Thank you for your comments concerning the Italian campaign [Dodgers or not, they beat the odds, June 10 Odd Thoughts, Langley Advance].
On July 10, 2014, it will be 71 years since the First Canadian Infantry Division landed at Pachino Beach, Sicily. It was enemy territory, so there was no welcome of liberation, as there would be on D-Day some 10 months later.
The Fifth Canadian Armoured Division, which included my unit, arrived in November 1943.
From the invasion of Sicily until the occupation of Rome, June 4, 1944, the Canadians fought a series of very difficult battles. From June 6, 1944, it was downhill for the Italian campaign.
Short of manpower and equipment, the Canadians fought on until the early months of 1945, and we left Italy to join the Canadian forces in northern Europe.
Those of us who served in Italy after D-Day had little choice but to remain there, so that is why we are proud to be called D-Day Dodgers.
Bill Nicholson, Langley