Earl Henry McAllister joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942, but his time in service was brief.
The military discovered a weak nerve in his ear and he was soon medically discharged.
But of course, McAllister did not give up on his dream of serving his country. Instead, he enlisted in the infantry, joining Princess Louise's Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada.
Determination to Serve
At 19 McAllister was only 135 pounds and stood no taller than 5' 3", making it hard to find a uniform to fit. According to his sister Joyce "he got the shortest kilt he could find. He pulled it up under his armpits and put a belt on to hold it up and then put his jacket on."
McAllister may have been small in stature but he was smart and athletic, making him a great soldier. After six months with the Highlanders he was recommended for the Canadian NCO course.
When he was sent to Europe he told his parents "Either I come back a hero, or I won't come back at all." Not long after, McAllister and the 2nd Battalion began preparation for the invasion of Normandy.
Earl Henry McAllister and the Normandy Invasion
While McAllister was not deployed for the beach landings, he entered the battle in a later wave. Not long after arriving in theater, McAllister was ambushed by German soldiers while driving a POW to a nearby British camp.
After a quick firefight, he took all of the ambushers prisoner and continued on his way to the POW camp.
The unlikely group came upon a French fighter who informed McAllister of another group of German troops in the woods. He ordered the five prisoners he already had to walk towards the POW camp while he dealt with the other soldiers in the woods.
Surprisingly, they turned themselves in to the British camp, even though they were left unguarded.
Meanwhile, McAllister went into the woods and found 25 more Germans. He decided to continue looking for more enemy soldiers and sent the newly captured prisoners to the British POW camp unguarded.
Shockingly, McAllister found 60 more German troops who surrendered and walked to the British camp, also unguarded. Another French fighter located McAllister and informed him of a Tiger tank with more Germans close by.
McAllister located the vehicle which turned out to be just an armored car. He calmly defeated the troops manning it and captured another large group.
Recognition of Earl Henry McAllister
McAllister has become somewhat of a legend in the military for his actions that day. The fact that he singlehandedly captured so many enemy troops and convinced them to march themselves to a POW prison camp is remarkable.
A comic was made about these events, called "Scotty Sent Us."
Unfortunately, he died in Belgium on October 20th and never made it home.