Photo: Veterans Voices of Canada
Veteran Profile: Helen Betsy Mitchinson
Helen was born in St. Catharines, Ont., on July 5, 1925. She joined the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service in 1943, and served as a switchboard operator. She was posted to the HMCS Discovery in Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax and Shelburne, N.S.
“We were trained to do the land jobs, so that the sailors, the men, could go to sea. The WRENS were essential… When I was in Shelburne (after) the war was over and they were decommissioning ships, we answered the phones and directed communications. There was lots going on.”
Helen was discharged in 1945. She and her husband, Jack, now live in Chatham, Ont.
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