A final salute
Remembering the Manitobans who served during the Second World War whose lives ended in 2018
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/11/2018 (1598 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Of the more than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders who fought in the Second World War from 1939 to 1945, only 50,300 were alive in 2017 at an average age of 92, statistics from Veterans Affairs show.
There are only 137 men left in the Manitoba Follow Up Study, which compiled cardiovascular information from 3,983 men who applied to join the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, and became the largest study ever of the same group of men.
The number was 259 just two years ago.
As the the Greatest Generation inexorably fades away, the Winnipeg Free Press is, for a third-consecutive Remembrance Day, marking passings of Winnipeggers and Manitobans who were veterans of the war.
The following chronological list, which begins New Year’s Day, contains information gleaned from obituaries that appeared in the newspaper during the past year, with some supplemented further — when available — with facts from other sources, including the Military Service Recognition Book compiled by the Royal Canadian Legion.
If, during the next year, you know of a Second World War veteran in the province who has died, please send an email to email@example.com.
Jan. 1 — John Johnson, 94. Enlisted in July of 1940 to serve with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. He fought at Dieppe and was injured near Caen, France in July 1944 during the liberation of France.
Jan. 2 — Sam Fabro, 97. Joined the Canadian Army in 1942.
Jan. 3 — Louise Dawyduk, 97. Served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from August 1942 to April 1946.
Jan. 6 — Lou Ducharme, 95. Served with the Canadian Army.
Jan. 11 — Bruce Dunlop, 93. Reported for basic training with the RCAF on his 17th birthday. His father, who had been in the trenches at Vimy Ridge during the First World War, gave him permission to fight, as long as he didn’t join the army. He was discharged with the rank of sergeant as a wireless navigator.
Jan. 12 — Edmund Kuffel, 93. Took part in the Italian campaign as a soldier of the Second Polish Army Corps in the west.
Jan. 20 — Irma Chittick, 101. Joined the RCAF and served in Canada as a nursing assistant.
Jan. 21 — Gordon Arnold, 93. Joined the RCAF as an Aero Engineer Mechanic Trainee and was posted in many different places.
Jan. 21 — Herb Dalman, 95. Enlisted with the RCAF as an aircraft mechanic, working on a wide range of fighter aircraft in England, Belgium, Holland and France.
Jan. 24 — Bill Crocker, 92. Enlisted in the Canadian Army.
Jan. 25 — George Marsh, 95. Served in London with the RCAF.
Jan. 26 — Edwin Madden, 91. Served in the Canadian Navy and then served in the U.S. army during the Korean occupation in 1945.
Jan. 27 — Maureen Lebel, 95. Enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served at the RCAF No. 7 Bomb and Gunnery School — a British Commonwealth air training facility — in Paulson, near Dauphin.
Jan. 28 — Ron Monkman, 92. Went to Europe with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and returned with the Winnipeg Rifles.
Jan. 28 — Bob Parry, 95. Joined the RCAF in 1942 and earned his wings as a wireless air gunner.
Jan. 31 — Charles Tanner, 95. Joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1943 and served on the minesweeper HMCS Mulgrave as an upper deck stoker. He was part of the D-Day invasion, sweeping the English Channel of mines ahead of the landings.
Feb. 7 — Michael Harack, 94. Served in the RCAF.
Feb. 7 — Alfred Kroeker, 100. A conscientious objector who volunteered for alternative service in forestry, followed by a ministerial assignment.
Feb. 11 — Catherine Drew, 93. Served as a member of the Fort William Military Band, entertaining troops at dances, where she played the grand piano, and in marching parades, where she played the bass drum. The band played for troops when they were leaving from or returning to the CP Rail station.
Feb. 11 — Alfred Moore, 91. Served with the Canadian Army.
Feb. 12 — Desmond Barker, 93. Enlisted in the Canadian Air Force.
Feb. 13 — Bill Sherlock, 95. Met his wife near Winnipeg while he was with the British Commonwealth Air Training.
Feb. 13 — Stephen Spitzer, 98. Served in the Canadian Army as a staff sergeant instructor stationed in Hamilton.
