Arnold Warren Nethercott 1928 – 2020

The Loyalist Gazette. Spring 2021

Obituary

On December 21, 2020, Arnold Nethercott passed away at Country Terrace Nursing Home, Komoka, Ontario. Arnold was the beloved husband of 32 years of Barbara (Balch) Nethercott nee: Dadswell. He was a dear stepfather of Ruth Truesdale (Brian), Kathy Bedford (Larry), Greg Balch (Kim), Mark Balch (Linda), Bruce Balch (Kim) and Chris Balch (Yvonne). Loving grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of 15.

Arnold is also survived by his brothers Marv Nethercott (Mary) and Bill Nethercott (Roxann) and by his sisters Lois McLean and Phyllis Munro (Lorne). He was the loving uncle of 13 nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and great-nephews. Predeceased by his parents James Percy Nethercott and Mary Louise (Warren) Nethercott, his sister Eleanor Wells and his brothers-in-law Vin Wells and Jack McLean.

Arnold achieved the rank of Captain as a Forward Air Controller in fixed-wing aircraft and as a helicopter pilot while in the Canadian Armed Forces. He served in peacekeeping duties in various locations around the world including Cyprus. He was also a respected Past President of the Ontario Genealogical Society (www.ogs.on.ca) and the United Empire Loyalists Society of Canada. (www.uelac.org)

The Battle of Ortona

Red Noble outlined Canada’s participation in the European Offensive, and in particular the advance up the “Italian Boot”. He handed out copies of detailed maps which attendees referred to. The Battle of Ortona took place during the heart of the Italian Offensive by the Allied forces in December of 1943. Ortona is a coastal town located on the Southeast coast of Italy. December 20, 1943 was the official first day of the assault.

Fierce street-fighting during the battle would give it the nickname “Little Stalingrad”.

The Canadian Regiments advance 3000 yards into Ortona. Buildings on outskirts of town are taken and held from the veteran German defenders. Engineers move into town under artillery support. All first day objectives are achieved. The next day the 21st, bitter street fighting develops.

Ortona is an old traditional coastal town with a strategic deep water port, designed for coastal defence. It consists of compact tall multi-storied houses. Most buildings are at least four stories high with narrow streets between, which made manoeuvring for tanks extremely difficult. Armour could only advance down main roads, leaving little support for the infantry in most cases.

The German defenders prepare the way with strategic barriers and booby-traps. Fierce street-fighting during the battle would give it the nickname “Little Stalingrad”. Canadians quickly learn and adapt to the enemy’s techniques. Several adaptations involve leapfrogging and mouse-holing, that is blowing holes in walls in order to advance instead of going outside.

And so it continued for 8 long hard days and nights. The Germans finally withdrew, but at a heavy cost to Canadian Forces.

After the battle, all allied forces studied successful Canadian street fighting tactics, many of which are still used today in areas of conflict.

President Lorne Munro and Ken Beecroft thanked Red for his presentation and display of photos and newspaper articles. Marilyn McCallum presented Red with an honourarium, which he graciously donated back to G&DHS.

Members’ Meeting – Wednesday January 16, 2019 – 2:00 p.m. held at the Glencoe Historic Train Station, Glencoe, Ontario

Stuart W. “Skip” Patterson, HMCS Prestonian, WWII

 

Excerpt from Royal Canadian Legion Yearbook:

Stuart Patterson was born 6 April 1928, in Rodney, Ontario.  He joined the Royal Canadian Navy on March 9, 1944 and was sent to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia for basic training in WWII.  He was assigned to HMCS Prestonian 18 November 1946 as part of escort group 28 out of Halifax.  At the end of the war, Stuart volunteered to serve in the Pacific.  He was is discharged 4 Jan 1946.

Stuart returned to Rodney where he farmed as well as worked for Union Gas for 30 years.  He helped found Rodney Legion Branch and he also founded Rodney Christian Mission and served as its pastor . He volunteered at the Parkwood Hospital in London, a veterans’ hospital.  Stuart and his wife Betty have 5 children.

“Flagship Erie” Plaque Unveiling near Lawrence Station

“Flagship Erie” Plaque Unveiling near Lawrence Station

Article written by Ken Beecroft:

Lawrence Station, ON: On Sunday September 9th at 2 p.m. there was an unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the site of the area’s most serious air disaster. Although a cold, windy and blustery day, at least 200 people were on hand for this solemn occasion.

On October 30, 1941, while on route across southwestern Ontario from Buffalo to Detroit, American Airline’s DC-3 “Flagship Erie” suddenly fell from the skies just east of the rural Elgin County hamlet of Lawrence Station, on the Southwold Township farm of Thompson and Viola Howe. In all, twenty American citizens on board perished. Local citizens along with fire, police, military, and media respondents along with many more were remembered for their efforts. Inquiries by Canadian and American officials never determined the cause of the crash. In 1941, there was a designated landing strip in nearby Mosa Township at the corner of Longwood’s Road and Old Airport Road, southwest of Glencoe, that could have provided refuge. They never made it there. This awful disaster lead to the development of flight data recording technology.

To most people passing by, this has always been another farmer’s field, as time has eroded memories. We can now acknowledge that this place holds a significant place in Southwold Township history. The plaque recognition Project is a combined venture by Greenlane Community Trust, Southwold Township History Committee, S.S. #12 Southwold School Alumni, along with many others…..Well done Southwold !!!