Veteran Stories:
John Hall

Army

  • John Hall stands next to a painting of Juno Beach by Tom Settee in 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"Although, we don't want to talk about it because it is so upsetting and so terrible. We could never, never tell little kids actual things that happened. If you can't tell them, how are they going to know?"

Transcript

I don’t know if I would ever really be ready for what we went through, but then you may not go through what you think you’re going to go through, so how could you be ready? You couldn’t just train for one specific thing. We had to train for a lot of different applications. Within you, you had those fears that you’re not going to make it. You’re worried about the training; it might not be the right type. You’re worried about your friends not making it. You are probably worried more about some of them than you were yourself.

We were in the big boat first [Landing Ship Infantry] and then it was called off. The next day we got into the LCAs [Landing Craft Assault], the smaller boats and headed for France.

A lot of thinking and a lot of praying. We had to sleep some, but you didn’t sleep much with that on your mind, knowing what might happen, what could happen.

I was with D Company [The Regina Rifle Regiment] and D Company went in, as much as got there, but we were all shot up. We lost half the company. The company next to us was also shot up and what they'd done, they joined us together to make one company as a fighting unit.

Yes, I personally was very happy we made the beach head. I’m happy to know that we had gone a little farther and looked forward to seeing maybe that was the start of the end of the war, I would think.

I've tried to forget. It's been over sixty years, so a few things fade away, but then something happens or questions are asked that relive the situation. That's perhaps why we’ve had trouble getting the war to the younger people. As you know, young people are not fully aware of what happened in the war and that’s the veterans' fault, I would say. Although, we don't want to talk about it because it is so upsetting and so terrible. We could never, never tell little kids actual things that happened. If you can't tell them, how are they going to know?

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