Veteran Stories:
John L. Hardie

Army

  • John Hardie with a Borfor gun that he fired during the Battle of Britain. Mr. Hardie later participated in the Italian Campaign starting with the invasion of Sicily in 1943.

  • A "Quad Lewis," a four-barrelled machine gun used for shooting at planes.

  • When the Italian Campaign began, Mr. Hardie was transferred to the Military Police, or Provost Corps. He sent this photo home but the military censors blacked out the number on his Provost Corps motorcyle for security reasons.

  • Mr. Hardie in one of the Jeeps of the Provost Corps, 1944.

  • The longest Bailey bridge over the Rhine, Arnhem, Holland. 1945.

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"We were shooting at fighters coming in over the water. Very low, practically touching the water."

Transcript

I joined up in 1940, just a little after Bill. I joined up in Montreal – I joined the 35th Battery, which was a Sherbrooke, Quebec battery, and it was field artillery at that time. As soon as we got to Britain they needed light anti-aircraft badly, and so we changed over to light anti-aircraft. We were on the Bofors gun, which was a Swedish gun that fired 140 rounds a minute. We were stationed on the coast of England, mainly, in quite a few different places on the coast facing Europe. We were shooting at fighters coming in over the water. Very low, practically touching the water. We couldn't depress our guns low enough in some places. We had to wait until they pulled up. They were safer that way, because the guns couldn't get down low enough. There was more action there than we had in Sicily. Half of my time was in the military police. I transferred into the military police halfway up Italy. I served until February '46.
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