Win­ter­ton vet­eran hon­oured by Le­gion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRY ROBERTS

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.

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