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RCA Depot and Troop 159

exspy

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In July of 1967, I enlisted in the Army (Artillery) at the Recruiting Centre, on St. Clair Ave. Toronto.  At that time, I was sent to CFB, Downsview for my orientation.  After one week and a really short haircut four other new recruits plus myself were sent out to CFB Shilo, Manitoba for our Depot Training (Basic Training) which recruits now refer to as “Boot Camp”.

A day and a half later, we reached a small desolate drop off at Douglas, Manitoba via CP Rail and all we could see is one huge grain elevator, a lonely set of railway tracks and flat fields that seemed to go on forever.  When I was young, I was raised on a farm and had never seen such a sight.  The sky was huge with not a hill in sight.

For a while, we thought that someone was playing a cruel joke or that we had just been forgotten about.  Finally, someone came to pick us up in a small green van and then brought to the base.  Before we even got to our barracks, we went through a ton of red tape for equipment and clothing and then we finally got to our barracks.

Because the five of us were a month early before our troop (Troop 159) started up, we had to do all of the crap jobs around the base.  Little did I know that in five weeks I would have begged to do those jobs again.  In the first day of Depot Training, I felt like I was going to die after running one mile.  Never would I have imagined that by week three we were running at least ten miles in PT or swimming for two and a half hours straight.

Gunner,

I'm fascinated by stories of the Canadian Army in the 1960's.  Your Depot troop, 159, was one of the last before the RCSA Depot closed the following year.  Any other stories that you may have about your service, training, time in etc, would be welcomed by me, if no one else.

A few questions to start if I may.  How many other cap badges were there taking training with you?  Were puttees still a part of battledress when you were in?  Did you serve with Major / Lt COl Mike Calnan?  Selkirk Lines at Fort Osborne Barracks: Good posting or bad?

Cheers,
Dan.
 

Old Sweat

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Dan

It was the RCA Depot, not RCSA Depot. Puttees went out of wear circa 1967-1968. (We had a puttee burning party at happy hour to celebrate the event.) Why the question re Mike Calnan? I was talking to him on the phone less than two hours ago. He lives on the other side of the Rideau from us and is off to Florida next week.

If anybody cares, I was in 25 Squad and was the first graduate of the Depot to be commissioned.
 

George Wallace

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Old Sweat said:
Dan

It was the RCA Depot, not RCSA Depot. Puttees went out of wear circa 1967-1968. (We had a puttee burning party at happy hour to celebrate the event.) Why the question re Mike Calnan? I was talking to him on the phone less than two hours ago. He lives on the other side of the Rideau from us and is off to Florida next week.

If anybody cares, I was in 25 Squad and was the first graduate of the Depot to be commissioned.


I remember seeing puttees worn with Battle Bush Dress in the early 1970's, before Cbts were issued to all.  Still have a pair or two of "weights" kicking around in the bottom of a trunk somewhere, along with the puttees.
 

Old Sweat

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George Wallace said:
I remember seeing puttees worn with Battle Bush Dress in the early 1970's, before Cbts were issued to all.  Still have a pair or two of "weights" kicking around in the bottom of a trunk somewhere, along with the puttees.

I recall in the regular force puttees going out, but if you were in an organization that did not have combats, they could have survived.
 

Fishbone Jones

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The Reserves still had BD going into the 70's. Don't know when they switched because I was Reg by then. The puttees survived in that organization, however, in the Res unit I came from, if you had combat boots you could forgo the puttees. Still had to weight and blouse your pants, but didn't need the puttees. Same went for Bush dress.
 
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When I left the regiment in 1970, we were just beginning to receive our new uniforms and at the same time the 3rd RCHA, was being moved from Fort Osborne Barracks, to CFB, Shilo.  Right up to the fall of 1969, the whole regiment was still using the Battle Dress uniform and Great Coat in the winter and the summer dress was still the T-dub uniform right into 1970.
 

FJAG

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GunnerGleadall said:
When I left the regiment in 1970, we were just beginning to receive our new uniforms and at the same time the 3rd RCHA, was being moved from Fort Osborne Barracks, to CFB, Shilo.  Right up to the fall of 1969, the whole regiment was still using the Battle Dress uniform and Great Coat in the winter and the summer dress was still the T-dub uniform right into 1970.

I joined the 3rd in the summer of 1970 as a brand spanking new Lieutenant. The regiment's first parade in Shilo was that September and the entire regiment was entirely in T-dub except for two of us. One young and new lieutenant in Greens and the regimental photographer (we had one in those days) who was a sailor wearing his blues with white cap. Take two guesses who the RSM hated most on parade that day.

Just thinking about it, for the year prior (summer 1969 to summer 1970) I was on course in Esquimalt and at the RCSA at Shilo and when we wore battle dress I'm pretty sure we still had puttees (we had both combats and battle dress as we didn't get our T-dubs until we graduated basic and Greens until we graduated basic arty). I could be wrong about that because I know when I was with the reserves prior to mid 69 that we definitely did and the memory of tying those things on my legs may be washing over.
 

FJAG

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Originally in H Bty. I went on a course in Borden in November  and when I came back in January, H Bty had been disbanded (we were doing some big time remustering at the time) and I was cross posted to J Bty.
 
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Hi:

When you were in "J" Battery, did you know any of the junior or senior NCO's from "G" Battery?  One soldier was Sargent Mullins and another one was WO Tommy Larkin from "J" Battery.
 

FJAG

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GunnerGleadall said:
Hi:

When you were in "J" Battery, did you know any of the junior or senior NCO's from "G" Battery?  One soldier was Sargent Mullins and another one was WO Tommy Larkin from "J" Battery.

Knew them both at the time
 
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Hi:

At that time Sargent Mullin's was my Sargent.  Do you ever know what happened to him?  Gunner George Livingston was my roomate.  Did you know him?

Thanks

Bob Gleadall
 

FJAG

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GunnerGleadall said:
Hi:

At that time Sargent Mullin's was my Sargent.  Do you ever know what happened to him?  Gunner George Livingston was my roomate.  Did you know him?

Thanks

Bob Gleadall

Can't remember any Livingston but then I'm getting old. As to Mullins, I left the guns in 1981 and haven't really kept track. I looked on the Arty "lost trails" and "last post" web sites but there's no mention of him.
 
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