"But I’ll tell you, it was some scary, that’s the first time I was what I called scared. They really had me number."
I volunteered to join the service corps [Royal Canadian Army Service Corps] instead of the army. I don’t know. I figured it was better driving than walking. So I passed that. Anyway, I joined the service corps and I went to [Camp] Borden and did all my training at Borden. But, anyway, after we got to England, it was different all together then. I was loaned out to [British Field Marshal Bernard] Montgomery’s outfit. They’d just come back from Libya. They were… put it on Jerry [Germans] there, so they come back. They were looking for transports, so C Platoon I was in, we got stationed with the English outfit.
Well, we spent quite a while in Sicily until we got clear of Jerry. Anyway, they were up on the, they were way up on the mounts, the monks [monastery] was there in Sicily, up on the hill. Oh, they could whip right around and pick you off any time at all. Oh yes. That was the scary place. That’s the first time my hat, my tin hat didn’t fit my head because the hairs stood right stiff; and the tin hat was resting on my hair. No kidding. I was going up the road there; and when you’re delivering stuff on the road, they don’t tell you where to go. They give you a map and on the map is square inches, where square inches, then you go so many square inches to the right or to the left, lengthways will give you the idea. So we got to figure that out and they’ll tell you there’s an old house that blew down there or there was a church there. Well, if it was not there, you’re on right road, you just keep, it tells you to keep going. Then you’ll see another place on the left hand side while over on the right, just to pass that old house there on the left, just to pass that. There’s a road goes up to the right, up there. You turn right and take it there up in the woods in other words. The camera flash [muzzle flash] they call it. You can’t see them. So I was going along there and I get stopped there. I think there was just, I think the good Lord must have been with me or something, what happened and I stopped, and I was checking it. So I said, I must be pretty handy there.
And then all of a sudden, Jerry, we would call them, that was the Germans, they had a lookout. And I’ll tell you all about how I found about it anyway… they must have had a lookout and he was telling them where to bomb, drop these 88s [German anti-tank gun]. And they were dropping them on each side of the road. And I tell you, they just had to lower the range, just dropped it down, we’ll say half an inch or more, they would have got the road. But they were just lucky that they were on each side of the road, so I stopped; and I said, I’m getting out of here. So I left the jeep there and all the rations, and everything on it. I said, I’m getting out of here. So I grabbed my tin hat, me water bottle and the rifle; and I started running up the road and I looked on each side of the road and it was full of water. Oh man, it was full. And I said, if I go in there, I said, I could drown myself.
So I running up the road and I heard a fellow holler out, up here Canada, up here Canada. Here they were, about six of them up behind this big boulder. There was a big rock. So up there I went. And I waited until after a while they found out where it was coming from, where I was supposed to take the rations to the infantry outfit up there. The engineers or whatever they were. The Germans were sleeping up in the tower where they were staying. The units were down below, but the two Germans were up in the sheds that had these little towers on them built up, you know, you see them, like lookouts. That’s where there were two German prisoners there. And they were telling them, back and forth, what range they were giving them. And that’s what they bombed. They were bombing the road all right, but they were missing it. You know, they were in such a hurry, they were...
But down below, they heard them up there and what they did, they took an armoured car out and blew the top off it, where the Germans was, and outside then, we were all right then. I went back and got in the jeep, and then took the rations up to them. Boy, I said, that was something close. I said, I’m not ready to go yet, I can see that. But I’ll tell you, it was some scary, that’s the first time I was what I called scared. They really had me number.