Veteran Stories:
Armand Savoie

Air Force

  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
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We were informed in... I believe, it was… in March of 1943 that we were going overseas again, the whole squadron was going.  We were not told that we were going to Africa.  But on our kit bag, they had given us an address, AA, something else, North Africa.  I believe it was on the address.  Algiers… Algeria, Algiers, North Africa.  It was written on our kit bags.  So, anyway, we were all getting ready, then, given the shots and about April, early April, we were on board ship.

We were put on board ship and we came half way across the Atlantic, and south, until we got to Gibraltar—the [USS] Detroit there— and then it came back.  On the way there, we were chased by submarines, German submarines.  We were on a 25,000-tonne [SS] Duchess of York.* And the Duchess of York—a model of it is in Halifax, is in the Citadel of Halifax.  I saw it in 1943.  It went down.  After we got off the ship at Algiers, the war in Africa was over.  They had 242,000 prisoners of war, and they loaded our ship that we got off with German prisoners and sailed for New York.  But on the way back, on the way across, the Germans sank the ship.

*The SS Duchess of York was a Canadian Pacific liner commissioned as a troop ship in the Second World War. On 11 July 1943, the Duchess of York was sunk off the coast of Morocco by German aircraft.



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