Algonquin Regiment

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Marius, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    On the 11th of November the Algonquins moved into the Waalwijk/Baarwijk area of Holland and were assigned a holding role astride the main channel of the Maas River. They remained there until January 1945.
    With two rifle companies always occupying the river and dyke line, the regiment conducted aggressive patrolling while cycling companies out of the line for intensive training.
    According to the action described in Warpath, L/Cpl. Asplund was very likely part of a platoon strength patrol from "D" company, led by Lieut. R.P. Hooper, on the 21st. The 30 men in the patrol were in the process of withdrawing after an encounter with the enemy at a house near the river when, amid the darkness and confusion, the patrol set off a number of "S" mines. Nine men were killed and twelve wounded. Virtually all the regiments casualties during the period of Nov. 5 - Dec. 31, occurred in this action.
    Warpath does list L/Cpl. Asplund as one of the fatal casualties during this time frame.

    Afterwards, Sgt. George Campbell of "C" Company volunteered to bring out the bodies of the dead and did so in daylight, under direct sniper fire and within the minefield. He subsequently won the Military Medal for this brave effort.
     
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  2. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    Canuck: Thank you for your very quick reply. This is useful information!

    I've been trying to find a copy of Warpath, since I've seen it referenced a number of times. Unfortunately, it's not available in any of the libraries around here so I'd have to order it online. I'm on a bit of a short deadline - this research is part of a presentation I'm doing on a battlefield tour of the Netherlands and I leave in 4 weeks.
     
  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is the Algonquin war diary for November 21st, 1944. It mentions the death of L/Cpl Asplund.
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    It has been out of print for a number of years so it may difficult and possibly expensive to acquire. A seller through Amazon lists a used copy at $ 220 U.S.
    Are you in Canada? Several of the larger libraries do have copies.
     
  5. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    Yes, I saw it on Amazon. Too expensive! But I think I may have located it at my daughter's university library. Same author, same description, slightly different title. I'll see if she can borrow it for me.

    And thank you for the page!
     
  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    My pleasure. If you're pressed I can scan some selected pages for you.
    There was a second printing produced in 2003 by Highway Book Shop, Cobalt, Ontario. That is where I obtained my copy but I believe they may now be out of business. The original was produced in December of 1948 by Ryerson Press, Toronto, Ontario.That is the version I remember reading as a boy.

    Good luck on the tour. For what it's worth, STOLPI is a member of this forum and resides in the Netherlands. He is as close to an expert on Canadian battlefields as you are likely to find. His many threads on Dutch and German battlefields are well worth a look.
     
  7. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    The book by G.L. Cassidy found at the uni library is called Warpath from Tilly-la-campagne to Kusten Canal and it was published in 1980. My daughter has put it on hold so I should get it in the next couple of days. I hope this is the one - it's the only one by that author and the summary says "History of the Algonquin Regiment during the Second World War." Fingers crossed.

    Thanks for your help. The page you attached was great - the exact information I was searching for. I'll look for posts by STOLPI. This is my first run on a forum like this - is it possible to search by user?

    I love the quote at the end of your posts, by the way. I think I'll use that as a discussion point at the beginning of my grade 12 history class next year.
     
  8. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    The Algonquin Regiment, with headquarters in North Bay since 1936, recruited from an area extending from Bracebridge and Parry Sound to the south and to Timmins and Cochrane in the north. When war broke out recruitment and training was the first order of the day and it was not until 22 July 1940 that the Regiment went into active service. As Camp Borden in North Bay did not have enough space for training exercises, they were moved first to Port Arthur and on 4 June 1941 to Camp Shilo in Manitoba.
    The regiment went on to active service overseas, fought in Normandy and participated in the liberation of Holland . From 1940 to 1946, 175 officers and 3,995 of other ranks served with the battalion; 341 were killed or died of wounds and 959 were listed as wounded or missing.

    The Algonquin Regiment, CASF was mobilized on 24 May 1940, and served in Newfoundland from 7 February 1942 to 6 February 1943. The unit embarked for the United Kingdom on 19 June 1943, and landed in Normandy on 23-24 July 1944 as part of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade, a component of the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division. The active unit, redesignated 1st Battalion, The Algonquin Regiment, was disbanded on 15 February 1946. A 2nd Battalion served in the Reserve Army.

