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Becoming an Officer from the Ranks

Heroes Remember

Becoming an Officer from the Ranks

I was away, getting my commission. I'd been, we'd all become corporals and sergeants, the four of us. And I was sent back, at that time

black and white photo of four soldiers sitting in uniform.

they were sending them back to Canada for training for commissions. And Earl took his training over there, subsequently, Gerry came back to Canada for his commission. And by the time I got back to the regiment, see I stayed here for almost a year. My training took, I guess, maybe 3 or 4 months and then I was an instructor at the officer's training school. And then a great man, his picture is up there too, Milton Greg, a VC winner from the first war, took me with him to Vernon, British Columbia, where we took over sort of a run-down battle school and turned it into a first class battle school in the mountains in the Okanagan Valley. We were afraid of missing what we called the invasion. In those days it wasn't really called D-Day until D-Day. May the 6th, ‘44 I left Vernon to get back to try and

uniformed officers standing and sitting for photo.

join my regiment to be there in time for the invasion. And I was a captain by that time, but I reverted in rank, because I would never get back in my regiment as a captain, to lieutenant, and when I was in Debert, Nova Scotia, it was our last stop before we went back overseas, D-Day came, and I got word there that Freddy had been killed right on the beach. Freddy was the only one who refused a commission. He didn't want to be away from the regiment when this big event came off. And he hardly got out of the landing craft and I don't think he hit dry land, but I visited his grave at Beny-Sur-Mer.

Mr. Danson describes how he came back to Canada to get his commission. Despite his best efforts, he did not make it back to Europe in time for the D-Day invasion.

Barnet J (Barney) Danson

Mr. Danson was born in Ontario, 1921. Before the war, Mr. Danson worked for Columbia pictures. As a Jewish man, he was aware of the political situation in Europe. His instincts told him that war was imminent and he felt a sense of urgency to fight. As a result, he joined the Army during peacetime in hopes of being trained and ready to serve if war broke out. Mr. Danson was an Infantry Officer with the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. In the Fall of 1944 he was wounded, thus ending his war effort. After the war, he had a successful business and later entered politics where he served as the Minister of Defence in the Trudeau Government.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Barnet J (Barney) Danson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Infantry Officer

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