July 12, 1943

Beautiful day – the sea is calm, a cool breeze is blowing but the sun is very bright. Expect to arrive in Malta this evening and make a landing on Sicily at 5 a.m. – Tomorrow July 13/1943. It will be three long weeks tomorrow since we boarded a ship in Greenoch Harbour. It seems quite a long time here. This is the order of the day as issued by the Naval Commander of L.S.T. (Landing Ship Tank) 164 (our ship), to his men, the day before landing on Sicily:

“In the event of beaching it is likely that we shall see some action. If so, you will remain cool and hold your fire until damage can be done to the enemy. Do not allow yourself to become excited. When you get the word for independent fire, you should use your head and make every shot tell.

“We are engaged in an honourable service and no one would be here if he did not wish to be. Therefore there is no need for me to wave the Union Jack, or to appeal to sentiments which must be present in all of us. We will tackle what ever lies ahead as brothers in arms. Let each of us search into his own heart and pray to his own God for the success of our expedition.”

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.

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