Monday, March 29, 2021

Editor's Research: Canadians in Combined Ops Return Home (15)

 News and Views from The Winnipeg Tribune, February 14 - 15 1944

Progress re Mount Cassino; Bombings in London; Happy Valentines!

Combined Ops Sailor is Interviewed After His Return to Canada!

The war continues to bubble over on various fronts!


The digitized version of The Tribune is available for all readers to peruse at The University of Manitoba.

Regular visitors to this blog/archive (dedicated to the 950 - 1,000 Canadian sailors who were both members of RCNVR and Combined Operations) will know that this series of entries reveals a good number of significant news articles and photographs (and more) related to Allied actions during January and February 1944 in wide-ranging theatres of war (e.g., in Italy, Russia and the Pacific). This series also is hoping to reveal a bit of news about the contingent of sailors who returned to Canada from the Mediterranean theatre in late 1943 - after two years service overseas (at Dieppe, North Africa, Sicily and Italy), and before settling into new duties in other locations. 

Similar searches of other newspapers during the same time frame will offer up more information. Research is limited at present due to Covid-19, but once my hometown's university (UWO; Univ. of Western Ont., London) opens its doors, I will scan The Ottawa Citizen and The Windsor Star (both on microfiche) to complete stories already partly presented in earlier posts.

Until then, there is still much to read and learn about World War II actions, and about others who returned home as well as my father and many mates in Comb. Ops (e.g., some of the injured from Europe's battlefields). As well, a few rare photos will be shared from Vancouver Island, home of Canada's only Combined Operations School or training camp.

Two Canadians in a Mosquito are mentioned below, and there's a close call at Wimbledon:

Russian armies continue to apply great pressure on the Eastern Front:

Dick Sanburn, Canadian war correspondent, is connected to many interesting stories, some related to Canadians in Combined Ops at Reggio during Operation Baytown. This article relates to another adventure entirely!

"Rome will be won!" But when?

Regular readers know that my chief interest in this series of posts is the 'return home' of many Canadians in Combined Operations, including my father. They returned in December 1943 and - when this next piece was written - were settled into new routines at HMCS Givenchy III on The Spit near Comox/Courtenay, Vancouver Island BC. Here we read about "servicemen... being invalided home" along with "British war brides of Canadians serving overseas." One Scottish bride may have been among their company, a lovely woman recently married to Allan Adlington (London, ONT), a member of RCNVR and Combined Operations:

Canadian Sailor Weds in Glasgow, 1942

L - R: Chuck Rose, Chippawa; Al Adlington, London; Mary, Scotland; Mary's sister
Wedding photo, Glasgow, 1942. From the collection of Mary Adlington

Doug Harrison, Norwich ONT; Chuck Rose, Chippawa, ONT
Playing ball for Navy No. 1 Team, 1944; Vancouver Island

Harrison and Rose returned to Canada with a band of brothers aboard the Aquitania in December 1943.

They both appear in the photos below:

Back: My notes are in pen; my father's notation, "Aquitania", is in pencil

Front: Chuck Rose is left, above his name: 'Westy' is Don Westbrook, Hamilton
(centre of group of five). Al Kirby among the five, back right). Joe Watson, Simcoe
turns up his collar and my father is behind him. Collection - Doug Harrison

Al Kirby was from Woodstock, Ontario and after arriving home from Halifax in mid- to late-December - aboard the same train as my father - he was interviewed by a newspaper, likely the Woodstock Sentinel-Review. The full article is provided below.

Canadians in Combined Ops Return Home

Al Kirby, second from right, bathing in a landing craft, while aboard
a transport ship making its way around Africa, prior to the invasion
of Sicily (Operation Husky), beginning July 10, 1943. 

Doug Harrison and Al Kirby are on guard duty in 1942, at HMS Northney

Doug Harrison and Buryl McIntyre, mentioned in Kirby's interview.
Photo - near Wellington Barracks at HMCS Stadacona, Halifax 1941

And now, back to news items from The Trib:

Many details or sentences found in the report below take us back in history, specifically to the war years, but also to "life as it is lived in these islands": 

In response to Vernon Kipp's fine article, I share just a few photographs taken while I was aboard a train in the UK in 2014, between Glasgow and London, and London to Edinburgh. First up, the station in Glasgow:

All aboard!

Just after leaving the station:

Riding the rails south to London; video via GoPro:

Two still photographs of the UK's lovely scenery... as it's flashing by:

Map as found on the train I later took north to Edinburgh, from King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverly:

Newcastle Station:

I'm just leaving Edinburgh Waverly, looking for my BnB:

And now back to more items from The Winnipeg Tribune,  70 years earlier:

Were the chevrons for officers, ratings, or both? I have no answer: HELP WANTED.

More information about Terry Rowe, his death first announced in the previous entry in this series; this time the news is from Dick Sanburn, a fine Canadian war correspondent mentioned earlier in this post:

The following piece was found on a later page in the Feb. 14 issue:

I share this item re Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. He was the Commander of Combined Operations when the first drafts of Canadians sailors (incl. Doug Harrison and Chuck Rose, not likely playing baseball in BC when this article was printed) volunteered for Combined Operations, in late 1941. Mountbatten is now head of Allied operations in south-east Asia:

Many items were rationed during WWII. The first time I read here about the rationing of Bibles I also noticed that several letters were rationed in the article's right-hand side! Letters are cut in half, some are missing... just like a lot of food and clothing supplies. It all makes sense, right? 

Here's what "I Saw." Above, in the first sentence, Bert was "worging" in a drugstore. If Bert gets two tickets for spotting a mistake by the druggist, how many do I get? And where can I go to see "Destination Tokyo" 77 years later?

Hundreds of Fox Movietone newsreels are available for your viewing pleasure thanks to the online archive established some years ago by the University of Southern Carolina. Click here to view "Allied Capture of Beachhead near Rome," listed above.

February 15 was a busy day as well; a few items from The Trib appear below:

My younger brother Kim Douglas is a fan of old movies and their stars as well as being very good artist. The pencil drawing of Tallulah Bankhead below was completed by my brother at least 30 years ago:

I couldn't agree more with the title of the next piece and its contents. Thanks to Mr. Google we can find the records, reports, news articles, subsequent books, etc., by many very good writers... and photographers:

Photo is called "Editor at Work"

More excerpts and items related to Canadians in Combined Ops from the digitized version of The Winnipeg Tribune will soon follow.

Unattributed Photos GH