1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment

The 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment was unique in the history of the Canadian Army in that it was unit formed on foreign soil and disbanded on foreign soil.

 

Kangaroo Squadron created 26 Aug 1944

renamed 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron 28 Aug 1944

1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment created from 1 CAPCS 24 Oct 1944.

Renamed 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment 1 Dec 1944.

Disbanded 20 Jun 1945.

 

 

21st Army Group had been so impressed by the Kangaroo Squadron's ability to deploy infantry that two entire regiments of Kangaroos were authorized, one for each Army under command. On 24 October 1944, 1st Canadian Army authorized the formation of the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment, and Kanagaroo Squadron at Tilburg was used as a cadre for the expansion. During the operational lull as 1st Canadian Army wintered in the Nijmegen Salient, the regiment expanded to two squadrons, each with 53 Ram Kangaroos divided into four troops. In December 1944, the Regiment was taken from 1st Canadian Army and, with the British 49th Armoured Carrier Regiment, attached directly to British 79th Armoured Division. The Regiment was also renamed, as Lieutenant Colonel Churchill felt that "Personnel" would imply the regiment was part of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps rather than the Canadian Armoured Corps, and so a new name was approved taking effect 1 December 1944: 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment.1

 

The Regiment went into action in January 1945 in the province of Limburg, assisting in a variety of assaults on Susteren, Baakenhoven, Dieteren, Oud Roosteren, Echt, Schilberg, Koningsbosch, Steaten, Erpen, and the German towns of Uetterath, Dremmen and Heinsberg.

 

In February 1945, the Regiment saw action in The Rhineland during Operation VERITABLE, taking part on attacks on Kranenburg, Frasselt, Schottheide, Bresserberg, Kleve, Moyland, Hasselt, the road to Veen and Xanten. After a short rest, the regiment participated in Operation PLUNDER in Mar 1945, becoming the first Canadian armoured regiment to cross the River Rhine on 26 March 1945, and participating in attacks on the Dutch towns of Millingen, Megchelen, Landfort, Ruurlo, Borculo, Barchem, Lochem, Haarle, Assen, Hooghalen, Rolde, Balloo, Loon and Groningen. The last lift of the war was made on German soil on 5 May 1945, near Oldenburg.

 

The Regiment concentrated at Penheim, Germany and at 23:59hrs on 20 June 1945 the Regiment disbanded.

 

During their brief existence, the Regiment lost 17 men killed and 71 wounded, and conveyed soldiers from 38 separate British infantry regiments and 20 Canadian infantry regiments into battle.

Name: Johnston, Henry George

Rank: Trooper

Age: 29

No. M/8053

Unit: B. Squadron

Missing since:17-01-1945

Next of Kin: Husband of Amelia Johnston, of Grimshaw.

Son of Mr and Mrs Wilbert Johnson, of Grimshaw, Alberta, Canada

Groesbeek Panel: 10

KIA Information: Known to have been killed by mortar fire between Dieteren and Susteren, Limburg.