Box 024, folder 24: Charles W. R. Haines

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HAINES, Charles W.R.

Canadian Highland Light Inf. of Canada

Box 24, #24

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
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45065 CWR Haines Sgt

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THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT JUNE 5, I944 AND MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.

What is your full name? Charles William Ryan HAINES

What was your squadron, station, unit? Signals Platoon - HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY OF CANADA

Where did you arrive in Hormandy, and at what time?

Landed on "WHITE" Beach at Berniere - sur-Mer at 1100 Hrs 6 June 1944.

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? Private.

What was your age on June 6,1944? I had my 25th birthday on 4 June 1944, the day I boarded the LCI for the invasion.

Were you married at that tine? Yes.

What is your wife's name? Blanche Mildred HAINES.

Did you have any children at that time? 1 Child - Donna, aged 5 years.

What do you do now? I am a member of the RCAF - Air Force Police.

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? As a member of the 3rd Can. Div. we had been training for a seaborne assault for a long time, however when we were confinedto camp approx. May 10 '44 we felt sure it was the real thing.

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?

We sailed for France at 1630 hrs on 5 June, and the entire crossing was very rough. I became very seasick (as did everyone else) and spent a very uncomfortable night sitting on the deck in a small hold with about 50 others. I managed to sneak on deck for several hours during the dark hours, as the smell of fuel oil etc. below deck was grim. I do not recall any conversations, and most of the boys who were nottoo sick were readying equipment for the landing.

What were the rumours 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 tropps came in).

I cannot recall anything in particular in this regard.

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Your Name - 45065 CWR Haines Sgt

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? Include any impressions from it.

No diary.

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during landing or during the day?

Yes, but not in my own unit.

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties?

No.

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?

NA

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time?

I recall seeing two French women trying to drive a large herd of cattle through the streets of Beny - sur - Mer, while the town was under heavy mortar fire, it was amazing to see the complete unconcern of these people for their own safety, while trying to get their animals to a place of safety.

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

I think the thing I recall with the most clarity on D-Day, were the men of the Armoured regiment, whose tanks were knocked out near the beach. I saw quite a number with the skin of their faces, hands and arms hanging in monstrous water blisters from the terrible burns they had received, still cheerful, even though they were horribly burned.

Did you encounter any enemy aircraft or flak? Was your aircraft damaged.

NA

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
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Your Name - 45065 CWR Haines Sgt

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?

I have no recollection of anything particular in this regard.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944?

I was aboard LCI #299 crossing the English Channel.

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944?

I was in a stable, on the outskirts of the town of Beny - sur - Mer.

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?

PLEASE LET US HAVE TOTS 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 ROCM. FULL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WILL BE GTVEN IN A CHAPTER CALLED "WHERE THEY ARE NOW" YOUR NAME AND VOCATION OR OCCUPATION WILL BE LISTED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

W.M. Lee Squadron Leader Director of Public Relations (Air) Air Force Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario.

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
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