Monday, October 24, 2022

Research: Post-Dieppe, Sept. 1 - 7, 1942 (Pts 1 - 6)

 News About the Dieppe Raid is Thinning Out

Several rare and significant items are shared by The Winnipeg Tribune
while Dieppe wounded recuperate in hospitals in England, Sept., 1942


Until I get back to the microfiche files at the University of Western Ontario (closed to me for the last couple of years due to Covid-19) I have been leaning on The Trib as a key resource for news clippings that relate to events participated in by Canadians in Combined Operations, e.g., the Dieppe raid.

And the newspaper from central Canada - available for interested readers to peruse online at their leisure - does not disappoint. Microfilm - archived at the University of Manitoba - is clean and crisp and filled with valuable stories, photographs, rare details, etc., and offered in an easy-to-view format

Below readers will find "valuable stories, photographs, rare details, etc.," about pertinent events related to World War II, some involving Canadians in Combined Operations and their role in the fateful Dieppe raid, as it appeared in the September 1 - 7, 1942 issues of The Winnipeg Tribune:

Ross Munro, a very hard working Canadian war correspondent,

Friday, October 21, 2022

Research: Post-Dieppe, Sept. 1 - 7, 1942 (Part 6)

 Some Canadian Volunteers Became Signalmen,

a 'Vital (Communications) Unit'

Members of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve filled a variety
of important roles during World War II (full article below). Photo - The
Winnipeg Tribune, Sept. 7, 1942. The Winnipeg Tribune archive


There is still some mention of details associated with the Dieppe Raid in this last entry (for now) regarding clippings found in a central Canadian newspaper about 3 weeks after a few thousand Canadian troops and handfuls of sailors got their first severe taste of action facing German artillery. But we can sense the news is in decline, Allied attention and significant events are elsewhere, on other fronts. 

More information is coming from Stalingrad, a pivotal battle that certainly affected the outcome of WWII; Canadians in RCNVR/Combined Operations are involved in more training re handling landing craft in preparation for Operation TORCH (invasion of North Africa, to begin on November 8); the RCAF is making itself known in various way; more eyes are on the war front in SE Asia. 

However, before I move on to another topic, please find below a few more details from September, 1942: 


Siggy makes a big splash in Winnipeg!

The spotlight shines on other than Siggy as well (though "he ain't done yet!"). More from 'the Dieppe show':

It doesn't take a wizard to know that airmen, just like members of the army and navy, come up with their own terminology at times:

More news coming out of Africa and soon it will dominate the front pages:

It's not often that a case of the jitters makes the front page of any newspaper!

More items from a hospital ward, re Dieppe:

I learned something new from the next photo, i.e., a typical Londoner looks a lot like my grandmother!

There were no small roles to fill during WWII:

Somebody doesn't like Jack Carson! 

Winnipeggers and other Canadians celebrate Labour Day, but...

Siggy and his crew are saluted:

Below we read that news arrives late upon North American shores at times for a wide variety of reasons. Oh, and if you can't find your hammer...

As mentioned at top of page, "members of the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve filled a variety of important roles during World War II"; some joined RCNVR and shortly thereafter trained to become signalmen, a vital communications unit (see article below); some (about 1% of all new recruits during WWII) joined RCNVR and shortly thereafter volunteered for Combined Operations Command and were soon learning how to navigate small, speedy landing crafts (e.g., landing craft assault or LCAs, landing craft mechanised or LCMs) in which to transport Allied troops to foreign shores:

Siggy Lee is still in the news! Must be something about the name 'Siggy':

Members of the RCNVR in Combined Operations also felt that it was important to be seen as separate Canadian flotillas as the war progressed. Canadian sailors were sprinkled among British crews and landing crafts at times during early raids and invasions but liked to see distinctly Canadian flotillas formed when possible, e.g., during the invasion of Sicily and Italy in 1943, and France in 1944. 

American production of all manner of military hardware was unsurpassed during the later half of WWII. Below is a huge ship assembled and launched in record time:

Please click here to view Research: Post-Dieppe, Sept. 1 - 7, 1942 (Part 5)

Unattributed Photos GH

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Research: Post-Dieppe, Sept. 1 - 7, 1942 (Part 5)

End of the Line? Is Dieppe Fading From View? And if so...

What Will be the Next Stage of WWII to Fill the Papers?

News from Stalingrad will surely last for many more days - weeks
Peruse future issues of The Winnipeg Tribune at your leisure 


The Dieppe Raid took place over the period of two days, i.e., launching from the southern shores of England (e.g., from Southampton and New Haven) on the evening of August 18, 1942, and then landing in various places along the shores in and near Dieppe beginning in the early hours of the 19th, with the survivors, the weary, the wounded and some of the dead returning hours later. Newspapers around the world began sharing news of the fateful event shortly thereafter.

On these pages (or entries) readers will find but a small portion of the interviews, stories, articles and numerous casualty lists related to the raid, from the day of to Saturday, September 5, 1942 (Monday, Sept. 7 to soon follow). They will notice casualty lists in great number (the Canadian Defence Dept.'s 22nd list appears below), poignant interviews and eye-witness news, including descriptions about what happened on the beaches of Dieppe by trusted Canadian war correspondent Ross Munro. Details from one of his presentations to a grateful audience also appear below.

