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Shooting Gallery

Heroes Remember

And, so, anyway, we got into this building. I'm on the ground floor, the Captain goes up to the second floor, I was up to the second floor, but had to come back down. I was very leery because they were shooting through the, one of these hallway windows, you know, that illuminate the stairway. And there was a, a, you know, a Bunsen burners, what do you call that, like a laboratory thing on the ground floor, all laid out next to the windows, and you know with taps and all this thing like a chem lab, and so the infantry men were firing through the windows at the, at these Germans that were trying to get out of this slit trench and go over the embankment towards the river, so it was like a shooting gallery, you know. So we were shooting, they were shooting and one guy said to me, he said, "What are you gonna do with that Bren gun?" He said, "Are you just sitting there doing nothing?" He said, "Get that thing up here and if you don't," he says, "I'll, one of our guys will get it up here and get it into action," you know. So I said, "I can't use this Bren gun until I'm ordered to use it," you know. So, and I said, "We're not being attacked so I can't use it." "Well," he said "You better go ask your Captain." So I, I went upstairs and I said to the Captain, "Do you, these guys want me to use the Bren gun and they're threatening to take it from me and use it themselves, if I don't." So he says, "Sure," he says, "Join in," you know. So, here we are, two of us with these Bren guns sticking through the, just back of the windows, you know, firing at these guys. Now, it was just like a turkey shoot. It was just, you know, shoot these, every time they ran out and tried to get over the bank, we're, we're firing at them, you know, and I was very good with a Bren gun, very good, and, and so, this is going on and we're thinking, you know, "This is stupid. A chemistry lab, you know, is this like a," it was just like you would picture in a shooting gallery or something. I thought it was crazy. Then all of the sudden, "Kapow!" With the Panzerfaust, they hit the side of the wall right where we were, you know, just right next to us. Blew the whole wall in, you know. So we were covered with rubble and everything, you know. So, none of us were hurt, thank God, but that was it. We got out of there and went around the, somewhere else, I can't remember, but they finished that off pretty quick!

Mr. Field describes an encounter with the enemy while they are holed up in a house in Groningen.

Richard (Dick) Field

Mr. Richard Field was born in Toronto, Ontario, on November 11, 1924, where his father was an accountant for Brazilian Traction Light and Car Power Company located in Toronto. After hearing stories from his grandfather and friends about the service, Mr. Field and his father enlisted in 1943. Serving as a Gunner in the Royal Canadian Artillery, Mr. Field went to the continent after the summer of 1944, and landed at Dieppe. Having witnessed battles such as the Battle of the Bulge, which was, on record, the coldest battle fought during the Second World War, encounters with German POWS and the German SS, nothing stirs up memories such as the moving story about the Highland Light Infantry returning from battle, wearily marching on to battle, serenaded by the haunting melody of the bagpipes. Mr. Field returned home to Toronto and married his high school sweetheart, however, the war never left the dreams and thoughts of Mr. Field, who still, quite frequently, is plagued by dreams and nightmares of life on the front.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Richard (Dick) Field
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Northwest Europe

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