Veteran Stories:
Ron Grant

Air Force

  • Royal Canadian Air Force 134 Air Transport Unit in Yemen, 1963.

    Royal Canadian Air Force 134 Air Transport Unit in Yemen, 1963.
  • Ron Grant (far left) and fellow members of No. 134 Air Transport Unit are fitted with blue Peacekeeping berets before leaving Trenton, Ontario, for Yemen. July 17, 1963.

    Ron Grant (far left) and fellow members of No. 134 Air Transport Unit are fitted with blue Peacekeeping berets before leaving Trenton, Ontario, for Yemen. July 17, 1963.
  • Badge with a camel in a desert scene that Ron Grant picked up while in Yemen.

    Badge with a camel in a desert scene that Ron Grant picked up while in Yemen.
  • Ron Grant with a United Nations Peackeeping Jeep, 1963.

    Ron Grant with a United Nations Peackeeping Jeep, 1963.
  • Aerial view of Sana, Yemen. 1963.

    Aerial view of Sana, Yemen. 1963.
  • Local Yemenese children, 1963.

    Local Yemenese children, 1963.
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Transcript

My name is Ron Grant. I joined the military in 1954, May 28th, in Victoria, BC. At the time, I was only seventeen and could not find a job in the area. I was originally from Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan.

I joined the Canadian military and moved to St. John's, Quebec, for basic training, and then to Clinton, Ontario, for the supply course… Supply Technician. Then to Downsview, Ontario, to work in the supply depot for a few years. From there, I was transferred to Rivers, Manitoba, when it was open, and then I was transferred to Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

From Rivers, I went to Yemen as a peacekeeper, with 134 ATU Transport Unit that was to carry out air transport reconnaissance duties for the UN observer mission that was being established in Yemen, to separate the south of Yemen and the Northern Republic of Yemen.

Yemen was a tense operation. We were in the city of Sanaa, and we had to drive to the Red Sea by truck to get some of our supplies. All along the road we were shot at continuously by Arabs in the hills that didn't know who we were, I guess. We had painted the truck white with UN letters on it, but they didn't seem to know what was going on. So it was a very harrowing experience to drive that two hours through the mountains to the Red Sea. Other than that, everything else was fairly normal.

From there I went to Germany, and spent a couple of years in (?) in Germany. Then I moved to Sardinia. It was an air weapons training unit. I spent a year and a half there, and then back to Canada and to Greenwood, Nova Scotia. From Greenwood, Nova Scotia back to Yorkton again, and from Yorkton to Ottawa. In Ottawa, I completed my tour of duty and retired temporarily from the military in 1977. Then I joined back up again in 1991 and worked with the cadets in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, and retired at the age of sixty five in April 2002.

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