"The USS Santa Alina was hit and sank off the African coast. All aboard saved, but divisional medical supplies, vehicles, and equipment were lost."
My name is Gordon Jackson, and I joined the Ordnance Corps. at Wolseley Barracks in London, Ontario, in February of 1941. I was sent to basic training at Chatham, Ontario, for three months, then to Kingston, Ontario, for training as a storeman with the Ordnance Corps., and sent overseas with the 5th Canadian Armoured Division in November 1941 aboard the SS Monarch of Bermuda, from Halifax to Liverpool, England. Then to Aldershot Barracks, and finally to Sussex where I was sent to the 70th Light Aid Detachment, which was attached to the 8th Armoured New Brunswick Regiment. I met my wife in Glasgow while on leave in 1942, and we were married the 15th of April 1943.
The 5th Armoured Division was sent to Italy in November ’43 on board the USS Monterey, and in convoy, after passing Gibraltar on the way to Naples, Italy, were attacked at dusk by German torpedo bombers. The USS Santa Alina was hit and sank off the African coast. All aboard saved, but divisional medical supplies, vehicles, and equipment were lost.
My unit, the 8th NBAH, took part in breaking through Gothic and Hitler Lines in drive for Rome. Left Leghorn, Italy, by tank landing craft in the spring of 1945 to Marseille, France, to join up with the rest of the Canadian Army in Holland. Compassionate leave to Britain, where I saw my wife and new daughter born on the 22nd of April 1944 and eleven months old at that time. My wife left for Canada a few days later. I came home in September 1945, and four more children were born in London, Canada. My wife of fifty-one years passed away the year 1994.