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Training and First Posting To Landing Craft

Heroes Remember

Training and First Posting To Landing Craft

In the fall we were notified that Detroit was ready for us. We were going to go for a two month course in the Detroit, Michigan in the US Naval Armoury and we would be studying Grey Marine engines, which is what there were on the... Like, there were four Grey Marine engines on each one of the landing craft, and so we had a really high pressure, two month study in Detroit on the economics and the, well not the economics, was dealing with parts, you know, be careful how you handle the parts sort of thing, but the running of the engines. In the meantime,when we're on the course, the United States shipyards were busy building landing craft. And from Detroit we went to Asbury Park, New Jersey and they had taken over, the navy had taken over a hotel there and we were assigned different rooms. They were just small rooms, and we waited there for probably ten days until we were notified at different times different guys, that theirl anding craft was ready. So we picked up our landing craft in Orange, New Jersey and we took her out for sea trials for about two or three days. Went up to Brooklyn Navy Yards, into New York, just got in. We had a look around New York for a day and then the fleet all gathered and we sailed down to Norfolk, Virginia, where we joined a convoy. Interviewer: Before you leave continental North America Mr. McLean, can you describe the vessel that you were now crewman on? Yeah. Well, they were, they were a landing craft with two ramps that went down port and starboard, three Oerli guns just for light fire, they were only good for aircraft really. Had a, had a beam of about twenty-eight feet, and about a hundred and twenty feet long. It would house twenty-eight crew members and it had a galley. Officers quarters and crews quarters, there were just two, and there were two forward holds for the military. When we took the army aboard, they were in the forward holds. And we could take on about a hundred and fifty soldiers at any one time.

After basic training in British Columbia and more advanced instruction in Toronto and Halifax, Mr. McLean, with a group of about 30 others, headed for Detroit, Michigan in the Fall of 1942 for some special training. The training equipped them for their first posting aboard landing craft.

George Henry Foster McLean

Mr. McLean's father came to Canada from Scotland. He was a cooper by trade and was a member of the Royal Navy during the First World War. Mr. McLean was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and has two brothers and two sisters. He was second born, with one older sister born in Scotland. He received his education in the Vancouver school system. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy just after his 16th birthday. He then spent five months in militia training before receiving a call-up to active service effective in May, 1942. Mr. McLean served in North Africa, Malta, Italy and was part of the D-Day raid at Omaha Beach.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George Henry Foster McLean
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Leading Hand

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