In This Issue 16

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

Exam time – 2014

Click on photos for better viewing

Photo(s) of the Week by Curtis Maynard

A tip of the hat to the following members who just recently updated their Club membership status: Chapeau aux membres suivants qui ont tout récemment mis à jour leur adhésion au Club: 3116 Norman E Cressey – Lifetime membership; 3517 Norman K Sherman;  3526 James Munroe; 3821 Ron Muir;  5181 William W Jones; 6310 Ken C Schamuhn; 7040 Andrew Payer; 9188 Aavo Taal; 9946 Marcel Gingras; 12193 Terrance FJ Leversedge;

12694 Nelson May; 20722 David M Christie. 

Club Membership Info Join, Update or Renew ‘Now’


You’re not alone – Mental Health resources for CAF members and families

In This Issue 16:

14632 Simon & 15519 Sandra Sukstorf: Back at Boston Marathon

Ex-Cadets in the News

Class Notes…

PROFILE: The Battle Cry of 12723 Pat Stogran

“Was that you back then?”

Who Is She? Who Are They?

“All hell has broken out now exams are over.”

Mainguy, Mutinies and Mainstream Society:

1949 and the social turning point in Canada’s Navy

Gunners Out to Honour Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae &

His Flanders Fields Legacy

Memorial Project: 70th anniversary of the founding of the RCAF’s

first three squadrons dedicated to air transport operations

Qu’est-ce qui se passe au CMR Saint-Jean

Part VI The Reality of Battle – The Italian Campaign –

Life in a Static Winter Line 2761 Colonel Syd Frost: Northern Italy

We get emails

Deaths | Décès


Careers / Carrières

Look, look, UPDATED 10 April – Lundy’s Lane July 25 Celebration



PWOR Committed to Restoring Kingston’s Cross of Sacrifice

2015 RMC ALUMNI IRELAND TOUR /Travel Opportunity! Space for Two on Upcoming South Danube Tour Hungary to Romania (May 31 to June 14th, 2014)

Juno Beach Centre Association Notice:

In honour of the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, the Juno Beach Centre Association is paying tribute to the Canadians who lost their lives on June 6, 1944.

Dr David Baird Book – Physics at RMC, The First 125 Years. (1876 to 2001)

Business Section


From Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, USAAF (as quoted in the film “Pearl Harbour”):

“There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”

“You know they hit us at Pearl with a sledgehammer. This raid, even if it makes it through, will only be a pinprick. But it will be a pinprick straight through their hearts.”

James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle, USAF (December 14, 1896 – September 27, 1993) was an American aviation pioneer. Doolittle served as an officer in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. He earned the Medal of Honor for his valor and leadership as commander of the Doolittle Raid while a lieutenant colonel.

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14632 Simon &15519 Sandra Sukstorf: Back at Boston Marathon

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

This week, we begin a new feature in e-Veritas, Whatever Became of … In each issue an ex-cadet and / or a former staff member will reflect on his or her time at military college(s), and talk about what they’ve been up to in recent years. We hope you enjoy.

Claude Scilley has been reporting on athletics at RMC since 1972. You can follow his coverage of university sport on his blog:


A year after Boston Marathon bombings, 14632 Simon and 15519 Sandra Sukstorf reflect on tragedy


After he finished running the Boston Marathon a year ago, Simon Sukstorf went for a walk.

For about four hours after completing the famous 42.195-kilometre road race, Sukstorf walked — and he walked and he walked and he walked. “I walked halfway around the city of Boston,” he recalls.

All the while, his wife, Sandra, was nipping at his heels.

“I’m giving him hell because he’s not moving fast enough,” she says.

Don’t get her wrong. Sandra Sukstorf is not a cold-hearted person.

“I’d just watched body parts blow up, so I’m a little emotional,” she says, “and I’m feeling very sensitive.”

The Sukstorfs were in the middle of the explosions that rocked the finish-line area at last year’s Boston Marathon. Their odyssey after those blasts in some respects made the challenge of running the race pale in comparison.

“Knowing that there’s no way you can defend against (another bomb), and when they tell us, ‘There’s a threat in this area,’ it’s, like, ‘OK, let’s go!’” Sandra said, “and he’s trying to stumble along.

“At that point,” Simon explained, “I was beyond caring.”

The Sukstorfs — Simon, 52, is a 1984 engineering graduate of Royal Military College while Sandra, 49, is an economics major from RMC’s Class of ’86 — are both back in Boston today, where Simon will run again and Sandra will make her debut in the venerable race.

They’ll both be quite happy if, at the end of the day, the only source of exhilaration is the race itself. Once was enough to endure tragic events such as those of 2013, when two bombs killed three people and injured more than 250 others.

At the time of the explosions, Simon Sukstorf had just finished the race and he was making his way back to the Lennox Hotel, where he and his wife were staying with another couple. When the blasts occurred, he was perhaps 50 metres away. “I was literally just around the corner,” he said. “I could see the smoke. I could hear the screaming.”

An Air Force colonel, an aerospace engineer with special training in explosives, Sukstorf recognized the sound immediately. At first, he thought perhaps it was some sort of ceremonial salute from an artillery piece, as is done at the annual military road race in Ottawa. “Then I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t remember seeing any cannon, that probably was a bomb,’ and then the second blast went off and that confirmed it.

“I remember thinking, ‘OK, this is going to be a bad day.’ Then there was this surreal silence, for a split second, and then I heard all the screaming.”

His foremost concern was for his wife, sitting in a hotel room that overlooked the site of the first explosion. “She wasn’t very high up,” he said. “I knew she was watching out the window, watching for me to finish the race.”

He ran against the flow of people fleeing the blast. “My concern was the glass had been blown in on her in the hotel room.”

The Lennox was ground zero for the blasts, and Sandra was in a corner room, watching it all happen. “It was pretty scary,” she said.

Sandra was one of the lucky ones that day. She and a friend had been offered seats right beside the racecourse by organizers, but they’d declined, preferring instead to monitor the race on television in their room. “I’d just started running,” Sandra explained, “and a lot of the marathoners were women that I liked and was I quite interested (in following them).”

“I watched the bombs go off and you’re feeling helpless, then all of a sudden the windows blew out of the building across the street so I left the window area and ran to the stairwell. That’s when they chased us back into our rooms and tried to calm everybody down.”

Soon, the Sukstorfs were reunited but they quickly were ordered to leave the hotel. They left essentially with their wallets and the clothes they were wearing, which in Simon’s case was his race attire. “We were basically refugees on the street,” Simon said.

With communications paralysed, the people closest to the scene were perhaps the poorest informed. The uncertainly, he recalled, compounded the horror of the situation. “When everybody evacuated the scene they dropped all their backpacks, so (police) had no way of knowing if there were more explosive devices in the area.”

As the day progressed, the “concern zone” kept expanding. The Sukstorfs made their way to another hotel and since it was cool, took refuge in the lobby. Before long, everyone who wasn’t a guest was asked to leave, so it was back to the sidewalk. Thinking they’d found a safe place to stop some time later, they ordered dinner in a restaurant. It was on the ground floor of a federal government building, however, and as they were eating, the waiter came by and told patrons they’d have to leave there, too.

“We were evacuated three times that day,” Simon said.

The couple with whom the Sukstorfs were staying got evacuated by a different door at the Lennox, and they’d gone in an opposite direction. They had secured lodging at a different hotel and, finally, there was a new place to crash for the night.

“It was on the other side of the city,” Simon said. “We walked through all kinds of checkpoints (to get there).”

A veteran runner — “I’ve had people call me Forrest Gump, because I’ve been running ever since I was a kid and I’ve never stopped” — Simon said his result that day was secondary, but finishing in the top third of a field of more than 20,000 is something of which he is nonetheless proud.

“You have to remember Boston gets the best runners,” he said. “The elite runners are world class, but you also get the top-end recreational runners from around the globe coming to this event. I’m in my fifties, so for me to place in the top third of a field like that, I was quite delighted.”

Sukstorf, from Paisley, Ont., began his military career at Royal Roads and came to RMC in 1982 to complete his engineering degree. A varsity soccer player at Roads, he suffered a career-ending knee injury there and at RMC cross-country skiing became the object of his athletic pursuits.

