Veteran Stories:
Nick A. Dizak

Army

  • This pass was issued to Nick Dizak in 1944 and gave him permission to take a bath every fifth week at the Hotel Continental in Nice, France.

    Nick Dizak
  • Nick Dizak in his newly issued uniform after he joined the First Special Service Force in Italy as a replacement in 1944.

    Nick Dizak
  • A Christmas card from the First Special Service Force that Nick Dizak sent home to his parents in 1944.

    Nick Dizak
  • Nick Dizak, 2010.

    Historica Canada
  • Nick Dizak in Edmonton, Alberta, 1943.

    Nick Dizak
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"And the two fellows behind me were dead, the shell landed right on top of them so they were both killed. And I came out without a scratch."

Transcript

Some American officers came and were looking for volunteers to join the First Special Service Force and that for me was quite exciting, so I did that. So we did make the invasion of southern France [as part of Operation Dragoon, on August 15, 1944]. We went with rubber boats and our area where we were supposed to land, it was flat but we were lucky we didn’t get there; we were pushed about half a mile to the north and here was big-sized mountains. And we scaled the mountains; we were very lucky, our company, we got to the top and there was a road and we stopped and then we heard the cracking of the boots of the German soldiers. So we waited and then of course, we jumped them and asked them to take us to their compound and they announced that they were surrounded by us and so the company commander of the regiment ordered their people who manned the guns. So he asked them to halt and to come over and because they were surrounded. So we accomplished our duty there without fighting one shot. There was one time when the war was just about over, and our colonel, he wanted to get a medal, a big medal. He took us out to go to see where the enemy were. And of course, we stopped in an open space and the enemy started shooting, firing at us and I ran for the ditch and I was the first one, and the second and the third fellow behind me, and a big shell exploded and covered us up with soil and dirt and all that. And then I said, whoa, that was a close one. But nobody answered me. And the two fellows behind me were dead, the shell landed right on top of them so they were both killed. And I came out without a scratch. And then about the 16th of December [1944], we disbanded and we came back to the Canadian Army and I joined the Loyal Edmonton Regiment on January the 1st [1945], back in Italy again.
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