Private Samuel Lange
Pte. Lange was born in Edmonton, Alberta on May 3, 1916. A prospector and miner by trade, he volunteered for service on October 28, 1943 at age 27. On 12 January 1944 he was transferred to the A-35 Canadian Parachute Training Centre, Camp Shilo, Manitoba. He received his Parachutist qualification one month later and on June 1, 1944 he qualified as 3” Mortarman.
On July 8, 1944 Lange embarked for the UK to “proceed on special duty”. On July 26, 1944 he was assigned to the 1 Canadian Parachute Training Company (1CPTC) as Mortarman Instructor. The 1 Can Para War Diary outlines 1CPTC’s participation as the ENEMY Force in Exercise “FOG”, October 1944 at Carter Barracks, Bulford.
Some interesting entries indicating that 1CPTC was a force to be reckoned with:
"Jump was made with 8 casualties caused by a plane flying at 150’ while dropping men, Training Company put up an excellent show in capacity as harassing influence to forestall advance of 3rd Parachute Brigade. 4 O.R.s captured thirty-two runners between Brigade HQ and Battalions."
Lange's service file is heavily redacted but it would appear that he remained assigned to 1CPTC for the balance of the war. For this to have happened it would seem that he had one or more special attributes that would be difficult to replace.
Lange qualified as a 3” Mortarman just prior to D-day. Below is a 2” mortar which is the same weapon system, just using a smaller bomb. 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.