Another Canadian's Story


Larry Mullins is another Canadian who served on "Radar" overseas.

Of special interest is his service in the Mediterranean Theatre, especially his service during the Anzio landings, where the radar station was based on the island of Ponsa (Ponza on current Italian maps), which was behind enemy lines at the time.


In his words, here is a brief summary of his service:


"Joined Ottawa Aug7th 1941 . Toronto ,then Queens ,Kingston for end of course. Oct. 2nd, home on embarkation leave .Arrived England Nov.3rd, then radar station Truleigh Hill ,South Coast. Sent to Lisnaskea N Ireland . Nov 12th. Back to England ,Renscombe Downs where A.M.E.S. 8012 was formed ,I was only Canadian on unit. Jan? landed Algiers North Africa on beach .All equip. lost at sea ,attached to A.M.E.S. 392 at Alma Marine Algeria .June 6th. 8012 reassembled with new equip. etc. Tested equip, then installed radar station 8012 on a L.S.T. in Algiers harbor. Did operational testing in harbor for almost two weeks .Removed station from landing craft and set it up at Alma Marine on the coast .Controlled dawn and dusk Spitfire patrols and Mosquito night fighters. Moved east along coast to Tunisia and set up station near Monastir. It was a saucer-shaped area ,perfect for G.C.I. type station We covered Souse and Sfax .Temp. around 110 all the time .Next move was to Tunis .Loaded all equip on L.S.T.s and sailed to Sicily ,Landed few hours after invasion, at Palermo. Set up station at Aspra in Outskirts . Second week January 44 ,loaded all equip .on L.S.T.s and set sail .we ended up in Naples harbor .Seemed unusual that there were no signs of going ashore. After dark on Jan15th, we set sail again .We had 1 Corvette ,2 Minesweepers, 4 L.S.T.s and 4 Airsea rescue boats. We were told that we would be landing on an Island called Ponsa. This was 80 miles wrong side of Front Line .We were told that all should go well but expect anything. We landed 0800 hrs Jan 16th. First vehicle ashore was a bulldozer with blade raised up high .Everything went perfect . We set the Station on a high cliff and camouflaged the whole site .We then found out about the invasion of the Italian coast at Anzio .,on the coast about ten miles away .We turned on the radar just before the invasion and as we were so high ,we could see for a hundred miles .have never seen so many blips on a screen `.Very busy next few days. We controlled Spitfires by day and Mosquitos at night. Our Controllers were busy also controlling airsea rescue boats as many pilots and planes ditched in the ocean. Both German and Allied flyers. Late 1944 .took all equip to Naples .Waited for boat to England .Sent to Front Line to repair radar .Got boat to England, sent on 14 days leave in London, had pleasure of ducking V2 rockets. After leave ,came home on Louis Pasteur Liner .No escort vessels as liner was too fast .landed New York ,train to Montreal, then to Ottawa .Got new uniform in Montreal ,not allowed to go home in R.A.F. uniform .Went on leave ,then reported to Debert ,Nova Scotia. Temp. Duty at Ancienne Lorette then honorably released and transferred to R.C.A.F. Reserve General Section Class E on Oct.3rd."