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A War Hero

Andy Trofanenko, Royal Canadian Artillery 

Andy in hospital, recovering in England.
With Aide Gwendoline Day 1945

Artillery advancing in Germany
These guns are fired from observation tanks

Andrew Trofanenko came from Lethbridge, Alberta. He servend in Canada, England and NorhWest Europe, during World War 11, in the artillery as a signaller, mostly a talented radio operator in tanks. A bright, friendly guy, he was liked by everybody. In action, in Germany, the tank hit a mine, exploded and caught fire. Although Andy had both legs broken, and was in shock, he managed to free himself from his harness, microphone and earphones, and jumped from the burning tank, further damaging his legs..

Flown out to England, he had numerous operations in the Canadian army hospital at Horley. The legs were so bad that the surgeons wanted to remove both, but one of the three doctors wanted to try to save them. Andy sided with that opinion, and they were saved. But he was on crutches after several years in military hospitals, overseas and in Calgary, including three years at Colonel Belcher Veterans Hospital, then swimming daily at the Calgary Winter Club- the only exercise that he could manage. Andy married and had three daughters, but died in 1978 at 54. While at Horley Hospital,in England, the leg wasn't at all fragrant, but the volunteer aids and visitors attended Andy daily bringingbooks and magazines, running errands, and writing letters.-
some were often ill from the sight and smell of Andy's injouries, but maintained a cheery outlook for Andy- certainly unsung heros also. In the photo,taken in England, at that time, is Gwendoline  Day, an Auxillary Territorial Services Aide from Ryde.

 Andy Trofanenko was returned home to Alberta and was almost a fixture getting about with his crutches. He died, partly as a result of his wartime injuries, in March, 1978, at 54.

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Read about my friend and hero Andy Trofanenko, artillery radio operator, who escaped his burning tank.

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