Veteran Stories:
David Smith

Navy

  • Photo of Mr David Smith, taken in Whitehorse, Yukon, on June 25th, 2010.

    Historica Canada
  • Naval Training and Active Services log.

    David Smith
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"And I had my uniform in the United States. So all I do is put out my thumb and [cars] screeching, and everybody wanted to pick you up."

Transcript

Just after, just as it was going down to the end of the war, and the [HMS] Queen Mary was on the Atlantic, heading to Halifax, and we were supposed to go out and protect her coming back into Halifax, which she didn’t need because she speeds at 40 knots all across the ocean and they never gave her any [protection].We couldn’t have anything protect her because they couldn’t keep up with her. We went out to meet her anyway, so we found out this way. And she come back here and we turned around to escort her; and by the time we turned around to escort her, she was in Halifax. [laughs] She was tied up, unloading by the time we got in there, staggered in there. Because it was rough and we can go 40 knots, but we pounded the hell right out of the ship if we did that. We were going up and down the shore. And we pull into take on whatever it is in New York. And I had family back west, so I asked for 10 days leave. I had $20 in my pocket when I stepped ashore. And I had my uniform [on] in the United States. So all I do is put out my thumb and [cars] screeching, and everybody wanted to pick you up. [laughs] Anyway, I went in with $20 and went all over to the west coast and visited, and then come back the same way. I come out with $110. Now, I wasn’t stealing anything but they say, well here, buy yourself a dinner, eh, and give you $5 or something like that. [laughs] Or USOs [United Service Organization] or something like that. My gosh, you can get anything in there. Anything, it didn’t cost you a penny.
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