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Submarine dare devils and fire at sea

Heroes Remember

Submarine dare devils and fire at sea

The German submarine guys, they were dare-devil guys, you know, they weren't afraid and they were doing, at that time, the German submarine was really making havoc on the Atlantic. They thought that maybe, until the Americans got in, I don't think it they would have lasted we'd get nothing over there, from what the stories we used to hear. I mean, they didn't tell you everything because they didn't want the enemy to know how bad things were. Well, you're always afraid when you're on something like that, because there's nobody to help you. You end up in the water and there's oil burning all over. You know, that's what happens. Most of the burns were people falling into the oil after the ship explodes and starts to break up. All its fuel goes all over the water and it doesn't sink and it's always burning. You can dive under and come up into the flame. A lot of people got really badly burnt, the sailors especially. And the air force had a lot of that problem too. They were getting burnt. That's where they learned the saline solution. Well, this goes back quite a few years. They didn't know too much about plastic surgery then. And to heal wounds when they put you in what they call saline which is salty water, it had some effect on your skin that you didn't get scar tissue that you would get from ordinary water. So they used that on us all the time. They had little tubs to put you in, soak you in, get the bandages off, and keep you... the nurses would swab you with the salt. It wasn't really strong salt, but it's called it a saline solution, and that's where they learned to use it.

Mr. Senycz describes the fear in the Atlantic Ocean with the submarines firing, sailors being burned, and falling into the water.

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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