Archive for the ‘Canada Remembers’ Category

Story Ninety-One: Canadians Awarded US Military Honours,

vietnam_30_hr_enSource: http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/vietnam_war/topics/1413/

It is a common misconception  that  all Canadians  were anti-war protesters  during the Vietnam war, some were, but  the reality was not much different,  in in fact many  Canadians  volunteered with the Americans  in every one of their conflicts  spanning from the Civil War to present day Iraq.  In the case of the  civil war  Canadians  financed and fought on both sides of the blue and grey.

As stated in a previous story on Canadian POW,  Canadian’s served with American troops and the largest number  was  the Vietnam war which saw action.  It is estimated that as many as 40,000 Canadians  fought during the Vietnam war and 103 remain missing in action to today. Over 100 names are on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington.(The wall contains 60,000 names).  The reason for the loss fatality rates is in part to the vast majority were not engaged in direct fighting but rather  peacekeeping roles. To learn more about the Canadians  who fought in US  wars.  Visit the war memorial in Windsor called the  North Wall.

Here is a site http://www.glanmore.org/cdncas/memorialair.html

Sixty Canadians  have received the Congressional Medal of Honour since the Civil War Names Example -Sgt Peter Lemon, Norwich, Ontario served in the 8th Cavalry, 1st US  Divsion received the Congressional Medal of Honour

Oshawa resident  William Sam Magee received the Bronze Star  and Sliver Star and Gallantry Metal while serving with the First Special Service Force.  He also received the Purple Heart but it was taken back by another US  officer while hospitalized in Italy.

We are seeking names of Oshawa residents who were awarded honours from the US  government.


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Story Ninety-One: 2009 Calendar


Courtesy of William Sam Magee,  a  2009 calendar with pictures from the First Special Service Force,  an elite group of WW 2 Americans and Canadians.

Sam provides an entertaining story of his first dispatch with the force to Kiska

Click on link or icon to view the slideshow

Or you can download it at




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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-Four: Recycling and Salvaging during WW 2

Salvage  Fat for War Efforts

Oshawa residents were encouraged to recycle and adhere to a strict  rations regime.  Ration books and tokens were used  for  food essentials such as  sugar, tea, butter, gas and meat.   Non food items  included gasoline and other  items.

In Canada, 11 million ration books were distributed over the duration of the war. As the war progressed, rations such as meat and gas were increasingly important. The Canadian government started to add a purple dye to the farmer’s gas to signify that it was not to be used in recreational vehicles, and people were fined if they were found with purple gas in their cars.

In 1945, Donald Gordon, Head of Wartime Prices and Trade Board declared meatless Tuesdays and Fridays. Meat rations were much more generous in Canada than in Britain. Citizens were given little blue tokens to be exchanged for meat.

Listen to a radio clip from the 1940’s promoting frugal living on the Crime Doctor  Show on CBS

Story One : Children helping various  recycling drives in Oshawa

Click on Audio Soundslide to watch and hear a slideshow.( Turn up Volume)


http://gcmcknight.webng.com/Recyling and Rations/

To download the SWF zipped file  go  to  the link.  Click on the unzipped file called index.html to run the soundslide presentation


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Story Sixty-Nine: Canadian Firefighters in Britain


Source: http://www.firemuseumcanada.com/fire-fighters-overseas.html

Canadian Fightfighters in England

A total of 422 men volunteered from across Canada to form the Corps of Canadian Fire Fighters under the direction of G.E. Huff of Brantford, Ontario.

The Corps arrived in Britain in May, 1942, and manned six stations.

  • London – HQ
  • Southhampton – 2
  • Portsmouth – 2
  • Plymouth – 1
  • Bristol – 1

In a 2 1/2 year period, Corps members worked countless times at risk in perilous conditions to effect rescues and battle fires started by bombing.

  • 422 men volunteered for the Corps. Only half of these volunteers were professional firefighters; the other half had no experience.
  • The volunteer firemen received $1.30 pay per day from the Canadian government. They received no training other than what the Veteran firefighters could teach them.
  • There were 11 casualties, including three deaths, in the Corps of Canadian Firefighters overseas.

  • Listen to a BBC broadcast about firefighters by Herbert Morrison in 1940





    Canadian Fire Fighters Museum
    95 Mill St. South in Port Hope, Ontario Canada
    Mailing Address: Box 325, Port Hope, Ontario L1A 3W3
    Telephone/Fax: 905-885-8985 or

    Email info@firemuseumcanada.com

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    Story One  CNE  Horse Palace

    Home for Canadian soldiers during training before being shipped overseas to the European theatre

    At it’s opening in 1931, the Horse Palace was hailed as: “The finest equestrian facility in the country”. It’s also a nice bit of Art Deco.

    soundslide3Watch an audio slideshow


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    Story Sixty-One: Battle Experiences

    William “sam” Magee conveys stories during his stint with the Canadian military


    Story One: Impact of  one mortar shell,  Resulting in killing 28 men

    Story Two: Rabbit Attack: Unnecessary Gun Fire creating problems

    Story Three:  Self Inflicted Wounds.  Some Soldiers to get out of battle inflicted themselves with gun shots

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