Box 023, folder 56: George J. Couture

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COUTURE, George J. Canadian 3rd Div. Box 23, #56

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EXCERPT 1. SH 102576 Sgt COUTURE, George James 2. Royal Winnipeg Rifles - 3rd Division 3. Coast of Normandy Approx. 0730 hrs, 6 June 1944. 4. Rifleman 5. 18 years 6. No 7. Mrs. Angela Couture 8. No. 9. "Recruiting Sgt" - Canadian Army, Calgary Area. 10. When I transferred as a volunteer from the "Queens Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada (Winnipeg) to the Winnipeg Rifles as a 3 inch Mortor Number two months before "D" Day. 11. When we crossed the Channel most everyone seemed concerned with the weather. Some soldiers talked of their homes and families in Canada, others about wives and children, others kept to themselves, but the majority of soldiers seemed to be glad to have the training finished and were anxious to finish the war and return home to Canada. I like a great number of the younger ones looked upon this as an adventure and never gave too much thought to what lay ahead. As our ship travelled down the mine swept Channel, we had quite a scare, as a German (or English mine) had broke free and just missed contacting our boat. After we passed, a R.N. torpedo boat blew it up with rifle fire. 12. A rumor, that I still remember, is that the 3rd Cdn Division as assault troops would only establish a beach head and were to be relieved in 24 hours and taken back to England for rest and leave. 13. No. 14. Many of my friends were killed and wounded during the day and landing.

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15. No. It is now 14 years ago since that day and I have forgotten a lot about it. 16. No. (Not until the 8th of June and taken prisoner). 17. No. I didn't feel any pain until several minutes after being hit. 18. I remember trying to dig a hole in a shale of France and just when I said to myself "to heck with it" and sat down (several of my buddies did the same), the Germans put the "Moaning Meanies" dropping around us. It didn't take long to dig holes in that hard ground with this excellent encouragement. I remember one young soldier crawling under a rain cape for cover from this barrage, (luckily he wasn't hit). 19. I shall never forget the sounds of the shells from the Royal Navy as they passed over our heads to German Targets. 20. Yes, I remember a soldier falling from the landing nets as we moved from the ship to assault boats. An officer dived in to save him and nearly drowned. The soldier was pulled aboard okay and went in on the 2nd assault wave, but the officer had to be treated for exposure and shock. A rumor started that he was to be decorated for his act. 21. Aboard a boat forming up as a giant armada of the invading forces. 22. On our way across the Channel to invade Normandy. 23. Yes, but I don't know any of their present addresses. 24. --

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