Allen Hamilton Taylor

Trooper Allen Hamilton Taylor, B62947
Vancouver, British Columbia
1st Hussars

Allen Hamilton Taylor (middle right) was born on 11 December, 1914 in Toronto, Ontario.  Allen was 5 feet 7 inches and weighed 140 pounds. He has a dark complexion. Taylor had dark hair and hazel eyes. He was the son of James Allen Taylor (third row, left) and Bella Gange Taylor, who died early in this life. Allen Taylor also had an older sister of 4 years, named Elma B. Taylor. Taylor grew up as an active member of the United Church. Allen Taylor spoke English and attended one year night school for Motor Mechanics. He also had two and a half years of training in technical school for motor mechanics.   Taylor also had 4 cousins, Irene and Vera Hall as well as his twin cousins, Albert and Herbert Hall. According to his military service file Allen Taylor worked as an assembler until he enlisted in the Canadian army on 9 July 1942.  He married a woman named Gladys but no other information is available on where they met or her maiden name.

On 9 July 1942, Allen Taylor was taken on strength to district depot #2, in Toronto, Ontario. A week later he was struck on strength from the district depot and transferred to Military district #7 on 18 July 1942 in Toronto, Ontario and shortly afterwards he was taken on strength to Canadian Army Training Center (Basic) on 19 July 1942. Then he was struck off strength from the Canadian Army Training Center on 17 September 1942. Next he was taken on strength to the Advanced Canadian Army Training Center on 18 November 1942. Then he was granted leave from the 21st of December to the 27th in 1942. During his leave he was only paid 50 cents per day. On 1 January 1943 his pay rate was at $1.40 per day. A few days later, on 9 January 1943 it increased to $1.50 per day. On 22 February 1943, Taylor was granted 14 days furlough with a pay of 50 cents per day. On the 28th of February he was recalled back to duty at 2200 hours. (10:00 pm) Then he was struck on strength on 8 March 1943, from his Canadian Army Training Center, and transferred to Canadian Armored Corps reinforcement unit overseas. On the 10th of March, 1943, Taylor was struck on strength from Canadian armored corps on embarkation. The next day, the 11th, he was taken on strength to Canadian Armored Corps on disembarkation. Then he was taken on strength to Canadian Armored Corps reinforcement unit on 18 March 1943. On 22 May 1943 Taylor became a justified driver, for 9/c wheeled. He proceeded to corps reinforcement unit for course 2 service 3 and to Canadian Infantry reinforcement unit on 20 May 1943, as a Lance Corporal. He returned from there on 19 June 1943. He then ceases to be Acting Lance Corporal on being struck on strength and pay of $1.50 a day. Afterwards, he was struck on strength to 6 army tank regiment on 8 July 1943. He then was taken on strength from Canadian armored corps reinforcement unit on 9 July 1943. On 30 July 1943, he became a qualified gunner.  Allen Taylor was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. On 20 February 1944, He became a qualified Driver for Tanks, 1st class. On June 3rd he was embarked in the United Kingdom. Then he disembarked in France on the 6th of June. He was killed in action on 6 June 1944 in France.

At approximately 0530 hours the Duplex-drive squadron’s commanders, Majors Duncan and Brooks, had received signals from the control craft about launching the Duplex-drive tanks into the rough sea. It was critical that the first craft would land as soon as possible after the maximum low tide. They decided the tide was too rough and they began their assault off the beaches in 7000 yards off shore. At 0640 hours, the landing craft headquarters decided that the tanks would not launch but would be taken into shore for dry landing. When the LCT’s were approximately 3000 yards from shore the signal was passed saying that they must not land before 0730 hours. At 0715 hours a naval task force had come into position behind the assault crafts and was shooting at the coastal defenses.  Finally the Duplex-drive tanks were ordered to launch by Major Duncan, the senior squadron leader. This took the crews by surprise; they were expecting a dry landing.  The tanks began to head for the beach.  There is some controversy with the launching and landing of the tanks; their presence on the beach “contributed to the enemy’s discouragement and downfall”.  The performance of the tank crews generally was described as ‘gallant rather than brilliant’, improving as the battle developed”.