The colleges, he said, set him up well for his career. “I attribute a lot of my success to the foundation I got at both Royal Roads and RMC, in terms of leadership skills, interpersonal skills, generally the attributes required to be an effective officer in the military.”

Sukstorf, who has an MBA from the University of Ottawa, is presently assigned to the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, where he is deputy commandant and director of curriculum.

Sandra Hawes came to Kingston from Coniston, Ont., a small mining town outside Sudbury. Part of the third class of women admitted to RMC, she remembers her time at the college a little less fondly. “Those were the years when guys didn’t want us there,” she says. “Those were not fun years for women. We were not welcome there.”

Sandra sought her refuge in sports, and the friends and camaraderie that existed on the badminton court and on the tennis and curling teams. “So many of those friendships have endured through the years.”

She ended her intercollegiate career as the captain of the tennis team and skip of the curling team. “I avoided a lot of the stupidity that was directed against us by playing a lot of sports.”

Sukstorf earned a law degree from Dalhousie and her Masters in law at Queen’s. A navy commander and assistant judge advocate general based in Toronto, Sandra is the senior lawyer overseeing legal support to all Canadian Forces bases in Ontario. Like her husband, she was a successful competitive runner in elementary and high school, but soured on the activity while at RMC.

“There were very few women and we had to run with the gazelle men who were super fit,” she recalled. “I always felt like such a horrible runner and I struggled to keep up. I basically didn’t run because I wasn’t very good at it, didn’t like it, and really had an aversion to running ever since.

“It was about two and a half years ago and the kids were all going to university and I started running a little more seriously.”

Today’s race will be her sixth marathon, fulfilling a personal pledge to run Boston in the year she turns 50.

Simon and Sandra met at RMC, during a boardsailing course. “She looked great in a wet suit,” he said. They went their separate ways, started families with different partners, and later got together. Their “re-assembled” family, three sons and a daugher, are aged 22, 23, 24 and 25.

One son, an electronics technician aboard HMCS Calgary, has followed them into the military. The daughter is with the Canadian Border Service Agency, while the other two sons graduate this spring from business programs at Wilfrid Laurier and Ottawa.

“And they all have jobs,” Simon said, “so we’re delighted.”


One day before the start of the 2014 Boston marathon; we have been advised that Simon will be wearing bib# 9944 and Sandra23944.

For those not familiar with Boston, the bib number is affiliated with the ranking out of approx 40,000 runners. Simon will be starting at the front of the second wave and Sandra will be placed mid way back in the 3rd wave.

We wish them and any other Ex cadets / former military colleges staff members the very best in the 2014 Boston marathon.


Next Issue, Claude will be catching up with Steve Molaski – former Redmen hockey star.

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Ex-Cadets & More in the News

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

18866 Eva Martinez was recently invited to be the keynote speaker for a Halton District School Board Model United Nations Conference.

Halton students learn about UN mission at Model UN conference

“Although my experiences were limited to a very small mission in a very small country, I hope you can draw from it that there are many parallels with some of the social, political, (and) economical issues playing out around the world today,” she said.

18866 Eva Martinez Article


Chris Hadfield thrills Coquitlam kids by flying paper airplanes


13987 Bryan Bailey (Class of 1983) and his rink had the good fortune of winning the Men’s Club Championship at the Garrison Curling Club recently. This year’s championship team had three ex-Cadets. With Bryan were – 15157 Craig Moore throwing third stones (Class 85) and 15592 Dr. Pat Heffernan (Class of 86) as lead. The match was well played, very close and tied up coming home at six points apiece but his rink had the advantage of last rock. Despite not keeping the end clean as intended, they managed to prevail by filling the house with their rocks.

For Bryan this represents the second time that he has been on a Garrison Club Championship winning team (both as second). In his last year at the College in 1983, the College varsity curling team also won the championship. That ‘83 team was skipped by 14017 Brian Lewis (also Class of 83) while 14626 Graham Sinclair (Class of 84) was third and 14926 Randy Boucher (Class of 85) rounded out the team.

While both these teams achieved the same success, the two teams are night and day! The College varsity team in 83 was an OUAA serious contender and obviously being 31 years younger provides many advantages. The ‘83 RMC team had all the shots but excelled in an aggressive style of play punctuated by precision hitting, rolls and delicate freezes and razor thin picks.

We asked Bryan to describe the style of his 2014 championship team.

“The current team tends to be considerably more conservative and almost one dimensional in terms of shot choice with a preference for quiet weight. Another key difference is that most of our current players are more than a little ocularly challenged to the point that determining the winner of the coin toss is also a team effort! Out of necessity, we have had to adopt a more intensive regime of pre-game stretching and the no-lift delivery! Our one advantage might be in sweeping as we seemed to have figured out how to leverage our less flexible but considerably heavier body mass! In any event, the win was a very pleasant surprise for the entire team and we look forward to next year.”


In New Officers’ Careers, Peace Is No Dividend

West Point perspective – many similarities to RMCC


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Class Notes…

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

7739 Herb England, Class of ’68, served with the Queen’s Own Rifles and PPCLI for three years. From 1968 to 1971, he served in Cyprus and as Chief Instructor at the Canadian Army Mountaineering School. He retired with the rank of Captain.

Following retirement, he worked with Arthur Andersen & Co in Toronto. He became a Chartered Accountant and obtained his MBA from York University. Herb then did almost twenty years with John Labatt Limited. He held various positions including CEO of Labatt Breweries of Western Canada in Edmonton, Catelli Inc in Montreal, and Johanna Dairies Inc in New York and New Jersey. He also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in Toronto. After leaving Labatt’s Herb participated in a couple of buy-outs in Toronto and then Florida.

Herb currently serves as a Director of Enbridge Inc in Calgary, Enbridge Energy Partners in Houston, Midcoast Energy Partners in Houston, and Fuelcell Energy Inc in New York. He also has private investments in two construction companies in Florida.

Herb and his wife, Wendy, have been married for 46 years. They have a son living in Toronto and another in San Francisco. They also have three granddaughters in San Francisco. They alternate their time between Naples, Florida and the Russian River Valley area north of San Francisco.

Paul Raymond 15435  and 5 other ex-cadets (Pierre Sergerie, Luc Filiatreault, Benoit Renaud, Harold Arsenault & Robert Beauregard) will be participating in a unique Rapelling activity in downtown Montreal (from the 21st floor!) to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes to kids with life threatening diseases.

There are a few spots left and he assumes it might interest other ex-Cadets in our area to join.

Interested e-Veritas readers wishing to learn more – contact 15435 Paul Raymond.

Paul Raymond, PEng, ICD.D
Président et chef de la direction
President and Chief Executive OfficerBureau/ Office : 514.285.5552
Cellulaire / Cell : 514.605.1225
1155, rue Metcalfe, bureau 2121
Montréal, (Québec) H3B 2V6


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PROFILE: The Battle Cry of 12723 Pat Stogran

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

PROFILE: The Battle Cry of Pat Stogran

This feature appears in Ottawa Magazine’s April 2014 issue


Dog days 12723 Pat Stogran started playing guitar again after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Now he leads an open-mic concert series called Singing for Change, which raises funds for Wounded Warriors and encourages other vets to share their stories through song (Photo: Luther Caverly)

He led the first Canadian troops into Afghanistan and sparked controversy as the inaugural veterans ombudsman. As the mission winds down and vets rally for care, Pat Stogran offers a few choice words

Those who know Pat Stogran well, such as Scott Taylor of Esprit de Corps magazine, describe the man’s frequent flights of oratory as the “full send.”

Picture a windstorm in Kandahar, if you’ve ever had the pleasure, or the chaos of a helicopter pad — lots of action and noise, and you have to keep up and pay attention — and you have Stogran on full send.

Stogran is on full send right now. We are eating breakfast in a ByWard Market diner, and he is talking about the work he is doing for Wounded Warriors, a charity that helps disabled veterans. He has been hooked up with them for a few years now and says that they’re the ones who are really helping veterans — it’s not the government. To that end, he’s starting up a website. He already has a name for it — Rebel Guerrilla — although damned if somebody doesn’t already have that name registered, so he may need to throw the word “dog” (after his beloved chocolate Labrador, Apollo) or “the” in there somewhere.

