Interview with Les Allison

I got several stories…
how many do you want?


The one from near here, that he was decorated by the Dutch government, I thought that would be a good story for him, ‘cos he went through a lot of hell, wounded twice, he was overseas when he was 17 also, so he was a good liar too… I’ve written 3 books on the military. Of course, a lot of guys were killed in the last war….4400 from Manitoba, 15,500 killed in the air force alone, Canadians you know?  As you know, you have a lot of them buried over there, my wife and I have been to Holten and Groesbeek.  Everybody seems to speak English over in Holland. I wrote a book on a couple of, this guy was, I’m not sure, he was with the Dutch underground, he went to Indonesia right after the war, then he came back, then came to Canada after the war, he spoke English, German and Dutch, I call this story “I wore an SS-uniform,” his name was Henk Klyn-Molkamp.  His father was the chief of police in Amsterdam at the time.  He had a twin. In Amsterdam there was a Gestapo jail, he was in there for about 6 months, he went from 220 lbs to about l00lbs.  It was no fun, and how they got out was a real story… 
They had a bunch of Dutch people posing as prisoners, and a couple of guards with Schmeizer machine-guns, posing as German guards, and they went in there and massacred all the guards and so on, and they all got out.

4 more stories by mr Les Allison
His Regiment lost 370 men
Sergeant Ramsay Monaghan (H41386) was awarded the Dutch Cross for his action there on the spring 1945. Initially he joined the Winnipeg Royal Rifles in 1940 at 16 yrs. old, going o/s 3rd division but transferring to the Loyal Edmonton Regiment of 1st Div. Hoping to get into action first. They did and in early 1943 went to N. Africa and the invasion of Sicily, on July 10/43. He went up through Italy and wounded on Oct.23/43 and had malaria on his 20th birthday. Out of hospital for the Ortona Battle into Christmas. The Brits told the Canadians to take it--Hitler told the 1st Paratroop Div. to hold it. The Eddies spearheaded the capture with the P.P.C.L.I., SEAFORTH Highlanders help. It was vicious, street to street, house to house, room to room fighting. Just those 3 regiments lost well over 100 men killed each. All through 1944 in Italy the war continued until early 1945 when the Canadians went through France to Holland. Ramsay was wounded again in April 15/45. His Regiment lost 370 men during the war and even lost 15 buried in Holten Cemetery in Holland. He married. no children, lost one brother in the R.C.A.F. He had several successful business in Morden and was Fire Chief for over 25 yrs.
His parachute was still in the aircraft!
Sgt. John Sandulak of Sperling, Man. was the rear gunner in #428 Canadian Lancaster Squadron when they were in midair collision in France on July 24/44 with 2 engines on fire. A bailout was ordered so John jumped. It was their 5th op. To Germany over Holland. The rest of the crew made it to England to crash land. They thought John was killed because his parachute was still in the aircraft! Somehow a second “chute” was beside his own. He spent a month as an evader in the “Forest of Fretierul” near Paris with 25 Canadians and 100 other allied aircrews. But the rest of his crew, with a new AG, was shot down on Aug.19/44 and P.O.W. The new Air
   Gunner was killed. John returned, got married to Wilma, and had 6 children,
    19 grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. After farming near Carman,
       he is retired in Carman.
        Lost about 140 men
        Private Bill Nielson of Carman was with the 1st Parachute Battalion and spent a
         month in Holland. Most of them were billeted out around Buggenum, Nunhem,
         Roggel and Haelen. They’d been the only Canadians involved in the battle of
           the Bulge on the Ardennes so were due for a rest. Bill was born in Denmark
           but came to Langruth, Manitoba as a baby. He went to British Columbia for
             work, but at 17 joined the Seaforth Highlanders. A year later he
              transferred to the Paratroopers and trained at Fort Benning, Georgia,
               U.S.A. He went to Britain and as part of the British 1st Airborne
                 Division,  jump on D Day  near Ranville. On return to Britain from Holland
                  in late February 1945 they jumped again for the “Crossing of the Rhine”
                   in late March, which was his 48th parachute jump. His Battalion of over
                    600 men lost about 140 men.
                  Bill returned married Wilma, worked for a couple grain companies, had 2
                 children and 4 grandchildren. They chose Carman to retire.
                Flying Officer Fred Eby flew 28 ops. in #15 R.A.F.
Squadron flying Stirling, Bomber. Nearly all were over Holland to targets in Germany. On Aug. 17/42 they were hit by flak and ended up with no undercarriage. He was the pilot and crash-landed safely. He ended up instructing for 17 month and came home to Carman to start up a business in dry cleaning. Fred just turned 93 years old and is retired in Carman.

I had one on a guy, I just played for his funeral a while ago, he won the Dutch Cross, the BondsKruis in Holland, he was the only one from around here that was decorated by the Dutch.  I have his story, he went through Italy and Sicily and up through Holland, he got wounded twice, and so on. He just died of a heart-attack.   The other one is on the First Canadian Paratroop Battalion, they spent a month in Holland, I have a name of the four different towns, they were kind of billeted out there, you know?. After the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes, they went to Holland for a month, I thought I’d do his story also.  I was in Holland just right after the war, so I’m not important that way… There was a couple of guys I was going to do, there’s one guy that’s 93, he did a tour on Sterling bombers, he did 28 ships in, a lot of them were over hogged, but he got hit over there somewhere, he crashed somewhere in England, but nobody got hurt.  He’s 93 years old right now, living in Carmen. Another guy who did most of a tour, he just came back from Arizona, he was Billy Claysmore, we were friends and he spent time as an invader, you know?