Family honoured that fisheries ship named after Pictou County's Stan Dudka

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Stellarton resident Stanley Dudka, second right, was one of four Nova Scotia soldiers who testified in the war crimes trial of Major Kurt Meryer in Germany in the 1940s.

NEW GLASGOW – Tom Dudka remembers asking his father once what he thought of the then recently released movie “Saving Private Ryan.”

“Why would I watch it?” Stanley Dudka replied. “I lived it.”

On June 6, 1944, Dudka landed at Juno Beach as part of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France. He was injured twice during the battle. He was taken prisoner of war by the Germans, held for several weeks, and then he escaped back to Allied lines. While in captivity he witnessed the murder of Canadian Prisoners of War by enemy soldiers under the command of SS Major Kurt Meyer, a devastating sight he would testify about in 1945 at Meyer’s war crimes trial before a Canadian Military Court in Aurich, Germany.

When he returned home he worked as a miner and then as a Department of Fisheries officer.

Last week it was announced the latest Canadian Coast Guard vessel has been named after the Pictou County native and his family couldn’t be prouder.

“For us it’s an honour for it to be named after him,” Tom said.

Dudka passed away in 2008 at the age of 85, but Tom said he would have been very happy to hear that a ship would bear his name.

AUDIO LINK: Stanley Dudka, veteran of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Canadian 3rd Division, remembering Juno Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Organizations: Canadian Military Court, Department of Fisheries, Canadian Coast Guard

Geographic location: Pictou County, NEW GLASGOW, Juno Beach Normandy France Aurich Germany

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Recent comments

  • George and Elaine Worden
    September 23, 2012 - 15:08

    We had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Stan Dudka because his son, Stan was our Brother -in- law. A great man and certainly a great hero. A well deserved honor and our best to his wonderful family. George and Elaine Worden , Brockville Ontario.

  • Charlie Berube
    September 18, 2012 - 18:37

    I was an honour to know Mr. Dudka.

  • Margaret Hayes
    September 18, 2012 - 11:32

    Wonderful work by the Dudka family to honor their father. It surely will be an unforgettable occasion to see the ship named after their heroic father and hopefully for future generations to come.

  • allan fraser
    September 18, 2012 - 10:36

    An honour well deserved, sir