“Rebel-Dog-Guerrilla, or Dog-Rebel-Guerrilla?” he asks in jest. “What do you think sounds better?’”

In the end, he goes with The Rebel Guerrilla.

Stogran: The Rebel Guerrilla — it is certainly surprising, but not the first unexpected revelation I’ve had this morning. I remember interviewing him when he was leading soldiers in Afghanistan and almost a caricature of a ramrod-straight, spit-and-polish military officer. Yet this same man sitting across from me now tells me he is singing Woody Guthrie songs at open-mic nights around town and writing a book he hopes will initiate revolutionary thinking about our attitudes toward the government.

His change is rather remarkable and seems to represent much of the debate about Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. As the mission winds down, the serious job of assessment begins. What did we accomplish? What did we change?

Stogran will be part of that conversation because of a unique perspective on two fronts: he was commanding officer of the first Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, and he was Canada’s first veterans ombudsman. He may well be unique in another regard. Certainly it is hard to believe anyone was changed more because of our war in Afghanistan than Colonel Pat Stogran.

When all is said and done, Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan lasted 4,565 days — more time than Canada spent in both world wars.

No one thought such a thing possible in 2001, when 43-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel Pat Stogran was the new commander of the Third Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3PPCLI), which, at the time, was Canada’s rapid deployment force. Most military observers greeted his appointment as destiny unfolding.

“In many ways, Pat is the perfect light infantry commander,” says Taylor, who first met Stogran in Bosnia. “He loves physical training, loves being a soldier. He is an officer who easily gets the respect of his troops.”

It’s not hard to imagine why. Stogran once said he learned everything he needed to know about life from growing up in northern Quebec and from watching The Devil’s Brigade (1968). From that movie, he developed a fascination with martial arts (he is a third-degree black belt). From northern Quebec came a love of the outdoors and extreme, over-the-top competition. The second oldest of four brothers — his father was a mining executive who eventually moved the family to British Columbia — Stogran thought regular snowball fights were boring, so he organized games of skins versus shirts. Fishing trips became endurance tests. Overnight camping was a survival game.

After high school, he went to Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, figuring four years of military service would be a fair trade for an engineering degree. But those plans blew up when he fell in love with the soldier’s life. “I loved everything about the military,” remembers Stogran. “Being outdoors, testing yourself physically and mentally, the camaraderie you find in an army company or platoon. There was nothing about being a soldier I didn’t love.”

He steadily rose through the ranks, his martial arts skills and natural leadership abilities turning heads at the Department of National Defence. There were a few bumps along the way (he had a public disagreement in 1994 with United Nations commander Sir Michael Rose over the military strategy in Bosnia), but for the most part, his career was a continuously ascending path. His appointment as commander of the 3PPCLI — an Edmonton-based light-infantry battalion with a heavy coterie of no-guts-no-glory paratroopers — was the next logical step.

“It had been a tough few years for the unit before Pat arrived,” remembers Colonel (ret) Steve Borland, Stogran’s second-in-command at 3PPCLI. “A lot of our guys were ex-paratroopers. They had seen their regiment disbanded. They were wondering if there was a place for them in the modern army. Then in comes Pat, who not only thinks there is a place for light infantry, he is damned passionate about how badly we’re needed. The tip of the spear and all that. Pat absolutely believes that stuff.”

However, it is for these reasons that Stogran was conflicted about Afghanistan right from the start. On one hand, he believed there wouldn’t be a clean end, given that Afghanistan was part of a new assymetrical world conflict. And he was a father, with a wife and two young children back in Edmonton. What father would ever wish for global conflict?

But he was also a light infantry soldier who had trained 20 years for a fight that never came. Until, possibly, now.

Pat Stogran is on full send again, talking about Afghanistan and how the Canadian government “blew it” when it adopted a “Vietnam-era, seek-and-destroy” strategy instead of the more traditional peacekeeping policy the Canadian military had practised for nearly 50 years between Korea and Afghanistan.

“We lost the hearts and minds of the local population,” he says, tamping down his voice so that he won’t attract attention in the diner. “We kept boasting about opening a Tim Hortons in Afghanistan? Well, we opened it inside the wire,” he says. “If you want to boast about something, then set up a Tim Hortons outside the wire.”

Stogran says Afghanistan was a missed opportunity right from the start. Indeed, anyone who was in 3PPCLI in January 2002 has stories to tell of what it was like to arrive in Kandahar. For example, how they had to land at night in a Hercules transport plane doing evasive manoeuvres, their stomachs turning as the wheels touched down. After that came a midnight walk through a bombed-out airport, the husks of tanks and armoured personnel carriers leading the way. Then weeks of windstorms. Don’t even ask about the latrines.

“To say Kandahar was primitive is to be kind,” says Borland. “There was just nothing there. We had to build the Canadian base from scratch — no running water, no command post. Just nothing.”

Moreover, Canadians rarely found a fight. Stogran and his soldiers deployed on three battalion-level combat missions in Afghanistan — including one looking for Osama Bin Laden or his remains — but Canadian soldiers found few Taliban forces to engage.

In an irony bitter to this day, the only Canadian lives lost during the deployment came when an American fighter pilot on a night training mission mistakenly dropped a guided missile that killed four soldiers.

Those deaths shocked the nation — and forever changed Stogran.

“I know a lot of people won’t want to hear it, but within a year of us leaving, it will be like we were never in Afghanistan” — Pat Stogran (Photo: Luther Caverly)

When Stogran returned from Afghanistan in the summer of 2002, he visited the families of the four soldiers killed under his command. The trip took him from the Maritime homes of Privates Richard Green and Nathan Smith, to the Toronto church of Corporal Ainsworth Dyer, to the small town of Lancaster, Ontario, 50 kilometres south of Ottawa, where Sergeant Marc Leger had been raised.

When Claire Leger met Stogran that summer, the death of her son was still fresh. Together, they visited the nearby cemetery, where they stood in silence in front of Marc’s grave, the word Afghanistan etched in large letters. A regimental insignia accompanied the end and start dates of a young person’s life.

“You could see he was taking it rather hard,” remembers Leger. “He didn’t have to be here — we certainly weren’t expecting it — and it was hard to see him putting himself through it. You wanted to tell him he didn’t need to be here. But he saw it as his duty — that was pretty clear. He was going to be here no matter what we said. I don’t think we could have kept him away.”

After returning from Afghanistan in 2002, Stogran was promoted to colonel and commanded a joint operations group in Kingston. He enjoyed the work, but when someone showed him an advertisement for the newly created position of veterans ombudsman, he was intrigued.

On October 15, 2007 — near the beginning, people would recall later, of Canada’s bloodiest three years in Afghanistan — Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Pat Stogran had been appointed Canada’s first veterans ombudsman.

A match had been lit. A powder keg was not far away.

Before 2006, only seven Canadian soldiers had been killed in Afghanistan. You tend to forget that, the mission often remembered as something uniform and enormous.

It was only after Canadian troops deployed to Kandahar for a second time in 2006 — a move that coincided with an insurgent offensive in the province — that ramp ceremonies became a mainstay of headline news. In addition to the dead, thousands of injured soldiers also started coming home.

Stogran asked to go out and meet these people, a request that left people at Veterans Affairs puzzled. Why in the world did he want to do such a thing? His job was to manage his office, not leave it. But Stogran kept pushing. When government bureaucrats told him there were no homeless veterans in Canada (that was considered to be an American problem), he went for a five-minute walk to an Ottawa shelter and found one. He asked why the public service — including Veterans Affairs — wasn’t hiring more veterans.

“I think the federal government thought it was getting a rough-around-the-edges colonel who could be easily manipulated and made inconsequential,” says Taylor. “But that’s not what they got. What they got was one of the best battlefield commanders in the Canadian army.”

As such, he had been trained to fight. The final explosion — match finds keg — came in regard to the federal government’s New Veterans Charter, which had been introduced in 2005 — a sweeping document that changed many long-term pensions to lump-sum payments. The charter, which took effect in 2006, was supposed to be reviewed continually — a sort of “living document,” as Stogran puts it. Instead, “They just shelved a flawed piece of legislation,” which constituted — in his mind — “a cruel-hearted attack on veterans’ pensions.” He realized the government had no intention of improving or reviewing the legislation. Thereafter, Stogran became very vocal about the “government’s deception” over the charter.

