1st Lt Bty (PARA) RCA
First all Gunner Parachute Course Graduation
Canadian Joint Air Training Centre (CJATC) Rivers Manitoba
The list of names for the accompanying photo has two abbreviations: ?, designates unknown gunner; NG means Non-Gunner.
Back row, L to R x 13 men
1. ?, 2. J.A. Comeau, 3. BSM P. Sherrick, 4. C.E Dunbar, 5. L.E. Potter,
6. J.C. MacKenzie, 7. J.E. Harrison, 8. J.R. O'Donnel, 9. C.E. Sirianni, 10. ?, 11. ?,
12. J.C. Akerman, 13. Sgt R.J. Fenske .
Middle row, L to R x 14 men
1. B.E. Davis, 2. ?, 3. G.T. Coombs, 4. V.L. Stengrin, 5. A.G. Carter, 6. (slightly above) ?,
7. G.D. Resch, 8. ?, 9. E. Miller, 10. NG, 11. S Szezepanik, 12. W.R. Cunningham,
13. W.R. Pettapiece, 14. D.R. Poirier.
Front row, L to R x 13 men
1. NG, 2. NG, 3. NG, 4. W.A. McElveny, 5. Lt R. N. Mack, 6. Lt. F.W. Martin, 7. Lt L.C. Baumgart, 8. (slightly above) L/Bdr J. Law, 9. ?, 10. R.F. Livingston, 11. W.L. Hanson, 12. Sgt W.E. Tyo, 13. NG.
(Earl (Crazy) Miller transferred back to 1 RCHA and was killed in Korea in 1952; the first known casualty in this group.)
Thirty eight Gunners commenced parachute training at CJATC Rivers in November 1950. Two were lost to injury and withdrawal (BSM A. E. Carey and BQMS C. B. Elliot) and thirty six graduated.
The weather during the latter part of December deteriorated to such an extent that the completion of the jump phase of the course had to be postponed until after the Christmas break in early January 1951. At that time the Gunner serial was joined by five non Gunners from previous serials who had been unable to complete their qualifying jumps.
Gordon Carter and Gerald Resch have managed to identify 29 of the members in the accompanying photograph. The remaining seven are, of course, familiar but we need that memory jog from another source. Two of the unidentified - JARP MacDonald and Earl Reid - are so well known it is a mystery why we cannot pick them out.