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The ship’s Captain had seen a torpedo coming

Heroes Remember

The ship’s Captain had seen a torpedo coming

I remember, remember being sick and not being able to eat very much 'cause we went the northern route, and that's a long way around. It took a couple weeks, and we had to dodge submarines and things. But the boat I was on had been carrying raw sugar down in the hold and I guess if you never smelled raw sugar you don't know what it's like, but it's very sickening. So, that didn't help the cause of our stomachs being upset at all. It really smelled bad, and we stayed upstairs as much as we could. And then the . . . we were so very crowded that we slept in hammocks. And the hammocks were side by side and head to toe, so when one swung, they all swung. And we didn't get much sleep. And then, you know, some of us snore, and some of us don't. So, it was not a good passage. And after we arrived in Scotland, the, our officers told us that the ship's captain had seen a torpedo coming and had maneuvered the ship so that it passed by and saved our, our ship. You’re scared and you're wondering what's gonna happen, and when you're on top and you look across the ocean, there's hundreds of boats like ours, some bigger, some smaller, but a lot of different fighting boats to, to look after, try to protect us from the submarines. It's great armada and quite an experience, really, for a farm kid to see, see that, who never even seen an ocean or a big ship. So, it was interesting to me.

Mr. Hall describes sailing to England.

John Hall

Mr. Hall was born in Whitewood, Saskatchewan, in 1921. He worked on the family's farm until he enlisted in the Royal Regina Rifles. He was shipped overseas on a converted sugar freighter. Once in England, Mr. Hall experienced the Battle of Britain from the perspective of the local citizenry. He spent more land duty in a mail sorting depot until his Regiment joined the D-Day invasion at Juno Beach. He was a radio operator. Mr. Hall took part in numerous actions, most notably Caen, Calais and the Leopold Canal and the Liberation of Holland. After leaving the Army, Mr. Hall worked in the Canadian North with the Department of Natural Resources.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Hall
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
436 Squadron

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