In 1939, at the outbreak of WWII and seven years after having been ordained to the priesthood, Rev. Michael Joseph Dalton (May 5, 1902 - April 6, 2009) volunteered to join the Essex Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Army.

Although he could have avoided front line service due to his age and position, he insisted that it was his duty to serve. Father Mike saw active duty in England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

Father Mike was known to work on the front lines of military combat and often marched with his men, carrying their weapons when they grew fatigued. He was known to drive his jeep, often against orders, to the front lines of combat in order to hear confessions

Saying Mass until his death - just one month shy of his 107th birthday - Father Mike was believed to have been the oldest Catholic priest in Canada and Canada's oldest surviving serviceman from World War II. Father Mike kept a war diary documenting his service during the years 1939-1946. In 1979 he donated it to the National Archives of Canada.

Please join me as I transcribe his writings online.

Preface from Father Dalton

One of many talented friends who encouraged the publishing of my personal War Diary opened up with a few impersonal pages garnered from a few notes.  Then the author writes:

“How better to get an accurate feeling of the time and place and the spiritual climate than to quote directly from his words, without any change in these long 25 years”

And I possibly would not have consented even after all these years, if Veterans of Windsor Area had not elected me - June 1967, “Veteran Of The Year” courtesy of CKWW Radio.  I owe them something too in the Centennial Year.  For they are the ones who helped Canada Celebrate in Peace, and who honored the Chaplain Service.

I dedicate this Diary to Total War to all those Jews - non-Catholics and Catholics who helped make my War years as livable as possible, and I hope useful.

Please excuse any typist errors from my rough notes.

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