Canadian Kangaroos

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Owen, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Looking at the 1 RCAR website saw this,

    Quote"It was during this time that one of the drivers - whose name is lost to us at this time - won the M.M. for putting a German tank out of action by ramming it with his empty, unarmed Priest Kangaroo"unquote.

    Has anyone heard of this story before?
    Has the MM winner been identified now?
    The site hasn't been updated for a few years.

    Here's the site.http://www.1cacr.org/index.html
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Was just doing a forum search for 'kangaroos' & I found this really old post of mine from 2006.
    I've just looked at on TNA website for their honours and awards & found only 3 men from this unit to be awarded the MM.
    No mention of ramming tanks though.

    Recommendation for Award for Seymour, William Brown
    Rank: Trooper
    Service No: B118977
    Regiment: 1 Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
    Award: Military Medal

    Recommendation for Award for Bois, Joseph Albert
    Rank: Serjeant
    Service No: D131241
    Regiment: 1 Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
    Award: Military Medal


    Recommendation for Award for Whynot, Francis Nelson
    Rank: Lance Serjeant
    Service No: F 66339
    Regiment: 1 Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
    Award: Military Medal

    All three on WO 373/56
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 01 November 1945
     

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  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I'll add the other awards I've found for that unit.


    Name Churchill, Gordon Minto
    Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    Regiment: 1 Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North West Europe 1944-45
    Award: Distinguished Service Order
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 01 November 1945
     

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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Name Corbeau, Francis Stanley
    Rank: Major
    Regiment: 1 Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North West Europe 1944-45
    Award: Distinguished Service Order
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 01 November 1945
     

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  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Name Rook, Samuel Frank
    Rank: Captain
    Regiment: 1 Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North West Europe 1944-45
    Award: Military Cross
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 01 November 1945
     

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  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    From WO 373/55

    Name Black, Curtis Lefoy
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Regiment: 1 Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment, Canadian Armoured Corps
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North West Europe 1944-45
    Award: Military Cross
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 02 August 1945
     

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  7. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    If it was a Priest Kangaroo, it should be quite early, probably before 1 CACR was formed? Maybe the MM you want is under one of their predecessors?
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    If it was a Priest Kangaroo, it should be quite early, probably before 1 CACR was formed? Maybe the MM you want is under one of their predecessors?

    That was the conclusion I came to as well.
    Anyone fancy having a look who it could be?
     
  9. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    If it was a Priest Kangaroo, it should be quite early, probably before 1 CACR was formed? Maybe the MM you want is under one of their predecessors?

    From "The Ram, Developement and Variants" vol 2 by Paul Roberts.

    The First commander of 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron was Capt. F.S. Corbeau.

    At the end of August, early September they received "de-frocked" Priests ( I have 50 serial numbers of them ), the first Ram Kanagroos started arriving in Pierreville, near Rouen from 1st October.

    Cheers
    Kevin
     
  10. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Here's an article on the Priest Kangaroo conversion; sadly no mention of who found the crews.

    Brian A Reid's No Holding Back suggests the crews were based upon E Sqn of the Elgin Regiment (who were acting as a Forward Delivery Sqn for 2 Cdn Corps Tps) with additional drivers drawn from the artillery regiments (in effect, staying with their Priests) and reinforcement units.
     
  11. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    by Charmion Chaplin-Thomas
    [​IMG]


    "In Normandy, Major G.A. Wiggan of the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers receives a set of orders that both excites and daunts him. His unit, a 250-man Advanced Workshop Detachment codenamed “Kangaroo”, has been tasked with ensuring that II Canadian Corps has enough armoured vehicles to transport the entire assault wave of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division and the 51st Highland Division through the first phase of Operation TOTALIZE. Troops must be in place to cross the start line by nightfall on August 7, which gives Maj Wiggan’s technicians and mechanics precisely four days to create a new kind of armoured fighting vehicle.
    Op TOTALIZE is the third “big push” mounted by II Canadian Corps under Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds since the fall of Caen on July 9. Its objective is to break through the German positions to the south and east of Caen and advance down the road to Falaise. The farther the Canadians get, the more German formations will be trapped against Second British Army to the north; if the Canadians reach Falaise, a very large German force will be enveloped, their escape route to the east cut off. But LGen Simonds has learned two lessons during the last three weeks: first, tanks can’t win a battle without infantry to deal with mortars and anti-tank artillery—Second British Army demonstrated this in Op GOODWOOD—and, second, infantry can’t advance against tanks and emplaced artillery without protection. During Op SPRING, German artillery and tank fire in the battles for Bourgebus, Verrières Ridge and Tilly-la-Campagne shredded the battalions of the 2nd Division; at Verrières, the Black Watch all but disappeared in an uphill advance straight at a group of tanks armed with 88-mm guns. LGen Simonds can’t afford to keep losing infantry at such a rate, so in his instructions to divisional commanders for Op TOTALIZE he wrote, “The infantry accompanying the armour to the first objectives in Phase One must go straight through with the armour. Arrangements have been made for about 30 stripped Priest chassis to be made available …for this purpose. …The essentials are that infantry shall be carried in bullet and splinter-proof vehicles to their actual objectives.”
    While armour and engineer units across the Corps are canvassed for all the half-tracks and White scout cars they can spare, the men of the Advanced Workshop Detachment get to work scrounging armour plate wherever it can be found. (Naval officers on the assault beaches are soon enraged by the sight of soldiers with blow-torches cutting apart stranded landing craft**.) Meanwhile, General Harry Crerar himself, the commanding officer of First Canadian Army, is on the telephone to his American counterpart to ask permission to tear apart the Priest self-propelled guns lent to the Canadians before D-Day. To convert a Priest into an armoured personnel carrier, the Kangaroo men remove its guns and mantlets and weld slabs of armour over the openings; when the supply of armour plate runs out, they use two sheets of mild steel (one welded to the inside of the hull and the other outside), and fill the gap with sand. The prototype is ready for presentation to LGen Simonds by nightfall on the first day of work, and by the morning of August 6, 76 “defrocked Priests” are ready for battle.
    The usefulness of armoured personnel carriers is so obvious that they quickly enter the allied inventory, and in honour of Maj Wiggan’s Advanced Workshop Detachment, APCs made by cannibalizing other armoured fighting vehicles are known throughout the British and Canadian armies as Kangaroos."

    ** That 'scrounging' strikes me as being a particularly strong Canadian trait.
     
  12. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    A couple of Ram Kangaroo photos.
     

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  13. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    More
     

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  14. KevinT

    KevinT Senior Member

    Another
     

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