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One Gun Range for All

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One Gun Range for All

There were two troops to a battery, four guns per troop, and then there, but there were three batteries, we had twenty-four guns all together in the regiment. The other batteries could be miles and miles away, never get to know those fellows, you only got to know the fellows that were in your own battery, you know. Guns were strange, you know, cause I still don't understand it. But we could take up a position, there were eight guns in our battery, there were eight more in another battery probably a mile away and there were eight more into another battery. And the way they were, they were, set up, there were, there were fellas that specialized in that. We could range one gun, fire and the shot would come down if you were out at the observation post, "Okay, it's a little too far, less 200, 200 yards less" or something eh. "Right, half a degree" or something. "Ok your on". Three rounds of regimental fire and every gun would go down that target. There was one gun ranging. It's amazing you know. It's good stuff. Interviewer: One of the issues that the infantry guys have told, not only myself but others and I certainly remember one, is that friendly fire, it must have always been a big fear of the artillery guys, is hitting your own guys up front? (Yeah). Did that thought ever... I know you were saying that you just ... did you ever... No, but see, you'd, no they had it down pretty fine. They had fellas specially trained for that and they could take a map reference. Maps with all them little squares, eh. Take a map reference and just range one gun, like I was telling you, on that target. Now if that were behind you, behind the observation post, well, let's get her up a bit eh.... and so on. And then the other guns, however they're surveyed in, they're all following that order from the gun that's ranging and when they get to battery fire or regimental fire they're all on the same target. Good stuff you know. Yep. Interviewer: So really it's your sense that friendly fire wasn't... You always had to be careful of. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Fellows out there, they'd know where the first shell landed and you weren't just firing at random, you know. No, no. Every shot was accounted for and told to fire, you know. Yup.

Mr. Candow describes how one gun could be used to range a target for each of the 24 guns in the regiment, and explains how the precision prevented incidents of ‘friendly fire’.

Gordon Henry Candow

Mr Candow was born December 15, 1920, and is the oldest of nine children. Joining in with the lads he was working with when war broke out, he signed into the navy but was quickly transferred to artillery. In May 1940, Mr. Candow sailed overseas as a part of the 57th Heavy Regiment, and was stationed to Norfolk, Great Britain, performing costal defence for a year and a half. After being shipped to Southern England the 57th was soon incorporated into the 166th Newfoundland Field Artillery Regiment. In January 1943, the regiment was shipped to North Africa. They remained in action until the end of the North African campaign, when they were shipped to Italy where the unit saw action in Fogia, Cassino, Ortona, and Boulogne. When the war ended, he returned to Southern England for a short period and then returned home to Newfoundland.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gordon Henry Candow
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
166th Newfoundland Field Regiment
Communications Gunner

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