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Lest We Forget


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#21 Michael Eastes

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 0325 AM

From my home-town newspaper web site. Maybe it's duplication of information, but it can't hurt.

Yes, I'm weak. I couldn't stay all the way away from this grating sight.

http://www.legacy.co...ldier/Home.aspx
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#22 DougRichards

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 0700 AM

From my home-town newspaper web site. Maybe it's duplication of information, but it can't hurt.

Yes, I'm weak. I couldn't stay all the way away from this grating sight.

http://www.legacy.co...ldier/Home.aspx

Hello Michael
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#23 CV9030FIN

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 1226 PM

Tomorrow it is one year... http://www.icasualti...?hndQry=Finland
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#24 Dame Karmen

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 0803 AM

D-Day and Normandy 1944.

Remembering my Uncles, Rifelman Philip Genaille, died of wounds on D-Day, and
Rifleman Edward Smith, (executed POW June 8, 1944, Normandy) ... both with the
Royal Winnipeg Rifles aka Little Black Devils.

Remembering all who stormed the beaches of Normandy, especially those who
never made it out of Normandy.
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#25 Michael Eastes

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 1632 PM

John Ripley, Col., USMC Ret. and Navy Cross recipient, has passed at age 69. RIP. Take a minute and read the article.

http://townhall.com/...p;comments=true
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#26 ShotMagnet

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 2036 PM

Highway of Heroes


Shot
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#27 Dame Karmen

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 0424 AM

Highway of Heroes
Shot


Six more soldiers came/coming home to us by Highway of Heroes this week,
from two separate incidents. A hard week.

103 Fallen Canadian Soldiers is our count.
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#28 ShotMagnet

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 1331 PM

This was so moving that I thought about making it it's own topic.

Seems better here, just the same.


Shot
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#29 Michael Eastes

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 0339 AM

Ed Freeman... A True Hero'

You're an 18 or 19 year old kid. You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam 11-14-1965.

Your infantry unit is outnumbered 8-1, and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 or 200 yards away, that your own Infantry Commander has ordered the MediVac helicopters to stop coming in.

You're lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns, and you know you're not getting out. Your family is 1/2 way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you'll never see them again. As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.

Then, over the machine gun noise, you faintly hear that sound of a
helicopter, and you look up to see an un-armed Huey, but it doesn't
seem real, because no Medi-Vac markings are on it.

Ed Freeman is coming for you. He's not Medi-Vac, so it's not his job, but he's flying his Huey down into the machine gun fire, after the Medi-Vacs were ordered not to come.

He's coming anyway.

And he drops it in, and sits there in the machine gun fire, as they load 2 or 3 of you on board.

Then he flies you up and out through the gunfire, to the Doctors and Nurses.

And, he kept coming back...... 13 more times..... and took about 30 of you and your buddies out, who would never have gotten out.

Medal of Honor Recipient Ed Freeman died last Wednesday at the age of 80, in Boise , ID ......May God rest his soul.....

(Oh yeah, Paul Newman died that day too. I guess you knew that -- He got a lot more press than Ed Freeman.)

Ed Freeman... "A True Hero'
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#30 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 0113 AM

http://www.privatele....net/index.html
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#31 Dame Karmen

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 0353 AM

Thanks for that link Ivanhoe ... I'll be reading through the stories.
What a great site! Reading how and what others write is something
I'm doing to try and sort out how to write some things up myself
so I love reading about peoples/soldiers experiences and thoughts
about what they lived through, one to know them, and two, to get
ideas about "how to" for my Uncles.

Lest We Forget ;)
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#32 Dame Karmen

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 0220 AM

A "friend" of mine passed away recently and his funeral was on the weekend. I hear
he had a wonderful sendoff and that makes me glad to know. Some time back he sent me
a little 4 page Bio about his service, Canadian) in WW2 (along with other stuff over the
last few years) and he gave me his blessings to use and post anything he ever sent me.
Am posting in here to introduce you to him and his service so you folks can know of him and appreciate him too ... which I know you folks in here do. He was a vital force til the end
and a lot of people thought very highly of him and all he did and was. He's with his beautiful
(gorgeous) wife now who he lost a few years back and missed deeply and no more major aches and pains and surgeries. At peace.

