The SA rest camp for the Royal Canadian Navy in Northern Ireland had one unforeseen but welcome consequence: a local magistrate noted that following the establishment of the facility, the number of Canadian sailors appearing before Londonderry courts dropped 50 per cent!
In July 1943, Canadian troops participated in the Allied invasion of Sicily. SA supervisors accompanied them. Fifteen were assigned to help alleviate the Canadians’ stressful experience of sustained combat, including three who landed almost immediately after the initial assault. In June 1944, the Allies began the liberation of Northwest Europe by invading Normandy, France.
Within days of the initial assault, the first of 40 Red Shield supervisors to serve in Northwest Europe were ashore; they showed their first film to the exhausted men just five days after the invasion.
The Red Shield men followed the unit (normally battalion-sized) to which they were attached, identifying with it and getting to know the men. By this stage of the war, each supervisor was equipped with a large truck carrying a portable generator, movie projector, turntable, radio, sports equipment, games, and canteen supplies. Two military personnel were assigned to each supervisor as assistants.