Veteran Stories:
Albert Henry Minnings

Army

  • Albert Minnings, 2010.

    Historica Canada
  • Albert Minnings and his friends in training at Camp Borden, Ontario, 1942.

    Albert Minnings
  • Albert Minnings in England, 1944.

    Albert Minnings
  • Albert Minnings (right), and a friend in England, 1944.

    Albert Minnings
  • Albert Minnings during training in 1942.

    Albert Minnings
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"If I remember correctly, out of a company of I think it's 109, between 10:00 and 10:30, they got us all together and counted; and we were off the beach by this time and had taken the position. There were 32 of the company left"

Transcript

If anybody told you that they weren't scared I would say they are a liar because we were scared. We didn't know what we were getting into. But we could see as we [The Regina Rifle Regiment] approached the beach, we could see the gunfire and we couldn't see the mines, but there were mines there; and it was heavily barricaded with barbed wire. We knew, through intelligence, that there was a lot of barbed wire along the beach and so each platoon was supplied with two or three sets of wire cutters. We had to cut through it to get through. When we landed, we landed in water up to about there [indicates chest high] because the landing craft came in and the bottom hits the beach; and you can't go any further. The front goes down and you run off into the water. In the water you had to keep your rifle up; and the rifleman that was handling the Bren Gun [light machine gun] got wounded. I just dropped my rifle and picked up the Bren Gun; and carried the Bren Gun in because there was a lot of fire power in one of them. We were able to get off the beach, get through the wire, off the beach, and there was a big gully and there was lots of firing over top of us. We were down in this gully and we were able to come around in behind some of the pillboxes [German bunkers] and take them out because most of their guns were facing to the sea. If I remember correctly, out of a company of I think it's 109, between 10:00 and 10:30, they got us all together and counted; and we were off the beach by this time and had taken the position. There were 32 of the company left and somebody said there were about 29 or 30 killed; and then the rest were sort of walking wounded and were sent back to the ship.
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