Posted on November 10, 2016 at 10:30 am
lifetime of service
Leafing through the pages of his military collection, one can only acknowledge that Sanford “Sam” Jamieson has proudly served his country his entire life. His story consists of many chapters, some happy and some sad.
At 19, he joined the navy in the supply trade, at the height of the Second World War in December of 1943. From 1944 to 1945, the Carlsbad Springs native was posted to the HMCS Meon where he conducted convoy escorts for supply vessels. In order to keep the war effort going, his ship crossed the Atlantic from Halifax to South Hampton.
Upon the completion of WW2, he was released from the Navy but soon re-enlisted in 1951 and was posted to the HMCS Iroquois (destroyer) serving in the Korean war.
October 2nd, 1952 – Tragedy on HMCS Iroquois
“At 9 o’clock in the morning, we were all there having breakfast and at eleven o’clock, three were gone, 10 were wounded.” A 27-year-old Sam was on deck when the ship took fire from enemy coastal artillery. He was then thrown against the ship’s gun, obviously deafened by the explosion and took shrapnel to his face and leg. “The young lad in front of me, he helped save my life,” quietly recalled Mr. Jamieson.
“I turned and picked myself up and there’s Burden. He was a real nice fellow, a young lad. He needed help so I went over to pick him up but there was only half of him there. I was shocked. Three of the boys gone within 10 minutes. People don’t know ‘till they see it. Took me years to get over it.”
Getting back up
Upon being released from a Hong-Kong hospital a month later, he then served on many ships during the cold war, up until 1969. Including six years on board HMCS Bonaventure, he completed multiple tours, including UN and NATO operations.
From 1969 to 1972, he was posted to CFS Gloucester, which he helped close, and CFS Leitrim in the Ottawa area. During that time, he helped implement a new supply system. 1n 1977, he retired after 34 years of service.
Having a strong desire to remain in uniform, he took his commission in the cadet instructor corps and was promoted to Captain. He also served with the commissionaires in CFS Leitrim and worked for DND using his supply expertise for purchasing.
Comrade Jamieson is a life-member and former president of Greely branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. He still supports the legion by assisting the annual poppy drive each year and attends the Legion functions and events.
Decorations and honors
For his lifetime of dedication, Mr. Jamieson was presented many honors and expressions of gratitude. As for his medals, they speak for themselves: 1939-45 Star and War medal, Atlantic Star, Canadian Forces decoration with 2 clasps, Canadian Volunteer Service medal, Korea Medals, United Nation Service Medal and NATO service medal just to name a few.
Perpetuating a family tradition of military service
A living link to Canadian veterans of four major conflicts, Mr. Jamieson’s father also served in the infantry in WWI and many of his relatives also served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
On this Remembrance Day, Sam will not only remember all his former brothers in arms but also his wife Helen who passed last February and who supported him throughout his career and his life.