In the Water for 8 Hours

The Dieppe Raid

In the Water for 8 Hours

Transcript
We stayed in that position until almost noon and then a couple of aircraft layed down a smoke screen and that's when we withdrew and that's when they really opened up again into the smoke, I mean you know we're getting all.. The smoke was thick you couldn't see nothing but the fire was coming. The Germans were firing into the smoke because they knew we were in there I guess. Interviewer: The wounded, were you able to get many of the wounded off? I had four German prisoners with me, and a wounded major, and my buddy was wounded in the leg. He was a 2 inch mortar man and we got them on to an AL, an assault landing craft but it was full. And the coxswain said there was room for no more, so we got off it and I took the four German prisoners and we got onto a big tank landing craft. And as I got on that I was on it a little while and I noticed it sinking. So I said to the four Germans, "Get!" You know, I didn't want them anymore, like get for yourself. And I jumped off it and started to swim out. Well I was swimming out a little way, and my Mae West was tied to to my, you know what the Mae West is, it's sort of like a life vest, you know, I had it around my chest here. But it was, the waves was pushing against me and I couldn't swim too good so I took it off and I tied it to my ankle and I was a good swimmer, and I'm really swimming. And then I notice these little plinks, "plink, plink, plinks" all around me. I'm wondering what the hell they were, you know? Till it dawned on me, they were bullets. So I started to dive under, you know, figuring well, hell, I'll get away from them. So anyway, I swam out oh, quite a way, I was way out. Then I seen an assault landing craft just idling, I could hear the engine running and I swam towards it and I'm yelling, "Ahoy, Ahoy" and I'm quite a way out, and the engines running, and I get closer, "Ahoy, Ahoy!" and still no answer. So I got right up to it and it has the ropes to pull yourself up. I pull myself up and go to get in it and they're all dead in it. They'd been machine gunned from the air. But they must have seen movement from the shore because then they'd opened up on the shore and the shells are starting to bracket it, and I jumped off it and swam away from it. And I turn around a little while, you know when I got away from it and they hit it, and it sank but they're, all the guys were, it was full of guys but I couldn't see any life. And I thought you know, if I could, if I could of got in it and got it back even with the dead guys in it would have been something. It was running, but the cox was dead and everything, they'd been machine gunned from the air, I guess. Interviewer: You were in the water... I was in the water from noon until, until about 8 o'clock at night and it brought me into the beach and I was in my underwear. I'd chucked all my clothes, but I still had my chocolate ration and when I got in I, I sat on the beach and looked at myself and I'm all, I don't know if you ever seen when you're in the water for a long time your hands are all crinkly and shrivelled. I sat there. I couldn't walk and I ate my chocolate ration and, of course, there's guys floating in on Mae Wests that were dead and I looked over, I looked at a few of them because I had a brother, I was one of two brothers and I'm looking for my brother I thought he was, I didn't think he was there, but you know I... Interviewer: What unit was he with? He was in a mortar platoon, too. He was in number 3 detachment. He was attached to A Company. And anyway, they, I walked, I'm at the beach there and I couldn't walk but when I could walk, I'm right below high cliffs so I look along and I see a gully and and I thought, "Gee, if I can get along there I can maybe get up into a town and maybe some French will help me". So I walked along the cliffs, below the cliffs and of course all sorts of dead guys floating in, and ever now and again I'd look to see if one was my brother. And I got to the cliffs and a German pops up behind a rock and takes me prisoner and he took me up through the gully and it was loaded with Germans. My best bet would have been to stay where I was and maybe tried it at night. But, of course, I was only a kid, you never thought. So they took me to the top of the cliffs up through this gully and took a a lot of pictures of me. And they ended up, they took me to this old abandoned factory and as I went in there was quite a few of our guys milling around and I seen a guy I knew, I said, "Have you seen my brother?" And he said, "Yeah, he's in there." So I said "Where?" He said "Oh just go into the back there, I think he's laying down". So I walked in and sure enough I found him, he was fast asleep. I woke him up and he thought I was a ghost. But I was wounded in the back, not bad, and he was ok. So he said, "Are you ok Kenny?" And I said "Yeah, I got a little wound in the back, but I'm ok." So we cuddled down, cause we were cold and hugged each other for the rest of the night.
Description

Mr. Curry explains his withdrawal from the position on the beach, eight hours in the water and his capture by the Germans.

Kenneth Curry

Mr. Curry was born in England in 1922. He was the youngest of two brothers and emigrated to Canada with his family at the age of one. The family settled in Stoney Creek, Ontario where Mr. Curry went to school and also served in the Army reserve. Mr. Curry falsified his age by one year in order to enlist with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. His war service included participation in the Dieppe Raid where he was taken prisoner of war.

Meta Data
Medium:
Video
Owner:
Veterans Affairs Canada
Duration:
05:29
Person Interviewed:
Kenneth Curry
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Location/Theatre:
Europe
Battle/Campaign:
Dieppe
Branch:
Army
Units/Ship:
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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