Sunday, November 10, 2013

John Henry Andrews - A Canadian Hero

On August 10th, 1944, Lance Corporal (A/Sgt.) John Henry Andrews saved my uncle's life. His heroism earned him Canada's Military Medal.

I wrote about my Uncle Moshe's brush with death in my Memorial Day post last May. The following description of the battlefield incident is taken from Neil J Stewart's book "Steel My Soldiers' Hearts".

The fighting did produce several memorable episodes for those engaged on Hill 195 that day. Sergeant John Andrews was advancing in his tank with the rest of his No. 3 Squadron comrades along the east flank of the hill, when an 88 mm shell crashed through the hull, severing fuel lines and igniting an immediate fire. The crew bailed out quickly and began creeping through the grass and weeds to a safer refuge, away from the pyre behind them. Sergeant Andrews noticed that one of his crew members, the co-driver, Moe Lutksy, was not with them. In the face of considerable enemy sniping and mortaring, he immediately crept back to the burning vehicle from which he had just escaped. There he found Lutsky, still in the tank, dangerously wounded, with both feet shot off. Andrews dug him out of his seat and slowly dragged him back to shelter and treatment, which undoubtedly saved Lutsky's life. The award of a Military Medal for Andrews was approved almost automatically.

John Henry Andrews was awarded his medal on March 17, 1945 "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the field."

Lest We Forget To Remember

The following poem is dedicated to the memory of all who fought to defend their homes, their families and their countries.

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.