Great Uncle Bill (William) first enlisted in the Army during the Second World War, on May 7, 1945 – as he was finally of age and knew the war against Japan would still require support. He completed his basic and advanced infantry training in Simcoe, ON. He released on VJ-Day, noting he would like to transfer one day to the Navy. He did eventually, on Dec 2, 1948.
During the Korean War, Bill served aboard HMCS Nootka, which came under fire in May 1952.
The Canadian War Museum notes, “While carrying out a shore bombardment on 30 May 1952 near Chongin on the east coast of North Korea, both Nootka and the American destroyer USS John W. Thomason came under fire. The first shells fired by the radar-directed enemy guns fell close to both ships, which were some four kilometres from shore. These near misses inflicted only superficial damage on Nootka, as both ships quickly left the area to avoid more serious damage.” HMCS Nootka circumnavigated the globe during this deployment.
Bill served a total of 20 years and 2 days, retiring from the Navy to work at Moosehead Breweries in Halifax, NS. His two older brothers served in the Army and RCAF during WW2, and he has several nephews currently serving in the Army (3), and one great-niece serving in the Navy.