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The Deadly Price Of War

Heroes Remember


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The Deadly Price Of War

The main brunt was coming to, once we got to Leonforte. That's when it hit the worst. We got to the bottom. Most of the regiment got into Leonforte and rounded the night, but I was with the carriers. We come up to the bottom and we stopped and I walked down the railroad, there was a little station there, and I found a culvert and I looked up on the hill and I could see this German mortar firing. Then there was a Bren gun carrier drove up the mortar crew with a 4.2 I believe it was, and Pete Lintrest was the sergeant that was in charge of this mortar crew. And he knew there was a mortar and he says, "Do you know where it is? And I says, "Yeah, it's up there. You just watch. You'll see the puff of smoke." So he did and he says, "I'm going to go survey it and we'll fire." And I don't know what made me, but we were along a stone fence that was about so high, nine of us. Stephen McNeely was one I really recall, a good friend, we used to hang together quite a bit. So when Pete went up and surveyed, I don't know what happened to me, there was a, I had a funny feeling there was something wrong, it wasn't right. And I told McNeely, I says, "Let's get the hell out of here. Let's go to where that culvert is, or that tunnel so we can get in it." And he says, "You really think so?" And I says, "No, I'm damn sure. Let's get out of here." And I said, "Let's all of us go", and we all went and we got into this culvert. And I was watching kind of there and he had one shot fired at that mortar and all at once, there just seemed forty of them were in the air and come down and had blanketed our Bren gun carrier and our crew cause they were right out in the open. And I come back, they were blown apart, on fire, it wasn't pretty. The Bren gun carrier was blown up. And that's when she really hit home.

Some experiences during his time in Sicily were gruesome and sad. They were also very difficult for Mr. Lenko to talk about.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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