Coming Ashore in Normandy, 1944

Article by 8242 Don Carr

Bob Novitsky (#8339 CMR’68, RMC’70) finds a ‘déja-vu’ moment in this iconic 1944 photo of his father landing in Normandy. It has twice been used in the Canadian Legion’s Magazine (first in a 1956 article and now again in the current issue). The National Post used it for a D-Day landing story in June 2009. Private George Novitsky is forth from the right, arriving in theatre. A week later he was evacuated back to England with multiple wounds suffered in intense fighting. He would be home in Winnipeg by Christmas to continue his recovery, return to civilian life and start a family.

Fast forward 20 years, Bob like many baby boomer teenagers, joined cadets in high school and enthusiastically applied to military college. Bob excelled as an Officer Cadet at CMR and RMC then served in the Navy, retiring with the rank of Commander. Bob’s son Rob continues as the third generation of the Novitsky family to serve, a LCdr currently stationed in Halifax. He now has a 5 year-old son. Perhaps this family tradition to serve Canada in uniform that started in a prairie recruiting centre over 77 years ago will continue.

June 6th  marks the 75th anniversary of the Allied landing in Normandy. Juno Beach Centre will be the focus of Canadian commemorative activities. If you are or know of cadets of the 1950’s through the 1970’s whose parents landed in Normandy, please share a little of their stories of D-Day and the aftermath here in eVeritas. Of course, you may be a veteran with personal experience of the allied invasion. Your memories would be truly special to include in our publications.

2 Comments

  • Bevan Slater

    June 6, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    My father, Edwin W.T. Slater, joined the Army in Prince Albert, SK in June 1941 the day after his 23rd birthday. He trained as a mechanic in Saskatoon and Hamilton and ended up in the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment (27th Canadian Armoured Regiment). The Sherbrookes, 1st Hussars and Fort Garry Horse made up the 2nd Armoured Brigade and all three regiments landed on Juno Beach on D-Day, the Sherbrookes in reserve. 125 Sherbrookes were either KIA, MIA or died of wounds during the months following the D-Day landings, including a number who were shot as prisoners on June 7. The Sherbrookes fought their way through Normandy, Belgium, Holland and into Germany. Dad’s war ended in Emden Germany and he returned safely home in October 1945 to my mother in Prince Albert. Sadly my sister who was born in 1942 passed away in September 1945, one month before my father’s return.Fortunately my father’s war time experiences did not plague him following the war and my sister and I, both born after the war, lived happy childhoods despite my parent’s loss of a second child due to an accident.

  • Bevan Slater

    June 6, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Further to my earlier post I graduated from RMC in 1971 and served four years following graduation in the Navy.
    Bevan Slater 8977