David Norman King – CFPU Driver
November 28, 1921 – May 5, 2014
ABOVE PHOTO : PA-183310 – Private Dave King, a driver with the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit, talking with an Italian who lived in his own hometown of Burlington, Ontario, for a number of years, Delianuova, Italy, ca. 5 September 1943. Credit: Lieut. Terry F. Rowe / Canada. Dept. of National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-183310.
Restrictions on use: Nil. Copyright: Expired
Dave King was a driver for the Public Relations Group during WWII, and drove members of the Canadian Film & Photo Unit to their assignments. I knew Dave King through another veteran friend of mine (Norman Quick) in Ottawa.
Photo: Dave King posing next to a jeep – date unknown. Dave was wounded in Anzio, when a shell landed near their jeep, killing photographer Lieut. Terry Rowe, and injuring Capt. Colin McDougall. Dave told me in a phone conversation in 2010 that he still had shrapnel in him from that incident.
As a driver, Dave was the preferred choice for Major ‘Jack” McDougall, head of the Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit. Dave said, “He seemed to like me.”
Drivers within the PR Group were a special bunch, requiring nerves of steel, and survival instincts to manoeuvre the treacherous terrain of war. They accompany the cameramen in getting their stories. They carry on through mud and rain.
Photo: Dave King (left) posing next to ‘Slim’ McGill – date unknown. During the war, Dave King was on hand to see the arrival of Col.-Gen. Johannes Blaskowitz for the surrender of the German forces to the Allies in Holland, which signalled the liberation of Holland on May 5, 1945. Ironically, 69 years later to the day, Dave would pass away.
I want to thank his son Wayne for notifying me about the passing of his father. My only regret is that I never got the chance to meet Dave. However, I will make sure his name is remembered in the history of the Film Unit through my website dedicated to their memory.
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All photographs courtesy Norman Quick.
Dale Gervais – JULY – 2014