In August 2010, the federal government announced it would not be renewing Stogran’s three-year appointment. His last day of work would be November 10, one day before Remembrance Day. Instead of going quietly, Stogran used his last three months to campaign against the New Veterans Charter — along with “a culture of mistreatment of veterans” — once inviting soldiers wounded in Afghanistan to share the podium with him during a news conference.

“I don’t know what people were expecting,” says Borland about Stogran’s time as ombudsman. “Pat did that job the same way he commanded a battalion. There’s a straight line between the two jobs. Looking after the troops. It’s the same thing, right?”

Since his removal as veterans ombudsman, Stogran has remained a public figure, even speaking of his own difficulties in adapting to civilian life. It was around that time that he also became more vocal about his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Pat has been very open about his PTSD,” says Scott Maxwell, executive director of Wounded Warriors. “When someone of his stature comes out and talks about his struggles to get healthy — that’s a powerful message to other soldiers.”

It was while getting treatment for PTSD (which Stogran does not attribute to Afghanistan, believing his condition might go all the way back to Bosnia) that a therapist encouraged his interest in music as therapy.

“I picked up an old guitar I had lying around the house, and damned if it didn’t seem to help. Companion dogs. Music. They’re trying everything these days.”

Stogran has even found a way to combine his current passions — folk music, veterans’ rights, and responsible government — and has started Singing for Change, an open-mic series that raises money for Wounded Warriors.

“It blows some people away, but the first time I met Pat, he was playing guitar and singing by a campfire,” says Maxwell with a laugh. “It seems quite natural to me. And Singing for Change has been very popular. Colonel Pat Stogran singing Woody Guthrie songs. You’re curious, right?”

Stogran uses the concerts not only to sing but also to spread his well-honed message: the welfare of Canada’s veterans is in the hands of penny-pinching bureaucrats more interested in actuary tables than in duty. He believes common sense, decency, and good governance are under attack in this country. Power corrupts, and it has corrupted this current federal government — and Stogran isn’t afraid to say it.

“Some people think he has become extreme, but there is truth in what he has to say,” says Taylor. “People are used to hearing things all dressed up in Ottawa — there are certain ways you express yourself. Pat has never learned to play that game. But he’s a man worth listening to.”

“So when did you become such a radical, Pat?”

“What are you talking about? I’m not a radical.”

The breakfast crowd in Mello’s Diner has mostly left. People have gone to work or to school, back to whatever needs to be done this morning.

“Pat, you’re debating names for a whistleblower website, you want to start a revolution, and any minute now you might start singing This Land Is My Land. It’s a wonder we haven’t locked you up already.”

He laughs and puts down his coffee cup. Runs his fingers through his hair. The chiselled face of the man who led the first Canadian combat troops into Afghanistan more than a decade ago has started to slacken somewhat. Pat Stogran may finally be looking his age, which will be 55 this year. He lives in a house in a quiet middle-class neighbourhood in Orleans, both children grown, his wife still working as a vice-principal of an elementary school. He’s gearing up for a busy year of interviews as reporters seek his assessment of the Afghan mission, documentary filmmakers look for a compelling quote, and DND mandarins prepare briefs.

Stogran will tell his Tim Hortons story and argue that Afghanistan was a failed endeavour, that Canada fell victim to so-called “mission creep.” At the end of it all, uncertainty abounds. Why were we there? To send young girls to school? To defeat the Taliban? To prop up the corrupt regime of Hamid Karzai?

“I know a lot of people won’t want to hear it,” he says, “but within a year of us leaving, it will be like we were never in Afghanistan. That’s what happens when you haven’t won the hearts and minds of the local population.”

In certain ways, Stogran has already moved on from Afghanistan. Ever the practical soldier, he has assessed the situation and deployed to the next. At the same time, he acknowledges that the fallout from the mission continues.

“Afghanistan is over,” he says. “But it will define the Canadian Forces for the next generation. How we treat the veterans will define the country.”

Stogran says he never thought he’d be called a radical. Maybe he should get a decal for his guitar. What is it that Woody Guthrie had on his?

“This machine kills fascists,” I answer.

“Right. Right. What can I get? This machine kills bullshit?”

“That might work. How about Rebel Dog Guerrilla?”

He spits out a drop of coffee.

“Oh, man, it’s a funny life, isn’t it? But I still don’t know about radical. If you’re saying I’ve changed since Afghanistan, then sure, I have. But if that’s how you define things, then there are a lot of radicals in Canada right now.”

Posted in m. Extra Innings | No Comments »

“Was that you back then?”

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

As a part of the Summer Cruise of HMCS ONTARIO in July 1956 we went down the West coast of North America as far south as the Equator, and then made a port call in Quaquille, Ecuador. As it transpired, the Ecuadorian Railway was doing a test run of a new self-propelled passenger car from Guaquille to Quito, and somehow, we Cadets were invited along for the ride.

The Cadets chosen were a mix of first year Cadets and third year Cadet(E)’s (the “E” standing for Engineering, as in steam and oil). All were from the Military Colleges, mainly RMC, except for me, a civilian university ROTP graduate from Acadia in Wolfville, NS en route to Halifax for my BEE from NS Technical College (later Technical University of Nova Scotia, and laterally the Engineering Faculty of Dalhousie University).

The picture was shot in the rail car as we proceeded towards Quito. I am on the Aisle seat, five rows back, on the left-hand side of the picture. Unfortunately I can’t remember who all was on that trip, so perhaps you might publish the picture and ask, “Was that you back then?”

Anyone who was on that trip will remember it well. The pretty young lady at the rear of the car was a University student hired on as a Stewardess for the summer. She spoke no English and we no Spanish. No matter: we tried our best anyway,to no avail, but she liked the attention anyway. We climbed from coastal plains, up through heavy tropical forests and banana plantations, up to Andean high plains via switch-back steep approaches up the canyon walls, and finally at nearly 12,000 feet, descended down into Quito. We found a seemingly modern European city on he surface, but riven by tremendous class differences between the originals and the European settlers who formed the privileged classes. Barrel-chested workers, many showing their bloodlines running back to Pizarro, amazed us with their ability to move heavy loads up steep streets while we gasped like fish out of water. Altitude adaption helps they said but that wasn’t likely to help us over a three day stay.

There had just been a Federal Election, but many were unhappy with the outcome. So on the second day of our visit,the military staged a coup and put a more agreeable party into power. There was no bloodshed as Federal troops seemed to feel that they had made an honourable stand by firing two shots into the air over the heads of the attacking troops.

On the way back to the coast, we were confronted by a forest fire in the banana plantations, and our rail car had to back up some miles to a small town. There, the local Cantina was opened and we improved our Spanish by learning how to order “another” beer “please” and “thank you” etc to round out our simple requests for “Dos cervesas, por favor, senor”. Highly educational!

“Join the Navy and see the world” was certainly true in those “good ol’ days”. It probably still is! I sure hope so.

Neil Barrett, Captain, RCN (Retired)

Posted in j. Flashback | Rétrospective | No Comments »

Who Is She? Who Are They?

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014


Who Is She?

Received her B.A. (Hons Political and Economic Science) from the Royal Military College of Canada.

A former members of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMCSJ) Board of Governors.

She is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, Ottawa.

She is a former defence analyst with Canada’s Department of National Defence.

In addition to her RMCC undergraduate studies; she is a graduate from – the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton (MA), and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (PhD).

Her research interests include: the defence policies and military capabilities (army, navy, air force) of Canada, the United States, major NATO allies, Australia and China; NORAD and ballistic missile defence; and the Arctic.

Her books include The Revolution in Military Affairs (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002); Security and Defence in the Terrorist Era (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005 & 2010); Military Transformation and Modern Warfare (Praeger Publishers, 2008); and Modern Military Strategy (Routledge, 2012).

David Perry chose Carleton University for three reasons, the first one was the opportunity to work with her.

As an individual she gave a statement on priorities for the defence of North America to the National Defence Committee (Open parliament) – March 25th, 2014.

Was a member of the independent commission created by the Canadian Association of University Teachers to examine the governance of the Royal Military College of Canada, – See more

a) 16392 Elinor Sloan; b) 16522 Darla Boyle; c) 16545 Laurie Gibbon; or 16506 Susan Whitley

Who Are They?



