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The Bullet for “To Whom it May Concern!”

Heroes Remember

The Bullet for “To Whom it May Concern!”

The worst part was when you landed. You're walking over dead people all over the place, animals, people, everybody, your own and Germans. You wouldn't want to see it. I mean when it's thrown at you... there's no place to go. You throw up, you can't hack it. The worst thing is when you see your own friends all massacred and you can't help them. We would be eating. One guy would be knocked to pieces and the other guy got hurt and you say, “Well, how come I didn't get hurt?” We always say that there's a bullet with your name on it but the worst bullet is the one that's got on it ‘For whom it may concern.' That's the one that gets you. No, I didn't get a bullet. I got burnt. I was shot at lots, lots. Bullets are coming at you, millions of them and every fifth one you see because it's a tracer. And they're going all around, and gee whiz, am I still alive or am I somewhere in another world or...? It's momentary thoughts, it doesn't last long. You know, the action goes quick because you run out of ammunition. You're using ammunition so fast and there's nobody bringing it in so you got to be careful how you use it. And that was the same thing with us. In our tank we had five shells and we were to use it if we run into something, well we had to... But we don't go out to confront somebody. Our artillery would do that for us see.

Mr. Senycz describes what it was like having bullets shot at the tank and never knowing what bullet was going to hit you - “Every 5th one you see,” explains Mr. Senycz

John Senycz

Mr. Senycz was born August 22, 1920 in Colhurst, Alberta. His parents were both of Polish descent, born in Czechoslovakia, and moved to Canada to work in the coal mines. At age two, his father died and his mother remarried. Mr. Senycz joined the Canadian Army 4th Division Tank Corps in 1942 and was shipped overseas to England. It was during the Battle of Falaise that his tank got hit and the crew of five soldiers was badly burned. Because of the severity of Mr. Senycz’ burns, he was transported to Basingstoke hospital in England for rehabilitation. With the many burns and scars, Mr. Senycz underwent three to four years of plastic surgery to his face. On September 18, 1945, Mr. Senycz was discharged from the Canadian Army from the orderly room in Vancouver, BC. He later married, moved to Calgary, Alberta, and raised a family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Senycz
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
4th Armoured Division

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