Private Edward Yakey
Private Edward Yakey was born in Iroquois Falls, Ontario, Canada on March 16, 1923. He attended Kirkland High School while in his teenage years and enjoyed participating in a variety of sports, such as wrestling, hockey, rugby and baseball. Yakey was fluent in several languages such as English, Polish and Ukrainian. He was living at 279 Main Street East in Hamilton, Ontario and working as a machinist just prior to enlisting in the Canadian Armoured Corps on November 7, 1942. On February 24, 1943 Yakey was transferred to the 1st Chemical Warfare Mortar Company, Royal Canadian Engineers and on June 1 1942 he was promoted to Lance Corporal. On September 6 he reverted to the rank of Sapper and the next day was posted to A6 Canadian Engineers Training Centre in Chilliwack, BC.
Yakey was enamored with the idea of becoming a Paratrooper ever since he joined the Army, so he requested a transfer to the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. On November 18, 1943 he was posted to A-35 Canadian Parachute Training Centre at Camp Shilo, Manitoba and earned his wings on January 12, 1944.
Three months later Yakey disembarked in the UK and was attached to 1 Canadian Parachute Training Company. On January 12, 1945 he rejoined the Battalion and the next day arrived in Belgium to fight in the Battle of the Bulge. He and his fellow paratroopers were the only Canadians to participate in this campaign.
Following his return to the UK, Yakey was again sent to Europe on 5 April 1945 as an unposted reinforcement. He was discharged from the Army on February 4, 1946 and returned to his career as a machinist.