5th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers
Donald Stalker was born in April 1912 in Montreal QC to Robert and Agnes Stalker. He attended public school and high school in Westmount where he became fluent in English. He graduated from high school in 1929 at age 16 and then followed courses at Loyola College and McGill University. He worked at Anglin Norcross Limited in Montreal for 12 years as a geologist inspector.
Don Stalker enlisted in the Canadian Army on 9 May 1942. Assigned the rank of Lieutenant, he undertook officer training before joining the 5th Field Company, RCE who were training at Camp Borden, ON. On 16 July 1943, 5th Field Company embarked for the UK. They had been training in Canada for about two years by this time and, after arrival in England, they settled into a routine of more training with a focus on bridging and mine clearance and the assault activities that would be vital once the battle was engaged on the Continent.
Early in June 1944, Don and the Company were in final preparations for the attack at Normandy. Their initial tasks were to clear the beaches of mines and other obstacles for the infantry and the tanks. They boarded the boats on June 5th and on D-Day Donald’s company approached the 'Nan Red' sector of Juno beach. Three craft carrying 5th Field Company men and dozers touched down at about 0800 and came under immediate small-arms fire as the ramps dropped and the dozers and tanks went off. Lt Stalker was killed while steering a jeep to the beach. He was 32 when he died and is buried in Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Calvados, France.
After the break-out from Normandy, 5th Field Company supported the advance to the Seine River and worked on the Troan-Pont l’Eveque road. Their main bridging task was at Troan and on 22 August they completed a 130-ft Bailey Bridge they named after Lt Stalker.
..... Based on research by a student at Smith Falls Collegiate Institute in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada and by the Canadian Military Engineers Association.