Sergeant Daniel Ronald Hartigan
In 1942, Daniel Hartigan was an 18-year-old Corporal in the Canadian Dental Corps stationed in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
On 22 December 1942, Hartigan boarded a train for Fort Benning, Georgia to begin parachute training in the newly-formed Canadian Parachute Corps.
On 24 April 1943 he continued his training at Camp Shilo, Manitoba, and on 23 June he and his fellow Canadian paratroopers embarked on a ship to England to train under Brigadier James Hill.
In May 1944, 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion was assigned to the British 6th Airborne Division.
Hartigan's C Company formed the Advance Party which would be in Normandy 45 minutes before the main Airborne landings.
At 22:31 hours on 5 June 1944, the first four Albemarle bombers lifted off for Normandy...Hartigan was on Bomber Two.
For the next 83 days, the 1CPB fought and played a full part in the British 6th Airborne Division's battle for the defence of the Orne bridgehead and its sixty initial D-Day objectives.
Of the 541 Canadian paratroopers who dropped in Normandy, 386 were killed, wounded or missing at the end of the 83-day battle.
But the war in Europe was not over for Hartigan.
He fought in Belgium from 26 December 1944 until 22 February 1945.
On 24 March 1945, he parachuted into Germany and was at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on the day of its liberation, 15 April 1945.
Hartigan survived the war and was discharged on 5 September 1945.
A few years before his death, he wrote a book entitled "A Rising of Courage" detailing 1CPB's role in the liberation of Normandy.
Hartigan was a qualified Mortarman who used the 2” mortar during the D-day invasion. The 2” mortar weighed almost 10 lbs and had a range up to 850m. An experienced mortar team could fire 12 – 14 rounds per minute. The carrying tubes would allow the safe transportation of 6 additional rounds.