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Observation Posts

Heroes Remember

Well, we went across the channel on D-Day. We were about D-Day 4 or something like that. But before we went over to England, from England to... I got taken out of that group of the brigadiers, they made us into what they called OPIP, observation posts, something we never even practiced. We didn't know what it was. You'd get up in front and find targets. They took, I think it was eight or ten of us, and they gave us stripes and made us sergeants and that so you'd be, you'd have some authority. But the tank had four or five radios all around it, so we were tied in with the British, the Americans, the Polish, the French artillery so when we got over there, well, it wasn't that easy to get over there. The ocean was pretty rough. And you were in the tank there, and if the tank sank... if the boat got hit, you were in the tank you sank with the boat. You'd be a dead coffin, a solid steel coffin. A lot of times you'd come off the barges and there was some guy over... there was a lot of people drowned.

Mr. Senycz describes his position at the observation posts finding targets while going across the channel to England.

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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