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Date: September 9th 1944

September 9, 1944

Well, Mom, we are in the thick of it again and having some pretty hot times. My gun received a direct hit by a fragmentation bomb which landed on the ammunition rack, exploded, setting the cordite alight land blowing a large steel plate (six by four) completely off. While this was taking place, my crew and I were sheltering under the Self-Propelled gun. I didn’t have time to take cover, so just flopped on my tummy. Another bomb of the same type landed fifteen feet away and a small piece of shrapnel buried itself in my buttock. I promptly pulled that portion out and received another chunk in my back. The whole show only lasted thirty seconds. Meanwhile, Old Fritz flew overhead alternately bombing and strafing. The minute the enemy planes had passed, I checked my crew and was relieved to find I was the only one hit. By this time, my S.P. was well afire. Under my direction, my crew went to work on the fire. I didn’t need to tell them to hurry as we all knew that at any moment Gerry would return to finish the job with cannon and machine gun fire. I forgot to mention that the blazing cordite set the camouflage net ablaze too. Well, Mom, I managed to tear down the net and smother it with earth while my Bombardier and the rest of the boys smothered the cordite with CO2 extinguishers. It certainly was a hectic few minutes, but we won and saved a valuable piece of equipment. When it was all over, I had my minor wounds attended to and was relieved to find that the piece in my seat was only the size of my small fingernail and easily removed. The piece that struck my back made a clean gash and passed on.

Another gun in Art McLachlan’s troop was similarly hit but burned out completely. I have received several compliments for the night’s work so feel it was well worth it. I could have had a wound stripe had I gone to the Field Dressing Station, but if I had done so, you would have received an official telegram which would have worried you needlessly. Well, Mom, Fritz can make me duck but he can’t scare me. I think this scrap will be my last and so home.

<It was in this Action that Sgt. H. A. Swinton was awarded the Military Medal. W.F.H.Swinton>