Corporal Harold J. Skaarup of Carleton County, New Brunswick was a Sherman tank commander in A Squadron of the 5th Armoured Regiment, 8th Princess Louise's New Brunswick Hussars during the Second World War. On the morning of the 31st of August 1944, he and his tank crew were fighting the Germans in Italy near a hill known as Point 136. His Squadron had already lost twelve of 19 tanks, ten to German 88mm anti-tank shells and 2 to breakdowns. That morning, Harold's tank was hit by a shell fired from a German 88mm anti-tank gun, and Harold was badly injured. Although he and his tank crew bailed out of the burning Sherman, mortar rounds began to land on them. Harold was hit again, this time taking shell fragments in his chest. He was evacuated to a field hospital in the rear area, but died later from his wounds on the 6th of September 1944. He was 24 years old. Today he lies buried in a Commonwealth War Grave in Montecchio, Italy. He never got home to tell his story. This record is a partial chronicle of his service, by his nephew. We never met, but I do carry his name.
Major Harold A. Skaarup, CD2, BFA, MA in War Studies, is a Canadian Forces Army Intelligence Officer with an interest in Military History. He has served overseas with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade in Germany, with the Canadian Contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Nicosia, Cyprus (CANCONCYP), with the NATO-led Peace Stabilization Force in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (SFOR), with North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and United Sates Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Kabul Multi-National Brigade (KMNB) in Kabul, Afghanistan. He currently lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.