Thursday, August 6, 2015

Comox Navy Base, WW2

Invasion Exercise at Givenchy III

 "I took this photo while walking toward downtown Comox, May 2015"

I visited Comox, B.C. in May of this year and had full, busy days of hiking and kayaking on and near The Spit as well as learning more information about Givenchy III, the home or site of WW2 Combined Operations training grounds on The Spit, formerly RCN base Naden III, currently HMCS Quadra (Sea Cadets). Newspaper reports from May 1944 tell me that my father, a member of both RCNVR and Combined Ops, would have been busier still. An invasion exercise, followed by a carnival, filled one of his many weekends on the base from January 1944 - September, 1945.

"Navy members assisted w building Comox Legion, foreground"

"Comox and Courtenay (left) are minutes apart by car"

Microfiche files at the Courtenay Library and hard copies of the Comox Valley Argus newspaper provided me with a lot of useful information regarding his stint (in part, as an instructor of seamanship skills) at the training camp after two years of HO or Hostilities Only in Europe. After his participation in training exercises and assaults related to raids and invasions at Dieppe, North Africa, Sicily and Italy, my father found Comox and Courtenay to be like heaven on earth.

"One month before the invasion of France. Note large landing craft, background"

"Leading Seaman Coxswain D. Harrison
would have been in the thick of the action"

"Dad would have liked the price of a cuppa coffee in 1944"

Link to Checking Out The Spit

Photos GH

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