I don’t have to read it first to recommend this post because I know it will be another gem from Elinor.
D-Day: Dummies and Decoys
I have a close friend.
Very close, yet so very far.
I live in Quebec and Jim lives in Manitoba.
We have never met…
We have never met in person.
Only on the Internet.
Maybe his father Jim met my wife’s uncle on the Athabaskan.
Maybe my wife’s uncle did not recollect exactly the story he told us on a summer day in Monkland, Ontario. I remember it was in July 2009.
How could I forget what he told us although he did not say much?
Was he really on the Athabaskan on that faithful early morning of April 29th, 1944?
Could he have made up a story to impress us as some veterans did?
I don’t think he did.
So I got curious and started searching about that Unlucky Lady, a Canadian destroyer I never knew had ever existed.
I got lucky…
This is how Jim and I met on this blog about a ship I knew nothing about.
I have been writing about it since August 2009.
Lest We Forget is the title of this blog so no one will ever forget that faithful morning of April 29, 1944.
Capt. Johnson: the Piper Cub beat the Germans – As a military plane it had no equal, he says
The Piper Cub, used as an artillery spotter plane, did more to defeat the German Army in World War II then any other American airplane, according to Capt. John Johnson.
“The Air Force just went over and dropped bombs on German cities, but the Army’s Piper Cub observer planes spotted enemy positions for American artillery that tore up the German artillery and troops,” he said. “These Cubs did more damage to the Germany Army than our bombers and fighters.”
In the early dawn hours of 29 April 1944, the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan plunged to the depths of the English Channel, her hull wracked by two powerful explosions.
One hundred and twenty-eight young Canadians died with her. Fifty-two years later, in the article “I Will Never Forget the Sound of Those Engines Going Away: A Re-examination into the Sinking of HMCS Athabaskan” that appeared in this journal, Peter Dixon advanced the theory-which was presented as fact-that the second explosion, the one that sealed the destroyer’s fate, was caused by a torpedo fired by a British motor torpedo boat (MTB).
The most significant warship loss in Canadian naval history, the theory goes, was caused by friendly fire. That is not so. When primary evidence overlooked by Dixon is considered and the recollections of witnesses recorded decades after the event are scrutinized, it becomes abundantly clear that Athabaskan could not have been the victim of a British torpedo.
Phantom MTB and the HMCS -em-Athabaskan–em-
Click here to read about it.
Now Masters reached a decision. They would withdraw. The worst that could happen was that he would face a Court Martial for disobeying orders.
Yet this was not the last difficult decision that Masters faced, he had to face up to what to do with men who were too badly wounded to be moved. There must have been other Allied commanders who faced the same problem. Masters was rare in being a man who was subsequently prepared to write about it, in detail: