Sgt Ronald F. Anderson

Sgt. Ronald Anderson was born November 3, 1922 in Toronto, Ontario.  

Anderson enlisted in the military, signing his attestation papers on June 18, 1940. Anderson served with the 2nd Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers from September 1940 to May 1941 and became a demolitions expert. He quickly went through the ranks until he was promoted to Sergeant. Anderson trained hundreds of troops in England prior to D-day.  Anderson was physically fit and eager to take on new challenges, so he requested a transfer to the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.

Anderson completed his Parachutist Course at Ringway, England on May 24, 1944.  He was taken on strength with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion on September 24, 1944. He was a very knowledgeable Sergeant with much sought-after skills and experience, which made him an invaluable member of the Battalion. He parachuted into German with B Company, 4 Platoon during Operation Varsity and saw combat.  While serving in the Ardennes, Anderson participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He also served in Holland and Belgium. During the Battalion's travels to Wismar, they encountered Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp just after it was liberated. That experience caused Anderson to have nightmares to the end of his days. 

After the war, Anderson served with the Toronto Police Service and was one of the first responders to a terrible fire aboard the cruise ship Noronic in the Toronto Harbour on September 17, 1949.  Anderson jumped into the frigid waters on Lake Ontario amid blazing patches of oil to spend hours rescuing passengers jumping from the ship.  With a toll of 119 dead, it remains Toronto's worst disaster.  

Anderson passed away peacefully on November 3, 2015 after celebrating his 93rd birthday. 

 

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Anderson at 17 years of age. Courtesy of R. Anderson
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Sgt Anderson on the right with his brother Lawrence Anderson on leave in London, May 1944. Courtesy of R. Anderson.
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Anderson in the UK in 1944. Coutesty of R. Anderson.
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Sgt Anderson's uniform he wore overseas.
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Shoulder flash off Sgt Anderson's uniform.

 

M36 Mills Bomb

Sgt Anderson was an explosive expert and taught countless troops how to use a variety of ordnance, including hand grenades.  Below is an M36 Mills Bomb. These were standard issue to the ground troops, Sgt Anderson used his fair share of these during combat overseas. You can read more about the M36 Mills Bomb in the equipment section of this website.