Lt. Colonel Jevon Nicklin
Jevon Albert "Jeff" Nicklin was born December 10, 1914, at Fort William, Ontario. He was the son of Percy Harold and Eva Louise Nicklin. Jeff was raised during the great depression and learned from a young age the importance of a good work ethic.
Jeff during his teen years was a natural athlete and excelled at team sports and became a football sensation. He was an all-star with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and was part of the team’s Grey Cup victories in both 1935 and 1939. World War 2 was in full momentum and he cut his career short in order to enlist with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles as a young officer. Jeff would then marry his longtime girlfriend Mary Eileen Nicklin on September 14, 1940, later settling in Port Credit, Ontario.
It wasn’t long before Jeff was identified to participate in the rigorous training to become a paratrooper. He was sent to the parachute school in Fort Benning, Georgia, U.S.A. He proudly graduated on December 12, 1942, and joined the ranks of the elite airborne troops and posted to the newly formed 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. He later joined the Battalion overseas in England where he would train with the 6th Airborne Division for several months in preparation for Operation Overlord.
On June 6, 1944, Jeff parachuted into Normandy during Operation Overlord, one of the first to land in Normandy on D Day and his leadership led to him being Mentioned in Dispatches. He was wounded on July 23, 1944, and spent a short time in hospital. Jeff would later serve in the Ardennes with the battalion, also known as the Battle of the Bulge. Jeff, known as Lieutenant Colonel Nicklin to his men, took over command of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion just prior to November 1, 1944, and under his command, he increased the Battalion's overall efficiency and leadership as a well-established fighting unit.
His second operational jump was during a daring daytime insertion during Operation Varsity (The Rhine Crossing) on March 24, 1945. Unfortunately, Lt Col Nicklin’s parachute got caught in trees on landing, close to an enemy machinegun position and he was shot as he hung there. He was 30 years old. His body was recovered two days later and he was given a field burial conducted by Captain Douglas Candy, Padre with 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
Lt Col Nicklin is now buried at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, near Arnhem. After the war, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association created the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy which is awarded by the Canadian Football League to the most outstanding player in the Western Conference. If you have read the biography of Lt Col Jevon "Jeff" Albert Nicklin, then you have kept his memory alive.
Credit to Library and Archives Canada
Sten MkV Submachine Gun
The Sten submachine gun can be found in several models, the one pictured here is a Sten MKV, produced for the Paratroopers. It was an inexpensive firearm to produce, costing less than $10.00 per unit. It chambered a 9mm cartridge with a firing rate of 550 rounds per minute and an effective range of 100 yards. Also shown is a magazine pouch or bandolier that allowed a soldier to carry an additional 30 round magazines. Lt Col Nicklin trained and carried a similar Sten MkV Submachine gun during his service in Europe.