Sunday, February 15, 2015

West Coast Trip 2015 - Prep 3

History in the News

 ["Lined up like ducks in a row, as my Dad would say"]

Preparations for my May trip are progressing well. I should have a very full itinerary filled out by the end of the month, w visits to museums, meetings w family of WW2 veterans, and the sorting of WW2 photographs hitting the top of the list.

Yesterday I googled 'the spit, comox, combined operations' (The Spit is the name of the land where a Navy base is located on Vancouver Island; Comox is the town nearby; Combined Ops was the organization my father was linked to during WW2, along w RCNVR, the Wavy Navy). One article from the June 12, 2013 issue of The Comox Valley Record  caught my attention immediately, featuring a rare photo of invasion barges, aka assault landing craft, that was taken in 1943 near Comox.

["The name Givenchy III seldom appears concerning the RCNVR or CO"]

The article provided a bit of the Canadian Navy's century-long history on The Spit and a particular episode my father, with responsibilities re seamanship and gunnery skills ("the fine points of boatwork under oars and sail, of firing on the ranges"), would have experienced:

As the war progressed into 1945, the army's camp at Courtenay was soon closed down and the navy no longer was required to train army personnel in combined operations. However, Givenchy (III) continued to provide training on the assault course for the men of HMC ships. During April and May, the entire ship's company of the anti-aircraft cruiser Prince Robert was accommodated on the Spit for specialized training while the ship was refitting for duty in the Pacific.

Good material to have, I say. So, I have contacted the newspaper and will drop in to pick up a copy when I'm in Courtenay in May. And if the paper is interested in more material I can help with that. Good times.

Link to West Coast Trip 2015

Photos GH

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