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The Loss of the Little Girl

Heroes Remember

The Loss of the Little Girl

I was on duty at the ADS. A German fighter that had either been shot up in the air or from the ack, ack on the beach, he was in flames and his canopy was locked. He couldn’t escape. And he was going to crash and die, of course, that was it, he was on fire. So this German fighter coming down, he machine gunned the convoy which was a legitimate target as his last effort and he spotted the two girls bringing the cows from one pasture to the other. And he maneuvered his plane in just enough to machine gun them and the cows, then he crashed. He was dead anyway. Now the two girls were wounded. Two provosts that were convoying escorts saw the kids where they weren’t being attended to. They picked them up and hustled down the road to us, which we were the advanced dressing station. So I picked her up, brought her in, the most badly wounded and we tried desperately to find a vein, you know, to give her plasma. Now plasma is the derivative of all types of blood. We put it on a centrifuge and the white plasma from all bloods mixed, was bottled and that’s what we used because we didn’t have time to do any blood checks or anything like that. And we tried to find it but the veins were just as flat as a piece of paper. So we tried up in her arms and everything and the doctor said, “Bud, you fix up the second chest wound.” And he says, “You can’t put a tourniquet on because she’s not bleeding but it would protect her chest.” So I put the, a sucking chest wound the way our treatment at the time was a piece of gauze, smeared with Vaseline so no air could get through. And that went on one side and the same type of dressing on the back so it sealed the chest cavity from inhaling air, you know, and all kinds of germs. So I put it on the chest and the doctor was down at the ankles trying to get a vein down there for plasma and I was just lifting her up in my arms to put it on their back and she looked at me startled and she exclaimed something and her sister outside said she heard her calling for her mother. Well, it was in French and I was very busy at the time, I didn’t know. I just thought she was crying but she looked up at me startled.. I’ll never forget that. And she passed away…

Mr. Hannam shares a heartfelt story on the loss of life of a little girl while on duty as stretcher bearer.

Bud Hannam

Mr. Bertram “Bud” Hannam was born in Toronto, Ontario May 27, 1925. Having parents that immigrated to Canada in early 1912, and growing up in time of depression Mr. Hannam holds great admiration for his father, considering him his hero working as a prospector and providing so well to his family during very difficult times. Later in life Mr. Hannam moved from Toronto, to Montreal then settled in Ottawa. He decided to join the service after receiving his education. Initially joining with the Cameron Highlanders Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Mr. Hannam’s service as an infantryman would be short lived knowing that the life in the infantry was not for him. A new opportunity came for Mr. Hannam when he joined with the 23rd Field Ambulance as a stretcher bearer also providing him with a better chance to get overseas. Overseas, June 1944, a part of the D-Day invasion, on 2nd wave, Mr. Hannam served as stretcher bearer caring for the wounded. In honor of his service to our soldiers and the French people, almost 70 years later, Mr. Hannam is recognized for his service and presently has a school house/library named in his honor in the small town of Basly, France, the former casualty clearing station where he cared for the casualties during this invasion. In the town of Basly, to this day, Mr. Hannam is considered a true hero for the care he provided during Canada’s wartime. Mr. Hannam resides in Ottawa with his wife Rosey who has been an inspiration in keeping the honor of his service alive.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2, 2014
Person Interviewed:
Bud Hannam
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Stretcher Bearer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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