3rd Canadian Infantry Division HQ + 13th Field Regiment, RCA

Discussions related to researching soldiers of the second world war.
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3rd Canadian Infantry Division HQ + 13th Field Regiment, RCA

Post by GDOsborne » Wed May 30, 2018 9:34 pm

Hi All!

This post is a long time coming… Trying not to write an essay here so in summary I am looking for information related to my grandfather (Ret. Lt. Col. E.A. Olmsted), his comrades and the units he served with in WWII.

My grandfather Ret. Lt. Col. Earl Alexander Olmsted (Obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ottawa ... &fhid=5747) served in the Canadian Army for 27+ years (primarily with artillery units) and had a distinguished career. I’ve done rather significant research tracking his movements throughout WWII (with the help of some folks associated with this website I might note). My overall objective has been to find out as much as I possibly can on him, with the goal of telling his story as well of those in his units. I have some bigger long term plans… Maybe a blog or something bigger… But for now I’m just trying to unearth/compile as much information as I can.

During WWII, the following units are of the greatest interest to me:
  • 3rd Canadian Infantry Division HQ – D-Day (also 7th Brigade on D-Day as my grandfather traveled forward to meet them from Juno) (‘44)
    13th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) – Throughout Europe (’44-‘45)
    I am also interested in the 1st AA Brigade (’43-‘44), but I know very little about it
The type of things I’m looking for:
  • Relevant pictures of these units (emphasis on pictures of officers)
    Anything related to HMS Hilary, the ship 3rd Can Inf. Div. sailed across the English Channel in
    Personal connections to families of the soldiers listed below or anyone who knows details on these units
    Anything else that might be relevant to my research efforts
Here are just a few examples of the things I’m pleased to share:
  • Unit pictures (eg. all recruits from Canadian artillery training in Alberta)
    My grandfather’s “Officer Retirement Package” detailing his resume and awards
    My grandfather’s personal accounts (memoir, letters home, etc.)
    My grandfather’s detailed D-Day accounts (original submission for the book the Longest Day & and 3pg summary)
    3rd Cdn. Inf. Div. D-Day war diaries, landing/loading tables
    Original (detailed) HMS Hilary ship design plans (ordered from Britain)
    13th Field Regiment “Trench Art” from Holland (25pndr shell ashtrays from officers’ mess)
    13th Field Regiment veterans’ newsletter ~1990 (contact information and names)
    Original copies x2 of 13th Field Regimental History
    Original copies of Maple Leaf newsletter
    My grandfathers’ collection of military artifacts (military cot/bed, metal transport trunk, original military artillery sighting handbooks, etc.)
My research has yielded a great deal of information. I have specifically identified several soldiers of interest, who I know were friends of my grandfather who I have information on. I am seeking personal connections to families of the following soldiers in the hopes that I might provide new/interesting information to them (please note – DM me any private information)… And hopefully unlock some new clues:
  • Lt. Col. J.D. Baird – Senior officer in the 13th Field, RCA
    Lt. Col. C.R. Ostrander, ED – Senior officer in the 13th Field, RCA
    Gnr. J. Jeffries – my grandfather’s batman throughout Europe in the 13th Field, RCA
    Ross Munro – Canadian war correspondent, likely aboard the same LCA from HMS Hilary on D-Day
    Charles Lynch – Canadian war correspondent, likely aboard the same LCA from HMS Hilary D-Day
    Frederick Le Poer Trench Clifford– 13th Field CO on D-Day; referenced in my grandfather’s memoirs
    Harry Wickwire Foster –7th Brigade Officer; referenced in my grandfather’s memoirs (together on D-Day)
    General Keller – Cdn. General; referenced in my grandfather’s memoirs (together throughout much of D-Day)
    Anyone still living that might have relevant information to share or who might be interested in my data
I recommend anyone looking into the units above start with the following… A separate segment of research is focused on his post-war career as a senior officer at Fort Churchill, Manitoba and leading the Army Benevolent Fund – I will create separate posts related to these other chapters of his career.

Are there things I’ve missed - other ideas? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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Re: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division HQ + 13th Field Regiment, RCA

Post by Phil » Thu May 31, 2018 8:29 am

From an older research thread.
He was awarded a Mention in Dispatches as an RCA Major (OLMSTEAD) in March, 1946. No unit is mentioned, and as is generally the case, there is no citation. That should help, most regimental histories will include Awards, so a faster way to determine his unit.

As it happens, I am currently looking at the 13 Fd history from here
and I see no mention of his name. Worth a look to see if other histories of interest are in that collection.

Your list of possible regiments is reasonable, but other RCA units also at D-Day were:
19 Fd
3 A/Tk

I suspect at some point you will want to obtain his personnel file from the Archives in Ottawa:
http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/m ... -dead.aspx

Sometime in the past I came across a reference online to Cornelius Ryan's papers being preserved at a University in the US. I would certainly pursue that to see if a personal account was preserved.
09-13-2015, 11:56 PM
If you go to the following URL

http://contentdm.ucalgary.ca/cdm/compou ... 359/rec/64

and then go down to page 16 as they are numbered on the right to what
is the second page of photographs of officers who served in action you
will see in the upper right corner the photograph of Major E.A. Olmsted.
He was a member of the 13th Field Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Division.
I can't find a publication date for the book but most of these unit histories
were completed in 1946 and his photograph was probably taken around
that time.

Some newspaper articles. I note in the second article, they have the wrong unit (RCE instead of RCA)

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah3 ... jjyc1.jpeg

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah3 ... aw2gk.jpeg


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Re: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division HQ + 13th Field Regiment, RCA

Post by GDOsborne » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:09 pm

I recently launched a wikipedia page for my grandfather, which can be accessed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Alexander_Olmsted

Hopefully this provides some additional context and clues to drive further discussion on this subject.

These users commended the author GDOsborne for the post:
BFBSM (Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:48 pm)

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