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My brother in the Canadian Army during WWII


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#1 Jumpin Jack

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 08:50 AM

When WWII broke out in 1939, one of my older brothers attempted to join the U.S. Army without success.  He traveled to Canada where he enlisted in the 12th Canadian (Tank) Regiment (Canadian Three Rivers Regiment) on 26 August 1941.  After initial training he was shipped to England.  In 1943 he took part in the Invasion of North Africa, followed by the Invasion of Sicily on 12 July where he fought over the rugged countryside.  He was severely wounded on 16 July, and evacuated back to North Africa.  He saw action in Italy.  He was awarded the 1939 -1945 Star, Africa Star, Italian Star, Empire Defense Medal, Empire War Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Clasp, and the U.S. European Theatre of Operations Medal.  He was discharged with disability on 11 September 1945.  

 

When he met up with U.S. forces in North Africa, it was suggested that he should return to them, but he refused.  It seemed that the bonds of combat were very strong.  So much so that on his death bed, he lamented that he was not able to remain with his unit when the war ended.

 

                                               Carl009.JPG

 

     A shadow box containing his awards.  It is interesting to note the position of his pistol in the photo at lower left, which required a cross-draw as he was right handed.

 

                                               CarlF010.JPG

 

     His Canadian uniform including his original Three Rivers Regiment beret.  The photo in his belt shows him just prior to his shipping out to England. 



#2 ludwigh1980

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 09:22 AM

Specular group and family heirloom. What an honor to own something like that. Thank you for posting. 



#3 TheMariner

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 09:27 AM

Great grouping to honor your brothers service. Im glad you were able to preserve his items and tale for future generations!



#4 tarbridge

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for posting this treasure.

#5 BEAST

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 01:10 PM

Very nice tribute Jack!

#6 Sabrejet

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 01:23 PM

A fine representative of the greatest generation. You must be very proud of him.



#7 earlymb

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 02:09 PM


It is interesting to note the position of his pistol in the photo at lower left, which required a cross-draw as he was right handed.

 

Great tribute! :)

 

It was common in the Commonwealth armies equipped with P37 webbing to carry the holster at that location, either hung directly on the belt or beneath the ammo pouch. It's not a quick-draw holster anyway... :lol:                                         



#8 kanemono

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 02:35 PM

Great group and tribute to your brother. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Dick



#9 Ozarkian

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 05:31 PM

Salute to your brother. Thanks for sharing. Eric



#10 Jumpin Jack

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 05:43 AM

His Canadian wife, now a U.S. citizen, is still alive at 98.  She would be very pleased with all of your comments.  Yes, he was a guiding light to me.  Jack



#11 Major Z

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:08 AM

I was very surprised to learn about your brother when you showed me this grouping in person. I could see the pride in your eyes as you explained to me where he had fought and the awards he had earned. I'm glad you shared it on this public forum. Anyone willing to fight for an Allied nation so selflessly is really amazing. 



#12 MAW

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 10:31 AM

Excellent group!

 

You are very lucky to have it.

 

 

One recommendation.....if that stuff in the display case is the red spongy material....sometimes it can be detrimental over time.  If I were you, I would replace it with something, or at least put some fabric over it to make sure those medals are protected.



#13 Jumpin Jack

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 12:42 PM

Thank you all for your comments.  My brothers, all much older than me, answered the call to duty during WWII, but this one was very personal to me in particular.  In later years, I drove over the terrain that he followed in Sicily before being wounded.  I might mention that one of my uncles served on both the Hornet and the Wasp during the war.  He survived both!  All inspired me to make a career in the Army.  Jack



#14 m151mp

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 05:45 AM

very nice to see jack. i went the other direction, in a manner of speaking. i am Canadian born, yet served with the US army in vietnam. by the way, the buttons you so generously sent look very nice on the blues. thanks again.



#15 Andrew

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 03:53 AM

Out of curiosity, have you requested a copy of his complete service record? It would be interesting to know how he, as an other rank in a Canadian armoured regiment, came to be involved in North African operations.



