Death of Lt. Hugh MacMillan (Shug) Walker, Canora

Killed in cction on D-Day, June 6, 1944

Lieutenant Hugh MacMillan (Shug) Walker, Paratrooper, C Coy, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was killed in action at about 08:20, June 6, 1944. He was the son of William and Maisie Walker, of Canora, Saskatchewan.

 

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Lieutenant Hugh MacMillan (Shug) Walker was the first Allied soldier to land in France during the invasion of Normandy. He parachuted down at about 0020 (just after midnight).

 

Lt. Walker was born in Yorkton on October 14, 1922 and educated at Canora. Following high school, he attended the Royal Military College in Kingston and enlisted at Thunder Bay, Ontario on June 2, 1941.

 

During the parachute landing in France his men were scattered. He collected as many as he could, secured the Drop Zone for other Paratroopers, slipped through the Village of Varaville and headed to the Chateau de Varaville, intending to capture the German Garrison there.

 

At 08:00 he and five others, including Private Leslie Neufeld of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, were on the second floor of the Gatehouse of the Chateau de Varaville facing an entrenched German Garrison protected by a powerful 75mm Anti-Tank canon.

 

Corporal Winslow Oikle was directed to fire a small rocket (PIAT) at the 75 mm anti-tank gun. He missed by a couple of feet. The Germans returned fire with the 75 mm gun and made a direct hit on Lt. Walker’s position. Walker and three others died instantly. Two others were critically wounded died of their wounds. A seventh man close by lost a hand in the explosion.

 

Lieutenant Walker was buried at the Ranville War Cemetery in Calvados, France.

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