The Military Museums

Frank Swanson

Frank G. Swanson was born on April 11th, 1917 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Frank Swanson

Frank G. Swanson was born on April 11th, 1917 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Frank Swanson

A man of letters, Frank Swanson graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, and then completed a Masters Degree from Columbia University in New York City in Journalism. After graduating he was hired by the Southam Company where he worked as a reporter for the Edmonton Journal, before enlisting in the Army in 1941.

After the war, Frank became a war correspondent and covered the war crimes trials in Europe. He also covered the signing of the United Nations charter at the conference in San Francisco in 1945. Upon his return to Canada, Frank became Associate Editor of the Ottawa Citizen, and in 1962 he moved west to Calgary to become Publisher of the Calgary Herald.

War Years

Frank joined the Calgary Tank Regiment (14th Armoured Regiment) of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade in 1941 and served with them during the Invasion of Sicily where the Calgary Tanks participated in the assault landing at Pachino in September 1943.

After the fight for Sicily ended, the regiment landed in Italy and moved north to take part in engagements at Potenza and Campobasso while supporting the 1st Canadian Division. They took part in the assult on the Sangro River in November 1943 and the Moro River and Ortona Crossroads in December 1943.

In May of 1944, the regiment took part in the assult across the Gari River in their advance towards the Hitler Line. In late 1944 he returned to England to attend a course at the Camberley Staff College and was then sent back to Italy to accompany his troops back to Northwest Europe.

He was then transferred to the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade and served with them through France, Belgium and Germany until the end of the war.

Post War

When the war ended Frank rejoined the Southam Company and became a war correspondent covering the liberation celebrations and the subsequent war crimes trials in Europe. Swanson later covered the signing of the United Nations charter in San Francisco, California in 1945.

Upon his return to Canada in 1947 Swanson became a Parliamentary Correspondent for the Ottawa Citizen. From 1956-1960 he was the Associate Editor of the Citizen and in 1960 he became Editor. In 1962 Swanson moved to Calgary to become the Publisher and Vice President of the Calgary Herald where he remained until the end of his distinguished career in journalism.

Frank Swanson passed away March 6th, 1990 at the age of 72. He is survived by his wife, Vera Swanson and son David Swanson, who reside in Calgary.


Frank Swanson's collection of images included some remarkable group photos taken during his time in the Army.


A) Commanding Officers and H.Q. Staff, 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade, 23 Oct 1942. Brigadier R.A. Wyman (front row, center), Frank Swanson (2nd row, 4th from right)

B) 1st Cdn Armoured Brigade, 11 Feb 1943, H.M. King George VI (front row, center), LGen A. McNaughton (front row, 5th from right), Hon. Vincent Massey (front row, 3rd from left), BGen R.A. Wyman (front row, 5th from left), MGen. F.F. Worthington (front row, 2nd from right), Frank Swanson (back row, center)

C) Camberley College, England, Nov 1944, Frank Swanson (2nd row from back, 3rd from left)

Some of the notable personalities in the photos include:

H.M. George VI King of England from 1937 until 1953
Hon. Vincent Massey High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for His Majesty's Government in Canada during the War. He was the Governor General of Canada from 1952 to 1967
Lt.Gen. A.G.L McNaughton Served in both World Wars. He commanded the Canadian Artillery Corps during the First World War. In the Second World War, he was commander of the First Canadian Army from 1942-43, and the Minister of National Defence from 1944-45
BGen R.A. Wyman Commanding officer of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade from 1942-44

Sponsored by Vera and David F. Swanson in honour of Major Frank G. Swanson (1917 - 1990)

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