Box 024, folder 19: James D. M. Gillan

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release Gillan, James D.M. in D-Day Book

Royal Can. Army 3rd Can. Div.

Released with P.G. Box 24 #19

[inserted]Courseulles Juno Finished 11.30 3rd Canadian [crossed out]Dead[end crossed out][end inserted]

[inserted]Readers London [end inserted]

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[inserted] RCA [end inserted] [inserted] Possible EXCERPT [end inserted]

For Cornelius Ryan Book about D-Day

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? JAMES DOUGLAS MOFFAT GILLAN [inserted]N[end inserted]

What was your unit and division? 1 BN CANADIAN SCOTTISH REGIMENT 3RD CANADIAN INFANTRY DIVISION

Where did you arrive in Normandy and at what time? COURSELLES-SUR-MER 1130 HRS 6 JUN 44

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? CAPTAIN

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 32

Were you married at that time? YES

What is your wife's name? ISOBEL MAY GILLAN

Did you have any children at that time? YES- SON- ROBERY DONALD GILLAN- 3¾ YRS OF AGE

What do you do now? REGULAR ARMY

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? 1 APRIL 1944

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? ROUGH SEAS FOR AN LCT. MOST OF TROOPS SEASICK. ISSUED ANTI-SEASICKNESS PILLS BUT NOT EFFECTIVE. NAVY (RCNVR) REQUESTED SOME OF OUR PILLS FOR THE CREW. STILL NONEFFECTIVE. READ 23RD PSALM to CURE MY OWN SHAKES, AND THOSE OF A BROTHER OFFICER. EFFECTIVE.

What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the crossiug? (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). NO RUMOURS ON OUR CRAFT. AFTER SHIPBOARD BRIEFING EVERYONE KNEW WHERE HE WAS GOING. IT SEEMED LIKE JUST ANOTHER COMBINED OPERATIONS EXCERCISE.

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--for Cornelius Ryan 2--

Your name MAJOR JDM GILLAN

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? NO- TOO BUSY

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during landing or during the day? YES, BUT NOT TOO MANY, FORTUNATELY

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties: NO, EXCEPT THAT THEY ALL FELT THAT IF ANYONE WAS KILLED OR WOUNDED, IT WOULD BE SOMEONE ELSE.

Were you wounded? NOT ON D-DAY

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? N/A

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, evem though it may not have seemed funny at the time? NO. I AM SURE, THOUGH, THAT IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN MORE THAN THE GERMAN ARMY TO STOP OUR LADS GETTING OFF THE LCT AFTER THE ROUGH CROSSING

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? YES. THE SIGHT OF OUR OWN WOUNDED WHICH CONVINCED US IT WASN'T "JUST ANOTHER EXCERISE."

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? A STUPID THING MY MEN DID WAS TO INVITE A BOMBARDIER OF THE ROYAL ARTILLERY [inserted]British[end inserted] TO INDULGE IN A CRAP GAME ON THE LCT. THE BOMBARDIER PROFESSED IGNORANCE OF THE GAME, BUT HE LANDED IN NORMANDY WITH ALL THE INVASION MONEY OF MY MEN.

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--for Cornelius Ryan 3--

Your name

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? [crossed out] APPROXIMATELY 6 MILE [end crossed out] TOSSING AROUND IN THE CHANNEL

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? APPROXIMATELY 7 MILES IN, NOT IN CONTACT WITH ENEMY. I THINK THE NAME OF THE VILLAGE WAS CAMMILLY

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, who we should write to? YES. MAJOR CM REHILL, HQ WESTERN COMMAND EDMONTON, ALTA. SUGGEST ALSO BRIG FM CABELOU, C/O THE CANADIAN SCOTTISH REGIMENT (PRINCESS MARY'S), THE ARMOURY, BAY ST. VICTORIA B.C. (OUR CO AT THE LANDING)

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. Milory Lt.-Col. Director of Public Relations (Army) Cartier Square, Ottawa, Ontario.

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March 2. 1959

Mr. Shane Mackay The Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd/ 1015 Beaver Hall Hill Montreal 1, P.Q., Canada

Dear Mr. Mackay,

As releases are needed for all men mentioned in D-Day book, I am enclosing a letter which I have written to Mr. Gillan (now Regular Army) but find I do not have his address.

Would you be so kind as to fill in his address on the envelope enclosed and send it along to him?

Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

aw for Cornelius Ryan encl.

Last edit about 3 years ago by roweall
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