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Remembering D-Day: Captain James Montgomery Doohan
Jimmy Doohan (1920-2005) of the Royal Canadian Artillery landed at Juno Beach with the 14th Field Artillery Regiment of the 3rd Canadian Division on June 6, 1944. Doohan was wounded on D-Day, 73 years ago today.
Doohan shot two German snipers, and led his men to higher ground through a field of anti-tank mines, where they took defensive positions for the night. Crossing between command posts at 23:30 hours, Doohan was hit by six rounds fired from a Bren Gun by a nervous Canadian sentry: four in his leg, one in the chest, and one through his right middle finger. The bullet to his chest was stopped by a silver cigarette case given to him by his brother. His right middle finger had to be amputated.
Doohan was a pilot and aerial observer. He was known as “the craziest pilot” in the Canadian forces. In 1945, having long recovered from his D-Day injuries, he slalomed a Mark IV Auster (a small, overhead-wing liaison and observer aircraft) between telephone poles on Salisbury Plain—simply to prove it could be done.
After the war Doohan eventually became an actor and certainly very well known for his portrayal of Montgomery Christopher Jorgensen Scott, a.k.a. Scotty on the television series Star Trek.
There was a period when I couldn’t get through the day without hearing him sing ‘Hallelujah’ 3 or 4 times. He had a one in a billion voice and an emotionally piercing guitar style and…..I know, everyone is saying this, but it hurts so much to lose an artist who was capable of so much before he’d had a chance to do his best work. I guess I should be thankful for what there is: the album “Grace”, his first EP, the bootleg live cassettes floating around, and whatever SONY will inevitably scrape together for release. It’s a fucking shame. Joan Osborne (Letter posted to the internet June 19th, 1997)
Jeffrey Scott Buckley (17 November 1966-29 May 1997)