Feb. 14 — Gordon Le Grand, 94. Served in Britain, Europe and North America.
Feb. 16 — James Best, 92. Served in Canada and Europe with the Canadian Army with the 12th Manitoba Dragoons.
Feb. 17 — Joseph Vinet, 96. He was serving in the war and on a transport plane in an electrical storm when it crashed in eastern France in July 1944. He was one of three of 16 who survived and was taken in and hidden by the French Underground. Because of his wounds, he had to be turned over to a German military hospital and five weeks later, when well enough, he was sent to a prisoner of war camp until the end of the war.
Feb. 26 — Peter Fabris, 91. At the age of 17, in August 1944, he joined the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.
Feb. 27 — Hugh Caldwell, 97. Served with the Royal Canadian Corp of Signals in both Italy and Holland.
March 3 — Grace Malloy, 92. Joined the Canadian Women’s Air Corps.
March 6 — Charles Yule, 92. Enlisted in June 1943 with the RCAF, serving with RAF Squadron 192, 100 Group, as a mid-upper air-gunner. He participated in 22 air operations.
March 7 — Jim Garnett, 94. Spent time in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, serving on several ships. He served on the Atlantic until victory was declared and was in the Pacific Ocean when victory over Japan was declared.
March 11 — Olga Fougere, 93. Joined the Royal Canadian Navy and served in Halifax.
March 11 — Jan Piotrowski, 94. Joined the Second Polish Corp and, under the command of the British Eighth Army, fought in Italy and the Battle of Monte Cassino and the Battle of Bologna.
March 15 — Bob Clark, 97. Enlisted in the Canadian Army at the age of 22.
March 15 — Al Cuthbertson, 93. Joined the Royal Canadian Air Force when he was 19, going overseas on the Queen Mary as a Sgt. Air Bomber. He served on three separate squadrons as Air Bomber on the Lancaster.
March 16 — Emil Gillies, 96. Served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, flying in missions to support the French resistance.
March 20 — Creta Joyce, 95. Served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
March 23 — Morton Slusky, 93. Served as a radio operator with the Royal Canadian Navy and was stationed at several locations in the Caribbean before the war’s end.
March 28 — Bob Benell, 99. Served as a sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
April 1 — Edmund Friesen, 96. Served in the RCAF.
April 4 — Robert Cruse, 98. Joined the RCAF, trained in England and was stationed in Egypt, North Africa, Corsica, Sicily and Italy.
April 9 — Robert Town, 91. Served in the Canadian Army.
April 12 — Gordon Marshall, 93. Served in the war.
April 13 — Andrew Grierson, 95. Served as a RCAF pilot.
April 13 — Rennie Gosselin, 93. Joined in the 1940s and saw active duty in Belgium and Holland in the Second World War.
April 13 — Louis Saunders, 94. Enlisted at 18 and spent four years in the war.
April 14 — Bill Johnston, 92. Served overseas with the Royal Canadian Navy as a signalman.
April 14 — Bob Henley, 91. Joined the Canadian Army at 19 and went to Camp Borden, but while waiting to be deployed overseas the war ended.
April 16 — Stanley Devanik, 93. Joined the RCAF, Flight 55, 22 Manning Depot in Brandon in 1942, and was posted to Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island.
April 17 — Charlie Simpson, 94. Served three years with the navy.
April 18 — Jim Rogan, 98. As a member of the RCAF, he was stationed overseas in Leeming and then Topcliffe, Yorkshire, where he served as sergeant of the 1659 heavy conversion unit.
April 19 — Euclide Godard, 93. Enlisted at 16 and served with the Canadian Artillery in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
April 23 — Ken Vincent, 91. Enlisted in 1944.
May 5 — Frederick Miller, 92. Served with the RCAF.
May 6 — John Riley, 95. Served as an officer in the Royal Canadian Navy and fought in the Battle of the Atlantic on the HMCS Skeena before being appointed to the navy’s Fleet Air Arm, where he received flight training and was stationed in Trinidad and England.
May 6 — Deanie Kerr, 93. Joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps after graduating from high school.