Project Officer – Canadian Forces – DAEPM(FT) – Projects for the CT 114 Tutor – Snowbirds & NFTC

Project Coordinator – Canadian Forces – 426 Sqn – TOTEF

Flight Commander – Canadian Forces – AVS/IMG Flight Commander at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering. Responsible for 50 staff and 250 students annually.

Project Officer – Canadian Forces – DAEPM(FT) – CF 18 Modernization

a) 22813 Angela Court; b) 22774 Catherine McLellan; c) 22741 Patricia Fournier; or d) 22847 Sophie Catherine Furnivall


Bilingual senior program management and business development executive with extensive experience in all aspects of program and engineering management for complex systems integration projects.

A confident and disciplined self-starter with proven success in translating high level objectives into detailed actions and ensuring team deliverables meet all requirements.

Thrives in a dynamic and changing environment. Adept at developing all levels of customer and stakeholder relationships. An excellent verbal and written communicator who is at ease briefing all levels of customers, stakeholders and staff.

Proven leader and motivator of single-site and multi-site project teams ranging from 5 to over 125 personnel. Committed to fostering a collaborative team environment by mentoring and developing staff to ensure they reach their maximum potential.

Strong advocate for continuous improvement through practical application of quality processes and standards including ISO, CMMI and PMI. Expert business capture and proposal manager that has developed bid responses and estimates for domestic and international bids worth over $35 billion.

a) M432 Murray Johnson; b) 16844 Martin Burger; c) 16865 Randy Harmann; or d) 16878 Greg Leblanc


Finance Manager, CFO Division – Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario

Afghan National Police Training Development Officer – Government of Canada (SW Asia)

Strategic Finance Officer – Canadian Forces: Canadian Forces College (Toronto)

Partner – Sequitur Inc. Partners in Biotechnology and Healthcare

Bike and Build Project Coordinator – Habitat for Humanity International

Assistant Plant Manager /Operations Consultant – Autoliv

Company Director/Plant Manager and Project Leader – Lear Corporation

a) 17025 Paul Szabunio; b) 16872 Peter Karagiannis; c) 16922 Lance Webb; or d) 16853 Jim Fraser


Chief of Staff, 39 Canadian Brigade Group

J3 Land Forces Western Area

Executive Officer to Deputy Commander Regional Command South (Afghanistan)

Student – Canadian Forces College

Officer Commanding Alpha Company, First Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

Chief of Staff Coordinator, Land Forces Western Area

Operations Officer, Task Force Orion

Operations Officer, First Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

a) 20760 Brock Heilman; b) 20772 Ian Koss; c) 20835 Keith Roach or d) 20979 Mason Stalker

Read the rest of this entry »

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“All hell has broken out now exams are over.”

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

20 April 52

Today is Sunday and a marvellous day for nearly anything but studying. Played more horseshoes today. Right now there are people fishing enthusiastically behind the Frigate; a motorboat just pulled up with a beautiful doll looking for Bidwell; here I am trying to study math.

21 April 52

Math this morning was a bit of a bear. Most of us couldn’t ever start the question worth 20 marks – it was an assignment which I didn’t get straight. Mac MacCrimmon and Don Pearson pulled out today, the lucky dogs!

23 April 52

Accounting today was a long, long exam and fairly stiff. All hell has broken out now exams are over. I spent the afternoon packing and polishing. RCR band arrived tonight the staff is holding a dinner for the graduating class, band playing background music, gallons of port, tons of food…maybe next year.

24 April 52

Spent all morning doing very little except a bit of touch rugby with Ken McMillan and some other fellows. We’re really in fine shape – were all bushed in half an hour. Dress rehearsal this afternoon with the RCR band. We drilled for 3 whole hours-much of it was getting the band to start off on the right foot since it was so far away from the orders as they were given. Our A flight rifle team was presented with spoons by the Brigadier. Tonight Andy and I went in, saw a show, came back to the college and ate at the buffet supper being held in the mess. An informal dance was held but we came back to the Frigate, cleaned buttons and boots and played 13 games of chess! (of which I only won 5 – Croll is improving).

25 April 52

Today is another perfect sunny day with little breeze. At 1417 hours we went on parade for the last time this year. It went off very well. Inspected by Lt. Gen Foulkes; Queen Juliana was there too incognito. The RSM is a constant source of amazement to me. When we’re brought to attention there he is in the shadow of the warm door signaling to Williamson. When we’re in line of Sqns down by the Frigate end of the square, there he is on the porch of the old hospital. On the eyes right he’s there behind the reviewing stand. And by golly when we get to the other end of the square marching in flight column, when we do a right turn, there’s the RSM taking it all in. Our parade today must have been pretty fair though because as we marched off behind Fort LaSalle he was there saying “Bloody awful good”. The seniors made him a member of their class. Andy and I went in again and saw yet another movie then looked up Walt Murray who got married last year. Walt has a new son of which he is very proud. Andy and I still can’t get over it. We came back early got some sleep and took the 0320 train to Toronto. Had breakfast up at his place met Fran at noon, saw Pete Neelands, out to Thorncrest again and finally home that night. It’s been another grand year.

Posted in 3069 W.A. McColl's Diary | No Comments »

Mainguy, Mutinies and Mainstream Society: 1949 and the social turning point in Canada’s Navy

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

Mainguy, Mutinies and Mainstream Society: 1949 and the social turning point in Canada’s Navy

By: 16142 JJ Smith

2014 marks the 65th anniversary of mutinies in the Royal Canadian Navy that had far-reaching effects, ones which continue to influence leadership and terms of service in our navy today. The “incidents” as they would later be characterized in order to minimize the perceived seriousness of them and so the breakdown in naval discipline, occurred within a few months of each other in west coast warships. All had their roots in the then lack of a distinct national identify among Canadian sailors, the circumstances of their terms of service and of naval officer leadership that had occasionally been indifferent to the concerns of the lower deck.

In a process that could scarcely be repeated today, the Minister of National Defence Brooke Claxton convened a commission of inquiry that was chaired by the highly regarded Rear Admiral E. Rollo Mainguy, joined by Leonard W. Brockington and Louis C. Audette. Within months, their extensive visits throughout the RCN fleet, public and private hearings and hundred of interviews were complete and their findings presented to the Defence Minister. The laconically titled Report on certain “Incidents” which occurred on board H.M.C. Ships Athabaskan, Crescent and Magnificent and on other matters concerning the Royal Canadian Navy canvassed the causes of what in civilian labour terms would be called “work stoppages”, noting a number of underlying problems – largely of leadership – in the post-war fleet of 10,000 men. Extensive recommendations across the spectrum of engaging an increasingly democratic and sophisticated Canadian population into naval service were offered by the inquiry’s three commissioners. In many obvious respects, specific measures to ensure better working conditions and the leadership of non-commissioned members can be seen in today’s training programs, the RCN divisional officer system, and a genuine insistence that sailors have predictable or at least fair conditions of service.

The legacy of the Mainguy Report is more than historical. How the RCN socially evolved at a time of change in Canadian society is interesting enough. But the value of what the commissioners reported and recommended offers a contemporary lesson for leadership. The salutary commendation of the Mainguy Report, that the context in which men (and in recent decades, women) serve at sea should be borne in mind, could have been written today:

The social and economic uncertainties and changes, which affect Canada as they do the world … press with particular intensity on the lives of young men. It would be a miracle if the comparative isolation of men within the walls of a ship at sea should protect them from the disturbing influences which harass their companions and contemporaries on shore. It is obvious also that the Canadian Navy, like the British and American Navies, is itself in the process of readjustment, reformation and change.

The enduring lesson of the Mainguy Report is that of a hard won unique Canadian naval identity. Armed forces in democratic societies must necessarily reflect those societies, attitudinally and in their demographic composition. This is as much a matter of recruitment broadly across society as it is the required nature of armed services reflecting the societies they serve. In this respect, the Mainguy Report, adapted to our time, remains crucially relevant.

The Mainguy Report is available at the museum of the CFB Esquimalt Naval Museum website


A note from JJ Smith:

I do note a February 2009 eVeritas article on the same subject, rather well written:  <> My piece ideally complements that, and the Mainguy Report is of such relevance that it’s worth recalling periodically.

