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Concrete Obstacles and Collaborators

Heroes Remembers - Liberation of the Netherlands

Concrete Obstacles and Collaborators

Up in Holland where their highway, they was always figuring the Germans that they'd use aircraft to land on their highways which they did, but they put blocks up. Cement columns, big too, well the wall would be about two feet, and they'd go up about four or five feet high and there'll be one there,there be one here and you're going down the highway like this. We ended up taking a bunch of collaborators. This was outside of Utrecht, and we were there quite a while and we were taking our drills, our wagon drills, and we'd put dynamite in and we'd blow them up. That's we're doing, but the collaborators were doing this. They were actually doing on the jack hammers, putting the holes in and we'd take the dynamite in the sticks and load them up all around it and then put the charge and blow them up. So that's the idea of cleaning them all off, we'd level them off as good as the floor. You wouldn't think there was anything there.

Mr. McCabe describes removing concrete pillars placed by the Dutch to deter German aircraft from landing on Holland’s highways. Collaborators were given the ‘grunt’ work such as drilling holes for explosives in the pillars.

Eugene McCabe

Eugene McCabe, the third of six children in a blended family, was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on August 21, 1923. Mr. McCabe’s father was a carpenter. He finished Grade 8, and like most of his friends, decided to join the army. Between 1937 and 1939, he served as a batman, earning an extra ten cents a day. After shipping overseas, he joined the 30th Field Company as a sapper. The 30th Field Company saw action from France through to post-war Germany, clearing and laying mines, but principally building bridges to facilitate the Allied advance. After the war, Mr. McCabe worked at St. Dunstan’s, UPEI for 38 years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Eugene McCabe
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
30th Field Company

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