October 22nd, 2013 ~ Vol. 84 No. 41
Legion honours Last World War 2 Vets
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Diego Syz Photo
Bellevue Legion Branch Service Officer, Wayne Shaw (back left) toasts a glass of 50th Anniversary of Normandy Wine to Jack Dudley, (front left) and Frank Zeller. Zeller and Dudley are the last living Bellevue Legion Veteran members from the Second World War. The toast was done on October 11th at the Bellevue Legion.
Pass Herald Reporter
The Bellevue Legion cracked open a bottle of wine commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Normandy Landing in honour of the last two living World War 2 veterans at the legion.
Wayne Shaw, the Branch Service Officer, brought back the wine after being stationed in Germany (in 1994) and was saving it for a special occasion, October 11th turned out to be that day.
“I told him watch out when you open the bottle – a genie may pop out,” said one of the Bellevue Legion’s veterans.
“I’m the only D-Day Dodger left in the Crowsnest Pass,” Jack Dudley said.
Dudley didn’t actually dodge the Second World War. He was in the Italian Campaign in Italy during the D-Day landing which took place.
The Italian campaign started in 1943 and was Canada’s first sustained land operation of the Second World War, according to warmuseum.ca.
Canada reinforced its commitment to the Italian campaign and created the 1st Canadian Corps, who eventually pushed through “The Hitler Line” South of Rome and “The Gothic Line” in northern Italy in 1944, while preparations the D-Day landing and D-Day itself were taking place, according to the website.
The Italian Campaign cost Canada 26,000 casualties out of 92,000 who went to serve, 5,300 died, the site says.
For the Bellevue Legions’ Frank Zeller, 87, the Second World War meant being stationed in Britain, however, he made it to the Netherlands to assist with cleaning up the remnants of The War.

“I was too young to take part in the war,” said Zeller.
“We were watching for German troops (who were looting at the time),” he said.
The War was now finished but, German troops fleeing their defeated comrades, were looting the shelled and devastated cities of Europe to get by, so people like Zeller were assigned to guard the broken cities.
Zeller was assigned to the Netherlands city of Usterberg where he recalled always looking over his shoulder on guard duty (both night and day).
He does remember a young Dutch girl who waited for him and his friend to come by on patrol and the two would save chocolates for the child.
Zeller was growing weary of the constant patrol and clean-up.
Wanting to see some action he signed up for training in the ongoing battles in the South Pacific and was about to begin training in the U.S.A. when the allies dropped the bomb on Hiroshima ending the war.
The war ended before he was able to go.
“Because of people like them we can enjoy the freedom we have today,” exclaimed Wayne Shaw, after popping the bottle.
October 22nd, 2013 ~ Vol. 84 No. 41
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