As to photos to accompany the article, the best are perhaps the several on the CFB Esquimalt Naval Museum webpage at: <>  The photos have come from, and been attributed to the CF Photo Unit (as it then was) and so can evidently be used again in eVeritas with the same citation.

Now, as to other possibly useful photos, an undated aerial photo of HMCS Magnificent is attached, from the following website:  <>

Two photos of the Magnificent can also be found at this website: <>

Other ship photos to possibly lend interest to the piece are at the same website, and that here for HMCS Crescent is perhaps the best: <>

I was not able to find a photo of all three of the inquiry commissioners.  That would have been preferable.

JJ Smith

Posted in Remember When | 1 Comment »

Gunners Out to Honour Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae & His Flanders Fields Legacy

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

The RCA Heritage Campaign

Regimental Headquarters

The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery

Canadian Forces Base Shilo

P.O. Box 5000 Stn Main

Shilo, MB R0K 2A0

In Flanders Fields – Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, May 1915 – May 2015

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, artillery officer, physician and poet, wrote In Flanders Fields at the height of Second Ypres, one of the most bitter battles of World War I. The centenary of that poem falls at the beginning of May 2015. As a result of the initiative of the RCAA and the dynamic leadership of the McCrae Statue Committee, the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery will erect a statue to honour John McCrae. Design work is well advanced. The figure will resemble McCrae and show him in a way highlighting all of his roles, with his dress as an Artillery officer and his medical bag nearby, as he writes. The statue will show the destruction of the battlefield and, at his feet, the poppies which are such an enduring symbol of Remembrance of that war and all armed conflict since. We are pleased to have commissioned renowned Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy, known for works such as the Oscar Peterson statue at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and the statue of Glenn Gould outside the CBC building in Toronto.

We have now received authority to place the statue near the National Artillery War Memorial, on Green Island at the junction of the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers, just off Sussex Drive in Ottawa. This ideal site is just minutes north of the National War Memorial.

The citizens of Guelph, Ontario will also honour John McCrae, by placing an identical statue near his birthplace. They will undertake a separate civic fund-raising campaign and work closely with our Regimental committee in Guelph.

We are beginning the process of fund-raising for the statue. The Campaign Goal is $350,000. All Canadians can help us ensure that this iconic Canadian and his work are remembered on the centenary of In Flanders Fields.

To donate or for further information visit our web site at Mention McCrae Statue in the comments section of the donation form at the Canada Helps button.

Or mail a cheque payable to the “The RCA Fund” to: LCol MD McKay, P.O. Box 970, Guelph, ON, N1H 6N1. Mention “McCrae statue” on the cheque.

Or contact; The Regimental Major RCA at or at 204 765-3000 ext 3595

Donations to the RCA Heritage Campaign form part of the RCA Regimental Fund – Charitable Registration No. 11925 2997 RR 0001. Tax Receipts are issued for donations over $20, or on request.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow:

Celebrating our Heritage; Securing the Future

This note has been written by the RCA Heritage Campaign Committee.


Campagne du Fonds du patrimoine de l’Artillerie royale canadienne

Quartier général régimentaire du Régiment royal de l’Artillerie canadienne

Base des Forces canadiennes Shilo

C.P. 5000, succ. Main

Shilo, MB R0K 2A0

Au champ d’honneur – Lieutenant-colonel John McCrae, mai 1915-mai 2015

Le lieutenant-colonel John McCrae est un officier d’artillerie, un médecin et un poète qui a composé Au champ d’honneur lors de la seconde bataille d’Ypres, une des batailles les plus horribles de la Première Guerre mondiale. Le centième anniversaire de ce poème aura lieu au début de mai 2015. Suite à l’initiative de l’AARC et grâce au leadership dynamique du comité de la statue de John McCrae, le Régiment Royal de l’Artillerie Canadienne dévoilera une statue de John McCrae pour lui rendre hommage. Le travail de conception avance bien. La figure est créée afin de ressembler à McCrae et pour le montrer de façon à mettre en valeur tous ses rôles, avec sa tenue d’officier de l’artillerie et son sac de médecin, tout près, pendant qu’il écrit. La statue exposera la destruction du champ de bataille et, à ses pieds, les coquelicots qui représentent, depuis longtemps, le symbole du souvenir de cette guerre et de tous les conflits armés depuis.  Nous sommes heureux d’avoir retenu les services de la célèbre sculptrice canadienne Ruth Abernethy. Au nombre de ses œuvres, on compte la statue d’Oscar Peterson au Centre national des Arts à Ottawa et la statue de Glenn Gould qui se trouve à l’extérieur de l’édifice de la CBC, à Toronto.

Nous avons reçu l’autorisation de donner suite à notre plan, soit de placer la statue près du Monument national aux artilleurs, à l’île Verte, à la jonction des rivières Rideau et des Outaouais, tout près de la promenade Sussex, à Ottawa. Ce site idéal se trouve à quelques minutes au nord du Monument national de guerre.   

Les citoyens de Guelph, en Ontario, travaillent également sur un projet pour honorer John McCrae, qui est d’installer une statue identique près de son lieu de naissance. Ils entreprendront une campagne de financement civile distincte et travailleront étroitement avec notre comité régimentaire, à Guelph.      

Nous commençons le financement pour la statue, avec un objectif de campagne de 350 000 $. Tous les Canadiens peuvent nous aider à faire en sorte que l’on se souvienne de cette légende canadienne et de son œuvre lors du centenaire du poème Au champ d’honneur.

Pour faire un don ou pour de plus amples renseignements, visitez notre site Web au Mentionnez « Statue de McCrae » dans la section « Message/instructions » du formulaire de don en ligne de CanaDon.

Ou envoyez un chèque par la poste payable au nom de « Fonds  de l’ARC » au : Lcol MD McKay, C.P. 970, Guelph (ON), N1H 6N1.  Mentionnez « Statue de McCrae » sur le chèque. 

Ou contactez le major régimentaire, ARC, par courriel à ou par téléphone au 204 765-3000, poste 3595

La Campagne du Fonds du patrimoine est administrée par l’intermédiaire du Fonds du Régiment royal de l’Artillerie canadienne, un organisme sans but lucratif enregistré auprès de l’Agence du revenu du Canada – No. 11925 2997 RR 0001.

Hier, aujourd’hui et demain:

Célébrer notre patrimoine; garantir l’avenir

Cette note a été écrite par le Comité de la Campagne du fonds du patrimoine de l’ARC.

Posted in c. Notices | Avis | No Comments »

Memorial Project: 70th anniversary of the founding of the RCAF’s first three squadrons dedicated to air transport operations

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

5480 Gary Ferguson, ’62, (left)  is a volunteer with the National Air Force Museum of Canada (NAFMC) and former member of 436 and 437 Squadrons, while his son (17836  Chris Ferguson, ’91) flew with 435 Squadron. 

As 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of these squadrons he has, with the support of the museum, squadrons and their associations, undertaken a memorial project. 


The NAFMC’s “Ad Astra” stone programme has proven very successful both at raising funds for the museum and providing a modest but poignant means of recognizing those who have served, or are serving, with Canada’s Air Force.  As the programme was implemented in 1995, five decades after the end of WWII , it is unsurprising that those most deserving of recognition…those who gave their lives during the war…are least represented amongst the over 10,500 stones in the RCAF Memorial Air Park.

As 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the RCAF’s first three squadrons dedicated to air transport operations, we are presented the opportunity to recognize some of these forgotten casualties while at the same time furthering the museum’s capacity to fulfill its mission of telling the RCAF’s story.



By the late summer of 1944 the allied invasion forces were established on the European continent, while in South East Asia (SEA) General Slim’s 14th Army was advancing to retake Burma from the Japanese occupiers.  Both of these situations called for more air transport capability, particularly in Burma where road and rail systems were almost non-existent.   In response, Canada agreed to provide three transport squadrons:  435 (“Chinthe”) and 436 (“Elephant”) Squadrons,  formed at Gujarat, India in November;  and 437 (“Husky”) Squadron, formed at Blakehill Farm, England in September.  All were equipped with C-47 “Dakota” aircraft.

