Language selection


D-Day in Italy - The War Goes On

Heroes Remember


This video contains graphic content that may offend some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

D-Day in Italy - The War Goes On

You know, it was funny, we never really thought too much about it never. ‘Cause we were fighting just that day and this was wonderful news to hear that the invasion was taking place. But we were just outside of Rome and there was a sharp battle taking place. But I know I was back in some willows, I was kind of making myself scarce, in other words. I'd make myself scarce whenever I could, and all at once Stone, he was a colonel then, and he started hollering "Sniper! Sniper! Lenko, where the hell are ya hiding?" And I wasn't making a sound ‘cause, but Veno Smith was with me and he said, "Stone needs you Lenko." So I walked out and he says, "We gotta go over here to where them tanks are and I want you with me." And he went ahead. I'll tell you one thing about Jim Stone, he was never a guy to stay behind. He went ahead and he was about 50 feet ahead and I'm standing there looking on either side as we're going and I says, "Sir, I think we better take the ditch." And he answered back, he says "Lenko, you know there isn't a goddam Kraut that's ever going to kill us." And I says, "I'm not too sure." So, just then, in the middle of the road "tut tut tut tut'. Course Stone was in the ditch, I was in the ditch. And then he asked me, "Did you see where that come from?" and I says, "Yeah, from a tombstone. Behind the tombstone." And we got around behind the tank and they knew it had fired and the guy was out and he says, "Did you hear, see where that firing was coming from?", I pointed out that big tombstone. They swung that big gun on it and it was just a boom and it was gone and I guess the German crew that was there was gone, cause there was no more firing.

It's D-Day, June 6, 1944. Lady Astor has referred to the troops in Italy as "The D-Day Dodgers". Mr. Lenko is asked how he and his comrades in Italy - near Rome at the time - reacted to her words.

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

Related Videos

Date modified: