Veteran Stories:
Jim Phillips

Army

  • Jim Phillips' medals: Newfoundland Volunteer Service Medal (left) and the 1939-45 War Medal.

    Jim Phillips
  • Jim Phillips at an event for The Memory Project in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, August, 2010.

    Jim Phillips
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"but after the war, things got right bright. There was a lot of money spent then because the Americans came here, they flashed the money around."

Transcript

See, most Newfoundlanders were navy men. I joined in 1944, there was only 1, 625 fellows. Only about 1, 625 signed up for the army. The rest were on navy because they’re used to the boats. Some people join for to stay in the Newfoundland, I joined for overseas. Yeah, I joined the Royal Artillery. Now, the Royal Artillery had the 166th [(Newfoundland) Field Regiment], which was in Africa, and the 59th [(Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment] was in Europe. Two divisions only. So I don’t know what one they would have put me in if I got over. You know, we were going to go overseas. Actually, we had our malaria needle. We laid in barracks for two days; and two days before we were leave to go, they called us in and said, we’re cancelled out. They had enough troops over there for D-Day, so we never got overseas. When I got cancelled out, they put me in the quarter [master’s supply] stores up there. So I was a quarter in the quarter stores from the summer of 1944, until October in 1945, and I got discharged. Because we had to look after the boys who were coming back from overseas, take their bandoliers [belts with pockets for ammunition] and their bullets, and all that. They had to come to us to get discharged in the quarter store, the fellows that come back from overseas. We had a place, we had a club on the Merchant Road. The Old Guard’s [U.S. 3rd Infantry] Club rooms, where the bowling alleys were, that’s where our club was. We went over there and we played pool; and we used to go down to the [Camp Alexander] U.S. base down there up by Memorial. You had a place up there, and played pool and stuff like that. When the war was over, everybody was looking for a job then, right. Some were, had jobs before they went overseas. So when they came back, they had jobs. Some did and some were looking for jobs, but after the war, things got right bright. There was a lot of money spent then because the Americans came here, they flashed the money around. I remember we had the store down in the corner of Gower Street. Halliday’s Meat Market’s there now, at Gower Street and Kings Road. My father had a tinsmith’s shop there. We used to put benzene in boilers and the boilers were so low putting benzene in, only 20 cents to put benzene in a boiler. They couldn’t afford to buy them, but when the American come there, they were flashing $20 bills. That’s how it changed. Where the Americans came there, they put the money here. No doubt about it.
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