Veteran Stories:
George Edmund “Ed” Murphy

Army

  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
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"My brother was in the air force at the time and I didn’t want to be in the air force with him, so I joined the army. My younger brother joined the navy. We all wanted to be different."

Transcript

My brother was in the air force at the time and I didn’t want to be in the air force with him, so I joined the army. My younger brother joined the navy. We all wanted to be different.

We were just south of London. We had bombs that were misfired from the continent. They were very inaccurate to start with. They’d get what they called ‘moaning minnies’ [Nebelwerfer: German artillery rocket launcher] that would run around and run around, and run around until they ran out of power; and then they’d drop to the earth and they’d bomb. But you could see where they were going to bomb pretty well. They were pretty well placed, so that they would bomb a certain area and then everybody would clear out of the way. And then came the V-2s [Vergeltungswaffe-2: German ballistic missile] and the V-2s would come over, you’d hear them coming after they bombed. You’d hear a big crash and the bombs would go off with a boom sort of thing. And the rockets, they’d come and they’d go off with a crack, oh, crack. When you could hear them, you knew you were okay, then you’d hear them coming afterwards. They were faster than the speed of sound. We managed to dodge those.

I used to have a girlfriend in London and I’d make it, everybody would save up their money when they came back off of a weekend to save up their money to get ready for the next weekend. The young girl with a mother and another daughter, the three of us, would have a great time in London. We danced, everybody danced. There were tea dances in the afternoon and everybody had to be home, and practically in bed by 9:00 because there were no busses or anything running after 9:00. It was all dark, no lights on, absolutely no lights on in the city anyplace. It was fun; it was fun in a funny way.

Then, of course, the troops went into the continent and then all hell broke loose over there, of course. I made to England, but I didn’t make it to the continent. I was clerical and they didn’t need any more clerical. And, of course, I felt bad. We got a chance to join for the Far East, to go over to fight against Japan; and the sergeant major that we had said, you know, it’s going to be a way to get back to Canada in a hurry because they’d pick us up, and they did. They recruited us right off the bat and we were all set coming back to Canada, have our 30 days leave and then the Americans would finish it off, and that’s what we did. And so our sergeant major was a good guy that way, and he got us back to Canada.

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