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To The Beach In Sicily

Heroes Remember

To The Beach In Sicily

On our ship we were at least a good thirty-five feet above the water, where the plimsoll line was, and this storm come up and I was back there and I was watching, the ship would go down, the waves would wash over the bow. My God, what a storm. We, we did go around Malta a couple of times I understand, before, we didn't really know if we were going to land the way the storm was. But we went on and in the morning, it was around three o'clock in the morning or something, we had to, come to a, it was in the side of the ship there was this big hole where you could come and the barges L's, landing craft tanks would come along side. And one was along side and here we were jumping into that. And I know the first time I didn't jump, I looked down and you could see the black water just swirling and coming up and oh God, I'll tell you your heart went into your mouth. But the boat, the barge would go way down and then it'd come up and I jumped the next time. I had a Bren gun with me at that time and the ammunition. And I got on the thing and we got into the convoy circled a little bit, we start heading for shore. There was some firing going on by the British Naval ships. We finally come to where we were to land and we got out and we did land on this false beach. And I had a mae west on and I got in to where the water was and I was kind of paddling. There was a great big cold stream sergeant there. And I'll never forget, I was, just my head was above water. He grabbed me by the neck and he pulled me forward and he says, "Come on Canada, you can make it."

Seas are very rough as ships reach the area of Sicily. Just getting from the vessel to the troop carrier and then on to the shore has dangerous moments.

Sam Lenko

Mr. Lenko enlisted in the army in Edmonton of February 14, 1940. He took basic infantry training in Calgary and then travelled to Halifax by train where he boarded the Duchess of Bedford, where he sailed in convoy to England. The ship arrived in the port of Liverpool and he was sent immediately to Aldershot for further training.His service included Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. He returned to Canada and to Calgary on August 29, 1945, eventually training as a barber. He ran a barber shop for 20 years before changing his job to an unspecified occupation. He spent his working civilian life in Sangudo, Alberta.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Sam Lenko
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Loyal Edmonton Regiment / D Company / 17th Platoon

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