2013

  ON HILL 355, KOREA Kenneth Clow of Brossard, Que., shares two photos of himself taken during the Korean War on Hill 355. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korea Armistice Agreement on July 27, 1953. Clow, who was 17-years-old when these photos were taken, was a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment, which came under heavy attack on Oct. 23, 1952. “It was something I will never forget,” recalled Clow. “To this day, I don’t know how we made it.” We thank Kenneth for his contribution to Find-Share-Discuss, and invite readers to share similar memories of wartime or peacetime service.
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Find-Share-Discuss: January/February 2013

Find-Share-Discuss: Stanley Wilson Photo On leave in wartime England Stanley Wilson of Ottawa shares this photo taken in 1944 while he and fellow aircrew were visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, where playwright William Shakespeare was baptized in 1564. When asked if he and his buddies took in a play during their visit, Wilson replied: "No, we just went to the pub next door—a place called The Dirty Duck." From left to right are: Flight Sergeant Stanley Wilson, Flying Officer J.K. Millbank, Flt. Sgt. N. E. Mckenzie, Flt. Sgt. K.E. Sheppard and Flt. Sgt. C.E. Johnson. The photo was taken behind the theatre, along the Avon River. We thank Stanley Wilson for his contribution to Find-Share-Discuss, and invite other readers to share similar memories of wartime or peacetime service.
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