Harry Sanders sailed the oceans of the world during the Second World War. Born in the small seaside community of South Shields, in Great Britain, he answered a Marconi company ad on the topic of wireless operators, and soon his training was underway, as he left school and South Shields behind him. Soon named a junior radio officer, his adventures began, as he would move from one ship to the next in subsequent years, joining one convoy after the next. Harry crossed the Atlantic on many occasions, seeing ports of call everywhere in the world. Along the way he and the men and women of the merchant marine sustained the war effort, bringing crucial supplies to Britain in her hour of need. And Harry did pay the price: one of his ships was torpedoed on the south Atlantic, where Harry was lucky to survive, clinging to a raft and following the current ashore to Sierra Leone. Shipped back to England, it was on to the next adventure, which included an assignment to an Allied troop ship, ferrying the men to Omaha Beach once D-Day was underway. In the final days of the war, he brought supplies to the men fighting the Battle of the Bulge, and to the Dutch survivors of the “Hunger Winter”.
Harry came to our attention as the result of an article in the Toronto Star, and Tillsonburg Mayor Stephen Molnar helped put Mr. Masters in touch, and Mr. Masters visited Harry in his home in early January 2018.
Oral History Project February 2nd, 2018
Ray Cameron is a veteran of the Merchant Navy. When the war came he was living in Lindsay, Ontario, where he had been on the farm and had worked on the Great Lakes as a seaman. When Norway was pulled into the war, the Norwegian merchant marine made the decision to recruit in Canada, and Mr. Cameron signed up. Soon he was off to New York, and he set off across the Atlantic on the first his crossings. Ray was able to travel the world during his years, making journeys to Europe, Africa and Asia, all the while carrying the supplies that were integral to the war effort, and putting himself in harm’s way as the Axis forces did all they could to interrupt those vital supply lines.
Ray visited us at Crestwood for our April 2016 Veterans’ Breakfast, and Mr. Masters was able to visit him in his home in June 2016, where he was interviewed for this project.
Oral History Project July 12th, 2016
George Myatt served in Canada’s merchant marine during WW2. As such, George was a crewman aboard a number of cargo vessels, and he visited many ports of call around the world, especially in Europe and Africa. George saw his share of danger working in this often neglected part of canada’s military force; one ship he was on was torpedoed, and he and two other crewmen were the only survivors. They were adrift on the Atlantic for three days before being rescued, and George was lucky to go on to a full recovery.
George was interviewed for this project by Crestwood student Nick Andreoli.
admin July 9th, 2012