Pilots of the Royal Canadian Air Force took part in the air war over Europe starting with the Battle of Britain and going to the end.
This extraordinary poem is one some may be familiar with, by an American pilot and poet, John Gillespie Magee, who went to war, joining the RCAF, and died shortly after his own country joined the war.
Here we have Sergeant M.E. Boreham, The British Empire Medal, by Robert Steward Hyndman, an elegant portrait of Myrtle Boreham, who served in the RCAF from 1942-45, much of that stationed in London.
Canadian soldiers would be part of the campaigns on Sicily and the Italian mainland, where they would face vicious fighting and develop a tough reputation.
Entry Into Assoro, Italy is by Canadian war artist William Ogilvie, depicting the entrance of Canadian soldiers into the town on July 22nd, 1943.
Some of the weaponry that Italian soldiers would have been using are seen here.
Another extraordinary painting, this by Charles Comfort, showing combat at close quarters. This is Casa Berardi.
From here you can walk through a recreation of a street scene in the Italian campaign- with a Canadian soldier on one side of a narrow corridor.
And a German soldier on the other. This is the kind of scale of fighting in the Italian campaign- street to street, house to house, room to room. And a harbinger of things to come. This brings it to life vividly.
Journalists were embedded with the Canadian military, sending their reports back home as they accompanied the troops.
Our Hawaii Go For Broke boys won Congressional medals of 100 fighting their way up the bloody boot of Italy along with you. This is an amazing post. Thanks, WilliamReplyDelete
Medals of HonorDelete
I really wonder what was going on in such a - likely young - soldier´s mind standing there by himself and having the order to shoot anyone who comes along.ReplyDelete
I would think, it´s somebody´s brother, sister, kid, Mom, Dad... I think I would sneak away.
Think they were crippled for life in their brains... Ingo´s Great-Granddad was.
Your posts are interesting history lessons!ReplyDelete
Street to street, house to house, room to room combat, how utterly terrifying.ReplyDelete
Sicily is such a beautiful country, now the Mafia is still present ! No soldiers needed !ReplyDelete
Thanks to the foreign soldiers who came to fight to Italy.ReplyDelete
@Cloudia: those guys did some amazing things, including Daniel InuoyeReplyDelete
@Iris: PTSD does terrible things.
@magiceye: thank you.
@Gemel: it would have been.
@Gattina: I would like to see it.
...military art is a genre that doesn't often come to mind.ReplyDelete
It does stand out well.Delete
I think a museum would be a good destination this morning. We have -11 C. on the thermometer.ReplyDelete
It was a cold morning here.Delete
Another great post and images from the war museum. Have a wonderful weekend.ReplyDelete
That corridor really points the point across about the horrors of war.ReplyDelete
I was thinking of Matthew Halton when you first mentioned war correspondents. Your last photo shows. Matthew Halton.ReplyDelete
He saw a lot.Delete
It’s amazing how the mind works. From your opening about the Battle of Britain, I had a flashback to a little soft-cover mostly picture book that my arenas had when I was a boy.ReplyDelete
Memories do crop up.Delete
Those exhibits certainly bring the Italian campaign to life!ReplyDelete
The war museum offers its visitors a history lesson in war.ReplyDelete
Very much so.Delete
Another excellent post William. The lady's uniforms were so classy looking. Also wanted to mention how much I like your header photo.ReplyDelete
That header photo is likely to change in a few days.Delete
Sergeant M.E. Boreham looks very elegant from the portrait!ReplyDelete
I think so.Delete
I don't know much about the acts of war in Italy, thank you for your information in that area.ReplyDelete
Yes to Jan. How much territory we had to recapture!ReplyDelete
Bravo to the pilots who served ~ReplyDelete
Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
glad to hear of the lady. fun learning. ( ;ReplyDelete
People forget about the women who also served like the men, good to see a female honoured.ReplyDelete