Archive for December 16th, 2008

Story – Eighty One: Hongerwinter or Hunger Winter of 1944-5 in Holland

Emergency Food Drops

April 29 to May 8th, 1945



The harsh winter of 1944-45, is known by the Dutch as the Hongerwinter (‘Hunger Winter’). A number of factors combined to create the Dutch famine which impacted 3.5 million people.  By April 1945 about 20,000 Dutch people had died of starvation.

  • Netherlands was one of the main western battlefields
  • the winter of 1944-45 was unusually harsh
  • widespread dislocation and destruction of the war
  • the retreating German army destroyed locks and bridges to flood the country
  • agricultural land ruined by the flooding
  • transport of existing food stocks difficult due to damage to transport infrastructure
  • They lived on Tulip bulbs and anything they could find. hongertochten, as they were called

Operation Mana- British and Canadian

April 29  1945 involved 242 Lancasters to drop the food and 8 Mosquitoes to mark the drop zones.

During the next week over 3,000 sorties were flown dropping some 7,000 tons of food to the Dutch.

Operation Chowhound- US

May 1  flew 2200  sorties by the American Air Force

Total: 11,000 tons of food were dropped in the ten days of the operation

Listen to CBC  Reporter relay the story of the Dutch famine




Watch Audio Soundslide




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Story Eighty Red Shield Statistics-The Salvation Army


Stella Young,” Doughnut Girl of France”,  WW l, doughnuts for troops

Source http://www.heilsarmeemuseum-basel.ch/E/doughnuts.php

Red Shield Statistics

Canada to end of June 1946

The Salvation Army, Canadian Red Cross and other organizations played a significant role in providing support to the men and women in service during the Second World War.

Free Writing Paper, envelopes etc


Newspapers and magazines distributed


Hot beverages and free issues from Mobile Canteens


Attendance at movies and concerts etc


Recreation, indoors and outdoors


Attendance at religous services


Personal services rendered


Articles of clothing pressed, etc


Men served in Canteens


Number of men using hut facilities


Men using and sleeping in hostels


Meals supplied in Hostels


Number accomodated in Hostess Houses


Number supplied meals in Hostess Houses


The Salvation Army operated the  Maple Leaf Clubs, providing rest and relaxation for the troops. By the end of the war there were clubs in Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and India. They were mostly staffed by Salvation Army Auxiliaries, some of them as young as twenty years old. They provided a taste of home, with Canadian cooking, mail forwarding and social activities, including dances and short term accommodation. On the home front at the end of the war, Salvationists at Canadian ports welcomed the ‘war brides’ of Canadian servicemen.


Salvation Army Website


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Dominion Institute Polls

Dominion Institute conducted two surveys of Canadians.

1. Rememberance Day Poll

This survey on eve of the 90th annivesary of the end of  WW 1 the  results are interesting and revealing

2. Memory Project Veteran Survey

This second survey provides feedback on the  views of veterans on the Memory Project

Source:  http://www.dominion.ca/

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Story Seventy-Nine: Camp X


Source http://wwii.ca/link.php?id=23

Camp X, a top-secret Second World War spy-training and radio communications site operated by British Security Coordination. Here, scores of men and women came through its gates to learn the art of silent murder and other tricks of war. Its architect was none other than Sir William Stephenson, the Winnipeg-born industrialist perhaps better known as the Man Called Intrepid.

An estimated estimates that up to 2,000 men and women graduated from the Ontario spy school

One of the unique features of Camp X was Hydra, a highly sophisticated telecommunications centre.[1] Given the name by the Camp X operators, Hydra was invaluable for both coding and decoding information in relative safety from the prying ears of German radio observers.[1] The camp was an excellent location for the safe transfer of code due to the topography of the land; Lake Ontario made it an excellent site for picking up radio signals from the UK. Hydra also had direct access via land lines to Ottawa, New York and Washington, D.C. for telegraph and telephone communications.


Durovecz, Andrew. My Secret Mission. Toronto: Lugus Publications, 1996
Hodgson, Lynn Philip. Inside Camp-X.  Port Perry: Blake Books Distribution, 1999, 2002


Local Attraction

Robert Stuart Aeronautical Collection and Camp-X Exhibit.
Oshawa Airport South Field,
1000 Stevenson Rd. N., Oshawa, ON. L1J 5P5
Tel. 905-436-6325

Camp XWatch Audio Slideshow of Camp X


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Story Seven-Eight: British Commonwealth Air Training Plan


The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was an ambitious program to train air crew members in Canada for the Allied war effort.


Graduated 131,533 pilots, observers, flight engineers, and other aircrew

2,000 French,
900 Czechoslovakians,
680 Norwegians,
450 Poles, and about the same number of Belgians and Dutch.

Statistics by Force
72,835 graduates joined the Royal Canadian Air Force
42,110 graduates joined the Royal Air Force
9,606 joined the Royal Australian Air Force
7,002 joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force

soundslide4Audio Soundslide

For more detailed information


Oshawa Training Site


Oshawa businessman Alexander G. Storie, president and general manager of Fittings Ltd., assisted by George Hart, Haydon McDonald, Samuel Trees, and T.K. Creighton, organized the Ontario County Flying Training School. The Brantford and Kingston Flying Clubs added $5000 each to the fundraising campaign headed by Robson Leather Co. Ltd. owner, Charles Robson. The three clubs established No. 20 Elementary Flying Training School (E.F.T.S.) under the model of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Robson became the first manager of the School.

During the war period, about 25002 student pilots completed the basic flying training course at Oshawa. Every six weeks, two classes graduated sixty students each.

The No. 20 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) was located in Oshawa from June 1941 to December 1944. Student flyers used Tiger Moth aircraft and were trained by civilian instructors from the Oshawa, Kingston, and Brant-Norfolk flying clubs. The airport is still in use as the Oshawa Airport.

Watch Video flying in an original Harvard aircraft

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Story Seventy-Seven: Liberation of the Netherlands


Liberation Day (Dutch: Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated each year on May 5th in the Netherlands to mark the end of the Nazi occupation during World War II.

The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops, with the assistance of the British and American Armies (see Operation Market Garden). On May 5, 1945, the Canadian General Charles Foulkes and the German Commander-in-Chief Johannes Blaskowitz reached an agreement on the capitulation of German forces in the Netherlands in Hotel De Wereld in Wageningen. One day later, the capitulation document was signed in the auditorium of Wageningen University, located next-door to the hotel.

After the liberation in 1945, Liberation Day was commemorated every 5 years. Finally, in 1990, the day was declared to be a national holiday, when the liberation would be commemorated and celebrated every year.

On May 4th, the Dutch hold the Remembrance of the Dead for the people who have fought and died during World War II, and wars in general. There is a remembrance gathering in the Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam) and at the National Monument on the Dam Square in Amsterdam. Throughout the country, two minutes of silence are observed at 8:00 p.m. On May 5th, the liberation is celebrated and festivals are held at most places in the Netherlands.



-7,600 Canadians died in the liberation of Holland

To watch movie

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