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No Troop Ships Available

Everybody thought, “Oh boy! This is great. The war is over. We’ll be going home tomorrow.” But that wasn’t to be. All the troop ships were owned by the British and they were busy bringing their men back from North Africa and Italy and so on. So there were no troop ships available. So every day they had a story going, “It’s going to be five years before we get back, same time as we’ve been here.” And then the next morning at breakfast they would have another story, “I heard this morning it was going to be two years.” And then they kept that going. So we were in Holland, I never came back until October so we spent all that time in Holland from May until September. In September we came back to England and then we got a leave. They gave us two weeks leave and then we came back and they said, “No, there’s no ships available.” Then we went on another five days leave. We came back, “No ships available,” and that went on for about a month. And I think it was the first part of October, the middle of October but in the meantime some people had come back, did get back but we weren’t on that. They gave a lot of preference to married people. They could go and then after that went on from about June until September they came up with a point system. You got a point, well they started out, you had to have sixty points. And they started out you get a point for D-Day, so many points for D-Day, I think it was ten points for D-Day. If you were D +1 you got nine points and D +2 you got eight. And if you were in England or in the Battle of Britain you got so many points. If you spent five years in England or four years you got so many points, on it went and if you had sixty points, you’d be on the next ship but there wasn’t any available.

With the war over, Mr. Chiasson tells of the rigmarole and frustration in returning to Canada.

Havelyn Chiasson

Mr. Chiasson was born May 14, 1921 in Misquamicut Island, New Brunswick. He attended an English and French school while his father worked as a fisherman. When war was declared in 1939, Mr. Chiasson was recruited to the Carleton York Regiment in Bathurst and later with the North Shore Regiment, a regiment he would remain with until end of wartime. Mr. Chiasson held the position of wireless operator and found himself travelling overseas which would become a 5 ½ year experience. Mr. Chiasson was part of the D-Day and Battle of Normandy landings where he reached the beaches in St. Aubin-sur-Mer, Normandy. He carried on through to Holland. Mr. Chiasson remains very active about his service years, speaking to our youth about the importance of service to our country.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
March 20, 2014
Person Interviewed:
Havelyn Chiasson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North Shore Regiment
Wireless Operator

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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