Friday, January 23, 2015

Dad's Navy Days - Jack Dean, Toronto

A Good Detective

["I'm 96% certain the sailor (centre) in this IWM photo is my father"]

My Dad took part in the Allied invasion of North Africa in November, 1942 and mentioned a few words in his Navy memoirs about who was with him on his landing craft, i.e., Leading Seaman Jack Dean of Toronto and Lt. McDonald, RNR. Like a good detective I've been searching for more information about the Imperial War Museum photo above (found in Assault Landing Craft by B. Lavery) and have tracked down a story by LS Jack Dean, now deceased.

The story appears in From St. Nazaire to Singapore: The Canadian Amphibious War 1941 - 45 Vol. I  and reveals Jack was a member of Combined Operations and trained for the Dieppe raid and invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy, as did my father. Some of my father's own stories re WW2 appear in the same book and together the stories make me think that the IWM photo may contain a glimpse of both men.

 Last night I found information about Jack Dean's family (he has a surviving son, John, in Brighton, Ontario) and if I can connect with him I will pass along this rare WW2 action photo. If he can spot his father then I will be 100% certain that a certain sailor up to his knees in the waters off the coast of Arzeu, N. Africa, is my own father.

Good find, I say.

And now that I have John's phone number I will just give him a call.

Link to more Dad's Navy Day's

Photos GH

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