Veteran Stories:
Robert Grant

Army

  • Corporal G.F. Wightman in the underground signals office of the 3rd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (R.C.A.), near Cassino, Italy, 12 May 1944.

    Capt. J. Ernest DeGuire / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada PA-143894
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"So I suggested they take it more of a hull-down position and get some protection because I’d like one of them to live a little longer."

Transcript

So when I was working at Rockcliffe [airport], the Rockliffe Detachment there on Signals Intelligence, they asked if there is anyone who was willing to go overseas on a tactical unit and my brother and I both said, “Sure, we’ll go.” So we were assigned to No. 1 Canadian Special Wireless Section Type “B” and at that time I was a lance-sergeant and my brother was sergeant.  But then just before we were to go over, they decided they should take us out of that and send us to the officer training school as their first group of people to go into officer training from the ranks.  And so my brother and I both went down to Brockville to the [common]-to-all arms [officer] training, which [meant] we were working with people who could be infantry, artillery, you name it, anything. And a lot of route marching and things like that.  But, anyhow we finished that training in Brockville then we were sent to Kingston for the “Special to the Arm” training and that was where I started to get involved with Signals Intelligence. They decided they wanted to form a second, another unit, No. 2 Special Wireless Section Type “B.” And so my brother and I both went into the unit. My brother was the CO [commanding officer] in the unit and I was No. 2 man and then we went overseas on that basis.

I was the OC [officer commanding] of the unit but I had the usual problems that you have trying to keep a unit administratively under control. And it was up to the Signals Intelligence, we had three officers, intelligence officers, whose job was to get the information from the people they wanted to get it from. And they would work directly with the sergeant in charge of each vehicle with all the operators in that. And I would be, as the OC of the unit, you’re more involved in, well, all administrative problems. I’d sight the position.  When a DF [direction-finding radar] would move, like in one occasion I recall, we moved, they took the DF and they moved it without my say-so or anything.  I got over to where they’d moved it and it was right on top of a hill which is overlooking the Germans positions, but also that meant the Germans were overlooking them.  So I suggested they take it more of a hull-down position and get some protection because I’d like one of them to live a little longer.

Interview with Robert Grant - FCWM Oral History Project

Accession Number CWM 20020121-021

George Metcalf Archival Collection

© Canadian War Museum

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