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Wounded in Action

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: You were wounded, near Mount Etna, how did... Right, it was, I think it must have been the last day of battle, in the last twenty minutes I'm sure of it. And I got hit in the chest. Interviewer: With, with what? Oh shrapnel, grenade, from a rifle grenade. In fact, this, this, this German who was using that rifle, he killed the doctor and a couple other guys and then he tried to kill me, but, he got, he wounded me but he was killed after that (inaudible) Interviewer: How long were you convalescing? Oh, let's see I went, they flew me out of, they flew me out of Sicily to Africa, so I was down there maybe, oh my gosh, I got hit on August 5th, so I was back, I was back in a couple of months, but then they were in Italy by that time. It was right after Mount Etna, that's when it practically was over. And then they crossed over. They were in the rest area for a while, then, when they crossed over the straits... Interviewer: Straits of Messina... Yeah, and I come, I got back just when they were going into a place called Baranello, not far from Campobasso, and they were just going into action and I just made it.

Smokey was injured by a piece of shrapnel near Mt. Etna. He speaks about being injured and returning to action.

Ernest “Smokey” Smith

Ernest “Smokey” Smith VC, CD, was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, on May 3, 1914, and was educated in elementary and technical schools there. He was the second of five children having an older sister, two younger brothers and a younger sister. Both brothers served in and survived the Second World War. Smokey left his work with a contracting firm to enlist with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in March of 1940 and began basic training with the Royal Canadian Regiment in Toronto. He went on to complete his training at Camp Borden before sailing out of Halifax in June of that same year on the Monarcher of Bermuda, heading for Europe and joining the regiment overseas a few months later. Smokey was injured while fighting in Sicily, but returned to battle a few months later in Italy. He was a private when he won the Victoria Cross, Canada's highest award for valour, at the Savio River in Italy on October 21-22, 1944. After the war, Smokey left the Army for a short time, but rejoined and served until August 1964, when he retired and was released with the rank of sergeant. After leaving the military Smokey and his wife established the Smith Travel Agency in Vancouver. In 1995, Smokey was appointed to the Order of Canada. At the time of his death on Aug. 5, 2005 Smokey Smith was the last surviving Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ernest “Smokey” Smith
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Seaforth Highlanders

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