Haley, Frank

Frank Haley was born January 25, 1925 in Cheadle, Alberta. He grew up in that small rural community, going to a one room school and having fun however and whenever he and his friends could. As Cheadle was a farming community, the impacts of the Depression were severe; the price of wheat crashed, and dust storms were a fact of life. Frank was in high school when the war began, and he watched it evolve as he completed his studies; the army sent him his invitation to join up when he turned 18. Frank went into training and began his army life, but the war in Europe ended during that time, so Frank’s training began to focus on the war in the Pacific, and he was selected for the Intelligence Corps and sent for a one year program in the army’s Japanese language school, where he studied to be a translator. With VJ Day coming during that time, Frank was attached to the British army and sent to SE Asia, where he’d be tasked with postwar reconstruction work, including the repatriation of POWs. His work also included investigations into war crimes and discovery of Commonwealth graves. Frank would spend a year there, translating documents and doing his part to bring a semblance of justice and normalcy to the region. He also made a strong group of friends in the S-20 contingent, including Minoru Yatabe, whose story also appears on the Crestwood Oral History Project. Back in Canada, Frank decided to become an officer, and he also made the decision to attend medical school. He was consequently assigned to the Medical-dental Corps, just as the Cold War was starting to heat up. Frank recalls that paranoid time, and the evacuation and recovery drills in which he was involved. He also became involved in peacekeeping missions, which were a staple in Canada’s military arsenal of the period. Frank was assigned to UNEF and stationed in Egypt in the period after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Frank Haley was interviewed by Scott Masters and Crestwood students over zoom in several sessions during November-December 2021 and January 2022.