Veteran Stories:
John Alvin “Jack” Porter

Army

  • A Dutch girl offering coffee to the crew of a Sherman tank of the South Alberta Regiment, Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, 29 October 1944.

    Credit: Lieut. H. Gordon Aikman / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-140429
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"Oh, one time, a sniper took a shot at me when I was on top of a truck, pulling up the camouflage net and a bullet just whizzed right by my head."

Transcript

I enlisted in Medicine Hat and I trained in Edmonton and then at Dundurn, Saskatchewan, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario and then down to Debert, Nova Scotia. And we got down to Debert and that’s when we turned into an armoured regiment and that was in 1942 in the spring. And we went overseas in August 1942. Oh, one time, a sniper took a shot at me when I was on top of a truck, pulling up the camouflage net and a bullet just whizzed right by my head. I got out of there and I got down on the ground, and when I looked back, there was a church tower over it. And I guess the guy was in there. But I never went chasing him. A friend of mine, Earl Wood and I, were going, I got - he was a transport sergeant so I went to see him about getting a truck to go pick up some parts from a, for tanks from another outfit. And so he said, well, I’ll drive you. We went over and we picked up these parts and then we headed back. But we got on the wrong road. This was in Holland, along the Twente Canal. And we got going down the wrong road and there was a bunch of Germans on the other side of the canal and they started popping at the truck. And we came over a hill and then down and we run right into a whole pile of trucks that had been caught in the same thing and they were all blocking the road. So finally they, they were hit in the back of the truck and then one come through and clipped my, my lapel and on my uniform. Another one knocked the accelerator off so we couldn’t go anywhere anyway. Piled out into a ditch and crawled into a culvert and got into a canal and made it across into some bush and waited for quite a long time and then we went across an opening over to a farmhouse and got in the barn. And some girls come out of the house at the back and, and we, Earl pointed the pistol at them and gave them a finger to come here and they were all excited when they saw we were Canadians and so then their mother, we went in the house and their mother gave us some [potatoes and eggs].
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