So here are some glimpses into WW2 through his eyes and life. Lest We Forget ;)

HERB DANTER’S MEMOIRS WITH THE 23RD SELF PROPELLED FIELD REGIMENT RCA FROM NORMANDIE TO GERMANY – WW II





As a Self Propelled Artillery Regiment giving close artillery support to the infantry and armoured regiments of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division we landed in Normandie in July 1944. We were to relieve a sister artillery field regiment of the 7th British Armoured Division (the Desert Rats )just south of Caen. Being a member of our Battery’s (36th Field Battery – Cobourg Ontario) recce (reconnaissance) party. - we were sent in as part of the advance party to arrange the transfer. Now this particular gun position that my Party was assigned to was overlooked by the enemy in high enemy held territory – they (the enemy) had to know we were there to take over because they gave us a tremendous welcome with a very heavy artillery barrage. Our only spot of safety (such as it was) happened to be underneath our half track recce vehicle. We must have looked a trifle foolish trying to dig a big enough hole by clawing away at the earth and my thoughts flashed back to the soothing words of our Divisional Commander, Major General George Kitching, who, when we were still in England, promised to “ease us into battle”. (George should have buttoned up his lip). Even the battle hardened Desert rats admitted that they had never encountered such a fierce barrage before. Even when receiving hostile fire for the first time one of the “wits” in our party remarked “Geez this is one time when I wished my old man had worn a French Safe ( a.k.a condom) So, when we returned to our Regiment which was still back in the concentration area we were to say the least, all shaken up and a little punchy but after a few drams of the “elixir of the Gods” we settled down and actually began to feel proud that we had been the first ones in the Regiment to have received “our baptism of fire”.



The next “flash back” of memory occurs during the breakout of Caen (Normandie) by the 21st Army Group made up of British, Canadian, Polish and other sundry units under the overall command of General Bernard Montgomery. Our 4th Armoured Division which was one of the spearheads of this exercise (Operation Totalize) was to “leap frog” with the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions and the Polish Armoured Division down this Caen to Falaise Highway (Route Nationale 158) a.k.a. “the corridor of death” with the



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Herb’s memoires of WW II continued



intent of meeting up with General George Patton’s American army coming up from the south in the hope of trapping the bulk of the 14th German Army in this pocket. The enemy trying to escape down this highway was mercilessly pounded day and night by our airforce and artillery. The scene was one out of Hades – the road was choked with the decaying bodies of both men and horses which the Germans used quite extensively as transport. In those hot days of August (the hottest summer in Europe in 25 years) it didn’t take long before the stench of death became apparent. It was so bad that even the pilots in low flying planes remarked on the awful stench of putrefaction that drifted up skywards when they flew over. That and the dysentery that everyone had together with stinging and swollen eyes and burnt skin on our faces from the alkaline dust of Normandie made life almost unbearable, every unit ran out of medicine to combat dysentery so you see the comforts of home were sadly lacking. If you could still stand up even with the cramps and nausea. you had to continue with the attack.



In this operation our rear lines were bombed by heavy bombers of the U.S. Airforce on 9 August 1944 resulting in heavy casualties to our medium artillery and other Units such as headquarters groups and infantry units that were sent back for rest and refitting. This attack left 259 killed and 504 wounded and on the following 14 August 1944 this same error was duplicated by the RAF & RCAF heavy bombers when their bombs killed another 150 and wounded 250. Now this was considered an official count because things were in such a turmoil that an accurate count could not be made, we were choked with clouds of dust and we still had to continue the attack – no matter what.

Here is rather an amusing incident in this dark drama – we were issued long yellow strips of celanese which we were to place on top of our vehicles as aircraft recognition signals so when the Yanks started to bomb us we all called for these yellow markers. In the ensuing maelstrom caused by exploding bombs our poor old quartermaster was running around in this dust storm which engulfed us trying to hand out these markers when someone screamed for Gawd’s sake give me something yellow to wave and one of our group screamed back “Wave me I’m yellow” – humour hath no bounds.

But in this operation I can remember the oppressive heat, the choking dust which also blinded you and gave you sunburnt skin and especially the stench of rotting bodies of both men and horses .No one who was there and came through this horror will ever forget the Caen to Falaise Road in Normandie circa August 1944.and it is still officially known as Route Nationale 158.

The mad dash chasing the remnants of the German 14th Army ( and it turned out that they were powerful remnants) through the rest of France and into Belgium came to a halt when we reached the Leopold Canal and it became static warfare in late September 1944.

