Norman, Bud

Bud Norman was born October 29, 1923 in London, Ontario.  He grew up there in his grandparents’ care, attending school and doing all the other things teenagers of the day were doing – school, sports, work, and so on.  Bud was able to complete high school at an early age, and he went to work to help support the family.  He secured an apprenticeship at the London Free Press, a job to which he would return after the war.  When the war came Bud enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy; his initial training took place at the armouries in London, and then he boarded a troop train and headed down east for additional training in Nova Scotia, both in Halifax and Digby.  He would be assigned to a new frigate, the HMCS Swansea.  Bud often served on the bridge as a helmsman, where he got to know the commander well; it gave him a firsthand view of the ship’s operations.  His war in the Atlantic began with a convoy, where the frigate Swansea served as an escort ship.  Once on the other side of the pond they remained there though, taking on a new role.  Bud’s ship was very active in anti-U-boat operations in 1943 -44, working to clear the Channel and the Bay of Biscay among other locales.  As members of the sub-chasing group EG-9, they would play a critical role in clearing the way for Operation Overlord/D-day, and in defeating the kriegsmarine overall.  They continued their escort duties into the late part of 1944, and into 1945, though the most tense part of the war was over for Bud.  When VE Day came, Bud was in Halifax, where he witnessed the riots.  He volunteered for service in the Pacific, though the atomic bombs removed that possibility.  He was demobilized a few months later and was able to return to his young wife – and to meet the daughter who was born while he was away.  He resumed his apprenticeship at the newspaper and found his way back into civilian life.  Bud Norman was interviewed by Scott Masters at the Parkwood Veteran Centre in London, Ontario on March 25, 2023.