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Sherman Tanks

Heroes Remember

At that time, Canada didn't have too many good tanks. They had some war relics. General Worthington started something. I don't know whether he paid for those tanks. They were well-off people. They called the tank ‘Worthington tank' at that time and they had a small gun on it, about 25 mm for training because the 75 that we later got on, each one of those shells used to cost about a hundred dollars, and every time we fired one we said, “There goes another Victory Bond,” eh, because it took a lot of Victory Bonds to pay for the shells. But you practiced driving up and down. Driving a tank at that time was just like driving a tractor. You had tiller bars. You just one pull here, pull there, you started it up, most of them were either on gas engine or diesel. And then when we got overseas, well then we got the real Sherman... American tanks, Sherman. The trouble with a Sherman tank, it's a high tank. You're a high target all the time, they pick you up pretty quick. The Germans always had the low tanks and they're wider and they had a better gun on them. They had an 88 that could go through you like butter. And if it didn't go through you the shell went around inside the tank, cleaned you right out. Or even if it didn't go through the heat would deafen you or burn you or scald you... especially the top part. The bottom part was thin, the bullet could go through there like nothing. Not the rifle bullet but tanks, most of the tanks, anti-tank guns and stuff like that.

Mr. Senycz describes the Sherman tank and how it made the Canadian soldiers the “high target all the time,” as opposed to the type of tank the Germans used.

John Senycz

Mr. Senycz was born August 22, 1920 in Colhurst, Alberta. His parents were both of Polish descent, born in Czechoslovakia, and moved to Canada to work in the coal mines. At age two, his father died and his mother remarried. Mr. Senycz joined the Canadian Army 4th Division Tank Corps in 1942 and was shipped overseas to England. It was during the Battle of Falaise that his tank got hit and the crew of five soldiers was badly burned. Because of the severity of Mr. Senycz’ burns, he was transported to Basingstoke hospital in England for rehabilitation. With the many burns and scars, Mr. Senycz underwent three to four years of plastic surgery to his face. On September 18, 1945, Mr. Senycz was discharged from the Canadian Army from the orderly room in Vancouver, BC. He later married, moved to Calgary, Alberta, and raised a family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Senycz
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
4th Armoured Division

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