"When the mine went off, it got shot from the tank, it bounced off and got right through my leg, cut my main cord from the knee to the hip."
I was a kid with no family, you know. And I lived in a cabin in the woods. And I went to school with a bicycle. And that winter, I figured I’d join the army. Be better than staying in the cabin. And I went down and enlisted down in Sherbrooke [Quebec].
I’m wounded nine times myself. My first time I got wounded was at [the Battle of Monte] Cassino. I was in charge of all the artillery stuff. I was in charge of 600 guns and I did all the firing and all that stuff. We had to do air bursts on the mountain; we had to keep this mountain smoked up so the Germans couldn’t see the Polish guys that were sneaking up the back. And we had to keep smoke up there all the time. And finally at 4:00 in the afternoon, all the guns opened up.
We had 600 and my officer had 300 on the other side, on the French side. So that was quite a racket, I’ll tell you. The shells were going over my head. I see them, but I couldn’t hear nothing. I was deaf, deaf, right there. I got wounded that day anyway, it didn’t matter. I got badly wounded in the leg. But I was in charge of everything so I’d be the last one to go in and attack; and just before I went in, I had a guy with me and the German was in the ground, okay, he’s buried there. And I stopped and tried to get somebody on the radio and my friend went ahead of me, this guy jumped out and shot and, of course, he turned and shot the German, so it left me alright. I was alright that time.
And then I went in, I went in action about probably half a mile. The radio guys were all dead at that time. I had nobody to talk to. And I picked a wounded guy up and come back. Carried in front of me, he was badly wounded. I left all my stuff in a hole there, in a shell hole. We purposely shelled in the attack. We used heavy artillery to make holes so the guys could hide in them. So I got in this hole and the guy came by, dragging himself, and I brought him back to the ambulance. That took every bit of strength I had. I hadn’t eaten for I don’t know how many hours. Anyway, I come down through the mine field; there was only one way down through. And I got down pretty near, I was slower, all the other guys all went down through fast, I was so slow because I was lame. And I got in behind a tank and my major had a jeep. He drove in over a minefield. And when the mine went off, it got shot from the tank, it bounced off and got right through my leg, cut my main cord from the knee to the hip. So I was almost, I couldn’t get up; I had to just lay there. They finally picked me up and took me to a British hospital.
I got wounded in the arm with a bullet, in the arm. And I had my left arm in a sling. I went back just the same. They had a hard time finding radio operators especially, that’s why I went back in action because there was nobody could do my job. I had two bodyguards and I had a young guy carry my radio, so I was alright. I just had to be careful, that’s all. Then off we go to Holland and I got wounded there and that was the end of everything there. Me and the old sergeant, we had it. Got wounded in the face; my sinus all smashed and my eye. I was blind for nine days in the left eye. We were in the hospital and the war was over. Yeah.