During this time I find it hard to give exact dates to happenings as so much was going on.
We did have a visit from General Crerar who had commanded First Canadian Army throughout the European Campaign. We were quite pleased with his visit as I believe he was a gunner early in his career. Mind you we polished our old desert guns until they shone, also all our vehicles and our personnel were up to a fine state of excellence. Our regiment had great pride in both appearance and field performance.
We now had orders that the whole division would assemble at the airport in EELDE HOLLAND to participate in the great exercise, the one we had waited for all these long years, called FINALE.
At EELDE the whole division was lined up in a hollow square. General Crerar, Commander First Canadian Army inspected all units. Then General Crerar took to the saluting stand and the whole division drove past. Our regiment was judged the best in every way and this was later confirmed by Gen Hoffmeister. Oh well, probably all received the same accolades, but it is always nice to get a pat on the back instead of a boot in the rear. This Grand FINALE was on 23 May 1945.
After this great exercise, equipment was turned in and we were down to a bare amount of transport. Some of our drivers joined with other divisional units and drove hundreds of vehicles into Czechoslovakia and turned them over to the government there. Some of our drivers did have a chance to see a couple of the large extermination camps and were horrified what they saw. Yes there was the gas ovens and extermination camps.