In 1959 author Cornelius Ryan began research for his book “The Longest Day”. In doing so he put out advertisements to countries of the Allied nations of the Second World War, looking for first-hand accounts of D-Day.
More than 100 Canadians responded, as well as soldiers from Allied nations serving on the Canadian sector at Juno Beach. For more than 60 years these stories have been held at Ohio University and were largely unknown.
In 2020, Geoff Osborne, grandson of a Second World War Veteran who had written one of the questionnaires, forged a partnership with Project ’44 and the Ohio University Library to transcribe the Canadian accounts.
This podcast is the audio track from a video produced by Project ‘44 in collaboration with the Ohio University Library, where the interviews Cornelius Ryan collected are stored.
Project ‘44 is led by the Canadian Research and Mapping Association (CRMA), a nonprofit specializing in digital preservation, collection management systems, and mapping military history.
Go to project44.ca to follow the frontline in their easy-to-use interactive web map of the Canadian Army in the Second World War.
All proceeds support the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s Second World War Museum in Normandy, France and allow us to continue to offer this content to listeners across Canada!
Veteran Testimonials and Their Readers
The Longest Day podcast showcases eleven accounts read by nine Canadians and one Irishman. The accounts read in order are:
- Flying Officer Edwin Widenoja, 433 Squadron RCAF read by Dave O’Malley.
- Joseph Willicombe Junior, American correspondent read by Peter Mansbridge.
- Lt. Commander Desmond Piers, HMCS Algonquin read by Roger Litwiller.
- Major Charles McLean, 17th Hussars read by Peter Mansbridge.
- Flying Officer John Moffat, 533 Squadron RAF read by Alex Fitzgerald-Black.
- Gunner Arthur Boon, 19th Field Regiment RCA read by Scott MacArthur.
- Lieutenant Charles Scott, 75th LCT Flotilla read by Thomas Moore.
- Sgt James DeLacy, 8th (Irish) Bn The Kings Regiment read by Raymond Moroney.
- Captain Earl Olmsted, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division HQ read by Geoff Osborne.
- Major Donald Wilkins, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion read by Jay Baruchel.
- Sergeant Morris Magee, 14th Field Regiment RCA read by David O’Keefe.
The following links offer more information on the topics discussed in this episode:
Juno Beach & Beyond is hosted and edited by Alex Fitzgerald-Black, the centre’s Operations and Outreach Manager.
Mackenzie King’s speech to British Parliament from the British Pathé YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SlEvclY5LE&t=48s
Artillery firing sounds from the CBC News: The National YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsCSQ4uWR1Y
Female veteran’s voice (Eileen Green, née Short) Courtesy of The Memory Project, Historica Canada: http://www.thememoryproject.com/stories/383:eileen-green-nee-short/
Winston Churchill’s “Finest Hour” speech from Jonathan Thomas’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB5wZtV1MWM
Spitfire sound effect from Jason Kirby’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgZI4tAoMN0
Dramatic Interlude by Alexander Nakarada | https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com
Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at email@example.com.