Canadian Dieppe Raid Veteran says it was supposed to be ‘just another drill’

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Canadian WWll hero David Hart with his wife Miriam and the author, Ellin Bessner, in Montreal in 2016. (Ellin Bessner photo)

Canadian Jewish war hero David Hart and his wife will be winging their way to Dieppe, France with Veterans Affairs Canada in August, to help mark the 75th anniversary of the 1942 Dieppe Raid.

I interviewed the 99-year-old veteran in 2016 for my forthcoming book. (Hon.) Col. was on a landing craft just off the beach from Dieppe operating a radio wireless set. The then-Sergeant with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals was credited with saving 100 Canadian commandos, who hadn’t received the signal to retreat. It had been sent from the raid headquarters ship offshore but they were too far away from the action. So he relayed the message again, and got through, amidst the murderous German gunfire on that terrible August 19 day. Hart and his wife Miriam still live in Montreal.

His eye-witness recollections will be in Chapter 5 of my book “Double Threat” about Canada’s Jews in Uniform in World War ll. Note the wartime photo of Hart in the background of the photo. It shows his bravery citation for winning the Military Medal, which he picked up from the King at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in late 1942.

Watch this wartime newsreel of the event. You can see Hart, and his two brothers, at about 8 minutes into the video.

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