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Heroes Remember

They came in with landing barges, just swooped in on the shore and we went on and we’re out and they took us on board the hospital ship and, of course, we had showers and we were deloused and everything else and then so many men were put aboard all the different ships. I was on a destroyer and then our ship got word to proceed to Guam so we went on down to Guam and we went into the barracks there in Guam and we were given full medical, complete x-rays, everything and they had Quonset huts for their huts and every hut had a blond nurse in charge, all blonds, and I was there for three days. What they would do is if a plane went out so many would go on a plane, if a ship went out so many would go on a ship. There would be so many Americans and so many of us and I unfortunately got a ship so I went up to Pearl Harbor and then across from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco and then I went into a military base there. It was on Angel Island, I remember that and I think it was a demop (sp) center for the Americans and I was there for a few days and then we boarded a train and came up to Seattle and then the boat across to Victoria, Good old Victoria. I could have gone down and kissed that earth I’ll tell ya, it was unbelievable, I think it was sort of held you speechless, you know, and you sort of thought of everything that had gone on in that time and the nice part of it was I had a girlfriend I met in Victoria before I went away and, of course, there for nearly four years she didn’t know if I was dead or alive and I came ashore and there she was waiting for me and I’m still married to her.

Mr. Gerrard discusses being taken by the Americans to a hospital ship for medical treatment, then on to Guam for further medical assessment and treatment. He travels to San Francisco by boat and takes the train to Victoria, B.C. To his pleasure and surprise, his girlfriend (and future wife) is there to greet him.

Horace Gerrard

Although born in England on January 19, 1922, Mr. Gerrard's family emigrated to Red Deer, Alberta where his father died when he was six years old. Once he was old enough, he hunted game to help feed his family as well as cutting wood for heat. Mr. Gerrard left school after grade nine, working at odd jobs. He joined the 78th Field Battery as a reserve when he was sixteen. He later joined the permanent force in 1939 with the 5th Heavy Battery. Eventually Mr. Gerrard joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, with whom he served in Hong Kong. He worked with both British and Canadian battalions during the Battle of Hong Kong, before being taken prisoner by the Japanese.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Horace Gerrard
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Canadian Signals Corps

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