Ironically, advice from senior staff in Ottawa was that aircrew should be drawn from ex-operational crews, especially from Bomber Command “…to reward air crew for completing an operationally dangerous tour.”  (From Robert Farquharson’s “For Your Tomorrow, Canadians and the Burma Campaign”, p. 210)  Apparently flying unarmed, unarmoured and often unescorted aircraft into areas susceptible to enemy air and ground fire was viewed with complacency from an armchair.  Those in SEA had also to deal with prevalent tropical diseases and venomous snakes, and to operate in the sometimes lethal conditions of violent monsoon rains over mountainous terrain.

Within days of its formation, 437 Squadron participated in Operation Market Garden (on which was based the movie “A Bridge Too Far”), near Arnhem, Netherlands.  Having seen their first action on 17 September, four days later ten squadron aircraft took off to resupply the embattled army, with only five returning.  The other five were brought down by German fighters, flak and ground-fire, with three of the crews suffering a total of eight fatalities, others having successfully bailed out.  Of the two crews who crash landed, one suffered only minor injuries while the other crew of four became POWs.  Similarly, on 12 January 1945, 435 Squadron despatched five aircraft of which two were shot down and one badly damaged, with six killed and five wounded.  Such percentage losses are comparable to the worst of bomber and fighter single-mission losses.

Ad Astra stones will be purchased for the 51 squadron casualties listed in our Parliament’s Second World War Book of Remembrance as well as the one RNZAF and two RAF personnel who died while serving with these squadrons

If you contribute towards the purchase of Ad Astra stones for these casualties, the stones will be dedicated on 27 September at the annual ceremony; you will receive a charitable receipt and your name will be entered in the Donor’s Book on display in the museum; and, the museum will be further enabled to continue its telling of the RCAF story.

Donations should be by check payable to the NAFMC with the notation  “435/6/7  Anniversary Trust” and may be mailed to:  National Air Force Museum of Canada, 220 RCAF Rd., PO Box 1000, 8Wing/CFB Trenton, Astra, ON, K0K 3WO.  Alternatively, you may call the museum at 613-965-7223 (or toll free at 1-866-701-7223 ) and make a donation by credit card, being sure to state that it is for the Anniversary Trust.

Posted in c. Notices | Avis | No Comments »

Qu’est-ce qui se passe au CMR Saint-Jean

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

Dévoilement des rénovations de la bibliothèque du CMR Saint-Jean

SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Qué. – Les médias sont invités à la cérémonie de dévoilement des rénovations de la bibliothèque du Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean qui se déroulera le mercredi 23 avril à 9 h 30.

Quand : le mercredi 23 avril à 9 h30.

Quoi : la cérémonie de dévoilement des rénovations de la bibliothèque du Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean

Où : Bibliothèque, pavillon La Haie

Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean

15, rue Jacques-Cartier Nord

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qué.

Note aux rédacteurs:

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez contacter le Capitaine Eric Le Marec, officier d’affaires publiques, au (450) 358-6777, poste 5736, ou par courriel à


Photo 1 : Sur cette photo on peut voir le Colonel Carignan, Commandant du CMR Saint-Jean, suivie de l’Élève-officier Moreau, « Instro » de l’escadron Richelieu, et de l’adjudant-chef Dupuis, alors qu’elle effectue l’inspection des élèves-officiers de l’équipe de drill de l’escadron Richelieu.  Crédit photo : Mario Poirier

Le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean tient sa traditionnelle compétition d’exercice élémentaire

- Un article de l’Élève officier Antoine Viscardi

Ce dimanche dernier, le 12 avril 2014, les élèves-officiers du Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean ont participé à la compétition d’exercice élémentaire. L’évènement a débuté aux alentours de 8h30 et a eu lieu sur le campus du Collège.

La compétition s’est déroulée en deux parties. Premièrement, les équipes de « drill » des différents escadrons ont eu la chance de défiler devant le Commandant du CMR Saint-Jean et plusieurs autres invités. C’est l’équipe de l’escadron Iberville qui a le plus impressionné les juges et qui a remporté cette partie de la compétition. Par la suite se sont les escortes des drapeaux de chacun des escadrons qui ont défilé à tour de rôle. Celles-ci avaient à effectuer des mouvements complexes que les spectateurs ont bien appréciés. Le pointage final fut serré : l’escadron Tracy a remporté la victoire laissant les escadrons Iberville et Richelieu ex aequo.

Originalement destiné à entraîner les soldats à pratiquer des techniques de combats, de nos jours, l’exercice élémentaire permet aux membres des Forces armées canadiennes de développer des compétences militaires de bases telles que la précision, la concentration, le travail d’équipe et la persévérance. Ce genre d’activités s’inscrit dans le curriculum du Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, dont les quatre volets sont les études, le sport, le bilinguisme et le leadership.


 Photo 2: Photo prise lors de la compétition de drill. On peut y voir la garde des drapeaux de l’escadron Iberville offrant une superbe performance aux spectateurs!

Crédit photo : Mario Poirier


Visite de 3 élèves-officiers du CMR Saint-Jean à la Citadelle

Un article de l’Élève-officier Philipe Siconnelly

Le 8 avril 2014, les Élèves-officiers Philipe Siconnelly, Alexis Héros et William Carpentier eurent la chance de diner à la Citadelle de Québec en compagnie d’Anciens des Collèges militaires. Cette journée a permis à nos élèves-officiers de partager des informations sur la vie dans les Collèges militaires, mais aussi d’apprendre sur le fonctionnement du Collège à l’époque et de découvrir la complexité des métiers sans la technologie d’aujourd’hui. De plus, ces trois préparatoires eurent l’immense honneur de visiter le futur musée de la Citadelle qui ouvrira ses portes le 28 mai prochain. Ce musée, qui raconte l’histoire du Royal 22e Régiment et l’histoire de la citadelle, a coupé le souffle aux élèves-officiers par cette majestueuse beauté historique. Ce fut une journée exceptionnelle qui rappela aux trois élèves officiers pourquoi ils ont choisi ce métier.

De gauche à droite : Élève-officier Philipe Siconnelly, Élève-officier Alexis Héros et Major JF Lacombe, responsable du Musée et du 100ième anniversaire du Régiment et Élève-officiers William Carpentier.


The RMC Saint-Jean 10 km Rucksack March /

La marche d’endurance de 10 km du CMR Saint-Jean

-  An article written by Officer Cadet Guillaume Boucher/ Un article écrit par l’Élève-officier Guillaume Boucher

Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) held its annual ten-kilometre rucksack march Sunday 13 April. The rucksack march was done in full fighting order of dress (less the rifle), which includes a tactical vest and helmet, along with a rucksack of a minimal weight of 32 pounds. Every squadron did some practice marches to prepare for the competition.

Le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean (CMR Saint-Jean) a tenu sa marche d’endurance annuelle de dix kilomètres le dimanche 13 avril. Pour l’évènement, les participants étaient en tenue de combat complète (le fusil en moins), ce qui comprend la veste tactique et le casque ainsi qu’un sac à dos d’au moins 32 livres. Pour bien se préparer à la compétition, chaque escadron avait fait plusieurs marches en guise d’entraînement.

The squadrons stepped off in the morning over staggered timings and made their way from the College to the pathway by the Richelieu River. The competition was evaluated on the basis of several criteria. From the third to the fourth kilometer, each squadron had to carry some team members on stretchers. Between kilometres five and six, the squadrons had to fill out a questionnaire pertaining to specific information on RMC Saint-Jean. For the last kilometre, a third of the squadron had to carry a 20-litre jerry can. The time each squadron took to complete the course also counted towards the final result.

Partant les uns après les autres selon un horaire de départ décalé, les escadrons se sont mis en route sur le long du canal qui la rivière Richelieu. La compétition était évaluée en fonction de plusieurs critères. Entre les kilomètres trois et quatre, chaque escadron devait transporter des coéquipiers sur des civières. Puis, entre les kilomètres cinq et six, les escadrons devaient remplir un questionnaire qui testait leurs connaissances sur le CMR Saint-Jean. Enfin, au dernier kilomètre, le tiers des membres de chaque escadron devait transporter un jerrican de 20 litres. Le pointage final a également tenu compte du temps chrono de chaque escadron.

