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Tank Specialists

Heroes Remember

We all became special in the jobs that we were doing. But the thing was that we had the Churchill tank at the time, and that wasn't the tank that we had to use. It was a lumbering giant that had a... I think... the gun they had on it was no match for anything the Germans had. We started off with a two pound shell. Eventually we got, we heard that we were getting the Sherman tank. We got the, also the Sherman tank only had a three pound shell. But it was a good tank and we knew that we could use that tank, and... going into action that we can stand up against the Germans. We were five people in the tank: driver, co-driver, gunner, radio operator, and the crew commander. And we could interchange. That was what our training was, that we could take over the driving. The radio operator was different because at that time we used morse code, there was no, we only had a small intercom between the various tanks, the other tanks in the troop. So the radio operator was essential. The gunner was essential because it was him who fired the gun and did the calculations what had to be done. So, we had to know the other person's job. Once somebody got hurt or something, then we had to see that we could replace them right away, until replacements came up.

Mr. Horowitz talks about how he and his five man team became multi-tasking tank specialists during training in Salisbury.

Robert Horowitz

Mr. Horowitz was born in Cornwall, Ontario, on August 30, 1919, of Jewish parents who immigrated to Canada from Russia. He grew up in Montreal where he studied at Lord Arthur School and then moved on to Montreal High. He enlisted with the Régiment de Trois-Rivières in the latter part of 1939 when he was 20 years old and still in high school. Mr. Horowitz attended Camp Borden during the winter of 1939-40 for approximately 1.75 years. He first set foot on European soil in Scotland and trained in Salisbury. He saw action for the first time in Sicily and the southern part of the Italian peninsula before being wounded in Tremali. Following the war, he spent some time with Veterans Affairs assisting Canadian Veterans in England and later retired in Canada.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Horowitz
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Three Rivers

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