Veteran Stories:
John Daymoth “Jack” Furman


  • Sergeants D.R. Christianson and W. Irvine, candidates who have completed training at No.1 Parachute Training School, Royal Air Force (R.A.F.), in anticipation of serving with the First Special Service Force. Ringway, England, 12 September 1942.

    Credit: Capt. Frank Royal / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-206212
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"And then you get over there and you see guys that are seriously wounded and you wonder how in the hell we could do this to each other."


There was conscription, I was called up. And then I joined up. We were shipped more or less to sorting camps. It was there that I volunteered for the First Special Service Force, was probably the best move I ever made in my life. It was wonderful, we had men from both the U.S. [United States] and Canada and after a few months, you wouldn’t know whether the guys were from Canada or the U.S. unless he was from the U.S. Deep South and then you could tell by the speech. But it was great. One of the best things I guess that ever happened to me. Of course, the war isn’t but the friendships - that’s what I’m speaking of. During the war, it was all a new experience and meeting all new friends and the friends that turned out be lifelong friends. At that time, we had just come through a Depression. Things weren’t the way they are today. And of course, we were quite young, everything is a great experience and everything is new. But you’re doing things for the first time. It wasn’t a very nice way to gain experience but that’s the way it was and we survived and I’m very very happy and very very proud of my association with the Force, it was a great bunch of guys and I’ll never forget it. Well, I was a platoon sergeant, so I had 20 guys and they looked after me. The biggest thing for me was the experience and the camaraderie - the fellows. When I look back on it now, and see what we’ve done and how we did it, it’s a miracle and bloody crazy if you ask me. I hate to see the blood, I couldn’t stand to see people killing animals, cows and pigs and so on. I’d run away. And then you get over there and you see guys that are seriously wounded and you wonder how in the hell we could do this to each other. It’s just beyond imagination. And to see it for the first time… you finally get a little accustomed to it I guess. But Jesus, to see some guy with part of a leg gone or hit in the face or something, it’s terrible.
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