May 7 — Maurice Duncan, 92. Joined the RCAF after graduating high school and was stationed in Toronto for a year until the end of the war.
May 7 — John Guthrie, 91. Served in the Canadian army.
May 8 — Muriel James, 102. She served in the RCAF.
May 10 — William Naven. Served starting in 1942 and stayed until 1957.
May 13 — Ian Thomson, 95. Enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
May 14 — Gordon Barkman, 92. Served in the army and was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the Canadian War Medal.
May 17 — Russell Yeo, 94. Enlisted in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1942 and was assigned to the troop carrier HMCS Prince Henry in 1943. His ship did convoy duty in the North Atlantic and was involved in the D-Day landings at Normandy.
May 24 — Daniel Caton, 93. Joined the RCAF at 18, and served in numerous theatres of war throughout the world including with the RCAF 435 “Chinthe” Squadron in Burma.
May 25 — Wilfred Johnson, 93. Enlisted for duty with the Royal Canadian Navy at 17 and after training he was deployed to Port Arthur to take up duty on a new mine sweeper, the HMCS Blairmore. He then served on the HMCS Orangeville for the rest of the war.
May 25 — Betty Wilson, 93. Served with the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service.
May 31 — Roland Penner, 93. Joined the army and served in Europe in the Canadian artillery.
June 1 — Frank Vasallo, 92. During the Second World War, he joined the guerrilla forces to help liberate the Philippines.
June 2 — Betty Teillet, 94. After graduation, she was offered secret work at the Royal Air Force and went off to “spy school” instead of Cambridge.
June 7 — Fred Stewart, 94. Served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
June 7 — Lindsay Grieve, 97. Joined the RCAF in 1940 and spent most of the war instructing Commonwealth aircrew in Canada before being posted overseas in 1944 to fly the Mosquito fighter-bomber.
June 8 — Gilles Caron, 93. Served until being discharged on Dec. 13, 1945.
June 12 — Arthur Angus, 92. Joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained as a navigator.
June 14 — Jim Hood, 100. Served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the Royal Canadian Regiment.
June 14 – Leonard Gemzik, 92. At 18, along with a cousin, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy, serving in the North Atlantic.
June 14 — Albert Stevens, 94. Enlisted in December 1941, and served with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles as a signaller at the front lines so he could send his paycheque home to his family. He was severely wounded in action at the Leopold Canal in Belgium in October 1944, and discharged in June 1946.
June 16 — Ed Andrews, 96. Served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942 to 1945 as a flight instructor.
June 26 — John Wasyliw, 96. Didn’t fight overseas, but he trained as a gunner in the artillery.
June 28 — Sidney Tolstow, 92. Served in the war.
June 29 — Omer Poirier, 97. Served in the war.
July 7 — Edward Janczyk, 97. Joined the Polish Armed Forces when the Second World War broke out and fought with General Anders Polish Army. He fought at the famous battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.
July 8 — Victor Grant, 100. Served with the RCAF as a navigator.
July 9 — John Mitchell, 95. Enlisted in the Canadian Army in December 1942, joining the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, and served in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe for three years.
July 11 — Isaac Wiens, 101. An aero engine mechanic in the RCAF.
July 12 — Isabella Worbanski, 92. Served in the British army.
July 13 — Eddie Szandrowski, 96. Joined the Second Polish Army Corps at the start of the war and served in Poland, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Egypt and Italy.
July 13 — Fred Blankstein, 97. Served in the First Canadian Army which was part of the British army under the command of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. He served as an artillery spotter and fought in Italy and Sicily before becoming one of the first Canadian troops to liberate Amsterdam in 1945.
July 19 — Dmytro Bosak, 94. Left his homeland Ukraine in 1944, to serve his country during the Second World War.
July 22 — Howie Whitehead, 92. Enlisted with the Canadian Army.
July 22 — John Bourbonnais, 93. Joined the Royal Canadian Navy at 18 and served until the war was over.
July 22 — Victor Harry Jones, 97. He joined the Canadian army in 1942 and served in Italy, Holland and England.
