Bill Avery was a Sergeant with 2TTW and recalled his role in the AWD in a letter to the Canadian Kangaroo Regimental Association in 1996:
"...Our unit was selected to form an Advanced Workshop Detachment ... We were moved back to a safer location near Bayeux. We had one RCEME officer, Capt Bert Hargrave, who was the best and finest they could have put in charge of this operation. We had a meeting and he told us this was no ordinary assignment. No parades, only production, and come hell or high water it must be completed by 6 Aug 44.
"One little thing sticks in my memory. We ran out of armoured steel plating for the sides, so Capt Hargrave who was an engineer decided we could use 1/2" mild steel on each side with another 1/2" mild steel about 4" apart and fill the cavity with sand. I detailed my Despatch Rider (DR) to find sand. Harold Brieder (nicknamed Hard Tack) was my best DR and went out. He returned and told me that all beaches were mined, and MPs would allow no one on the beaches. I told this to Capt Hargrave, and he said, ‘I couldn't care less for mines or MPs, get me sand and that's an order.’ I sent a Corporal out with Hard Tack to find a beach. He found one, but the Cpl dug up a live bomb; it didn't blow up but scared the life out of our Corporal."
By the evening of 5 August 1944, 72 Kangaroos were ready; four more were done by noon on the 6th, each capable of carrying 10-15 fully armed infantrymen and their equipment. On 7 August, for the first time in Canadian history, infantry advanced with the tanks to protect them from enemy small arms fire and shell splinters. The use of the Priest Kangaroo armoured personnel carriers was an immediate success, as was Phase 1 of Totalize.