RMC Saint-Jean & Operation Husky 2013

What is Operation Husky 2013?

By 26764 David Domagala

On the night of July 9, 1943, the allies landed on the beaches of Sicily, which commenced the Italian campaign during WWII. Canadians, British and Americans fought on the Island of Sicily for 40 days, effectively pushing the Germans out of Sicily and liberating the Italians out of the war. Canada played a massive role in Operation Husky during which all three elements fought courageously. Out of the 2,310 Canadian casualties suffered during Operation Husky, 84 were taken prisoner, 1664 were wounded and 562 lost their lives. All of the fallen soldiers remain buried in Sicily.

Although Operation Husky was a major event in Canadian history, it is not that well known to Canadians that this operation even occurred. These 562 fallen Canadians fought bravely in Sicily and their names have unfortunately been forgotten. At the time, Operation Overlord overshadowed the events of Operation Husky and thus made the latter seem like a whisper.

The mission of Operation Husky 2013 is to honour those Canadians who fought bravely in Sicily, and especially those who lost their lives in the conflict. These fallen Canadians are buried in Sicily, and this will be the first time Canada sends a contingent to honour these fallen soldiers, airmen and sailors. The secondary objective of Operation Husky 2013 is to raise awareness among Canadians of the Sicilian campaign, so that these fallen soldiers will be remembered for generations to come. For more information on Operation Husky 2013, see the following link: http://www.operationhusky2013.ca/.

It is exceptional that Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) has had the incredible opportunity to participate in a major event like Operation Husky 2013. Thanks to the RMC Saint-Jean Cmdt, Col Guy Maillet and the Fondation des Ancien(ne)s du Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean that played a key role in subsidizing part of this venture. As the 70th anniversary of the beach landings in Sicily occurs this July 10, there will be four students from RMC Saint-Jean on the ground providing support with logistics, ceremonies, marches, and communications throughout the whole month. They will be working under the leadership of 12476 Pierre-Paul Pharand. Although not all RMC Saint-Jean officer cadets who participated in the planning of Operation Husky 2013 will be travelling to Sicily due to other military obligations, it must be noted that RMC Saint-Jean has put a lot of energy behind the project. For more information on the RMC Saint-Jean Operation Husky 2013 involvement, please visit the group’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OperationHusky2013.

The RMC Saint-Jean group that will be travelling to Sicily this July is composed of 26401 OCdt Victor Joël Couture, 26764 OCdt Dave Domagala, 26428 OCdt Mathieu Drolet and 26392 OCdt Myriam Rochon. They will be accompanied by Dr. Beatrice Richard, Head of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department,12944 André Durand, Liaison Officer at RMC Saint-Jean and Marie-Claude Leblanc, RMC Saint-Jean translator.

Photo top left –  Husky CMR Saint-Jean:

Left to right: OCdt Myriam Rochon, OCdt Mathieu Drolet, Dr. Beatrice Richard, Head of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, OCdt Dave Domagala, OCdt Victor Joël Couture and André Durand, Liaison Officer at RMC Saint-Jean. Missing Marie-Claude Leblanc, RMC Saint-Jean translator.

Photo right – Husky CMR Saint-Jean tenue:

The Operation Husky 2013 T-shirts being worn are the official Logistics team shirts to be worn in Sicily with a Tielly hat (not received yet)