Operation HUSKY 2023 - Remembering the Sappers Who Fell in Sicily

Publication Date 
10 May 2023

The year 2023 marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Italian Campaign during the Second World War with the invasion of Sicily on 9 July 1943. Operation HUSKY was the first major engagement for the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and aimed to relieve pressure on the Eastern Front and open the Mediterranean Sea lanes for Allied merchant ships. Allied forces took the island from the enemy after six weeks of fighting.

In rememberance of the Sicilian Campaign, the Canadian Military Engineers’ Colonel Commandant will unveil a plaque in Leonforte, Sicily on 26 July to honour the 24 Sappers who lost their lives during Operation HUSKY. An accompanying interpretive panel will highlight the construction of the Bailey Bridge at Leonforte, the first Bailey Bridge constructed by the Allies under enemy fire.

Op Husky Crest

The dedication of this Royal Canadian Engineer memorial is part of Operation Husky 2023 which includes a walk to commemorate all Canadian soldiers killed during the Allied campaign in Sicily. The Walk for Remembrance & Peace follows a 325-kilometre path along the route of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. The trail is fully marked and promotes military tourism with educational plaques, an online guidebook, a history book, and a website. The path will formally open to the public on 10 July 2023.

This RCE memorial has been realized thanks to the leadership of The Walk for Remembrance & Peace, a not-for-profit initiative of Canadians, Italians, and other nationals as a reminder of the price of peace. Without significant government support, donations are necessary for projects like this to be successful. A fundraising campaign that is based on providing Individual Markers for each Canadian fatality is underway. Students in Canada and Sicily are helping to prepare these markers that will be installed in a daily ceremony near where the soldiers lost their lives.

Op Husky Trail Markers

During Operation HUSKY 2023, individuals, chapters and units can honour our Sappers' sacrifice by sponsoring an Individual Marker. Your name will be added to the back of the marker. When making an online donation, please write the Sapper's name in the "Message of Support" box. Otherwise, please enter "CMEA" for Canadian Military Engineers Association. The CMEA will match all donations from the CME Family.

Click HERE to make a tax-deductible donation to this worthy cause.