Canada in the Second World War


Harold R. Tilley

Harold R. TILLEY Born December 17, 1923 in New York City

Harold Tilley belonged to the Naval War Service from August 1941 until the end of the war. He trained at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth from September 1941 until 1942, served on HMS Anson (Battleship) from May 1942 until August 1943 (Russian convoys) and HMS Melbreak (Destroyer) from August 1943 until January 1944 (English Channel). He joined LCI(L) 263 (Landing Craft Infantry Large) of the 262nd Flottila at the end of May 1944. On June 6, 1944, he was a navigator for a section of 3 LCI(L)s carrying Le Régiment de la Chaudière from Southampton to Bernières-sur-Mer in Normandy. His landing craft was holed by beach obstacles and had to be repaired on the beach during the next 3 days.

After the war, Harold remained in the Canadian navy serving on the HMCS Huron, St Boniface, Charlottetown and Antigonish. He was in command of HMCS Jonquière (frigate), Saguenay (destroyer), Seventh Canadian Escort Squadron (4 destroyers), CFB Cornwallis plus staff positions at Atlantic Command and National Defence Headquarters.

In 2009, as he was portrayed in the exhibition “Veterans Voices” at the Juno Beach Centre, Harold R. Tilley declared:

“I was thrilled but I apprehended being in the invasion force. The event itself was awesome. There were of course gruesome scenes on the beach. As the morning progressed the whole shoreline became covered with smoke although you could still see hundreds of ships.”