    The panorama photo below was taken on July 22nd, 1941, at Camp Shilo:

    Algonquin 800 pix for web.jpg Algonquin1.jpg Algonquin2.jpg Algonquin3.jpg Algonquin4.jpg Algonquin5.jpg Algonquin7.jpg Algonquin8.jpg Algonquin9.jpg Algonquin10.jpg Algonquin11.jpg Algonquin12.jpg
     
  9. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    The first 65 pages of my copy are dedicated to the mobilization and training of the regiment, in Canada and in England. Chapter 5 begins on July 16th, 1944 with the first deployment to Normandy.

    There is a search function, in the upper right part of the home screen, where you can inquire, by member name.

    This thread may also be of interest:

    http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/39679-worthington-force/?hl=worthington


    Good luck!
     
  10. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    Great photos! L/Cpl Asplund enlisted in May 1943 so he wouldn't be in the shot. His file also says he trained at Camp Borden from July 1943 until August when he was sent to London, Ontario for driver mechanic training (until November).

    From what I can gather from his file (which is a bit hard to read), he arrived in the UK in September 1944 but perhaps I've got that wrong. If the rest of the regiment landed in Normandy in July, he would presumably have been with them. I'll have to take a closer look.
     
  11. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Attached Files:

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  12. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    Thank you for this information. Was L/Cpl Asplund with Sgt Campbell and the Nov '44 party? I'm not sure of the connection.

    Had a look at the Memorial programme. Beautiful!
     
  13. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    HI,
    I'm not sure if L/Cpl Asplund was with Sgt Campbell in the first incident, but it goes on to talk about him retrieving the bodies from the mine blasts that killed L/Cpl Asplund.

    Regards

    Alistair
     
  14. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    L/Cpl Asplund died in Nov '44; the article says the mine blast was in Jan '45, so probably not the same incident, unless I'm reading that wrong...?
     
  15. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    The Algonquins had significant casualties through July and August, particularly August 9-10, so Asplund could easily have been one of the needed replacements which all regiments regularly absorbed to offset the personnel losses incurred. Being all volunteer and with much higher than projected casualties in Normandy, the Canadian Army began in July a program of remustering of reinforcements from other corps to the infantry in order to address a significant shortage. A detailed training program was developed for recently remustered troops. Between August 12 and September 1, 4,088 men were transferred, most from armoured, artillery and engineer corps. Remustering efforts continued until January 1945, but in smaller numbers. Asplunds records may indicate if he was originally an infantryman or one of these remustered troops.
     
  16. klambie

    klambie Senior Member

    rachel21mac,

    If you are presenting on this man, you might take a closer look at his records. Possibly a red herring, but Driver/Mechanic training at Borden often points to service in the Canadian Armoured Corps. Shortly after the invasion, the Army realized that they had a surplus of trained tank men and a shortage of infantry. It would not be surprising to see a transfer to the Canadian Infantry Corps and some refresher training before he was posted to the Algonquins. This was quite common during that period.
     
  17. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Rachel21mac, sorry I should have had a more thorough read of this last night - it does look like the incident is the same - same area, same circumstances, same number of casualties and the story being about a Sgt Campbell as mentioned by Canuck, your right the date doesn't match but I'd say this is an error in the article rather than a different incident.

    Regards

    Alistair
     
  18. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Here is a summary of the Algonquin Regiment's service in Canada from 1940-43:

    The Algonquin Regiment, CASF

    History
    24 May 1940 – Authorized – Serial 1052 (GO 184/1940)(GO 50/1941)
    22 July 1940 – Mobilised at North Bay, Ontario (War Diary)
    7 November 1940 - Title Changed to 1st Battalion, The Algonquin Regiment (GO 273/1940)
    3 September 1942 – Title Changed to 1st Battalion, The Algonquin Regiment, CIC (GO 485/1942)

    Command
    HQ Military District No. 2 22/7/40 - 6/9/40
    HQ Borden Area 7/9/40 - 9/10/40
    HQ Military District No. 10 10/10/40 - 19/11/41
    NDHQ 19/11/41 - 22/11/41
    HQ 14th Canadian Infantry Brigade 22/11/41 - 3/2/42
    NDHQ 3/2/42 - 5/2/42
    HQ Military District No. 6 5/2/42 - 7/2/42
    HQ St. John’s Defences 7/2/42 - 17/3/42
    HQ Botwood Defences 17/3/42 - 6/2/43
    HQ St. John’s Defences 6/2/43 - 9/2/43
    HQ Military District No. 6 9/2/43 - 13/2/43
    HQ 20th Canadian Infantry Brigade 13/2/43 - 10/6/43

