Crest View Village residents Eileen Danberger, Ivan Dunford and Doreen Downie are all World War 2 veterans. Nancy Nicolajsen, a resident advisor at Crest View, submitted these photos and short bios for each resident, which highlights their time in the military.
Doreen Downie was 18 years old when she joined the Canadian Women’s Army, located in Ottawa, Ont. Her rank was Sergeant-Administrative Officer.
Eileen Danberger was 17 and a half years old when she joined the Navy Arm Air Forces Institute in Wales at Bridgend Honeybourne railway station in England, where she worked as a high explosive inspector. Her responsibilities included setting up detonators.
Due to health reasons — gun powder in her lungs — she was relocated to the Royal Canadian Air Force Base in Honeybourne Worcestershire, England where she met her husband Tom. Tom was a Flight Lieutenant Officer and radio operator who was part of 36 bombings on the 426 Squadron. On his last mission, Tom’s aircraft was shot down in the ocean, but he and a few crew members survived through an emergency landing in the ocean.
Ivan Dunford was born in North Greenwich, England. It wasn’t until 1975 when he became a Canadian citizen. At the age of 19, he enrolled in the Canadian Army at the Little Mountain Barracks in Vancouver.
Soon after, he was located in Maple Creek, Sask., and at the Bedford Basin in the Halifax peninsula. It was here where he received basic army training. His next destination was London, England, where Ivan got his full training with top high marks as a radio operator in Morse code and radiotelephone.
Promptly after, he spent a year in Italy — Naples, Rome and Perugia. Next, his radio crew drove their van to Marseille, France, where they stayed for a couple of weeks until reaching Holland.
It was here where his crew got permission to use some American mack trucks that were left behind. He transported troop personnel from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. Six months later, the war came to an end.
On his way back home, Ivan took a boat from Amsterdam to London, and from London took the train to Bath, England. He went on foot and got a lift to Rode, Somerset, a small village in the UK, where he stayed overnight to visit his grandparents. Back in London, he took the Ile de France to Halifax, and the train to Edmonton. His final stop was Clearwater, Alta., to reunite with his family.