According to the history of the 1st Hussars the crews were under heavy gun fire well before they landed on the beach.   Lieutenant H.K Pattison launched off the Port craft and the chains that were holding the door were shot away by German fire, so the remaining tanks could not get off. The Starboard and Port crafts then made their way to the shore where they had successfully landed five tanks. On the port craft only, one tank was successful in launching before the landing craft tank (L.C.T) blew up, losing three more tanks. The canvass screens, guarding against the possibility of wave action flooding the tanks, were in danger of being destroyed by enemy fire and the waves were so strong that it began to get hard to steer. The tank commanded by Lieut. W.R.C Little was hit by a rocket ship, while making an attempt to neutralize the Germans on the beach.

Trooper G. S. Hawker was killed in the water by a machine gun but all other members of the tank that had sunk were eventually picked up.

Other accounts of the 1st Hussars report similar difficulties faced by the tank crews.  Captain J.W. Powell, Lieut. (Red) Goff, Corporal H.J Beverley and Corporal J.M.Kay were the first tanks to touch down on the beach. Corporal Kay was killed and Trooper E.S Sinclair and J.L Jackson all died from enemy fire. Trooper J.W. Forbes’ tank crashed into a post and he received a back injury that almost paralyzed him. Corporal S. Runplfson helped remove many men in the sea and helped bandage the wounded.  He then grabbed a rifle and joined the infantry and headed inward off the beach.

Many tanks that had launched from some 4000 meters from shore succumbed to the waves.  Sgt. Inglis’s tank was devoured by the massive waves. In one sector of the beach seven tanks succeeded in reaching the beach and fought their way through the German defenses, including mines that the Germans had attached to posts. The beaches were heavily mined and none of the tanks wanted to risk going on the beach.

To the left of the area, Lieut. “Red” Goff, who was commanding the third troop, made their way inland to neutralize their first objective, a camouflage fort which had been hiding a deadly gun. It knocked out Corporal H.A. Pociluk’s tank right away. With tanks immobilized many soldiers attempted to leave their tanks but then were shot at by machine guns. Cpl. H.A. Pochiluk, L/Cpl. I.A. Lytle, Tpr. H.Osbourne, Tpr. R.F. Moore and Tpr. W. F. Hackford, died during that time.

The tanks that remained from the 3rd troop neutralized the gun that was taking out the tanks and the machine gunners. Second-in-command was Captain J.W. Powell who was able to handle the tanks and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O) and Military Cross (M.C.).    Capt. Powell had landed on the right of the 3rd troop and was fired at from a concrete fort rendering his master gun useless.  Despite this he managed to reach the beach behind the gun and using his coax he neutralized the German crew.

The anti-tank guns were neutralized and the seven tanks that had successfully landed started to move up and down the beach locating and neutralizing German machine gunners.  All the while more LCT’s were making their way to the beach to unload their tanks.   The port and starboard craft had made their way onto the beach to land their D’D’s. The port had unfortunately hit two land mines and began to sink, but there was an attempt to launch the D-D’s. The second tank, with Commander Sgt. F.B. Kenyon had made it to the beach successfully. But the third tank with commander L. /Cpl. Stanfield had screen damage so it began to sink due to heavy wave action breaking over the screens. Behind the third tank was the L.C.T which had been blocking the other two tanks from landing. The crew swam to shore to get an armoured bull dozer to pull it aside to save the others. Lt. Pattison and Sgt. Pitcher, the commanders of the two tanks behind the L.C.T, were not able to get off into the low tide, then they reunited with their squadrons. Meanwhile the other beached LCT landed all five tanks safely and the squadron was at two thirds of its full strength.

According to reporter Ross Munro, who landed with the second wave the beach area around Bernieres-sur-Mer,  was strewn with the wreckage of tank landing craft and tanks that had hit mines and all the while more landing craft were unloading tanks and infantry.  “Our landing craft passed by several disabled craft, damaged by underwater obstacles they had hit.

