PORT McNEILL – Ed Carson had an “interesting time” in Europe during the Second World War. Now at age 91, and the last veteran in Port McNeill to have served in WWII, he is still keeping things interesting.
Carson was honoured during a dinner at the Port McNeill Legion May 6 and was presented with a pocket watch in recognition of his service to his country.
Carson started that service in 1940, at the age of 20.
“I rode the freight (trains) a couple of times across Canada,” said Carson. “I was hungry, so I signed up in Saskatoon. I went from 185 pounds to 235 in two months. That’s what steady food does for you.”
From there he went to Europe with the army where he served in several units, including the medical corps, service corps, infantry, and a British command.
He was a private, though he said his rank went up and down.
“Every time I got into trouble they took stripes,” laughed Carson. “I’ve never been a social climber.”
After Europe he was scheduled to deploy to Asia, but the war ended before he got there.
“I served for five years; would’ve been six if the Japs hadn’t quit,” said Carson. “I was discharged in Vancouver.”
Following the war he became a heavy-duty mechanic. He met his wife and her daughter Cassie and they moved to the North Island when the mine opened in Port Hardy and stayed after it closed.
“Everybody I worked with has either died or moved to Courtenay,” said Carson. “My wife died. Got a big dog. Dog died. Now I have another big dog.” Cassie and her husband Bill Foote are still around, though, and Carson has two grown granddaughters, Jennifer and Bethany. Jennifer is a major in the Armed Forces.
And Carson remains busy. He still lives in his own home on the waterfront in Hyde Creek and goes fishing regularly in the boat he keeps on shore.
“He is still running rings around me,” said Cassie.