In 1944, we were on standby, we were not allowed to leave our barracks, we knew something was about to happen very soon. On June 6, 1944 we boarded ships to cross the English Channel . I remember the smell of bread baking. The chaplain gave a sermon before embarking on our landing craft which held about 75 men. Our landing craft made a run for the beach in France . The channel was so rough with 5 ft waves coming over the craft. When we landed we followed a rope , hand over hand . The water so deep it came over the radio I carried in my hands and damaged it. Our artillery was still on the barges and they couldn’t get close to shore because of the rough seas . I borrowed a radio from an Englishman so I could radio in our co-ordinates . We could see the Germans firing from church steeples . My position was forward observation.
I’m aware I’ve given you more than you asked for, but I’m so proud of my Dad. He just passed away last year at 99 years old. Story provided by Elmers' daughter Brenda.
Elmer's brother Lester, did not survive the war as he got killed in Italy read his story here.
The 3rd Canadian Division is a formation of the Canadian Army responsible for the command and mobilization of all army units in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as well as all units extending westwards from the city of Thunder Bay.
It was first created as a formation of the Canadian Corps during the First World War. It was stood down following the war and was later reactivated as the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division during the Second World War. The second iteration served with distinction from 1941 to 1945, taking part in the D-Day landings of 6 June 1944. A duplicate of the 3rd Canadian Division was formed in 1945 to serve on occupation duty in Germany, and was disbanded the following year.
In 2013, Land Force Western Area, a peacetime military organization in western Canada, was ordered to be redesignated as 3rd Canadian Division. On 6 June 2014, the 3rd Canadian Division adopted the insignia, traditions and history of the previous formations. From the middle of 1916, the division has been identified by a distinctive French-grey patch worn on the uniforms of its soldiers.
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