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Indian Veterans Remember: Peter Bird, Saskatchewan Light Infantry

I would like to share the story about myself after we crossed overseas. We arrived in England, we were stationed there for two years. We were eager to fight. A few of us were selected but I was the only native there. They were taken from all different outfits, we got boarded on to ship and go lost, but we finally arrived and took this one island.

We took Spitzburg, Artic Circle, the Germans had run it. When we took it, Russians were working there. We took the Russians home to a place called Artesian, that seaport. It took us 26 days. We were finished fighting for the time being.

Then that following next summer, we were sent out again to Italy (Sicily) to go fight again. The first night we arrived there the Germans were really bombing away.

After all the lighting, we crossed back to Italy. The natives were called 'Braves', there. In Sicily I saw some natives. There was a highway nearby and this is what the Germans were bombing. During the bombing, one of our friends got, wounded and Iran to help him. He was driving a radio car wearing 'walkie-talkies'. The wounded guy stepped out from the car and said, "They got me," and fell, he had three holes in him.

There were other native guys there. One was my nephew's older brother,we called him Edwin, Edwin Sand And one from Meadow Lake too. There we heard again the Germans were bombing and coming closer. It was called the Moaning Minnie, because it went, "m-m-m". The commander said, "everybody down". The natives then were calling a war cry. It is true then, when they call the natives braves, because they were not frightened. This wounded guy kept me busy. Germans were bombing and I went behind a tree for shelter. The shells were landing nearby. They really were bombing but kept hitting the branches and I was still hiding behind the tree. After a while, later on I was lying in the hole. Then there was another explosion. There was a radio car there that used 6 to 8 big batteries and it was these batteries that exploded. The natives were laughing. I knew, then, that two natives were killed that same place. One of them was Joe Okemasis from Muskeg Lake, and another one from Beardy's. Also Tommy Bear from Meadow Lake. This resulted because they were too brave.

Finally, we got to Hitler Line they called it, Gustave Line. It was heavily guarded by big guns stuck into the ground. It was hard to get through. The Americans couldn't but we did. We were camped about two or three miles from the line. The big guns fired at us for about three or four hours first and then after that we took off. We captured a Sherman tank and we jumped aboard and sat at the back of the tank. As we advanced on the next line we came to a dead German that had been run over by a tank. His intestines were exposed. There were a few Germans left so we took prisoners. Some had been shot.

The next day we captured a town called Montessino. I volunteered for the burial party. A big bulldozer came and made a big hole. We used these Bren Gun carriers. We'd pile the bodies in there and threw them in this hole. The smell was not very good. The soldiers were Americans, Canadians, Aussies, and Hindus. There were about two thousand. We just took their tags (they were called dog tags), then the bulldozer covered them up,

The next day we went to Mount Casino. There was two Germans that we took as prisoners. There was priests there and nuns walking around carrying their prayer books. We caught one German officer hiding and he was taken prisoner.

This is all I have to say except to say that I had my share of terrible experiences."

Frank Eyahpaise

Frank Eyahpaise: Frank enlisted in 1951 and was an instructor in the Canadian Army. At that time the Korean war was on and instructed both basic and advanced training.

Before he could be shipped overseas he developed tuberculosis and was medically discharged.

Later he enlisted in the ROAF and was stationed at St, John, Quebec and Camp Bordon in Ontario where he was trained as an Air Force Technician. His history of T.B. continued to affect his health and again he received a medical discharge.