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Creston Valley Goes to War

By Air, Sea, and Land

Men of 17

Army recruiting ad seeking men as young as 17, November 1943

We know the names of over 800 men and women from the Creston Valley who served in the Second World War, but, for the most part, we know very little of the details of their service. We do know, however, that they served in every possible capacity: In the army, as artillerymen and tank drivers and infantrymen, as mechanics and signallers. In the air force, as pilots and bombers and navigators, as photographers, as air craft mechanics and radio operators. In the navy, as engine crews and gunners and wireless operators. We know of cooks and clerks, privates and captains, even paratroopers and snipers and members of special forces. Local men and women served as instructors and recruiters in Canada and overseas.

They served in every theatre of the war: homeland defence, submarine patrol and convoy duty in the North Atlantic, the UK, north-western Europe, North Africa, Italy, and the Pacific. Most served with Canadian forces; some served with Britsh and American; at least one served with the Chinese air force.

The following pages offer a very brief, and very broad, look at some of the experiences of the local men and women in uniform.