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The Sherman Tank

Heroes Remember

Well it was a forty ton tank, it had a twelve cylinder opposed Bedford engine in it and you could make three gallons of gas to the mile, not three miles to the gallon. And it was a good tank. It was heavily armoured but it only had a two-pounder gun on it and it didn’t have much fire power but ya, we were pretty safe in it. We felt safe in it. Our tracks, naturally our tracks were weak. On the beach at Dieppe, we were going between buildings trying to get through the town but they were all blocked off and somebody shot my periscope off so there was a hole above my head and I thought some son of a gun is going to throw a grenade down there eh, but nothing happened. And then a sharp shooter, we had a triplets block that we looked through, that was our windshield right and there was a shot in there headed right for me but of course it didn’t come through. And we had a steel door that we closed and changed blocks. We were one of the lucky tanks, all except 6 Troop got up on to the promenade. A lot of them broke their tracks and we were all lucky to get up there. We were rear guard really because they were evacuating a lot of them and we were the only ones that were holding the Germans from coming on to the promenade.

Being a part of the tank crew, Mr. Coles describes the specifics of the Sherman tank and the role played while coming on to the beach in Dieppe.

Elmer Cole

Mr. Elmer Cole was born in Roche Percee, Saskatchewan on December 22, 1919. At age 15 he started working and left school with a grade eight education. In 1940 he joined with the South Saskatchewan Regiment taking basic training in Winnipeg and in Feb. 41 he came back to Brandon, Manitoba for mechanical training, switching over to The Calgary Tanks as a trooper on the Churchill tanks. Mr. Cole travelled overseas to England where he was given more training until the summer of ’42 when the Dieppe Raid occurred. Mr. Cole fought through the battle only to surrender with other Canadian soldiers where he became a POW until ’45 when they were set free. After returning to Canada, Mr. Cole worked with the Department of National Defence, then carried on as a mechanic but with the strong desire to always be a wheat farmer, he and his wife bought a farm in Oak bank, Manitoba until he retired at the young age of 54. Mr. Cole and wife Isabel adopted two boys. Now widowed, Mr. Cole spends much of his time playing cards and socializing with residents of his retirement home as well as spending time with his grandchildren. In 2005 Mr. Cole was presented with an Honorary Life Member certificate of the Kiwanis Club in his local community. Presently, at age 97, Mr. Coles continues to enjoy a relaxed and healthy lifestyle.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 29, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Elmer Cole
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Calgary Tanks

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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