The Normandy Project
Final Update

RCASC PLAQUE UNVEILED AT JUNO BEACH

The soldiers of the RCASC who fought in the Battle of Normandy in 1944 have been now been honoured by a plaque in the coastal Norman town of Courseulles-sur-Mer. On 7 June, 2004, in a ceremony which was part of the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, a RCASC plaque was unveiled, joining those of other Canadian regiments, corps, and ships which took part in the landings.

The plaques are mounted on “BOLD”, a Sherman tank of the First Hussars which sank on D-Day and since 1971 has sat as a memorial in the town square of Courseulles-sur-Mer.

The unveiling took place as part of a joint ceremony with the Régiment de la Chaudière, whose plaque was also added to the tank. Over 100 were in attendance at the ceremony, which included delegations from the RCASC (including wives) and the Chaudières, civic officials, French veterans, and interested Canadian and French onlookers. The RCASC plaque was jointly unveiled by Major-General (ret) Dick Leech, Mr. John Kirkpatrick a RCASC D-Day veteran, and M. Rémy Simon, the Deputy Mayor of Courseulles. They also laid a wreath on behalf of the RCASC and the Town of Courseulles. A colour party was provided by French Army veterans and guard of honour was supplied by the18e Régiment de Transmissions of the French Army.

Following the ceremony, a reception was held at the Town Hall, at which Gen. Leech thanked the town for its help and support, and M. Maurice Perraton, the custodian of the tank, in particular. He presented the Deputy Mayor with a RCASC plaque which will be displayed in the Town Hall. For his part, M. Simon expressed the gratitude of the people of Courseulles for the part which the Canadians played in the liberation of Courseulles and of France. Speaking of the RCASC, he remarked that “the approaches to Courseulles were a nerve centre for your operations where you deployed supply, ammunition and fuel dumps immediately following the initial landings.” He also noted that the Corps suffered 14 fatal casualties on D-Day. To mark the town's appreciation, he presented the Corps with a banner commemorating the 60th Anniversary. It will be presented to the Base Borden Museum in September.

Other members of the Corps who attended the ceremony included Maurice Leduc (a Normandy veteran of the 4th Armoured Division), Les Rowbottom, Don Basinger, Jack Rozee, Mike Paré, Al Kowbel, and Arthur Heximer.

The Committee thanks all those who supported this project financially and in other ways. We wish especially to thank LGen (ret) Charles Belzile, President of the Canadian Battlefields Foundation, for his continuing advice and support.

For further information contact Mike Paré at michael.pare@sympatico.ca.