Dec. 19, 1923 – Dec. 29, 2006 – 83 years
Ray Mahood was one of four sons and three daughters of James A. and Elizabeth Mahood who, as a family, came to Chilliwack in 1930. The younger members attended schools and engaged in community activities.
In the Second World War, all four sons served in the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Airforce. One daughter was attached to the U.S. Army for and during the construction of the Alaska Highway.
Ray enlisted in the Canadian Army in January 1943 at the age of 19 and trained in the Armoured Corps at Camp Bordon, Ontario. He went overseas in very early 1944 where upon as, crew commander of 12 selected Canadians were transferred to a British Unit of a Royal Field Artillery Regiment, to supply the crews of self-propelled armoured vehicles. This regimental unit was organized to provide a supporting role to the invasion units of the third Canadian Division on D-Day June 6, 1944.
In the late hours of June 6, his assault boot ran into difficulty on the run-in to the Baach and his armoured vehicle was sunk and Ray swam ashore. He seized an abandoned Crusader Tank behind the seawall and enabled his group to rejoin his British Unit.
Approximately one month later, he and his Canadian Group were released by The British Army and they spend a further month in providing support to mainly British Units in need of armoured support. During this period he joined with the Canadian Kangaroo Unit which was converting self propelled armoured vehicles as personal carriers. Shortly thereafter he and 8 of his crew joined the Canadian Grenadier Guards Armoured Regiment of the newly arrived Canadian 4th Division. Ray served in the Guards 3rd Squadron through to Northern Holland and then was attached to the Headquarter squadron as an aid to the Regiments Commander. Ray was discharged on February 26, 1946 and returned home to Chilliwack.
Ray with all his brothers continued a life of work in the Forest Industry. As an experienced photogramatist he operated a business providing services to Industry Consultants and Corporations. This work encompassed specialization in Forest Inventory and Forest Management Licences. He was responsible for his specialization for logging operations in B.C., Alberta and South America. Ray gained years of respect in his business and equally engendered respect within his family and all those that came to know him. Ray passed comfortably and peacefully on December 29, 2006.