Veteran Stories:
Arthur Vernon “Vernon” Drake

Army

  • Arthur Drake in uniform, in Windsor, Ontario, 1940.

    Vernon Drake
  • Arthur Drake in 2010.

    Historica Canada
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"Well, anywhere where the British had tried to make a dent or get somewhere, they weren’t able to do it, so they sent the Canadians in. Dieppe was very poorly planned."

Transcript

I’m not very complementary about some English people, especially the people that were in charge of military operations. [Field Marshal Bernard] Montgomery for one and [Louis] Mountbatten for another. They used the Canadians rather shabbily. Well, anywhere where the British had tried to make a dent or get somewhere, they weren’t able to do it, so they sent the Canadians in. Holland. Dieppe was very poorly planned. I was with a special unit at Dieppe. There was seven of us. Our job was to take five underground people, or secret service people, to a destination in Dieppe [France] and carry some high explosives for them to use. Each person had 70 pounds of explosives in a pack on your back. And add to that a Tommy gun and ten magazines, that runs up to quite a few pounds. Of course, we had special training for that. Now, when they briefed us, what we were supposed to do, there was supposed to be battleships bombarding, aircraft, 500 aircraft, bomb the night before. We were on the ship and everything. We were just waiting for the word to go and they had to cancel it, and they cancelled the bombardment and the aircraft, the person in charge of the navy, he says that he wasn’t putting his battleships in danger. And the Englishman who was in charge of the Royal Air Force didn’t want to put his aircraft in danger, so they just cancelled them. And we accepted that. So it was very poorly planned, period.
Follow us