July 25 — Walter Babiniec, 91. Served with the Canadian Army and was stationed in Wainwright, Alta.
Aug. 1 — Daniel McClure, 93. Entered the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941.Aug. 7 — Isobel Mooney, 92. She served in the RCAF women’s division in Halifax and in Bomber Operations, Eastern Air Command.
Aug. 8 — Bill Romaniuk, 92. Served in the war.
Aug. 10 — Ernest Pinnell, 98. Joined the RCAF in 1941 and was sent to England. He returned to Canada for navigator training and then went back to England as an officer.
Aug. 17 — Albert Buffie, 94. Joined the navy at HMCS Chippewa at 17 and joined the active service ranks as Stoker II. He served on a minesweeper called the HMCS Grandmere and escorted convoys across the Atlantic Ocean. He also served on the HMCS Penetang, an anti-submarine escort.
Aug. 19 — Richard Johnston, 99. Enlisted with the RCAF and served as an aircraft mechanic preparing airplanes for anti-submarine duty at Scoudouc, N.B.
Aug. 22 — Vic Peterson, 93. A very proud member of the Royal Canadian Navy.
Aug. 23 — Audrey Booth, 92. Joined the Canadian Women’s Corps and was deployed to the United Kingdom, performing in the Canadian Army Shows as a singer and dancer.
Aug. 24 — Terry Montgomery, 92. Joined the Royal Canadian Navy when he was 17 and was on HMCS Orangeville, escorting ships from Newfoundland to Ireland.
Aug. 25 — Walter Stern, 93. Served with the RCAF’s 422 and 424 Bomber Command.
Aug. 26 — Doris Hill, 94. Served in the British army.
Aug. 26 — Gordon Sadler, 95. Joined the RCAF and was a radar mechanic on a night fighter with No. 157 Squadron in England and the Middle East.
Aug. 27 — Len Doyle. A cadet in the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) who trained in their tank regiment as a gunner. He was on a ship to sail the day the war ended.
Aug. 28 — Madeline Cyluck, 91. Joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corps for two years.
Aug. 28 — Harold Heide, 99. Volunteered with the RCAF in 1941 and was stationed in Toronto and Halifax.
Sept. 7 — Arnold Klayh, 95. A radio artificer on two Canadian frigates, the Magog and the Waskesiu.
Sept. 13 — Louis Dauphinais, 93. Served overseas with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles.
Sept. 18 — Rudy Sain, 92. Served in the Canadian Army.
Sept. 28 — Dennis Kenny, 99. He enlisted in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic.
Oct. 2 — Thomas Johnston, 93. Joined the RCAF Reserve as a pilot when he was 17, and went on to lead raids across the English Channel into Europe.
Oct. 4 — Tony Pelletier, 95. Joined the army and saw active service in Germany and Italy.
Oct. 9 — Lloyd Friedman, 100. A bomber pilot for the RCAF, flying Lancaster bombers, and he flew 40 missions over Germany and France on two separate tours of duty.
Oct. 9 — Daniel Hildebrand, 96. Joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in restricted enlistment. He remained in Europe in the Canadian Army of Occupation until 1946.
Oct. 12 — Andy Gemmell, 92. Served aboard HMCS Prince Robert, which was sent to Hong Kong at the end of the war to repatriate Canadian prisoners of war.
Oct. 13 — Howard Motheral, 93. Trained as a pilot in Alberta and as a gunner in Trois Rivieres, but was on embarkation leave when the war ended.
Oct. 19 — Jim McDougall, 96. Served with the Royal Canadian Navy on the Atlantic Ocean.
Oct. 20 — Harvey Friesen, 92. Served in the war.
Oct. 20 — Dave Taylor, 98. In the Royal Canadian Air Force and was stationed in St. Thomas, Ont., as well as postings in Western and Eastern Canada.
Oct. 22 — Ed Bell, 94. A bomber pilot.
Oct. 22 — Ronald Taylor, 96. Served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.
Updated on Sunday, November 11, 2018 11:53 AM CST: name added
Updated on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 9:47 AM CST: Adds Victor Harry Jones