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John Macaulay Carson
John Macaulay Carson was born on April 11, 1914 in Calgary, Alberta. Entering the service of The Canadian Bank of Commerce on July 2, 1930, he worked at various branches, including those in Ottawa, Toronto and throughout Ontario. On November 20, 1939, he joined The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (M.G.) and served as an Intelligence and Liaison Officer.
Carson began his service overseas in Iceland in July 1940, but was transferred to England in June 1941. On June 6, 1944, Carson was among the first Canadian troops to land at Normandy during the D-Day invasion. He was transferred to The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment on August 28, 1944. He was killed in action in France on September 26, 1944.
Carson was mentioned in Dispatches in recognition of his Gallant and Distinguished Services, June 1944.
Canadians land on the beachhead
Excerpt of letter describing his experience of D-Day, June 6, 1944:
I was one of the lucky ones who landed on D-Day within the first hour. I could write pages about the chaos on the beach, but to sum up, it looked as if every boat was firing and every house and bush had a gun behind it that was firing. The noise was terrific. The naval bombardment was quite effective, but we couldn't see any results of the Air Force bombing. The fighter boys did a good job in keeping the Germans out of the skies...
Parker, the sub. and I went on to the next village-we were the first people on foot to arrive there-and the population welcomed us in high glee. But they warned us of an ambush farther on. The house in question was a two-storied stone affair; the [German] was firing at us through the windows on the second floor. I let fly with the Bren but couldn't hit any of the windows. It was most embarrassing. I don't know to this day if the Bren was ever zeroed. I gave the Bren to Parker and used my pistol. Anyway, we got the house clear and went on...
299 troops landing on Normandy coast on D-Day, June 6th, 1944
I pulled in with one of my platoons at Anguerny... It was quite a night. It was so confused-I'm only sure of parts of it. It continued at a hammer-and-tongs pace; the noise was deafening, with flashes everywhere and shrapnel coming down everywhere. We were run over by a convoy of [German] half-trucks. (I suspect they were trying to get to Colomby-sur-Thaon.)
There was one amusing incident-one of my dispatch riders saw the vehicles coming at quite a clip so he got up and yelled: 'slow down'; it was only then we realized they were German, and we let them have it. We didn't get anything other than a broken tripod on one of the Vickers where a half-track had gone right over the gun position.
The other part of the convoy kept going straight on; they were tackled by one of my sections, who after a hand-to-hand struggle with 36 grenades and Stens captured and killed 25 [Germans] and took three German vehicles. Sgt. Reed who managed that show received the Military Medal.
Troops and equipment on the beachhead