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Officers Training

September 9 2008 at 7:45 PM
Ken Joyce 

I have recently been confronted with a veterans recollection of an officer I wrote about in my book, Snow Plough and the Jupiter Deception. Lt. Col. Donald Williamson was the commanding officer of the 1st Cdn Special Service Bn. until he was relieved of his command in January 1944.

The statement accuses Williamson of not knowing how to read a map. Apparently in FSSF training, he got lost due to his map reading skills.

Don Williamson joined the Dufferin and Haldimand Rifles in 1929 and became a Company Commander. He attended an RMC Company Commanders Course. According to the numerous mentions in the D&HR WD, Don was well liked by his men and there appears to have been no incidents of the type he is accused of in the FSSF. His promotions are clearly due to merit and not because he was kissing butt or a relation to someone powerful in the unit.

My question is, how well trained were militia officers before the war and was map reading a skill required to become a Company Commander. One would think such a fundamental aspect of training would be required by a senior officer in a combat role.

In short, I find it hard to believe that Williamson could not read a map after 10 years of training before the war and then after successfully completing his Company Commanders course. I feel this is a personal vendetta against him and is not based on any truth. Anyway I thought I would ask guys on here more knowledgeable in the training undertaken by militia officers or during courses at RMC.

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