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A Lonely Soldier

Heroes Remember

Well, I was a lonely little soldier on a ship with a whole bunch of other guys I didn’t know and we were all sailing down the English Channel early in the morning and a storm was on us. I just didn’t think we were going to land anywhere, and eventually we stopped the boat, oh I’d say 15 to 20 miles off the coast of France and we were on a big ship and I could see the preparation to go in for landing the assault boats, the Winnipeg Rifles and they had scramble nets, I don’t know, that’s what they call them, just nets they dropped over the side and the sea was going back and forth and hitting these little ships, hitting against the big one that troops were trying to get down on and some of them soldiers were panicking and they let go and they were falling in between the sea and maybe some of them were a little nervous, I guess they were. And eventually they put about 25 or 30 people in these boats and they were the assault troops going in with the Winnipegs. And the strange thing when they prepared to go into the shore they made a great big circle and I seen pictures of that after and I often wonder whether they were just getting together or getting courage up and away they went and you could hear it and then eventually we didn’t think they’d happen because it was so rough and then it settled down and then the guns start going. We had a big, I think it was the Rodney, it was firing guns right over, scared the heck out of us.

All alone and unsure of what was happening, Mr. Couture shares his memory of going in towards the beaches during preparation for the D-Day invasion

George Couture

Mr. George Couture was born in Pennsylvania, United States on November 5, 1924. At three years of age his widowed mother moved the family of five children to Selkirk, Manitoba at a time when Canada was experiencing the Great Depression. Signing up to serve his country, Mr. Couture tried two times and on his third attempt joined the infantry with the Winnipeg Rifles. He traveled overseas on Isle de France and through coincidence this was the same ship he returned home on after the war. Mr. Couture volunteered for service which resulted in him being part of the D-Day invasion on June 6, then on June 8th was captured as POW. Spending time in the prisoner of war camps and suffering the life of starvation and disease, Mr. Couture survived and was liberated on April 23, 1945. Returning home to Winnipeg, Mr. Couture continued to serve in the military and volunteered for the Korean War. After thirty years military service he retired from the Canadian military. He now resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 4, 2019
Person Interviewed:
George Couture
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Winnipeg Rifles
Prisoner of war

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