100-year-old Saskatoon WWII veteran reflects on time serving alongside ‘Saskatchewan boys’

Nick Kazuska might be close to his 101st birthday, but the Second World War veteran still remembers his time with the Canadian Armed Forces as though it were yesterday.

Kazuska was barely 20 when he enlisted in 1940. He said he was part of an anti-aircraft unit made up mostly of “Saskatchewan boys” and formed in Moosomin, Saskatchewan.

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From the small village of Hampton, he said that prairie connection was part of what drew him to join them.

“There’s Remembrance Day just about every day for me,” he says as he points to a photo of the men he served with. Eight decades later he can still remember all their names.

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Kasuska served overseas in both England and France. It was there he fought in the battle of Normandy, the turning point of the Second World War.

Nick Kazuska, 100, serviced with the Canadian Armed Forces during WWII. At 100, every day is Remembrance Day for him.
Nick Kazuska, 100, serviced with the Canadian Armed Forces during WWII. At 100, every day is Remembrance Day for him. Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/Global News

“It was the Canadian Army that pushed the Germans back, and they kept on going and then the end of the world came,” he said. “(Being there) was good. Everybody was just glorified.”

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At 100, Kasuska has many tales about his time with the Armed Forces.

Some memories bring a smile to his face, like his softball games against the army, air force and navy.

“I played for a whole day, five-inning games and we took first money,” he said.

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“We got nine-day leave out of that deal,” he laughs. He used those nine days to visit Scotland.

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While it’s a happy memory, others aren’t as pleasant to revisit.

“We were going overseas and all of a sudden we got the warning that there was a U-boat not far from our boat so we were all slack, fall on the floor and we stayed quiet,” he said.

“We never moved until that U-boat went by.”

Kasuska will turn 101 on Nov. 27. He plans to celebrate with his wife Helen, close friends and family.

His secret to a long life: “Just normal living, that’s my advice.”

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