Box 023, folder 55: Gordon Cockroft

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COCKROFT, Gordon Canadian Navy Box 23, #55

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S.M. 18459 .9 Сockroft G. Cpl. 28 COD RCOC SHILO. MAN.

For Cornelius Ryan Book about D-day NOTHING THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT JUNE 5, 1944 AND MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.

What is your full name? GORDON COCKROFT What was your unit and division? R.C.N.V.R. HMCS LINDSAY (K 338) Attached to Royal Navy Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? Arrived Normandy coast approximately First Light. What was your rank on June 6, 1944? Leading Coder

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 22 Years.

Were you married at that time? YES

What is your wife's name? KATHLEEN ANNE.

Did you have any children at that time? No

What do you do now? Cpl Cockroft G. Royal Canadian Ordnance Corp. (AIRBORNE) 28 CENTRAL ORDNANCE Deppt. SHILO. MAN PARACHUTE RIGGER When did you know that you were going to be part of the (Due to) invasion? BEING IN COMMUNICATIONS WE KNEW INVASION WAS IMMENENT SOME WEEKS PRIOR TO D DAY. ACTUALLY INFORMED AT APPROXIMATE DATE - THREE WEEKS TO A MONTH PRIOR TO LANDING What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time? DUE TO NATURE OF EMPLOYMENT (COMMUNICATIONS - CODE & CYPHER) ISOLATED MYSELF AND MEN WORKING WITH ME. FROM REMAINDER of CREW. THEREFORE RUMORS AND CONVERSATIONS WERE LIMITED. What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the crossing? (Some people remember scuttlebut to the effect that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in). As. [?OBOVE?].

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- for Cornelius Ryan 2 - Your name Gordon COCKROFT

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? No

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during landing or during the day? NONE ABOARD HMCS LINDSAY Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties: -

Were you wounded? No

Do you remember what it was like--that is, do you remember whether you felt any pain or were so surprised that you felt nothing? -

Do you remember seeing or hearing any thing that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time? NO, NOT IN MY ESTIMATION. IT ALL SEEMED VERY SERIOUS. AT THE TIME

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? -

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- for Cornelius Ryan 3 - Your name GORDON COCKROFT

In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others do incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either from D-Day? -

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? SOMEWHERE OUT OF PLYMOUTH HARBOUR.

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? UNDERWAY OUT of PLYMOUTH ESCORTING CONVOY ACROSS ENGLISH CHANNEL To LAND SAME ON NORMANDY COAST.

Do you know of anybody else who landed within the 24 hours of D-day, June 6, as infantry, glider or airborne troops, or who took part in the air and sea operations, whom we should write to? I CAN RECALL MANY NAMES, SHIPMATES ETC BUT HAVE LOST TRACK of ADDRESSES AND PRESENT WHEREABOUTS.

PLEASE LET US HAVE THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WE CAN INCLUDE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE BOOK. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE YOUR STORY ON SEPARATE SHEETS IF WE HAVE NOT LEFT SUFFICIENT ROOM, FULL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WILL BE GIVEN IN A CHAPTER CALLED "WHERE THEY ARE NOW;" YOUR NAME AND VOCATION OR OCCUPATION WILL BE LISTED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

W.A. Milroy Lt. Col. Director of Public Relations (Army) Cartier Square, Ottawa, Ontario

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