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  • Canadian Forces Decoration Group - Lt. Barlett

Item: C0392

Canadian Forces Decoration Group - Lt. Barlett


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Canadian Forces Decoration Group - Lt. Barlett

1939-1945 Star; Pacific Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp; War Medal 1939-1945; and Canadian Forces Decoration (LT H BARLETT). Naming is officially impressed on the CFD. Board mounted, ribboned, plated, extremely fine. Accompanied by his Service Records, Discharge Papers, Canadian Forces Decoration Application and a Royal Canadian Air Cadets patch. Footnote: Harry Barlett was originally in the Royal Canadian Air Force (R 64427) and signed his Attestation Paper on July 2, 1940, in Hamilton, at the age of nineteen but after serving 294 days, was discharged from the RCAF on April 21, 1941, from No.2 Manning Depot, Brandon, Manitoba, with good conduct, to resume his life as a student. He re-enlisted, this time as a member of the Canadian Army (B 20408) on July 13, 1942, in Hamilton and served in Canada, Kiska (Aluetian Islands), United Kingdom and Continental Europe. He was with the Royal Canadian Artillery, stationed at Petawawa in July 1942, as a Gunner, soon finding his way to Vancouver that August, then on to Nanaimo in January 1943. In July 1943, he proceeded on special duty to Kiska in the Aleutian Islands, where a Japanese invasion force had gone ashore on June 6, 1942, as a diversionary part of the Japanese plan for the Battle of Midway. The military importance of this frozen, difficult-to-supply island was questionable, but the psychological impact upon the Americans of losing U.S. territory was tangible. During the winter of 1942-43, the Japanese reinforced and fortified the islands; not necessarily to prepare for an island-hopping operation across the Aleutians, but to prevent a U.S. operation across the Kuril Islands. The U.S. Navy began operations to deny Kiska supply. During October 1942, American forces undertook seven bombing missions over Kiska, though two were aborted due to inclement weather. Following the winter, Attu was liberated and Kiska was bombed once more for over two months, before a larger American force was allocated to defeat the expected Japanese garrison of 5,200 men. On August 15, 1943, an invasion force consisting of 34,426 Allied troops, including elements of the 7th Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Regiment, 87th Mountain Combat team, 5,300 Canadians (the 6th and 7th Infantry Divisions), including Barlett, 95 ships (including three battleships and a heavy cruiser), and 168 aircraft landed on Kiska, only to find the island completely abandoned. The Japanese, aware of the loss of Attu and the impending arrival of the larger Allied force, had successfully removed their troops on July 28 under the cover of severe fog, without the Allies noticing. Allied casualties during this invasion nevertheless numbered close to 200, all either from friendly fire, booby traps set out by the Japanese to inflict damage on the invading allied forces, or weather-related disease. There were seventeen Americans and four Canadians killed from either friendly fire or booby traps, fifty more were wounded as a result of friendly fire or booby traps, and an additional 130 men came down with trench foot The destroyer USS Abner Read hit a mine, resulting in 87 casualties. For his participation in the Kiska conflict, Barlett was awarded the Pacific Star. He returned to Canada on January 3, 1944. By August 21, 1944, he found himself in France and the European theatre to close out the war. He was discharged from the Canadian Army on February 19, 1946, having earned the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp. He returned to civilian life, until June 10, 1965, when he began his involvement with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, 715 Squadron and was appointed Supply Officer. He applied for his Canadian Forces Decoration award on March 5, 1973, listing his terms of service as: Royal Canadian Air Force (July 2, 1940 - April 21, 1941), Canadian Army (July 13, 1942 - February 19, 1946) and Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Canadian Armed Forces (June 10, 1965 - March 5, 1973) and was still active in the RCAC when signing the document. A total service of 12 years, 1 month, 17 days, as of the date of signing in Burlington, Ontario.
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