Monday, August 31, 2015

Your search for Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS) returned 25 results

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Ray Bartlett
William Booth
John Boyd
Eldon Comfort
Eelsford Daniels
W. Dow
Alfred Ellner
George Gordey
John Harvie
Russ Hellard
Roy Heron
Roland Hochu
Orille Hogue
James Keith
Louis Melanson
William Miller
George Mock
William Patrick
Claude Paul
Elmer Sinclair
Wayne Smith
Melville Storrier
Andrew Westie
Leonard Wong

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sergeant Evelyn Jamieson

Evelyn Davis, c.1944-1946

My name was Evelyn Jamieson. I was born on a farm north of Cobourg, Ontario, and attended high school in Port Hope. I was working at Goodyear Tire, New Toronto, in the advertising department when I decided to join the CWAC. My family doesn’t have a military background but I did have a brother. I thought he might not enlist and stay on the farm but that didn’t happen and he joined the air force. Luckily, he survived the war.

Very likely, my main reason for joining were posters asking women to join the forces to relieve soldiers for active duty. I was 20 years old when I enlisted in Toronto on March the 14th, 1943, as W21244. Trinity Barracks, also known as “cockroach palace”, was the staging area. The recruits had the normal medical checkups, IQ tests, etc.

Basic training was in Kitchener, Ontario. Nothing unusual about that but it was a little difficult getting used to 70 girls in a barracks, one big room in April in a building with just two stoves, one at each end of the room. The girls had to look after the stoves and most of them were from towns and cities and didn’t know how to stoke a fire. We coped, made friends and graduated.

After graduation, we returned to Trinity Barracks to be posted. While waiting, there was a Victory Bond drive being held in Canada. For several days in early evening, we were taken by streetcar to different parts of Toronto for a parade. All three services were there with bands for navy, army and air force. It was in May and I remember the girls singing wartime songs as we rode along on the streetcar with windows wide open. That duty was much more fun than washing dishes at the barracks.

Early in June, I think about the 1st, about 15 or 20 CWAC were posted to Orillia and traveled by train. I became a stenographer at headquarters company at [No.] 26 Canadian Army Basic Training Centre. And there were four companies, so there would have been approximately 600 soldiers and staff. Later in the year, I went over to work at C company. A very vivid memory I have is of working as a draft marched out of camp, including the men we replaced. I know some of them did not return home.

It was a wonderful posting and two of us, Dot Newton and I, went into the town and played softball for a local team, Bryson’s Bread. And also went down to the exhibition grounds in Toronto to run at a field day. When I joined, I had requested taking a wireless radio course and in March 1944, I was sent to Barriefield, Kingston. Many of the girls taking the course wanted to go overseas but I didn’t. Many had relatives overseas and wanted adventure.

I knew quite a lot about Morse code and radio before joining and being young and foolish, I wanted to return to Orillia and requested a transfer. It was granted and I returned to Trinity Barracks in Toronto, expecting to return to Orillia and evidently, they were also expecting me. About that time, the training of agents at Camp X, a spy training school and communication centre, ceased operation at the end of April or early May and became entirely communications. I was sent down to an office at Yonge and King Street and interviewed by a Major Justin. A few days later, June the 1st, 1944, three CWAC were picked up by an army vehicle and driven out of Toronto to Camp X. Our first view was a group of buildings surrounded by a fence and guards on the gates.

I can’t remember whether we were told in Toronto that we would be under the Official Secrets Act or when we arrived in camp. Civilian men and women and army men and women worked together. There were several CWAC at camp before we arrived, a driver and kitchen staff. But we were the first CWAC to work on communications.

My first job was on a teleprinter as a teletypist. Later, I worked on a Kleinschmidt machine, rather like a clunky typewriter with tape. I spent most of my time working on the Boehme tape puller or undulator . We were sending and receiving traffic to England and to New York and Washington. It was many years after the war, we learned we were sending to Bletchley Park. All traffic was in five letter groups and plain English was never used. My knowledge of Morse code was important.

We worked 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and there were several shifts, 8 to 4, 4 to 12, 12 to 8 and a couple of swing shifts. I worked happily beside civilians, doing the same work. Our pay was different but I can’t remember that being a problem. I have heard since that there was some dissatisfaction. We had bus and train service from Oshawa. The secrecy was kept. My family did not know where I was or what I was doing until after the war. We had a phone number of a Bell telephone supervisor in Oshawa which we could call and they would contact the camp. I used it for some reason, likely a mix up in times when I should be picked up.

