Algonquin Regiment

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

  1. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I did a little more checking on Pte. Norman L. Brown. I went to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site and found that the actual date of death was October 26th, 1944 based both on a Graves Commission Concentration Report Form and on the War Diary. Here are the two documents.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. christinal

    christinal New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to help me with this. I had always been told by my mother that Norman was killed " in a tank by a mine" but she was only seven or so when he died and if my grandparents received details on this I have been unable to find it. The diary page you provided certainly has given a glimpse of what happened to Norman on October 26th. I have almost all? the letters written to and from Norman during his war years and I am slowly getting to know an uncle that I never had the chance to meet. Again, I thank you.
     
  3. Mike Austin

    Mike Austin New Member

    I'm looking for info on my grandpa William Smith and hoping you can assist. We know he originally enlisted under the Queens Own Rifles and was transferred to the Algonquins. Growing up he would speak very little of the war. We know he was only involved in a battle where he was off course at the bottom of a hill/cliff for a couple of days before being taken as a pow.

    He told-me as a kid he was in German prison near the black forest. He would tell a story of once escaping when an American tank stormed the wall but was recaptured a little while later. He also told us that at the end of the war he was released but many Russian and others were executed.

    We always thought he stormed the d-day beaches, but when I found the Queens Own Rifles embarkation records he is not listed. So I assume he was an Algonquin by this time.

    I recently found info on the Worthington Force and this very closely matches what I do recall he told my brother shortly before he died. He told us they were at the bottom of hill where they shouldn't have been. That the tanks were destroyed and many had died. He was a Bren gunner.

    I'm wondering if anyone with access to Warpath or the diaries can find any info on whether he was involved. His name was William (Bill) H Smith. His service number is b65960. We are also trying to find which war prison he was in. My brothers and I are planning a trip to try and trace his footsteps and any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Mike Austin:

    I will take a look at the War Diary tomorrow and see what I can find.

    David
     
  5. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    I am out of town until next week but will check Warpath on my return.
     
  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    DSCF8046.JPG DSCF8047.JPG DSCF8048.JPG DSCF8062.JPG DSCF8063.JPG DSCF8064.JPG
    Here is the War Diary account of the battle with an additional entry from Major L.C. Monk, OC 'B' Company Algonquin Regiment.
     
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  7. Mike Austin

    Mike Austin New Member

    Thank you so much I truly appreciate your taking the time to dig this up. It really does sound like this could be where he was. He rarely spoke of the war so our details are sparse.
     
  8. SMLE

    SMLE Junior Member

    This sounds a bit like he may have been in Stalag XIII-C at Hammelburg. Patton's son in law was in the officers camp Offlag XIII-B and Task Force Baum was formed with the intention of travelling 50 miles behind the German lines and freeing the prisoners. They did break into the camp and many prisoners escaped but most were recaptured along with most of Task Force Baum. I'm not sure if any other ranks were involved in the break out or if it was only the officers camp.

    It does seem to fit with American tanks freeing prisoners but them then being recaptured. Can't think when else that may have happened.

    Very interesting story.

    Task Force Baum - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Thanks SMLE. I have never heard of Task Force Baum before.
     
  10. Mike Austin

    Mike Austin New Member


    Thank you so much. This does sound like what he described. We requested his war records last week but I hear they can take up to 6 months to receive. I'm hoping they will confirm some of this for us.
     
  11. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member

    Mike,
    Compliments of forum member Klambie, I am in contact with a researcher based in Ottawa who should be able to get the war records to you faster than the usual 6-9 months. PM me for the details.
     
  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Warpath does list W.H. Smith as one of the Missing for the period August 7th to 14th. He was one of 48 Other Ranks reported missing but there is no direct reference.
    The Nominal Role shows W.H. Smith (B65960) being Taken on Strength as of 12/02/43 and Struck Off Strength as of 10/08/44.
    Another Pte. H.R. Smith is shown with an SOS date of 20/06/45.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  13. Mike Austin

    Mike Austin New Member

    Thank you Canuck. I believe this is leading me to believe he was part of the Worthington Force, based on the timeline of when he went missing and what little he did tell us. The dates I think would align as well. He's discharge Certificate says that he enrolled in the Queens' Own Rifles on Dec 15th of 1942, so this would mean that he transferred to Algonquins 12/02/42 I assume. The date stamped on the discharge paper is a bit hard to read but says August 11, 1945 I think ( a bit hard to read) so not sure what Stuck Off Strength on 10/08/44 would mean?

    Again thank you to everyone for all your help. Grandpa never spoke much of the war, other than a few small stories. He spoke of the tank breaking down the walls of the prison and escaping for a bit, of the villagers sneaking them beer or bread when the guards weren't watching and of planting trees in the black forest. It wasn't until a few months before he died that he told us that he was only in France for 3 or 4 days before being captured and that they were at a hill/cliff 5 of so km off course. With tears in his eye, he told us everyone he came to know was killed and only a few survived. The last order he heard was shot anything that moves, before the Germans surrounded them and he surrendered. He told us it was the worse nightmare ever and he never wanted to remember or talk about it. I remember him once telling me as a kid that he was shooting people he didn't know, who in another circumstance could have been his best friend. I'm sure this is common among many veterans.

    This is helping me fill in gaps that I was always curious of. I'm hopeful his war records will confirm he was at Stalag XIII-C at Hammelburg, so my brothers and I can go over trace his path. He did have a map that we believe one of my aunts has, where he traced the path the German's marched him to the camp (lots by foot he once told me, and much by train... unless they were told to get off the train because the allies bombed it.. which he said happened more than once).

    I'm am grateful for your help!

    Mike
     
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  14. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Stuck Off Strength on 10/08/44 simply means that was the official date at which point he was no longer a member of the Algonquins. Obviously discharged the next day.

    Worthington Force
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  15. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Actually SOS is Struck Off Strength. It's opposite is TOS - Taken On Strength. As Canuck said these are the official dates that a soldier is removed (or added) to a unit's rolls.
     

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