Language selection


Bad Weather For Sailing

Heroes Remember

Bad Weather For Sailing

The invasion was delayed a day. It was supposed to be on the 5th but it was delayed because of the weather and Eisenhower had a tremendous decision to make as whether go or not. And he was assured by the weatherman that there was a break and there’s a good chance that it might succeed. So, he gave the green light to go on the 6th. So then everything started moving and it’s unreal to see thousands of ships out in the Channel, hundreds, you see hundreds but in effect there were a thousand. When you look at it down the line, there was probably seven thousand and you can imagine that all these ships are converging from all different directions from the south of England to half way up to England or to, from Scotland. And they are all converging into the middle of the Channel where the mine sweepers take over and sweep the Channels over fifty miles frontage, you know, to clear the mines and make sure that the invasion ships get close enough without casualties. It’s a tremendous, tremendous feat and to be standing on the deck at night in, and the seeing all this silhouette of ships cross the water. It was quite an experience. Fellas wrote letters, a lot, some of ‘em, a lot of them tried to sleep, but I don’t think many slept that well. I think the tension of what might happen, you know, and the eagerness to get on with the job were all there. Interviewer: The morale at that time, Mr. Ross, how would you describe it? (Extremely high.) There was no doubt that it was going to be successful? There was no doubt, the fellas felt that they weren’t going to fail. The fellas, we felt that they were going to succeed.

Mr. Ross recalls that when the order to begin the invasion was finally given, the weather conditions halted sailing for a day.

Joseph William Ross

Mr. Ross was born in Montreal on February 15, 1925. His father served during the First World War and was seriously wounded at the second battle at Ypres. When Canada declared war on Germany in September, 1939, Mr. Ross was only 14 years old, working as an office boy for six dollars a week. Later, he worked as an apprentice fitter in the aircraft division of Vickers, near Montreal. Mr. Ross enlisted in the Army on his 18th birthday in 1943. After training in Quebec and Nova Scotia, he was sent as part of the reinforcement troops to England where he was assigned to ‘C’ Company of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. His overseas action included landing at Juno Beach on D-Day, and serving throughout both Normandy and Northwest Europe (Belgium and Holland). During an encounter with German forces, Mr. Ross sustained injuries from flying shrapnel.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Joseph William Ross
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North America
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: