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Second World War (1939-1945)
The Navy in European Waters  - D-Day and the Normandy Landings

Over 100 Canadian warships and some 10,000 Canadian sailors supported D-Day, the 6 June 1944 landings in Normandy. Canadian ships and sailors helped protect the invasion fleet, cleared German minefields, and ferried Allied troops across the Channel.

Chaplain James Harold Graven's Pyx
Chaplain James Harold Graven's Pyx

James Harold Graven, a Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) chaplain, carried this pyx on D-Day. It holds consecrated bread and wine for Christian services.

Graven joined the RCN in 1941 as a naval chaplain and was posted overseas in 1943. Appointed chaplain for the RCN's three flotillas of Landing Craft Infantry (Large), he accompanied them into action on 6 June 1944. One newspaper article described him as the "Royal Canadian Navy's invasion padre, although he looks more like a Commando than an apostle of God." Graven also obtained a motorcycle so that he could travel between bases in England to administer to the wounded returning from Normandy.

CWM 20080085-001

HMCS Caraquet Model
Oropesa Minesweeping Float
Tangled Float, No.2
Chaudières Embarking for Normandy Assault
Third Canadian Division Assault Troops
260th Landing Craft Flotilla, Southampton, England
Officers of the 260th and 262nd Flotillas
The Crew of LCI(L) 135
LCI(L) 249, Bernières-sur-Mer, 6 June 1944
LCI(L) 249 at Bernières-sur-Mer, 6 June 1944
LCI(L) 135 on Juno Beach
LCI(L) 249 in Drydock, Portsmouth, England
White Ensign, LCI(L) 250
Chaplain James Harold Graven's Pyx
Royal Canadian Navy Beach Commando Battle Dress Blouse
Lanchester Sub-Machine-gun
Southampton Pub, D-Day Plus One
Rescue at Sea
The Gale of Hurricane Force on the Normandy Beach