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WW II (1939 - 1945)As of March 1st, there were 163,500 veterans of WW II alive, of the 1, 031,902 who served• In all, 155,000 remain alive as of Nov. 11, 2009.• In WW II, a little over 50% of all males 18 - 40, served in the army, except from Quebec, which was about 25%• Average age is 86. The youngest would be 82.
Afghanistan (2002 - present)Canadas Wounded Vets Wage New Battle on the Home Front• More than 300 Canadian soldiers have been wounded• Nearly half - 136 - so badly hurt: flown home• Few have returned to work.• Most have settled into a daily routine of physiotherapy.• For them, the War on Terror proved to be much more than a six-month tour.
Our Highway of Heroeshas honoured the 138 soldiers from those who have died serving others in Afghanistan.• The photo shows the view from the bridge where people line up as the caskets pass by.
Fighting Ships: WW IIThree types of ships:1. Cruiser - lots of speed, light guns, thinner armour, scout ships2. Battlecruiser - guns as powerful as Battleships, but lighter, faster battleship, less protected3. Battleship - big guns, shoots further, slower but heavier armour - more protection.
Battleship• A battleship is a large, heavily armoured warship with a main battery consisting of the largest caliber of guns.• Battleships are larger, better armed, and better armored than cruisers and destroyers.• Although the Canadian Navy never manned battleship, there have been two British battleships named in honour of Canada: HMS Dominion (1903) and HMS Canada (1914); both served in the First World War.• There is no battleship currently in service in the world.
Cruiser• A cruiser is a large type of warship, which had its prime period from the late 19th century to the end of the Cold War.• Intended for individual raiding and protection missions on the seas.• The cruiser has largely been replaced by destroyers in its roles.• Canada’s Navy had operated five cruisers since 1910: HMCS Rainbow, Niobe, Aurora, Uganda/Quebec and Ontario.• HMCS Ontario, was paid off in October 1958.
Cruiser• Larger and more powerful destroyers capable of independent operation were built• Cruisers ceased to be used:1950s and 60s.• Destroyers are the heaviest surface combatant ships in general use.• Modern destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but drastically superior in firepower to cruisers of the WW II era.• The Canadian Navy has continously operated destroyers from 18 different classes since 1920 and is using the improved Iroquois class.
Battlecruisers• The Royal Navy had three types of battlecruisers at the beginning of the Second World War: Renown, Repulse, and Hood.• All three were begun during the First World War, and represent the second generation of battlecruisers.
Victor Humphries • I turned 85 on Wed., Jan. 13th • ‘67 years have flown by’ • Freemantle, Australia•HMS Valkyrie: based Isle of Man• Radar training ship HMS Pollock: ex Russian Icebreaker•8 weeks training on RADAR in Gunnery and navigation•one week on HMS Pollock•drafted to the Battle Cruiser HMS Renown•half way round the world before I was 20.
Victor Humphries Victor Humphries -my pen pal!
Valuable Asset WW IIRenown and Repulse were sisters• carried 6-15” guns• A 9” belt on about 32,000t standard displacement.• Both were modestly refit in the 1920s.• Renown was given a major reconstruction • completed in 1939 • brought her up to contemporary British standards.
Renown: Working Ship• Late 1939 sent to South Atlantic• Covered minelaying operations along Norwegian coast (Apr., 1940)• Engaged 2 German battleships• Damaged one!• In 1940/41 operated with Force ‘H’
Lieutenant Commander J. Churchill• I JOINED RENOWN IN MAY 1943, at Rosyth, as a brand-new Lieutenant (E), straight from Keyham; it was my first time in Scotland, and I well remember the difficulty that I found in understanding what the Edinburgh people were saying. In a few days, however, the trouble disappeared completely, and I discovered the warmth and friendliness of the Scots.
Churchill On BoardWe sailed from Halifax, NS, at 1510 on the 14th ofSeptember, with Winston Churchill onboard,complete with his retinue, which included hisdaughter Mary (Mrs. Oliver), the United StatesAmbassador (Mr Winant), the First Sea Lord, ‘ABC’Lord Halifax, and General Ismay. The General wasthe most delightful man, and we spent manyinteresting hours, yarning with him in theWardroom.
RAdio Detection & Ranging (RADAR)RADAR works essentially in the same way that a bat uses sound to "see" in total darkness.Ship’s guns could fire for miles; but couldn’t ‘see’ targets.• A technology invented in the 1930s to detect distant objects, mostly aircraft and ships• Detection is done by receiving radio waves reflected from the target• Works the same by day and night and in all weather• Revolutionary long range observation tool• Military, and after World War 2, in a civilian capacity.
RADAR• British who first used radar for a military advantage, as they built a series of radar stations along the English coast in 1938
Technology Changed the OCEAN WARFARE• During World War II, battles were won by the side that was first to spot enemy airplanes, ships, or submarines. To give the Allies an edge, British and American scientists developed radar technology to "see" for hundreds of miles, even at night. The research that went into improving radar helped set the stage for post-war research into the transistor.
‘Chain Home’A network of British early warning radars used to defend Britain in the Battle Of BritainAn early and primitive RADAR, but it was powerful and reliable, and was efficiently operated by experienced operators, and therefore was a critical asset which allowed the British Fighter Command to optimally engage incoming German bomber formations. (range: 185 miles)
‘Chain Home’• Combatants used radar to detect ships and planes far beyond the range of the human eye.• Radar (RAdio Detecting and Ranging): transmitters to bounce radio waves off distant objects, revealing the objects location, speed, and distance.• The use of radio waves to detect distant or unseen metallic objects was first demonstrated by German scientist Christian Hulsmeyer in 1904.• British first used radar for a military advantage• built a series of radar stations along the English coast in 1938 to detect approaching aircraft.• ‘Chain Home’ a crucial role in the victory over the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.
The main navy battles during the war took place in the North Atlantic and Les was stationed in the South Pacific, mainly out of Ceylon.They would do a monthly tour to the south and then back up along the coast of western Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Burma) and shell the pillboxes that the Japanese were building along the coast.It would take them about a month to re-build the boxes, hence the monthly trips. The only time he felt in any real danger was when a torpedo was headed right at them. For some reason, before it hit, it left the water, bounced along the cowling, and continued going without ever exploding.
Les Haywood• Born 1919 in Saskatchewan• He did a lot of chores - worked for 4 elderly ladies: hauling wood, water.• His whole life has been centered on work; he is not happy sitting still• Always has had something on the go.• He helped his father with carpentry jobs and worked on the grain elevators.• He lived through the depression• Began at University of Saskatchewan to be a lawyer• Switched to engineering in 2nd year• Quit in 3rd year to join the Canadian Navy.• Loaned to Brittain: aboard HMS Royal Sovereign- undergoing a refit in Philadelphia
Les Haywood• Married, sent his wife to Brittain, and shipped off• Sailed back to England in late 1943• Re-assigned to the Renown in charge of radar on Christmas day 1943.• Relieved a man called “Battles”• Royal Sovereign was being assigned to Russia as an anti-aircraft vessel.• After the war: returned to U. Sask.• Master’s in electrical engineering.• Les then went to work with Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) in Toronto for a year• Went to be a VP at AECL operation in Chalk River, Ontario nuclear facility• He has some interesting stories about building nuclear reactors down east in New Brunswick and buying heavy water from Russia etc.• He did a fair bit of world travelling related to his work.