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Trip Wires

Heroes Remember

One time, we were given a lecture to be on the lookout, especially at night, for trip wires. The Germans were putting out invisible trip wires that should hit the dispatch rider about the neck level. So, although we never ran into one or I never seen one or heard tell of anyone getting hurt, we were on the alert for that too. That was something at night when you couldn’t turn a light on and you’re going along expecting this could happen. It was nerve wracking too. Your eyes do get used to the darkness after a while. They had to or I would have cracked up. I never had an accident. Any place I had to go on the motorcycle, I made it there and back. I never had any trouble on the motorcycle all through the whole campaign, Normandy and all. I always got there, I never got lost and I always was able to deliver my dispatch, sometimes to a general. I’d leave my motorcycle so far from his caravan or wherever he was set up, go over to him and deliver it, have a little chat and back to my grounds.

Mr. Downe tells us about the nerve racking night driving without lights.

Russell Downe

Russell Downe was born on February 26, 1924 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He joined the army when he was just seventeen, following in the footsteps of his two brothers, Edward and Robert, who were already overseas. His training took place at Niagara-on-the-Lake. Mr. Downe worked as a motorcycle dispatch rider for most of the war where he was responsible for delivering urgent messages.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
January 1, 2000
Person Interviewed:
Russell Downe
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Dispatch Rider

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