Language selection


Loading Jerry Cans

Heroes Remember

We landed in Belgium and the Germans didn't have time to dig in, cause they went so fast, we got them on the run and they settled down into Holland. They dug in there. But then in that time, the front line was moving so fast (inaudible) is what I call them, we had tried taking up the supply and mostly the gasoline so first we would travel in six trucks, the convoy and we could put 250 tins, of jerry tins on the back of our truck and go and off load them and after we off load and go back and get another load and just kept going. I drove for around 36, 36 or 37 hours without stopping just long enough to load, you know. Loading and eating hard tacks and bully beef in the truck and keep going, a couple of the guys drove for 40 some hours. And so we figured it wasn't going fast enough so we travelled in three trucks then we could move faster. And we got so that we could, if we got up close to where they had the big stack piles of jerry tins and the Englishman was running them and the Englishman they'd come and load our trucks but they'd fall in line of each other, you know, so we'd tell them to get out of the way so we'd get right in close, one guy we'd have a co-driver and my co-driver would stand down and he'd chuck them up to me and I'd load them. We could load about 250 tins in about 15 minutes, just steady go.

Mr. Cromwell recounts the process of transporting jerry cans to the troops.

Everett Sylvester Cromwell

Everett Cromwell was born on December 12, 1921 in Weymouth Falls, Digby Co., Nova Scotia. He was the fifth of ten children. At age twelve, he left school to work in the woods because his father, also a forestry worker, had fallen ill. Both of his parents were soon deceased, and the ten children stayed in the family home supporting one another. Mr.Cromwell supported the family by working for a local farmer and then in the local lumberyard. He enlisted in June, 1941 in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. After basic training in Halifax, Sherbrooke, and Camp Borden, he sailed aboard the Louis Pasteur to England, arriving on December 23, 1941. Two weeks after the D-day raid, Mr. Cromwell arrived in France with the 2nd Division, Motor Transport. For the duration of the war, his unit was responsible for transporting fuel, food and ammunition to the Front in support of the Allied advance on Germany. After being discharged from the army and returning home, Mr. Cromwell, recently married, reenlisted because it was ‘steady work’. He and his family were to experience institutionalized racism in Halifax, being denied accommodations because of their black heritage. This in contrast to the fact that he felt equal in all respects as a member of the Army. Mr. Cromwell and his wife, Elizabeth, currently reside in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Everett Sylvester Cromwell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: