70th Anniversary D Day, JUNE 6th, 2014

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JUNE 6th, 2014

Speech by Charles N. Ross

To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of D Day and the Normandy Invasion, I have posted a video excerpt of an interview with retired Sgt. Chuck Ross, former Combat Cameraman of the Canadian Army Film Unit, reading from his speech that he shared on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, at the Edmonton Legislature in June 2005:

Below is the transcript from the speech;

“As dawn broke over the Normandy shore, the greatest combined operations the world had ever seen had begun. It was June the 6th, 1944. D-Day. The Air Force had already attacked forward and rear bridges and strong points all along the beach and in the rear areas. The Canadian Airborne Battalion jumped after midnight to capture bridges and were engaged in heavy fighting. As the landing craft were approaching the beach at Beny-Sur-Mer and Courseulles-sur-Mer they came under heavy fire from the enemy. Once on the beach our Canadian troops were in control. Juno Beach will be part of our history forever. On one of our landing craft was Sergeant Bill Grant of Vancouver getting ready to film the great footage of the Queen’s Own Rifles hitting the beach. The film footage and stills of the battle were taken by cameras of the Canadian Film and Photo Unit which was shown in North America 48 hours later. That day, Bill Grant’s footage scooped the world. The cemetery behind Juno Beach will always remind me of the cost of victory that day. Up from the beach the next battle would be the Carpiquet airfield. The enemy fought hard but the Canadians were more than a match for them. It was on to Caen and over the river Orne to Vaucelles where the Germans had retreated. Casualties were high on both sides. The road to Falaise was heavy fighting all along the way to close the gap. We were bombed by both the U.S., Canadian, and British bombers causing casualties and equipment loss for our troops. At St. Lambert-sur-Dives a squadron of tanks carried Major David Currie of the South Alberta Regiment, with a Polish Division closing the gap. Major Currie was awarded the first Victoria Cross in Normandy. On a personal note I will always remember a Sergeant with the Regina Rifles leading his squad through a grain field. His face was young but his eyes were those of a veteran who had seen it all. Those men were his responsibility. We Albertans can be very proud of our military then and now, although today it is sixty years ago. For those of us who were there at Normandy and on it will always be yesterday.”

To read more about Chuck Ross, click here…

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