    Location
    North Bay, Ontario 22/7/40 - 6/9/40
    Camp Borden, Ontario 7/9/40 - 9/10/40
    In transit 9/10/40 - 10/10/40 – TS-155
    Current River Camp, Port Arthur, Ontario 10/10/40 - 4/6/41
    In transit 4/6/41 - 5/6/41 – TS-280
    Camp Shilo, Manitoba 5/6/41 - 19/11/41
    In transit 19/11/41 - 22/11/41 – TS-492
    Camp Niagara, Ontario 22/11/41 - 26/11/41
    Allanburg Barracks, Niagara, Ontario 26/11/41 - 19/12/41
    Chippawa Barracks, Niagara, Ontario 19/12/41 - 21/1/42
    Camp Niagara, Ontario 21/1/42 - 3/2/42
    In transit 3/2/42 - 7/2/42
    3/2/42 – First Flight entrained at Camp Niagara, Ontario – TS-524
    5/2/42 – First Flight arrived at Halifax, boarded Lady Nelson (E-445A), and sailed
    8/2/42 – First Flight arrived at St. John’s on Lady Nelson and moved to Lester’s Field Barracks
    11/2/42 – Second Flight entrained at Camp Niagara, Ontario – TS-525
    13/2/42 – Second Flight boarded Lady Nelson (E-445B) at Halifax
    15/2/42 – Second Flight arrived at St. John’s on Lady Nelson
    16/2/42 – Second flight disembarked at St. John’s and moved to Lester’s Field Barracks
    Lester’s Field, St. John’s, Newfoundland 7/2/42 - 17/3/42
    Botwood, Newfoundland 17/3/42 - 6/2/43
    Transit Camp, St. John’s, Newfoundland 6/2/43 - 9/2/43
    In transit 9/2/43 - 11/2/43
    25/1/43 – First Section of First Flight left Botwood
    26/1/43 – First Section of First Flight arrived at St. John’s Transit Camp
    27/1/43 – Second Section of First Flight left Botwood
    28/1/43 – First Section of First Flight embarked on Lady Rodney (W-375K). Second Section of First Flight arrived at St. John’s arrived at St. John’s and embarked on Lady Rodney. Ship sailed for Halifax.
    30/1/43 – First Flight arrived at Halifax and entrained (TS-820) for Camp Debert
    31/1/43 – First Flight arrived at Camp Debert
    6/2/43 – Second Flight entrained at Botwood.
    7/2/43 – Second Flight arrived at St. John’s Transit Camp
    8/2/43 – Second Flight embarked on Lady Rodney (W-375L)
    9/2/43 – Second Flight sailed from St. John’s, Newfoundland
    11/2/43 – Second Flight arrived at Halifax, NS and moved by train (TS-821) to Camp Debert, NS
    11/2/43 – Second Flight arrived at Camp, Debart.
    In transit 11/2/43 - 11/2/43 - TS-821
    Camp Debert, Nova Scotia 13/2/43 - 10/6/43
    In transit 10/10/43 - 10/10/43 - TS-915
    [Embarked on Empress of Scotland (E-690) at Halifax 10 June 1943. Sailed 11 June 1943]
     
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  19. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    AB64
    Canuck
    dryan67
    klambie

    Thank you!

    With your guidance, I have been making some great progress. I took another look at L/Cpl Asplund's service file (it is 166 pages!!!) and found reference to CACRU - Canadian Armoured Corps Reinforcement Unit. Is this what I'm looking for? Is this the evidence that he was he was transferred? I see no reference to CIC, however.

    He arrived in France on 10 Sept 1944 after training in England since May of that year so he definitely wasn't in the group of reinforcements that arrived in July. But, if remustering continued until January, he could have been in one of those smaller groups, as Canuck suggested.

    Curious to know what SOS (struck off strength) means as I've seen it in his files a few times.

    I have contacted the Cardston Historical Society (Asplund was born in Cardston, AB) and they are putting me in touch with an archivist. I'll let you know how the story unfolds.

    Rachel
     
  20. rachel21mac

    rachel21mac Member

    Forgot to add: there is a notation in the file that says he "remustered from CAC to RCA" on 25 July 44.

    And I just saw underneath that the first reference to CIC (I looked a little closer - it was tiny print) - SOS to X4 (?) CIC on 9 Sept 44. Yes! That's the same day he sailed from England to France!
     

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