During this time and behind a smoke screen which shielded us from the enemy, plans were made for another attack across this “ditch” to start on the nights of 5 & 6 October. with a terrific artillery barrage.





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Herb’s memoirs of WW II continued



Since I was trained in plotting barrages etc I was called back to our gun position from our recce post one dark and moonless night to help plot a barrage at our Troop Command Post. So off I start on a lonely nervous journey down this gravel path. It was eerie – the only sound was made by me walking on the gravel, otherwise it was dead quiet and pitch black. I would stop every other minute to listen for any movement because I had been forewarned of heavy patrol activity on both sides – now here is where one starts to sweat albeit the night was damp and chilly ( nevertheless I was sweating). It seemed like an eternity out there by myself – I thought I heard several times rustling in the undergrowth that lined both sides of this path and here and there I heard a twig snap or I thought I did. I feel a little comfort from it being so dark out because if I couldn’t see anyone then I reasoned that they couldn’t see me although they would have heard my foot steps and let’s face it no matter if I had bumped into anyone of our patrols or an enemy patrol I don’t think I would have had time to say anything.it would have “boom” who was that? All of a sudden the lane ends with its crunchy gravel. I had come to a field so where to from here? I’m completely lost when suddenly I see a crack of light for an instant and by this time I couldn’t care less what this light was – then I came upon a huge tarp covering a mound of earth and then I heard the sound of voices, Hurrah! It was Canadian voices and I bounded into this safe haven and Praise The Lord it was my Troop Command Post although it was too dark to see any of the guns deployed out in front. I was “well received” by a casual glad you’re here because we’re going to be at this all night and by the way what the hell took you so long in getting here? Anyhow, to make a long story short they gave me a few rations (compo – ugh) and a couple of swigs from a bottle full of the “nectar of the Gods” after which I settled down enough to help out with this huge fire plan. In retrospect I was mighty thankful that I even had a crunchy path to follow on such a dark night otherwise I probably would have been going around in circles until daybreak.



The last incident that I will comment on at this time happened in Germany in early April 1945 while we were slugging it out in the mud and cold rain of early Spring and into the final stages of the European War.

Everything by this time was in a fluid state and by this I mean we were quite often ahead of the infantry with our self propelled guns and we were firing at targets anywhere from 500 yards and up. This particular event that I refer to happened on the morning of 8 April 1945 while my Battery (36th from Cobourg Ontario) was having breakfast prior to another move, of course they had to wait for us on the Recce Party to get moving and survey in another gun position. The location that I refer to was on the edge of a small forest (wald) on the outskirts of a village called Sogel (in the Hochwald area). The fog was thick and we lingered around waiting for this to dissipate before we moved off. I was in our Recce vehicle studying our route for the day and when the fog lifted all hell broke loose. Apparently a squad of Nazi paratroopers landed and hid in the woods and Village just off our gun postion during the night. As soon a the fog lifted they started their

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Herb’s memoires fo WW II continued



attack. Our S.P. guns saved the day for us – the gun detachments took on the roll of tanks and they advanced into the woods firing the 25 pdr’s point blank and at the same time raking the woods with machine gun fire My officer instructed me to stand by the vehicle and hold the “fort:, He had heard that some of the Chaps were killed and wounded so he takes off down the road to investigate and he was cut down by machine gun fire.

We held the paratroopers off until late afternoon when one of our Infantry Regiments in our Division (Lake Superior motorized Infantry) finally showed up and flushed out the remaining pockets of enemy .



Sadly we suffered many casualties and it must have been very hard for our Padre to communicate with the families of those killed in action since the ceasefire was only a few weeks away.



Finally our Recce Party got away after we grabbed another Officer to replace our slain Officer who had been with us since Normandie.



LEST WE FORGET


Here he is, photo taken not so long ago:
http://www.limbergunners.ca/

Edited by VenerableDamePW, 15 March 2009 - 0234 AM.

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#33 Dame Karmen

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 0627 AM

Some photos of and/or submitted by Herb Danter from WW2. xxoo


http://www.1stbelgia...es/Page2666.htm
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#34 Geoff Winnington-Ball

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 1901 PM

Another WW2 Veteran passes.

The difference between this one and the thousands of nameless veterans who are now passing every year is that this one - as was Herb Danter - was a personal friend of mine.

