World War Two

The Passing of an Albert County Hero – William Henry (Bill) Balser Sr., March 31, 2019 - 95 Years Old

The Passing of an Albert County Hero – William Henry (Bill) Balser Sr., March 31, 2019 - 95 Years Old

William Henry (Bill) Balser Sr., 95, from Stoney Creek NB, passed away peacefully with family by his side at Lakeview Manor in Riverview NB, on March 31, 2019. 

Raised on the family farm in Albert County, Bill volunteered for military service with the RCAF and served from July 1941 to September 1945.

The Passing of an Albert County Hero – Harold Clifton Reid 1927-2018

The Passing of an Albert County Hero – Harold Clifton Reid 1927-2018

If you pass through Hopewell Cape in the square by the cannons you will see two black granite benches which face the guns looking out over the bay. These were donated to the museum by Harold Clifton Reid. They bear the inscription, “Donated by Harold Reid, World War II (1943-44) and Korean War Veteran (1950-52), Regular reserve (1954 -57).” They grace the square where Harold spent many days playing on the guns as youth. Read more...

The Passing of an Albert County Hero – James “Jim” West, DFC June 27, 1924 – March 4, 2017

James Watson West was born in Hopewell Hill on June 27th, 1924 the son of the late Clifford C. and Mary "May" (Archibald) West. He graduated from Riverside Consolidated School in 1941. He enlisted in Moncton in 1942 with the Royal Canadian Air Force and headed overseas in 1943. He served with the 420 Snowy Owl Squadron. In 1945 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He returned home aboard the Ile de France in 1945. 

Jim West was a well known and valuable resource for the museum sharing his love of the history of Albert County. He was involved with the Museum since it's beginning and continued over the years to support and assist in numerous projects.

His Distinguished Flying Cross citation reads: 

Award effective 8 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 25 September 1945 and AFRO 1768/45 dated 23 November 1945.  Home in Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick; enlisted Moncton, 20 July 1942.  Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 1 May 1943), No.4 BGS (graduated 13 November 1943) and No.4 AOS (graduated 14 January 1944.  Award sent by registered mail 28 June 1949.  No citation other than "completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty."  DHist file 181.009 D.1746 (PAC RG.24 Vol.20608) has recommendation dated 19 April 1945 when he had flown 29 sorties (188 hours 50 minutes); recommendation read:

"This man has proven himself a very good, resourceful and efficient bomb aimer.  His tour included the bombing of many heavily defended targets, i.e. Magdeburg, Hanover, Hamburg and Munster.  This man at all times has been a co-operative crew member and has lent his whole-hearted aid to both pilot and navigator."

 Jim flew an amazing total of 37 sorties during the war. The first 29 are as follows: 5 January 1945 - Hanover (6.00) 6 January 1945 - Hanau (7.05) 13 January 1945 - Saarbrucken (7.35) 14 January 1945 - Grevenbroich (6.35) 16 January 1945 - Magdeburg (6.30) 28 January 1945 - Stuttgart (7.00) 1 February 1945 - Mainz (7.05) 2 February 1945 - Wanne Eickel (6.10) 4 February 1945 - Bonn (6.20) 17 February 1945 - Wesel (6.35) 20 February 1945 - Monheim (6.55) 21 February 1945 - Worms (7.35) 23 February 1945 - Essen (6.05) 24 February 1945 - Kamen (6.25) 27 February 1945 - Mainz (7.15) 1 March 1945 - Mannheim (7.00) 2 March 1945 - Cologne (6.00) 5 March 1945 - Chemnitz (9.00) 7 March 1945 - Hemmingstadt (6.30) 8 March 1945 - Hamburg (6.10) 10 March 1945 - Essen (5.55) 13 March 1945 - Wuppertal (5.50) 15 March 1945 - Castrop Rauxel (6.05) 19 March 1945 - Witten (7.20) 21 March 1945 - Rheine (4.40) 24 March 1945 - Gladback (6.00) 25 March 1945 - Munster (5.35) 31 March 1945 - Hamburg (5.45) 4 April 1945 - Harburg Rhenania (5.50)