The ten-kilometer rucksack march taught officer cadets a valuable lesson: it is far better to march at a consistent pace than to run and risk losing members; in fact, the winning squadron lost no members and hardly ran. Officer cadets learned to prepare themselves properly for their future rucksack marches, and those who will be undergoing Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) this summer will be better prepared for the 13-kilometre march awaiting them.

La grande leçon qui a été tirée de cette marche d’endurance de dix kilomètres est qu’il vaut mieux marcher à un rythme constant que de courir et risquer ainsi de perdre des joueurs en chemin. C’est ce qu’a démontré l’équipe gagnante qui n’a presque pas couru et dont tous les membres ont franchi la ligne d’arrivée. Cette marche constitue une source d’apprentissage pour les élèves-officiers qui savent maintenant comment se préparer en vue d’autres marches à venir. Ceux qui compléteront leur Qualification militaire de base pour officiers (QMBO) cet été sauront mettre cette expérience à profit lors de la marche d’endurance de 13 kilomètres qui les attend.

Photo 1 : RMC Saint-Jean held its annual ten-kilometre rucksack march Sunday 13 April. The competition was evaluated on the basis of several criteria. Between kilometres five and six, the squadrons had to fill out a questionnaire pertaining to specific information on RMC Saint-Jean. Here, we see an officer cadet studying the Officer Cadet Handbook prior to the competition.

Le CMR Saint-Jean a tenu sa marche d’endurance annuelle de dix kilomètres le dimanche 13 avril. La compétition était évaluée en fonction de plusieurs critères. Entre les kilomètres cinq et six, les escadrons devaient remplir un questionnaire qui testait leurs connaissances sur le CMR Saint-Jean. On voit ici un élève-officier lisant attentivement le Manuel de l’élève-officier avant la compétition.

Photo Credit/Crédit photo : Capitaine Éric Le Marec

Photo 2 : The rucksack march was done in full fighting order of dress (less the rifle), which includes a tactical vest and helmet, along with a rucksack of a minimal weight of 32 pounds. Each rucksack was weighed prior to the beginning of the competition.

Pour l’évènement, les participants étaient en tenue de combat complète (le fusil en moins), ce qui comprend la veste tactique et le casque ainsi qu’un sac à dos d’au moins 32 livres. Les sacs à dos ont tous été pesés avant la compétition.

Photo Credit/Crédit photo : Capitaine Éric Le Marec

Photo 3 : The ten-kilometre rucksack march taught officer cadets a valuable lesson: it is far better to march at a consistent pace than to run and risk losing members; in fact, the winning squadron lost no members and hardly ran.

La grande leçon qui a été tirée de cette marche d’endurance de dix kilomètres est qu’il vaut mieux marcher à un rythme constant que de courir et risquer ainsi de perdre des joueurs en chemin. C’est ce qu’a démontré l’équipe gagnante qui n’a presque pas couru et dont tous les membres ont franchi la ligne d’arrivée.

Photo Credit/Crédit photo : Capitaine Éric Le Marec

Photo 4 : The squadrons stepped off in the morning over staggered timings and made their way from the College to the pathway by the Richelieu River. The competition was evaluated on the basis of several criteria. From the third to the fourth kilometers, each squadron had to carry four of its team members on stretchers. For the last kilometre, a third of the squadron had to carry a 20-litre jerry can.

Partant les uns après les autres selon un horaire de départ décalé, les escadrons se sont mis en route sur le long du canal qui la rivière Richelieu. La compétition était évaluée en fonction de plusieurs critères. Entre les kilomètres trois et quatre, chaque escadron devait transporter quatre coéquipiers sur des civières. Au dernier kilomètre, le tiers des membres de chaque escadron devait transporter un jerrican de 20 litres.

Photo Credit/Crédit photo : Capitaine Éric Le Marec


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Part VI The Reality of Battle – The Italian Campaign – Life in a Static Winter Line 2761 Colonel Syd Frost: Northern Italy –

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

Click on pages for better viewing.

Click here to see Part V

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We get emails

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014

Hi Bill

Re: George Cross

I’m on your side on this one. The George Cross was first introduced on September 24th 1940 by King George VI, and is the civilian equivalent of the VC. Only military personnel can win the Victoria Cross. However, they can also be awarded the George Cross for courageous acts carried out away from the enemy, such as defusing an unexploded bomb. For civilians, the George Cross is the highest award for bravery that can be earned. When the new medal was introduced, George VI stated:

“In order that they should be worthily and promptly recognised, I have decided to create, at once, a new mark of honour for men and women in all walks of civilian life. I propose to give my name to this new distinction, which will consist of the George Cross, which will rank next to the Victoria Cross, and the George Medal for wider distribution.”

The George Cross is awarded to civilians for bravery, “for acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger”. The George Medal is awarded for more general deeds of bravery. It can be awarded collectively – e.g. to the Island of Malta.


5758 Mike Morres

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Regarding the “Morale building quotes from Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson” in this Issue 15 of eVeritas, I would like to add another one, inscribed in big, bold, capital letters above the main entrance of a building opposite the Castle at Royal Roads (can’t remember the name of the building) that every cadet, who ever set foot there, would always be able to recall in an instant, even if he can’t remember the name of the building:


7040 Andrew Payer

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Deaths | Décès

Posted by rmcclub on April 20th, 2014


Originally from Saskatchewan, of Ottawa, passed away Sunday April 6, 2014 at the age of 91. Beloved Husband of the late Kathleen Tune and the late Sally Carling. He will be sorely missed by his son John Hopkins (Jill Stoneman), step-daughters and step-son, Louisa Coates, Diana Coates and John Coates. Loving grandfather of David Hopkins and Heather Hopkins.

Predeceased by three brothers Peter, Hugh and George. Nigel’s lawyer father and pharmacist mother arrived from England in the 1920′s to settle in rural Saskatchewan. Nigel was born in Indian Head, grew up in Climax and attended high school in Swift Current.

He entered RMC in 1939, graduating in the War Class of 1941, and then taking a commission with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, flying carrier-based Swordfish aircraft. He, his father, and his three brothers all served overseas during the war.

Following the war, Nigel entered McGill University, earning a BSc., MSc. and PhD. in Nuclear Physics. He then joined Atomic Energy of Canada designing Cobalt Therapy machines used for the treatment of cancer. After a year, he moved to the Defence Research Board in the new field of Operations Research where he remained for the rest of his carer, with postings in Boston, Washington, Halifax and Den Hague, in addition to Ottawa.

He was a founding member, and later President of CORS (Canadian Operations Research Society). He retired from the Department of Defence in 1984 as Director of Scientific Intelligence.

In 1945, Nigel married Kathleen (Bobbie) Tune, then widow of his older brother Hugh, who had been killed in action in Italy. Hugh and Bobbie had one son, John. Bobbie died in 1981. In 1983, Nigel married Sally Carling Coates, enjoying a happy marriage that lasted 30 years. They loved their cottage on the Gatineau. In town they enjoyed their many friends, and together had the habit of going out for lunch each day to share one meal, a glass of wine, and in spite of Nigel’s protests, a “gooey” dessert. In his retirement, Nigel co-authored a book with his friends at Orbita Consultants Limited entitled “Numbers You Need”, a handbook of the arithmetic of everyday life. The paperback edition was entitled “Go Figure”. He also took up flying again and was co-owner of a Cessna 172 C-FVBM based at Rockcliffe Airport. Nigel was a warm person who was polite to all. His gentle and quiet personality hid a keen intellect and many accomplishments. He was well-liked, continuing to make friends in his last year living at Colonel By Retirement Resident.

Funeral arrangement entrusted to Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services 280 Beechwood Avenue Ottawa. A Memorial Service and reception will be held at St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church at a later date. For those who wish, memorial contribution in Nigel’s memory to the Prostate Cancer Canada Network Ottawa P.O. Box. 23122 Ottawa Ontario K2A would be appreciated. Source


Kenneth James “Ken” Mayhew worked at RMCC for 35 years. Ken was was one of those  invisible good guys  that made the college tick – 24/7. As a member of the grounds-crew and lead hand for a number of years, his behind the scenes work with labour-crews, always ensured major events such as the Spring graduation and Reunion Weekend ran smoothly regardless of the weather.

Ken passed away at the Kingston General Hospital on Saturday, April 12, 2014. His funeral was last Wednesday, April 16th in Kingston.  More


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