Readers will also notice - when these pages are all considered from August 20 to September 7 - that the war goes on, news from other fronts is growing more and more, items about Dieppe are less and less... as is to be expected. 

So, where do we go from here? One article is shared below re a 'second front' and - according to my father's WWII memoirs - it seems to be a natural fit for one of my future plans.

But first, news of the day:

The following headline is but half of it!

"I bought this copy new - a rare move (!). Worth the money? Yes!"
'Fateful siege' is correct. Hitler would not admit defeat, and his
army's overall strength - so pivotal - was greatly depleted. GH

Churchill made mistakes and miscalculations as well. Related to Dieppe? Quite possibly. (My father, a Canadian sailor who missed Dieppe by one day and lost mates there, would say, "For certain.") But the PM did many things right as well:

The Allied position in North Africa will get stronger and may prove pivotal in its own way. More opinions to follow:

RCAF gets an honourable mention:

Canadian war correspondent Ross Munro wrote the news while in Dieppe and later made the news upon his return to Canada:

More news about Ross Munro - and his eye-witness account re
the fateful Dieppe raid - will appear below!

I think the 'Axis Fear' is well-founded. Operation Jubilee (the raid on Dieppe) took place on August 19, 1942. Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa - on three expansive fronts - only about 5 weeks (beginning November 8, 1942) after this article appeared: 

Canadians in Combined Operations were sprinkled among British landing craft
crews as part of the Centre and Eastern Task Forces. GH has inserted the map
between sections of the headline for this informative article. 

A second insert from Editor GH. Five weeks after the above article appeared, U.S. troops landed east of Oran - as part of Operation Torch -  with an assist from British landing crafts, some manned by Canadian sailors. I will likely 'beef up' my Operation Torch material after this 'Post-Dieppe' series is finished. One reason is offered below:

Editor's caption: A Canadian sailor (my father, Doug Harrison, RCNVR (V8809))
assists U.S. troops disembarking from a British 'Landing Craft, Assault' (LCA)
IWM caption: Troops and ammunition for light guns being brought ashore from a
landing craft assault (ramped) (LCA 428) on Arzeau beach, Algeria, North Africa,
whilst another LCA (LCA 287) approaches the beach. Photo - Lt. F. A. Hudson*,
RN Photographer at Operation 'Torch,' Nov. 1942. Imperial War Museum (IWM) 

*Hudson snaps a photo of Harrison. Did he snap a few more? Were words exchanged? Does IWM have anything else on file re that particular day? I should try to find out!

Occasionally, when losses are listed, the term "Butcher's Bill" is used. It seems the cost is always high:

About the following I say, "Mere lemonade, eh!"

This is likely not the last casualty list but I think it's near the end:

Related good news:

This may seem an odd article - about a burst boiler - to add to a collection of WWII pieces but my eye was drawn to the writer's name. Dick Sanburn's tag is attached to many excellent WWII articles connected to Canadian's in Combined Operations, particularly during the invasion of Italy beginning in early September, 1943, when he was with The Ottawa Citizen:

Just a reminder that WWII was a world war:

I'm dating myself by including this wee article that includes references to a man - originally of radio fame - I saw a few times on the Ed Sullivan Show (on TV Sunday nights at 8:00) and a woman who rode on a horse called 'Buttermilk' while she and her hubby (Roy Rogers, riding on 'Trigger' (now stuffed and likely in a museum somewhere in Texas)) chased after the bad guys. And as I recall, Dale and Roy were married in real life too: 

From the days when comic books were a dime! Photo - my comic shop

If the following provides final details re the Dieppe raid (in this particular series) then I could not ask for a better-prepared or authoritative eye-witnesses, including Ross Munro and Col. Dollard Menard:

From the days when "favourite recipes" included KLIK in a Kan:

Somewhere on this blog re '1,000 Men, 1,000 Stories' is a story that is very, very closely related to the one that follows, about dangerous work done by members of RCNVR. As you read it you might just imagine how tempting it may have been for a fisherman - finding a large, heavy, mysterious, bulbous item in his nets - to look closer to see if it was "a molasses puncheon" or something of value. Believe me, it could (and did) happen. And somewhere, a few years ago, I found the first edition of a story like this, featuring a fisherman who called for help because he had caught a mine - as was encouraged by the Navy - but got tired of waiting. What he did while waiting is revealed in the last paragraph. 

If I find the original tale, re the lucky fisherman - he didn't blow up - I'll tuck it in here.

News follow from The Tribune London Bureau:

Though not a good "photographic reproduction" of a secret paper - "printed, published and read at the risk of the lives of editors and readers" - the story is clear:

Men and women risked their lives everyday in a variety of ways, including by being a member of an underground movement. One patriot's diary ended abruptly...

More news clips to follow.

Please click here to view the last entry in this series, Research: Post-Dieppe, Sept. 1 - 7, 1942 (Part 4)

Unattributed Photos GH