The Unofficial Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) Site

No. 2 Infantry Brigade Support Group ( Sask. L.I ) commanded by Major T. de Faye formed part of Second Canadian Infantry Brigade commanded by Brigadier C. Vokes.  During the voyage through the Mediterranean the mortar company had the misfortune to loose one platoon's vehicles complete with equipment.  Fortunately spare mortars were carried on the troop ship.  The troops of No. 2 Group for the assault consisted of the Group Commander and the Mortar Company.  The assault began at dawn on the 10th of July.  The Mortars were landed by "DUKW'S" and were immediately put into action on Pachino beach.  One platoon gave support to the Special Service Brigade on the left flank.  They had been held up for some time by an Italian Mortar position which was laying down very effective fire.  The directing of our mortar fire was done by an officer of the S.S. brigade and it completely silenced the enemy mortars.  Later reports confirmed the fact that they were wiped out.  On the move in from the beach the mortars gave close support to the infantry.

  The Medium Machine Gun Company together with Group Headquarters landed on Pachino Beach on July 13, 1943, and after getting thier transport joined the mortars just north of Vizzini on the 15th of July.
The 2nd Brigade swung westward up through Modica and Ragusa as they were the left flank of the Eigth Army and continued to advance along the central section of Sicily for the entire campaign.  The M.M.G. Company had its first action during the early part of the third week in July when they supported an attack of the P.P.C.L.I ( Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry ) immediately north of Piazza Armerina.  This went off very successfully.

  On the 21st of July both mortars and M.M.G.'s supported a full scale attack of the 2nd Brigade on two high features just north of Valguarnera.  The machine guns mounted on carriers followed the assaulting infantry.  Here for the first time it became apparent that the rocky terrain was very difficult for the carriers because it frequently caused them to throw tracks.  The mortars had a heavy and successful shoot.  The brigade then advances to the high features south of Leonforte.  After a small scale attack on Leonforte on the 25th July had been repulsed by the Herman Goering Division, a large scale attack was launched the following day.  This attack was supported by both mortars and machine guns.  Just prior to the attack the mortars unsuccessfully attempted to set the town on fire by using large quantities of phosphorus smoke bombs.  After heavy fighting the town was taken.  No casualties were suffered by the mortars but the machine gunners suffered a few.  The brigade then proceeded on to Nissoria and, after a very heavy bombardement took it.  Then the attack on Agira went in about the end of July with the mortars and the M.M.G's taking a big part in the fire support for the attack.  This action lasted three days before the town was taken.  Both the mortars and the M.M.G.'s suffered casualties.  During the next action against Regalbuto on the 3rd of August, Lieut. A. O. Newberry, one of the mortar platoon commanders, went on a recce and failed to return.  Having passed through Regalbuto, the brigade swung around into the Salso Valley.  Here the machine gun platoons for the first time used mules to carry thier guns to support the infantry.  This was a period of small scale attacks up as far as Adrano, near the base of Mount Etna and lasted about ten days.  During this action, Corporal M. J. Taje was awarded the military medal for gallantry.  The group was now pulled out of action and went into concentration at Miletello.  While there, the group was inspected by Major-General Simonds on the 14th of August and commended for thier fighting during the Sicilian campaign.
1 C.I.B. Sp. Gp. ballgame - Militello - August ,1943
2 C.I.B. Sp. Gp. Mortars " D " Day
1 C.I.B. Sp. Gp. ballgame - Militello - August 1943
Pachino - 10th July, 1943
" Monty " , General Montgomery talks to 2 C.I.B. near Modica - 14th July 1943
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