#16 Jumpin Jack

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 07:35 AM

Hello Andrew.  Good question.  No, I have not requested a copy of his service record.  I do have his Discharge, telegram to my mother when he was wounded, the daily unit report listing him as wounded on the 16th of July, 1943, the Battle Honors of his Regi-ment, and a fair number of service photos to include his "yard long" unit photo as a member of the Canadian Three Rivers Regi-ment.  As for his involvement in the North African Campaign, I can't answer that other than what he told me it was when the U.S. forces asked him to "come over to our side."  What I find interesting is that he was awarded the ETO Medal by the U.S. Forces.  On his death bed he lamented that the wounds he received in Sicily did not allow him to remain in the Canadian Army when the war ended.  He was officially granted authorization to remain in Canada due to his honorable service as he married his Canadian girl friend. They later returned to the U.S. where she received her citizenship. Doesn't answer your question I'm afraid.  Jack



#17 Andrew

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 05:19 PM

Hi Jack, 

The Second World War-period service records in the archives at Library and Archives Canada (Ottawa) are still protected by privacy restrictions, but as direct next of kin, they would probably release a copy of the entire record to you if you asked for it, especially since your brother has passed away. It will probably answer a lot of questions, as the Canadian Army service records of that period are quite detailed.



#18 Jumpin Jack

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:31 AM

Thank you Andrew.  Do you happen to have the address where I should write?  I have always wonder why he never progressed beyond the rank of Trooper.  Given the address, I will certainly follow up.  Regards, Jack



#19 Andrew

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:59 AM

Jack, you can find instructions and contact information at this link:

 

http://www.bac-lac.g...vice-files.aspx

 

As for promotions in the Canadian Army, it would not be unheard for private soldiers to remain at the rank throughout the war. This might be shaped by a range of general factors - disciplinary issues, special technical skills, or service in a trade that suffered a low percentage of casualties, etc.   


Edited by Andrew, 18 July 2016 - 07:01 AM.


#20 Jumpin Jack

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 11:49 AM

Andrew, my letter requesting information has been executed, and will go out in tomorrow's mail.  I can't thank you enough for your assistance!  Jack



#21 Andrew

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:30 PM

I hope you receive the documents soon. Usually they are pretty quick. If you feel like sharing anything, I would be interested to know the circumstances of your brother's Africa Star award.



#22 pchepurko

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 04:07 AM

Hi Jack, 

The Second World War-period service records in the archives at Library and Archives Canada (Ottawa) are still protected by privacy restrictions, but as direct next of kin, they would probably release a copy of the entire record to you if you asked for it, especially since your brother has passed away. It will probably answer a lot of questions, as the Canadian Army service records of that period are quite detailed.

 

I am not sure about the above as several years ago I had a professional researcher at the Archives pull the service record of a man from my hometown who died in 1941 when training with the RCAF. The record was extensive and complete.



#23 Jumpin Jack

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 06:44 AM

As of two days ago, the request went out.  They state that it might take a few months to respond as the request is not urgent.  I've waited this long so what's a few months.  It will be my pleasure to share the information.  Jack



#24 Andrew

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 07:12 AM

 

I am not sure about the above as several years ago I had a professional researcher at the Archives pull the service record of a man from my hometown who died in 1941 when training with the RCAF. The record was extensive and complete.

Yes, I should have been more precise - the privacy restrictions apply for records of individuals who are still living, or who died within the last two decades (or at least that was the rule a few years ago). For those men and women who died during the war, the records are open.

 

All Canadian First World War service records are open. This is important for this forum, as the latest research is showing that some 100,000 of the men who enlisted in the CEF (there were more than 600,000 in total for the whole war) were American residents at the time they enlisted. This does not include American-born volunteers who were Canadian residents at the time of their enlistment. It also does not preclude Canadian-born men who moved to the US. It does show, however, that the ratio of Americans in the CEF was far, far higher than we long believed to be the case.

 

For those who are interested, the research is being undertaken by a history professor colleague of mine. He has a large government grant to digitize the data from First World War service records in a searchable database. 


Edited by Andrew, 22 July 2016 - 07:20 AM.


#25 pchepurko

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 02:59 AM

Andrew, thanks for the clarification. The digitizing of the WWI service records will be a great assistance to researchers.




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