The tanks had decided that the only exit that was possible was on the left end of the beach. A squadron had then rushed off the beach and moved inland in search of the infantry of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles (RWR). The tanks of Capt. J.W. Powell and Cpl. Beverly’s tank had run into trouble. The tank was soon repaired by Capt. Robison and Capt. Neil. The D-D’s contacted the infantry beyond the beach and had learned that only 9 of the 19 tanks were left to support the RWR as they began to push inland.

The rest of the day the tanks had moved place to place as the Winnipeg Rifles provided fire support to neutralize enemy positions. There was no more armour or anti-tank gun encounters as they left the beaches but the tanks did manage to help the infantry to clear each town as they made their way through.

Around 1630 hours, A squadron of the 1st Hussars was joined by Col. Colwell with the Regimental Headquarters (R.H.Q.) tanks and two 17pounder guns from C squadron.  The tanks were in need of petrol but they had to remain with the infantry. The 1st troop of the squadron had made their way to the right front with their Company of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. (The 2nd troop had moved left front to watch and fire.) The third troop remained with squadron H.Q. in order to give covering fire for the troops ahead.

Allen Hamilton Taylor was killed in action on June 6th, 1944 in France. He was originally buried in Courseulles-Sur-Mer, France. He was then reburied in Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Military Cemetery in France, six kilometers inland from the Juno Beach sector near the Normandy coast.   He was buried in Section 7, Row D and plot 9. God rest his soul.

 

Written by: a student at Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute in Smiths Falls,  Ontario, Canada.

 Rédigé par: un élève de Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institution, Smiths Falls, Canada.

REMEMBER TODAY, REMEMBER ALWAYS.

THIS TRIBUTE PROFILE CONTAINS AVAILABLE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE CANADIANS WHO DIED ON JUNO BEACH ON 6 JUNE 1944. THE PROFILE ALSO RECOGNIZES THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION WHO GENEROUSLY SPONSORED THIS SOLDIER, AND INCLUDES A MESSAGE OF THANKS AND REMEMBRANCE FOR THEIR SACRIFICE. THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE SOLDIER’S NATIVE TONGUE AND HAS BEEN COMPILED BY THE LEST WE FORGET PROGRAM AND, IN SOME CASES, THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE SOLDIERS. DUE TO THE INCONSISTENCY OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND THE SPARSE AVAILABILITY OF FIRST-HAND WITNESSES, WE KNOW MORE ABOUT SOME THAN OTHERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE ANY MATERIAL OR HELP IN OUR EFFORTS TO PRESENT THE BIOGRAPHIES IN BOTH FRENCH AND ENGLISH, PLEASE CONTACT: JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.

CE PORTRAIT CONTIENT DES INFORMATIONS BIOGRAPHIQUES RELATIVES À L’UN DES CANADIENS QUI SONT MORTS SUR LA PLAGE JUNO, LE 6 JUIN 1944. IL PORTE ÉGALEMENT MENTION DE LA PERSONNE OU DE L’ORGANISATION QUI A GÉNÉREUSEMENT PARRAINÉ CE SOLDAT, AINSI QU’UN MESSAGE DE REMERCIEMENT EN SOUVENIR DE SON SACRIFICE. CES INFORMATIONS SONT DISPONIBLES DANS LA LANGUE MATERNELLE DU SOLDAT ET ONT ÉTÉ COMPILÉES PAR LE PROGRAMME LEST WE FORGET ET, DANS CERTAINS CAS, GRÂCE À LA GÉNÉROSITÉ DES PERSONNES LIÉES AUX SOLDATS. EN RAISON DE LA DISPARITÉ DES DOCUMENTS HISTORIQUES ET DES RARES TÉMOINS DE L’ÉPOQUE, NOUS NE DISPOSONS PAS DE LA MÊME QUANTITÉ D’INFORMATION SUR TOUS LES SOLDATS. SI VOUS SOUHAITEZ COMPLÉTER NOTRE DOCUMENTATION OU NOUS AIDER DANS NOS EFFORTS POUR PRÉSENTER LES BIOGRAPHIES EN FRANÇAIS ET EN ANGLAIS, MERCI DE CONTACTER : JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.