At the end of the war I went, I think, to Long Branch for discharge. I was discharged on October 24, 1945 as a Sgt. with 'B' trades pay in 'Keyboard' and 'F.W.S.' As a civilian I returned to Camp X and carried on with work as before. I did so until my marriage in July 1946.

Additional Information

Monday, August 10, 2015

    Cyril “Cy” Carney

    Trip Over to Korea

    We, we went from Shilo, Manitoba to Seattle, Washington and boarded an American troop ship. There were 4,000 troops on that ship plus, I’m not sure the figure, I think 2,000 crew probably and we boarded and we were 19 days on board. We landed at Yokohama yeah it was Yokohama, and then loaded some supplies and American troops. We were there a day and then we sailed from there to Korea. So it was 21 days on board the ship. I was sick for a big part of it, seasick, with that many people on board you know you may feel alright until you see someone else. It wasn’t a pleasant trip but, you know, we had lots of recreation on the ship, movies and things to do. I guess the one thing that stands out is that after the morning get up for breakfast and you weren’t allowed back in your quarters. You had to stay on deck for the rest of the day like. You’re out there in the wind and rain sometimes, it was miserable Well, the evenings they had movies for us and the meals weren’t too bad, considering. It was great memories you know, met a lot of nice people. I guess what stands out too on that trip there were a lot of Americans that were conscripted. And they were there against their will on their way to Korea and a lot of them just out of university with a few weeks training and they didn’t want to go. Whereas Canadian troops had already volunteered more or less and we were trained soldiers. On this big ship we couldn’t go into Inchon. We landed in Inchon so we had to board landing barges. We went down the side of a ship on nets into landing barges and went ashore to Inchon and the thing about that I landed there on May the 3rd, my 21st birthday. Twenty-one years old on May the 3rd. The day we landed I haven’t forgotten that part. We had a short time on land, in Inchon then we went by truck up to the..., I don’t know where in Korea but south of Seoul any way and we got our units and our area to stay. We moved about five times in Korea.

    Bothered by the Children and Poverty

    Interviewer: What was your first impression of the country? Poverty. Kids, under-nourished kids. The smell, you know, the smell, but the kids bothered me. A very poor country. You could tell they were, you know, in poverty and most of them were under-nourished. A lot of their homes were demolished, of course, from the shelling and they were just people that were, you know, lost and on their own with no means of work or food, a lot of them. It’s just a bad situation where we had, you know, Canadians have so much.

    Living Quarters and Equipment

    We didn’t have the best of quarters or the equipment. We had a lot of equipment that was Second World War, like our uniforms and rifles. Living quarters were pretty rough. At one time a friend of mine just dug a hole in the side of the hill and sand bagged and we stayed in there for a couple of months I guess with the mud walls. It was during the monsoon season, the walls were falling in on us more or less, you know. We had a kit bag full of damp clothes all the time, nowhere else to go, and then we’d, oh we’d do some scrounging and get bits and pieces of American pieces of canvas and sometimes we’d get a fairly comfortable place. This one place in particular we scrounged and got a good piece of canvas for the roof and the windshield of a jeep for our window and a wooden door made of a.... The beer we used to get, come in wooden cartons, so we’d salvage them and make doors and things out of the wood.

    The Role of a Signalman

    We were in headquarters behind the lines and being attached to the artillery they had observations posts that they kept a look on the enemy lines and so we had to maintain communications between headquarters and also the guns, the 105 millimetres that they used. We had to have lines to them and from them up to the front lines. So if the observation officers spotted a target, they’d call back by phone because the wireless, too many hills, by phone and they’d call for the artillery to fire so many rounds on the North Koreans. So we had to maintain those lines 24 hours a day. Just thinking about lines there, one of the big problems with our lines was especially in the dry weather they’d be just laying on the ground and quite occasionally the grass would be set on fire for some reason and that would ruin our lines so we’d have to start... guess the part was, a lot of the other countries they had lines. They’re just a small little black telephone. They’d have them on the ground, course they’d all be mixed up and we’d have to go to a central post and try to sort out, you know, our lines and get communications back again.

    The death of Cyril “Cy” Carney of Newcastle Centre, NB occurred Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at the Veterans Health Unit, Fredericton, NB. Born in Jemseg, NB, he was the son of the late Walter and Cora (Dykeman) Carney.