TO REMEMBER THE RCASC IN NORMANDY
The RCASC in Normandy
On D-Day, June 6, 1944, RCASC soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Division and 2nd Armoured Brigade landed on Juno Beach as part of the great Allied assault on German-occupied France. That day, the Corps suffered 14 fatal casualties, with many more in the weeks and months to follow.
Throughout the summer of 1944, thousands of members of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps served in the First Canadian Army in the Battle of Normandy in 1944, providing outstanding and essential combat service support that helped achieve the Allied victory in that campaign. Many did not return.
The memory of their efforts needs to be perpetuated.
The “BOLD” Tank Memorial
In 1971, a Sherman tank of the First Hussars nicknamed “BOLD”, which had sunk on D-Day, was pulled from the water off Courseulles-sur-Mer (with the assistance of 4 Service Battalion). It was restored and placed in the town square of Courseulles as a memorial to the Canadians who landed on Juno Beach.
Over the years, bronze plaques had been placed on the tank commemorating the Canadian units, regiments and corps which took part in the landings. Sadly, the RCASC is one of the very few corps still unrepresented on the tank.
This situation needs to be rectified!
The RCASC Normandy Plaque Project
A number of former RCASC members in Ottawa area have undertaken to have a bronze plaque made and mounted on the tank in time for the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in June 2004.
A plaque has been designed, and a foundry which can produce it has been identified. The Ottawa committee is in touch with the authorities of the town of Courseulles, which is the custodian of the tank, concerning the details of having it mounted.
It is hoped to have a ceremony to unveil the plaque during the 60th Anniversary remembrance. While a final date has not yet been chosen, the preferable date is 7 June 2004.
For those who may wish to attend the ceremony, Jim Craig, who is a travel agent, is looking at putting together a tour package which could be tailored to our needs, and keep travel costs at a reasonable price. More details will follow.
The estimated cost of producing, shipping, and mounting the plaque is approximately $2,000. There will also be some additional costs involved for the ceremony, but these are not known at this time. Additionally, if an RCASC Normandy veteran can be found who is able to travel, it would certainly be fitting to help pay his travel expenses, if funds permit. If anyone knows of such a veteran, please let us know.
We hope that those who served in the RCASC will want to contribute to this project in some way. For those who wish to donate, we have made arrangements with Jack Clarry of the RCASC Association in Toronto to receive donations, so that a tax receipt for charitable purposes can be issued.
We will be grateful for all donations, however small. They will all contribute to making this project a reality.
As plans proceed, details will be updated on this website.