Veteran Stories:
Russell George Leeder


  • Russell Leeder at rear of his vehicle in Germany, March 1945.

  • Captain Steacy's Driver-Batman in Holland 1944.

  • Five of a nine member gun crew(L-R: Bert Bailey, John Lumberg, Harold Weir, Harold Quirk, Joseph Richard) in Germany in April 1945.

  • A gun pit which was dug in preparation of dawn attack towards Arnhem, in which weapons were fired over the village rooftops at intervals of every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, February 1945.

  • Russell Leeder in Ghent, Belgium in the autumn of 1944.

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"The first day we sited in on a few goals, no fire. Within ten days, came strafers in on the road we were beside."


Russell Leeder. My service began January the 16th, 1940. Regimental number C185, Fort Frontenac Kingston. Chosen for duties as batman that extended to the end of 1940 at Petawawa. Our departure to England. Arrival by early June, Aldershot. July the 1st was transferred to Anti-Aircraft Headquarters in Colchester as batman/driver. Hospitalized for ten days, January '42. Thence to Bramshot Holding Unit. Training to light anti-aircraft and heavy anti-aircraft and motor transport. July the 22nd to Heavy Anti-Aircraft 8th Battery. There 'til July, 1943. Back to Anti-Aircraft Headquarters as a staff driver 'til the end of March, '44. Transferred to 32nd Light Anti-Aircraft Battery 4th Light Anti-Aircraft, as a 1500 weight driver and gunner. Two of we, from headquarters, were the lead drivers as regiment became new and reconditioned vehicles from ordnance. Preparation of D-Day. On the road every day in April and early May. Fifty-eight vehicles and drivers on a few MT personnel and... and two superiors to a British barracks, the outskirts of Reading to prepare for admission to water and waited our crossing to France on D-Day 6. On arrival Beny-sur-Mer. All that stood where the altar of a small church, almost intact, and there Jesus stood. A few minutes after on land, early dawn, came the dispatch rider to take us to our gun crews. This was the first morning to become truly acquainted with all our crew. I were teamed with Corporal Lumberg on elevation. I, on traverse. Joseph Richard on munitions. When I said "on," the corporal came on. He touched the pedal and the fire were on. Then was for Joe to keep it there. Eight rounds were in the ready. The first day we sited in on a few goals, no fire. Within ten days, came strafers in on the road we were beside. He hit a truck loaded with petrol cans. It blew up and we were on. Got him by the tail. He bailed out. The craft came down before the Channel. Staff Sergeant Don Felder, the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, saw the crash.
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