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Training on Sherman Tank

Heroes Remember

Training on Sherman Tank

Didn’t have any money. And I thought if I join the army I am going to get paid $1.14 an hour and I sent all that home to my mom. That was what we had the choice we can do. You could sign this money, I wouldn’t take it, it would go to her. That’s how she survived and my brother joined the army again. He joined first and then I went after. First training was at New Water Barracks; left, right, left, right, left, right, blah, blah, blah, blah! The next thing I know we’re down in Camp Borden training there. That’s when I first got into a tank. I decided if I am going to be in a tank I’m going to drive it. You’re enclosed in metal with power - five Chrysler motors drove that Sherman tank and you get that thing where it goes fifty miles an hour, no problem. I had it up lots of times. Then we just, wherever there was anything going on that’s where we went. We found lots of places where we would bivouac for maybe two or three weeks and that’s when you overhaul all the stuff in the tank. Take all the old ammunition up and put new ammunition in. Check the machine guns. Check the motors, do everything like that then you go on to the next level wherever we’re gonna go. From the boot of Italy all the way up, right up to Europe. We got into France and, oh boy, now we can go to Paris. No, we’re not allowed to go to Paris, we’re Canadians, we can’t go there. US Army are going there. So they got to go to Paris and we had to stay out in the hills. Typical army thing.

After making the decision to serve, Mr. Johnson speaks about his training with the Sherman tank before setting off to Europe.

Bernie Johnson

Mr. Bernie Johnson was born May 29, 1923 in new Brunswick. As a child he grew up in Alberta on farm where he worked and provided assistance to his parents as during the depression resulted in great poverty for he and his siblings. With little income for the family Mr. Johnson decided to join the service and go to war. He attended training camp in New Water Barracks with the Sherman tanks and before heading off to Europe became qualified as a Tank driver with the Canadian Army Corp holding rank of Private. Mr. Johnson spent five and a half years overseas, a Veteran of the Italian Campaign. When war ended he returned home to Alberta where he then married and raised a family. To this day he continues to be a proud member of the legion in his local community of Calgary, Alberta.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 28, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Bernie Johnson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War

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