Arthur Bell, formerly Tpr Bell of the 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment (called 'Kangaroos' for short) died late last evening of just plain old age. Art did nothing special in the war, was "just" a jeep driver for 1CACR HQ Sqdn, albeit he had a few close calls which did land him in hospital at the end of 1944. He recovered and went on to stay with the Regiment until it was disbanded on 21 June 1945 in Holland. He spent the rest of his life in a variety of occupations and was simultaneously very active in community affairs and with his local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Amongst his many activities he represented the Regiment by dedicating the permanent Kangaroo memorial at Mill, Holland in 1995 ( http://www.mapleleaf...cacr/index.html ).

I first met Art when he called me after seeing the website I had created to honour he and his mates back in 1998 ( http://www.1cacr.org ). We shared a lot of beers and tears together. I last saw him at the Regimental reunion last November, where he was moving more slowly (closing on 90) but as full of life as ever. And now he's gone.

He was a good man. Typical in the same sort of way as was Herb Danter. Both were quiet, unassuming men with no pretentions who while reluctant to talk about a lot of what they had seen were willing to open up once they trusted you. They served honourably, came home and somehow resumed their lives. But they never forgot.

We will never forget them either. Requiesat in Pace, Art and Herb. This is but a small tribute you and and the thousands like you who stood for us when we needed it the most.

This first picture is of Herb Danter, taken in 1945 in Holland:

Posted Image


This pic is Art Bell, taken shortly after the war (credit to H. Spoelstra):

Posted Image


This last is Herb and Art sitting in a WW2 MB jeep outside Toronto in November 2007, Art in the driver's seat (credit to H. Spoelstra):

Posted Image


These men were my friends. Posted Image Posted Image
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#35 FlyingCanOpener

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 1757 PM

My old boss' (and my dad's current boss) father passed away at the age of 90. Walter James Rudick was wounded six times in World War II serving in a small unit that never numbered more than about 2,000. This unit, the 1st Special Service Force, fought in the Aleutians, Italy, and southern France.

Mr. Rudick was one heck of a man, and I was honoured to read a short eulogy documenting his accomplishments in uniform at his memorial service. It's the proudest thing I've ever done. Even if Mr. Rudick wouldn't have had any of it, as he always said he was just doing his job. :)
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#36 Michael Eastes

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 2352 PM

Great song:



Lest we forget...
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#37 Geoff Winnington-Ball

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 1550 PM

My old boss' (and my dad's current boss) father passed away at the age of 90. Walter James Rudick was wounded six times in World War II serving in a small unit that never numbered more than about 2,000. This unit, the 1st Special Service Force, fought in the Aleutians, Italy, and southern France.

Mr. Rudick was one heck of a man, and I was honoured to read a short eulogy documenting his accomplishments in uniform at his memorial service. It's the proudest thing I've ever done. Even if Mr. Rudick wouldn't have had any of it, as he always said he was just doing his job. :)


FCO, the 1st SSF was a unique unit in the annals of both our countries. The movie Devil's Brigade was pretty much crap but surprisingly did capture the spirit of this unique formation... they accomplished much but at tremendous cost. They were brave and bold beyond belief and have mostly been forgotten.

Some of us, however, will never forget. I'm glad you're one of us. :)
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#38 Geoff Winnington-Ball

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 1551 PM

Great song:



Lest we forget...


Thank you, Michael... that was touching, particularly on this Easter weekend.
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#39 Archie Pellagio

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 0311 AM

http://news.ninemsn....teship/?rss=yes

'Paying the price for mateship'15:30 AEST Wed Jun 3 2009
5 images in this story
Mourners have paid tribute at the funeral of a Melbourne man who was stabbed to death after breaking up a fight outside a Brunswick nightclub on May 24.

The tragic death of 29-year-old Luke Mitchell was the ultimate example of his selflessness, his brother Shane told 700 mourners.

"The world needs more Lukes and we should take whatever steps we can to make sure my baby brother didn't die in vain," Shane said.

The group responsible for the attack fled and have not been found. Investigations are continuing.


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#40 Dame Karmen

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 0350 AM

Someone sent me this today ......... it belongs in here, and belonged in the news!!!!!

edit ... oops, was already posted. Sorry I missed that.

Edited by VenerableDamePW, 13 July 2009 - 2034 PM.

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