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Preparing for D-Day

Heroes Remember

They took our uniforms away, they issued special uniforms that were treated to prevent, I guess it’s gas or something. Oh, they were crummy, stunk, but it was to kill lice and stuff and this, we knew things were getting pretty close. Then all of a sudden, getting near the first part of June, I think it was the 2nd of June or something, they came in and they opened the gates and away we went down to load the barges, they backed us in and everybody got loaded with, and then we went over to the, I think it’s one of the harbours, Portsmouth, there and we all sitting on the, sitting there for a, with our camouflages over our carriers, over our vehicles. Interviewer: What do you remember, Mr. Rogers of your feelings at the time? Well, if I wasn’t scared, I was a nut! Because we knew this was it and we were sitting on this barge, open deck and there was no extra people at all, we were down to the bare minimum on it and when we loaded, sitting in behind us, behind our vehicles in the back of the barge was 600 rounds of ammunition in cardboard cases and we a, oh I don’t know we kinda joked, the food was terrible. We used to have all compost stuff. It wasn’t nothing cooked in the kitchen. We used to have cans of soup and I think it was tea and you took the top off it and lit the fuse and it burnt down through the middle and that heated up. This is something hot to drink and then you had compo packs. We were on there for about four days before we finally took off. Interviewer: What do you remember about the weather? Well it was windier than, oh God, we were supposed to go on the 5th and they cancelled it and oh it was god awful. Lucky we were in the harbour, but you couldn’t see nothing but ships just nothing but ships. And finally it was on June the 5th later on in the day all of a sudden our engines started up and we started out of the harbour and we were the first ones out cause we were barges we were pretty slow, we, and then it was still rough, still quite rough and our six barges and there was the 12th, 11th and the 12th, 13th and 14th Field Regiments that were part of the 3rd Division artillery and there was the 105, the 19 Field which was a corps outfit, they had, were all SP’s, it was SP’s. We didn’t see too much and through the night it was dark out, the barges were just bucking, bending, creaking, groaning and everything was soaking wet, water coming over the side, oh what a night and I said I was tired, sick and hungry.

Mr. Rogers talks about loading their barges and waiting out the weather until they could sail out for the D-Day attack.

Frederick Rogers

Mr. Rogers was an infant when his father died as a result of gas poisoning during his service in the First World War. His mother brought him and his only sister to Canada when he was about two years old. Mr. Rogers joined the Essex Regiment Tank (militia) in Windsor, Ontario when he was 14 or 15 years old. He went on to complete Grade 10 and at the age of 16 went to work on a farm to support himself. He enlisted in the Canadian Army on February 18, 1941. Basic training was provided in Kitchener, Ontario and he was then sent to Camp Petawawa and, finally, to Sussex, New Brunswick to join the 12th Field regiment as a replacement. The regiment arrived in Liverpool, England on July 31, 1941 and were immediately taken by train to Bramshot, England.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Frederick Rogers
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
12th Field Regiment

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