SERGEANT HOWARD RUEBIN HOLLOWAY
Sergeant Howard Ruebin Holloway was born in Middlesex, London England, before immigrating to Canada. He was raised in a family of 3 boys and 1 girl. Prior to enlisting in the Army, Holloway was a Drug Store Clerk for 6 months before changing jobs to Trucking for Harvey Flacombe in Saskatoon. By the time he enrolled in the army, his older brother was already serving with the RCAF. Holloway enlisted in the army at the 12 “A” District Depot in Saskatoon on December 13, 1941.
He was later taken on strength with the A-18 Advanced (MG) Training Centre on January 1, 1942 and promoted to L/Cpl on May 9 that same year. He transferred to the 121 Canadian Army Basic Training Centre (C.A.B.T.C.) and was promoted to A/L/Corporal with pay on May 9, 1942. He received another promotion in rank to A/Cpl with pay on August 1, 1942. By this time, Holloway had his sights set on joining the Paratroops, and requested a transfer. He was accepted and sent to the Parachute School in Fort Benning, Georgia and graduated on January 22, 1943. This was only the beginning of his adventures of being a Paratrooper.
Holloway was part of HQ Coy, PIAT platoon when he parachuted into Normandy on June 6, 1944 during Operation Overlord. He saw heavy combat in Normandy but was fortunate enough escape serious harm. Holloway embarked for the UK on December 25, 1944. He was promoted to Sergeant on February 17, 1945 and getting ready to head back into combat. Holloway parachuted during the day light hours into Germany on March 24, 1945 during Operation Varsity where he saw fierce combat once again. Holloway was extremely fortunate to discharge from the military with minimal injuries.
Projector Infantry Anti Tank (P.I.A.T.)
Below is a PIAT and bomb, which would have been similar to the one Sergeant Holloway used while overseas. The Projector Infantry Anti Tank weapons system, often referred to as a PIAT was employed by ground troops in order to disable tanks and other armoured vehicles. The effective range of the PIAT against a tank was 115 yards, which meant you required nerves of steel to allow a tank to get close enough before engaging. The PIAT could also be used for breaching buildings, which allowed for a greater distance, up to 350 yards and still be effective. The PIAT itself weighed 32 pounds and a bomb weighed approximately 2.5 pounds, being carried in a container of 3 rounds. The PIAT was heavy and cumbersome to carry around. It was also challenging to prepare for loading, making the rate of fire less than desirable. Courtesy of Collectors Source.