Box 023, folder 47: K.G. Blackader

ReadAboutContentsHelp
https://media.library.ohio.edu/digital/collection/p15808coll15/id/5911

Pages

ryan_box023-tld_f47_01
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f47_01

Blackader, Brig. K. G. Ist Juno DO NOT QUOTE - Can Box 23, #47

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f47_02
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f47_02

BLACKADER WAS MOST INSISTENT ABOUT NOT BEING QUOTED OR MENTIONED IN ANY WAY, EXCEPT AS BACK-0F-THE-BOOK CREDIT. SO, PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE. Brig. K. G. Blackader,[inserted]CBE, DSO, MC. [end inserted][crossed out]Public[end crossed out] [inserted]Chartered[end inserted] Accountant McDonald, Currie and Co. 507 Place D'Armes [inserted]Montreal [end inserted] VI -98311 Age 46 at D-Day, not married, not wounded. Commanded the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade -- 3 battalions, 4-5000 men. His Divisional Commander was Maj. Gen. R. F. L. Keller. Trained for a year in the South of England and Scotland. Knew in July '43 he was training men for D-Day. Felt thrilled and confident. He had conversations with other commanders every day, and knew as soon as they did it was to be on June 5th. And they knew, he guesses, 2 or 3 weeks before. The date wasn't told in a group, he thinks, but individually. Before noon on June 4th they knew it had been postponed by Eisenhower. At 4 p.m. on June 5th, he went aboard the headquarters ship, a [crossed out] [illegible]xxxx[end crossed out] Royal Navy Frigate, H.M.S. Waveney. He had a cabin to himself. He slept "very well, thank you." He wasn't worried, nervous, or keyed up. (I'll bet.) When the sun came up, and it was early at that time of year (I think he's read all the books on D-Day) he was up on the bridge, watching and listening to the wireless as to what was going on. The first of his troops went in right after 8 a.m. -- around 8:20. They were late in getting over, and as a result the tide was too far in and that's why they pitched[inserted] [end inserted]on the underwater obstacles. They[inserted] [end inserted]went in to Berniere-sur-Mer. Around 9 or 9:30 he went in -- right after his troops. Three regular landing craft were scheduled to take him ashore, and none of them made it to his ship. So he got worried, and yelled to an LCM floating around with a man in the Royal Navy running it. Blackader doesn't know to this day what on earth the man was doing, or thought he was doing, where he was going or where he was supposed to be going. (Whatever it was, I'll bet Blackader scared him out of it.) But this craft took 7 of them ashore -- his liason officer, his signaler, his batman, Lt. Col. of the Artillery H.S. Griffin, Lt. Pare, an information officer, and Pare's signaler. The batman, signaler and liason officer were with him constantly. When they landed, they went in over their heads. It was about 10 a.m. by now. [crossed out]The H.M.S. Prince David was sunk during that day.[end crossed out] When they got ashore, they ran about a fourth of a mile to the church, ducking all the way. Most of the houses in the town were burning, wires were down, and burning bits[inserted] [end inserted]were falling into the street. Germans were still around shooting, Around noon he got a vehicle -- a jeep driven by Rifleman Rooney -- at the church. Then he went to the orchard on the far side of town (north) and was there until late afternoon. Beyond the

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f47_03
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f47_03

- 2orchard were wheat fields, and then a slope, where Beny-sur-Mer was. His job that day was to get his three battalions to [crossed out]Carpiquay[end crossed out][inserted][Carpiquet[end inserted] airport by noon. Instead, two [crossed out] [illegible]xxxxx[end crossed out] of the battalions got there by 11:45 p.m. (The story of this battle is outside our story, but the Brig. played a major part in it.) His Third Battalion had terrific fighting on the beaches 1500 yards inland, and he didn't see them until the following day. So all afternoon he was working getting his [crossed out] [illegible]xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx[end crossed out] two battalions to Beny-sur-Mer. In the orchard he picked up tanks -- the 10th [crossed out]Amur[end crossed out] Canadian Armoured Regiment -- to help his infantry get up through the wheat fields. You could see the slope of the wheat swaying in front of you, and bullets coming from every which way firing at you. But where were they coming from? They shot at everything they could see. The first tank to start through the field blew a track on a mine. [crossed out][illegible]xxxx[end crossed out] While trying to get through that wheat field, all three tanks from the 14th Field Regiment blew up. (They had American M-7s mounted on them, 105 mm, he thinks ) Three German 88 mms hit them all at once. They were carrying their own ammunition, [crossed out]shells[end crossed out] [crossed out][illegible]xxxx,xxxxxx[end crossed out] extra bombs, mines etc. They blew up for an hour or more, spraying shells, guns and bombs everywhere. (A man in one of the tanks survived, but he doesn't know his name. ) It was a terrific explosion, but he didn't have time to watch it, he was too busy yelling for replacements, Around evening was the first time he thought of eating, and he then munched on some oatmeal bisquits. All night long he was separated from his 3rd battalion. His other two battalions were on up ahead, he himself was on the outskirts of Beny-sur-Mer, and somewhere behind was his third battalion. He didn't know it at the time, but in[inserted] [end inserted]between him and this 3rd battalion were about 400 Germans controlling a radar station, partially underground. He spent the night trying to make contact with the 3rd battalion and trying to get rid of the Huns.. ( The Huns were there for 2 or 3 weeks afterwards-- Blackader ended by bringing his troops around them and pushing on. ) He slept in a ditch for about 3 hours during the night. They had expected a terrific counterattack during the night, but it wasn't as [crossed out]xx[end crossed out] bad as they expected, although it was bad enough. His job was to consolidate the beachhead. Around midnight he established contact with the 3rd British division. Around 1 a.m. the Huns began bombing, and you could look back from the slope you were on, at the anchorage and see tracer bullets and shells. The Hun planes were grinding it out. And they do grind -- you can always tell a Hum of a Hun plane -- it's an interrupted hum, while the Allied planes were steady. [crossed out]xxxx[end crossed out] As for D-Day as a whole, "It was just like every other blank blank blank" (he didn't fill in the blanks for me because I'm female) [crossed out]e[end crossed out]"exercise -- everything went wrong." This was the way with all the practice exercises, things were always going wrong, so D-Day was about as they expected. He asked one of the big wigs during the day (couldn't remember who), how everything

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f47_04
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f47_04

- 3 - was going, and he said it was on the whole a pretty successful day. The air cover was fantastic during the day. and no Germans got through the huge fighter ring. The casualties were [inserted]as[end inserted] expected, probably around 50% in the first waves, and much less in the later waves. Probably averaged out to be around 20%. Blackader said he would gladly furnish more names. Interviewed by Nancy Vail Bashant

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
ryan_box023-tld_f47_05
Complete

ryan_box023-tld_f47_05

Brig. Blackader: BRIEF DESCRIPTION-INTERVIEWED BY[crossed out]E[end crossed out] NANCY BASHANT Very large, fair-haired, general-type. Imagine had big booming voice that terrified his interiors, but he didn't demonstrate. Rather pompous and condescending. Perhaps bark bigger than bite, though I wouldn't want to be too sure, Domineering.

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
Displaying all 5 pages