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Sights on the Beaches

Heroes Remember

Sights on the Beaches

We could hear the firing in the distance and they cleared the beaches and we come right in behind and there were prisoners lined up on the shore already and a little fighting going on but we never even got our feet wet. It was quite a ways to travel in. We could see, and now today, I didn’t know it but that was the Queen’s own house there on the right of us. I was standing there and that stood out. That’s the only building that I seen except the German pillboxes. I must tell you about the wounded and the people that died already or had been shot were floating in the water and a bunch of our Canadian soldiers had these phosphorous grenades on their belt and they were on fire. Every time the water would go over the top, it would go out and when it come back up on top of the water the blue flame would come again. Very eerie. And that’s the first time I seen the German soldiers close, they’re all in an enclosure in barb wire.

Mr. Couture expresses the mood and sights seen as his ship approaches the beaches on D-Day.

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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