Interview conducted by Mr. Triesler
at the restaurant outside the
Smith- My name is Dennis
Smith, good old English name, and I live near
Triesler- During the war, where did you serve mainly?
Smith- The Forty Eighth
Commando landed on Juno beach, on D-Day with the Canadians. We did a job there
and thought we were going home after five days; it was a five day operation. But
after that, the Canadians finished with us, and we came over here
Triesler- Here at Pegasus?
Smith- Here at Pegasus
-and down near Sallenelles to start with. Then we moved inland a bit further and
we stayed two months with them [the Airborne]. When they went home they said
weíll take you home with us, but we didnít go home until after the war had
finished. We finished in
Triesler- Where did
you end up in
Smith- Oh we finally
finished in the
Triesler- Did you ever
see any of the big leaders like
Smith- No I didnít.
Triesler- How did you get along with the Americans during the war?
Smith- Well we didnít very often come along with the Americans, we spent more time with the Canadians.
Triesler- You got along well with them?
Smith- We got on well with them. They used us as their fighting machine (laughs).
Triesler- Is there anything that stands out vividly for you from the war? What do you think about most when you think about the war time?
Smith- I was telling a man
here that Iíll be turning eighty- four next month and Iíve only been in the
hospital once in me life; that was when I was wounded. It was West Capella in
Triesler- What happened that day when you were wounded? Can you tell me?
Smith- Well I was a radio operator and when we did the landing at West Capella, it was very difficult to get through for the contact they wanted. There were sand dunes there, twenty, thirty feet high, and no way could I make contact with the radio. So, I went to the top of the dunes and of course the Germans were right down the other side. The areal [antenna] went over the top [of the hill] and there were sprays of machine gun fire all around the arial. Then, after a minute or two, I overcame the mortar bumps and they [the Germans] shot me.
Triesler- Thank you so much for your service and for talking to me.