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My Dad was in many ways like other young men of his generation. He signed up before he was 18 and joined the Royal Canadian Navy to go off to war. I am sure he did not understand all the implications of his decision and that the drama unfolding around him would reshape world history.

He was just a young guy looking to his part and perhaps a little adventure. He became a radar operator on a Canadian minesweeper. Radar on ships was as close to a video game that existed in the early 1940’s only that his version was primitive compared to our kids X-box.

He never talked much about his experiences other than to say he slept through the D-Day invasion even though he was sitting on a ship that was off the coast of Normandy having helped to sweep it clear of mines.

On the day of remembrance, I want to remember my Dad and tell him how much I miss him, but he is not forgotten.

Here is one description of the role of the minesweepers in the early moments of D-Day:

“The Channel was rough. Waves, some two metres high, made sailing difficult even at reduced speed. The ships and landing crafts were tossed around and many got seasick. In front of the fleet, minesweepers cleared a route through the mined area protecting the coast. The 31st Canadian Minesweeper Flotilla, as well as other Canadian ships incorporated into British flotillas took part in the operation, clearing ten lanes marked with lighted buoys.”

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