Veteran Stories:
Roy O'Halloran


  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"You hardly saw them. You just shot in one direction. You didn't know where they were. "


I've gone out on patrol at night, started shooting up--I knew they were there, starting shooting. The whole guy was--in the morning, a bunch of dead men around. You hardly saw them. You just shot in one direction. You didn't know where they where. No personal hand-to-hand. Very little. I understand they had some more of that in Italy than they did on the Normandy campaign. Took a lot of prisoners.

Interviewer:       What was the hottest action you were in?

Respondent:      Bremen.

Interviewer:      Bremen?

Respondent:      I got wounded at the [inaudible 00:00:49].

Interviewer:      Falasia. What with? A bullet or [overlapping dialogue 00:00:56].

Respondent:      A sniper. I was--[inaudible 00:00:59] was just about closed and we were bashing on it [inaudible 00:01:01] bashing on. It's just a piece of kegs. And I had my platoon on 250 [inaudible 00:01:10] and run out a map. I talked to them, [inaudible 00:01:16] was on the road behind me, whole 150th Division. That's when I stopped, they had to stop, tanks and everything. Artillery, come on up. The gap was closed. And the adjutant was sent up, motorcycle guy, and find out what was wrong. [Inaudible 00:01:41] I run out of ruddy maps and I'm not going to bash all into the blue, you know. So the adjutant come up and brought up some maps. I hop on the hood of this 1500. [Inaudible 00:01:52] said there's nothing within miles of getting out. I'm up on the hood of this 1500 right from the orient. Our maps are out where the [inaudible 00:02:01].

Interviewer:      In the side.

Respondent:      Right--I had two 36 grenades in a pouch.

Interviewer:      You missed them. Right in your side.

Respondent:      Yeah.

Interviewer:      But that didn't put you out of the war?

Respondent:      No. I was back to England for four months and then I went back in and crossed the Rhine with the 5th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment. Crossed the Rhine at a village called Rhies, R-H-I-E-S or E-E-S. I'm not sure.

Interviewer:      You said that this was the worst action you were in was in Bremen.

Respondent:      Yeah. Well, Bremen, the Germans were holed up in the U-boat pens and air raid tunnels, all that sort of thing. Had to burn them out with flamethrowers. I would ride in hard in the city of Bremen. I had two tanks under--[inaudible 00:03:15] commanded tanks to go with them and some different action, like, that you get two or three tanks under the infantry officer's command. And you had to use them however you could possibly use them. All of them had flamethrowers.

Interviewer:       That wouldn't be very nice show.

Respondent:      Oh, you see the green uniforms running out of the burning. Nasty thing. I had to count [inaudible 00:03:43] squirts on the top to hold the damn thing.

Follow us