July 11, 2011
Yorkville News releases an email at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of each month called "Yorkville Remembers". This monthly communication is in honour of Canadian armed forces personnel who have served Canada in armed conflict and have some connection with the Yorkville district. It recognizes the service and sacrifice of those who did not return home as well as those who did. There is strong emphasis on those who served during WWII.
This month's featured veteran is Mr. John Feeley, who continues to be active in the Yorkville area to this day. To read the full-length version of Mr. Feeley's story as published in "Portaits of Valour", by Al McOrmond of WD Publishing, click here.
Veteran: John H. Feeley
Born: Toronto, Ontario
Branch: No. 428 (Ghost) & 427 Squadrons, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
Trade: Mid-Upper Gunner
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Mr. Feeley's story is a fascinating one that begins with the quiet community of Mimico, Ontario then progresses through the wartime period of 1939-1945. His adventerous account weaves through the following path:
* How he started with the armed forces
* How his training on a Manitoba wheat farm served him well in the war
* A harrowing trip across the North Atlantic
* His bomber training in Gloucestershire
* D-Day and invasion of Normandy
* Bailing out over Normandy
* Landing in enemy controlled territory, ahead of General Patton
* A trip to Le Mans
* An American Christmas dinner, served early
* The return to England for re-assignment
* A 2nd bail-out, plane crash and the loss of his pilot
* A life-changing encounter with an Roman Catholic Priest
* Bringing back POW's from Brussels
* 30 years later at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto
* A re-union with Fr. Lardie
* A return to England to dedicate a monument to his pilot, Bill McMullen
To read the full story, click here.
Mr. Feeley continues to be active in Yorkville as an honourary director of the Yonge-Bloor-Bay Business Association (YBB) and as a speaker with the The Memory Project. His story and many others is published in "Portaits of Valour", (2010) by WD Publishing. If you would like to read the other 33 stories, each accompanied by a portrait painted by the late Murray Saint, you are encouraged to order a copy from WD Publishing at 1-800-668-4652 or from their website (click here).
To read the Toronto Star article on the book, "Portraits of Valour", click here.
To read the Mississauga News article on portrait artist Murray Saint, click here.
Reprinted with the permission of Al McOrmond of WD Publishing and Patrick Busby of the Saint Family.
"Yorkville Remembers" logo by Dylan Gnitecki, graduate of Canadian Business College, Yorkville
Next article: August 11/11. - Paul Ferri