Veteran Stories:
Douglas Edwin Brown

Army

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"And this chap said, “Resign or surrender or die.” I didn’t think I wanted to die right away so I surrendered."

Transcript

I left the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] and into the First Canadian Parachute Battalion in Manitoba in 1943. I had been trained in the RCMP to do what you’re told and then I got into the army. They were fairly decent, not some of the bad stories I’d heard and I was taking jump lessons and they were not terrible. But they just wanted you to do what made sense. And if you’re going to jump, jump, jump properly, see what you can do when you’re on the ground. And that’s what I did. [Preparing for D-Day, 6 June 1944, Allied invasions of Normandy, France] We were gathered together and [the commanding officer] said, “Gentlemen, after the training, you’re going to be going to overseas, to France.” [Captured by a German soldier 6 or 7 days after D-Day] And this chap said, “Resign or surrender or die.” I didn’t think I wanted to die right away so I surrendered but I was able to get away I think two or three days and because things were quite moving around and I didn’t want to, and I tried to get back to England. [The death of his friend George Lacroix] The war was pretty well over then because France had been cleaned out a little by the Russians and then we didn’t have to go back to fight again. And he made one of the last jumps into France with us and he was captured and I presume killed because they didn’t like us. But I was fortunate enough and wasn’t in that jump.
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