With experience sailing on the Great Lakes for Canada Steamship Line from 1938 to 1940, Willie Tiner enlisted in June of 1940 with the Grey & Simcoe Foresters and trained at Camp Borden.
In February of 1941 Willie Tiner transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy at HMCS York in Toronto. William then posted to HMCS Stadacona in Halifax in April of 1941 for Basic Training as an Able Bodied Seaman and trained on Motor Torpedo Boats. In January of 1942 William was posted to the United Kingdom on the HMS Quebec for advanced training in landing craft assault.
On November 8th 1942 he landed American troops at Algiers, North Africa. William also sailed from England on the RMS Strathnaver as Leading Seaman in May 1943 around South Africa up the coast to the Suez Canal. On July 10th of that year he landed English troops at Cape Pachino, Sicily. June 5th 1944 was a false start to June 6th 1944, the invasion at Normandy Beach, when William was the second wave into the Nan Sector of Juno Beach at 8:22 am, with the Chaudieres. William remembers D-Day as being “very noisy”.
Not long after returning from this mission William married Cecily Warner, a native of England, on July 2nd. William was then posted to the HMCS Niobe in Grenock, Scotland July 12, 1944, later he was posted to Halifax NS.
On May 25th 1945 William was posted to HMCS York and was discharged August 9, 1945. He worked at the Guelph Reformatory for a year until he re-enlisted to serve in the Korean War. William went to Korea with the advance part aboard the USNS James O’Hara on October 15, 1950. He arrived in Busan, South Korea on November 5, 1950 but returned to Canada on December 14, 1951 where he was posted to London, Ontario holding the rank of Corporal, and was eventually promoted to Sergeant in 1956. William participated in the NATO force in Egypt during the Suez Canal Crisis in March of 1957.
On June 5, 1965 William was posted to RCEME in Lakeview, Ontario and soon was promoted to Staff Sergeant that same year. After just over twenty-three years of service, William was discharged from the Canadian Forces on April 7, 1968. William Tiner has seen a great amount of the world, but when pressed to state his favourite destination, he claimed Durban, South Africa to be the most beautiful. He now lives in Markdale, Ontario.
Top image Close-up of William in uniform
Lower images left to right:
William in Uniform
William Tiner later in life