Winterton veteran honoured by Legion
John C. Pinhorn of Winterton, a veteran of the Second World War, was recently awarded a 60-year service pin by the Royal Canadian Legion in Carbonear. Pinhorn served with the 166 Royal Artillery Regiment in Africa and Italy during the war. He is now 92.
A Winterton man who survived his wartime experience in Europe and Africa and continues to live an active life to this very day was honoured recently by Branch No 23 of the Royal Canadian Legion.
At age 92, John C. Pinhorn is one of the few surviving veterans of the Second World War residing in this region.
He served with the 166 Royal Artillery Regiment as a gunner on the famed “25-pounder,” and saw plenty of action during the Allied push against the Germans.
“It wasn’t hundreds. It was 1,000s,” Pinhorn replied when asked how many times he fired the mobile artillery gun.
He went overseas in 1942, and returned in 1945. He sustained a knee injury during a training exercise that still troubles him to this day, but was lucky to have avoided any injury during battle.
“I was pretty glad to get through it. I don’t think I’d ever try it again,” he commented. “There were good times when we were in England, but after we went ... into action, there was not much to enjoy.”
By war’s end, he had reached the rank of lance bombardier.
After returning to Newfoundland, John married Elizabeth Downey, also of Winterton, and they had two children — Donald and Alex.
Elizabeth passed away four years ago at the age of 82. Both sons are also deceased. He has two grandchildren — Adella Green and Alex Pinhorn. Both reside in Winterton.
Pinhorn made a livelihood primarily as a fisherman, but was also an accomplished car- penter, having built many homes in the region, and lent his talents to the construction of the local school four decades ago.
Despite his advanced age, John still enjoys a good chat, and recently purchased a new car. He’s thought to be the oldest resident of Winterton.
“He’s as smart now as he was when he was 50,” said Adella. “If he had two good knees I’d never catch up to him.”
Through it all, his attachment to the Royal Canadian Legion remained strong. He was also a member of the 166th Royal Artillery Regiment Association, and regularly attended annual reunions until they were discontinued several years ago.
John estimates there are about 100 members of the regiment still alive.
I’m still pretty active, when there’s something to do,” John joked.
On Nov. 16, John was presented with a 60year service pin by the Legion branch in Carbonear during its annual remembrance banquet.
“We’re really proud of him,” said Adella.
Lance Bombardier John C. Pinhorn poses with an artillery gun during a photo taken in April 1945.
John C. Pinhorn (left) of Winterton is seen receiving a 60-year service pin from Mike Butt, president of Branch No. 23 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Carbonear.