Box 024, folder 32: Alexand Johnston

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JOHNSTON, Alexand Canadian 3rd Div. Box 24, #32

Last edit about 3 years ago by roweall
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NOTHING

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? ALEXAND JOHNSTON

What was your unit and division? 18TH CANADIAN FIELD COY RCE 3rd DIV

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? GRAYE-FUR-MER FRANCE RED BEACH 0815-hrs 6 JUNE 44

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? SAPPER

What was your age June 6, 1944? 25

What is wife's name? MRS FUJI JOHNSTON (JAPENESE WAR BRIDE)

Did you have any children at that time? No

What do you do now? SERVING WITH THE ROYAL CANADIAN ORDNANCE CORPS #8 AREA ORDNANCE DEPOT NORTH VANCOUVER. B.C.

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? WHEN OUR UNIT WAS MOVED INTO CAMP OUTSIDE OF EASTLEY ENGLAND THERE WERE STRONG RUMORS WE WERE GOING SOMPLACE BUT NO ONE REALLY WAS SURE UNILL OUR O.C. BRIEFED US ON BOARD SHIP

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? THE WATER WAS VERY ROUGHT THE NIGHT OF JUNE 5. 1944. MY OWN THOUGHTS WERE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN WE HIT THE BEACH. A PERSON IS TO KEYED UP TO REMEMBER VERY [crossed out] MUCH [end crossed out] LITTLE THEY TALKED ABOUT WE HAD A DETACHMENT OF THE FAMOUS LORD LOUAT SCOUTS ON OUR BOAT.

What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the corsssing? (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). ONE RUMOR I DO REMEMBER THAT NIGHT 4 JUNE 1944 THERE WAS PLANES WENT OVER US AND BOMBED THE CITY OF PORTSMOUTH. SOME SAID THAT THE BOMBERS HAD HIT SEVERAL OF OUR SHIPS LOADING TROOPS THERE. AND ALSO A RUMOR THAT THE WATER WAS TO ROUGHT (OVER)

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
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-for Cornelius Ryan 2-

Your name ALEXANDER JOHNSTON

AND WE WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK TO ENGLAND AND TRY SOME OTHER TIME

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 the landing or during the day? YES. SGT. [?SEMPHE?] WAS SHOT IN THE FACE AND LATER RECIVED THE MILITERY MEDAL FOR BRAVERY AND BEING WOUNDED.

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualities? NO SGT [?SEMPHE?] WAS ON A DIFFERENT BOAT THAN I WAS ON THE INVASION

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? N/A

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time? WHEN WE WERE GOING INTO THE BEACH AND THE GERMAN PLANES WERE BOMBING US I WISHED TO GET ON THE BEACH BUT AFTER LANDING THE FIRST NIGHT I WISHED THAT I WERE BACK ON BOARD BOAT.

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simple memorable, which struck you more than anything else? THE MOST HEROIC WORK DONE I THINK WAS BY THE BEACH MASTERS AND THERE MEN THEY HAD TO STAY THERE ON THE BEACH AND TAKE THE BOMBINGS AND SHELLING. WE HAD A CHANCE TO MOVE INLAND.

In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others so incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either for D-Day? NO

Last edit about 3 years ago by Johnmeps
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- for Cornelius Ryan 3 -

Your name ALEXANDER JOHNSTON

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? ON BOARD BOAT SOMEWHERE ON THE ENGLISH CHANNEL

Where were you at midnigit on June 6, 1944? ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF GRAYE-FUR-MER FRANCE

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? THE UNIT THAT I WAS WITH WAS FROM TORONTO & HAMILTON ONT. AND MOST OF THE PERSONNEL WHERE FROM THE EASTERN PART OF CANADA AND I HAVE BEEN IN THE WESTERN PART OF CANADA I HAVE LOST ALL CONTACT WITH MY OLD UNIT

PLEASE LET US HAVE THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AS SOOH 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 Johnmeps
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