Box 024, folder 26: John H. Hamilton

ReadAboutContentsHelp

Pages

ryan_box024-tld_f26_01
Complete

ryan_box024-tld_f26_01

HAMILTON, John H.

Canadian 3rd Div.

Box 24, #26

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
ryan_box024-tld_f26_02
Complete

ryan_box024-tld_f26_02

[inserted]Possible EXCERPT[end of 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? John H. Hamilton

What was your unit and division? 1st Battalion Royal Winnipeg Rifles 3 rd Division

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? On the beach to south of Beny-sur-Mere, to the right of the pill box defense. Approxmiately 8:45 in the morning as we were to be in the second wave but were delayed in reaching shore due to an accident in launching from mother ship. [crossed out] XX[end of crossed out] What was your rank on June 6, 1944? Lance Corporal

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 22

Were you married at that time? no

What is your wife's name? Isabel Mitchell Hamilton

Did you have any children at that time? n-a

What do you do now? Buyer wholesale grocery firm [inserted]Winnipeg, Manitoba[end of inserted]

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? Preparations were being made for a water type landing many months before D-Day. We practiced many landings before the invasion.

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? Not too eventful very similar to other type of landing schemes we participated in. There was plenty of activity in the air with bombardment of the continent being in progress. Seas were choppy and the landing was delayed for one day. Don't recal any particular conversations.

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). Don't recall any particular rumours. There was a great deal of speculation as to what part of the continent we would land on after the briefings we had had previously; personally I thought the landing would be from the North Sea into the north coast of Germany.

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
ryan_box024-tld_f26_03
Complete

ryan_box024-tld_f26_03

-for Cornelius Ryan 2Your name

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? Yes. Rfn. Andy Mutch was swept off of our landing craft on the way in, due to the very heavy seas and waves washing over our boat. Rfn. Gennellie killed on beach beside me by tracer [inserted]bullet[end of inserted]in the stomach. Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties: No.

Were you wounded? Yes. Mo[inserted]t[end of inserted]ar fragment at base of nose.

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? Yes. A sharp stinging sensation as though hit in the face with a baseball bat, then blood flowing down [crossed out] of [end crossed out] face and front of tunic.

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time? Joined the Army to stay on dry land and fight on dry land and seemed to spend more time on board ships training for water assault operations than on land! I still have my original pair of D-Day assault high boats in possession, which were worn for over two weeks and never removed. The dry salt water of the Bay of Biscay is still in them!

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? The tremendous job which the Scottich Marine lads did in keeping our landing craft afloat and managed to deliver us to shore although only one engine was propelling the craft. I do not know whether they ever got away from the beach safely or not. [crossed out] The taste of fresh white bread delieverd to us at the rate of one slice per man about D plus 21. [end crossed out]

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
ryan_box024-tld_f26_04
Complete

ryan_box024-tld_f26_04

- for Cornelius Ryan 3Your name

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? Heard of many incidents but do not recall at present having witnessed any such deeds.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? On board our omther ship off the south coast of England waiting out our final signal to attack, D-Day was delayed a day because of poor weather conditions.

Where were vou at midnight on June 6, 1944> Cannot recall the name of the location but we did not catch up to our Battalion and company until late evening the first day. Having be en wounded we formed up a section of about 8 or 10 stragglers and pushed on all day on our own.

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? Rfn. J. Banduzick ll-7th St. North Brandon Man . Rfn. Mike Banduzick c-o above address Corporal C. Minaker 934-7th St. Brandon Man. Sgt. J.M. Anderson 922-7th St. Brandon Man.

All above were in the same platoon as I was.

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

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
ryan_box024-tld_f26_05
Complete

ryan_box024-tld_f26_05

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

[crossed out] XX [end of crossed out] Due to the rough seas and as our LSI was being lowered by the davits we were swung violently into the mother ship this action causing our craft to s ustain a bad crush to the left aft section and knocked out one motor. This meant we had to proceed with only one engine operating and the Marines did a wonderful job in keeping the craft afloat and finally delivery us to the shore. When we hit the beach oppostion was quite heavy as we were more or less arriving by ourselves. Mortar and small arms fire was very heavy and our platoon was pretty well cut up and separated right on the beach.

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