Burns Lake honours D-Day veterans

Ken Rensby landed on the Beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. (Lakes District News file photo)

June 6th marks the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the battle of Normandy.

We would like to take this opportunity to honour and remember those who have served and those who continue to serve to protect the freedoms we all hold so dear but often take for granted.

Lakes District News only had these four on file as soldiers who were at the Battle of Normandy. We apologize if we missed others.

Abel Peters

Peters, a member of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, was one of the Canadian troops who landed in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Kenneth Oscar Rensby

Ken enlisted in January 1942, serving with the Eighth Recce – 14th Canadian Hussars 2nd Division. He served in Canada, England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Ken landed on the Beaches of Normandy, 6th June 1944.

Hugh Shelford

Went over to France on the D-Day Invasion. He was taken prisoner. The prison compound in which he was in was attacked by allied planes.

Charles Van Tine

Chuck was born at Francois Lake, and enlisted in 1939. Chuck was a gunner in the Canadian Tank Corps. In August 1944, their tank was hit on the landings at Normandy, although he was badly burned and shot several times, he survived. Chuck’s medals are in the Burns Lake Museum.

The 1944 Battle of Normandy — from the D-Day landings on June 6 through to the encirclement of the German army at Falaise on Aug. 21 — was one of the pivotal events of World War II and the scene of some of Canada’s greatest feats of arms. Canadian sailors, soldiers and airmen played a critical role in the allied invasion of Normandy, also called Operation Overlord, beginning the bloody campaign to liberate Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

Nearly 150,000 allied troops landed or parachuted into the invasion area on D-Day, including 14,000 Canadians at Juno Beach. The Royal Canadian Navy contributed 110 ships and 10,000 sailors and the Royal Canadian Air Force contributed 15 fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons to the assault. Total allied casualties on D-Day reached more than 10,000, including 1,074 Canadians, of whom 359 were killed. By the end of the Battle of Normandy, the allies had suffered 209,000 casualties, including more than 18,700 Canadians. Over 5,000 Canadian soldiers died.

 

Abel Peters, a Cheslatta Carrier Nation member landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944. (Lakes District News file photo)

The tank in which Charles Van Tine was riding was hit during the landings at Normandy in August, 1944. (Lakes District News file photo)

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