George Doucette
WWII Veteran
born in Quebec, April 16th 1924.
Grew up in Rexton.
Enlisted in the army on the 6th
of January 1942, at the age of 17,
with the army service corps in
Camp Borden Ontario.

Excerpts
from an interview in 2000

In Halifax we were ready to board the boats.
I went down to Halifax a year or so ago and then into pier 9.
Thatís were all the troop trains hollered right in alongside the docks there. And thatís were you would jump right of the train right on to the boat and I donít ever remember going through that building. I know I had to go through it but I donít ever remember.

We crossed over in 1944. The ship landed in Liverpool
We went from Southampton to France after D day.

They needed truck drivers in France. This was in September and they were moving everything up front for the winter.

I told the Old Sergeant Major: ĒI didnít come over here to drive trucks. I want to see some actionĒ. He sais: ďYouíll see action if thatís what you wantĒ and the next morning I was on the way to the front lines. It happened that the, I think, the Royal Hamilton Infantry was back in the rest period and they needed reinforcements and thatís what I landed with. I landed with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.

The first time. It was at night and we were parading up. I donít know were it was. I donít know the first thing about it. All I can remember is, you would see tracer bullets go here and there and we were going up this road and what we stumbled upon was a dead German on the road and that was the first thing I remember seeing anything in action. Sending tracer bullets and that there was my first Ö I didnít know what to make of it at that time and I canít remember were we landed at all.

I remember we didnít go up the road but we were going up through the field and there were mortar bombs, thatís what they were. But they were landing in the field and it was all soft mud so it wasnít too bad.

We stayed in the farm. In the barn, I think 2 or 3 nights there. I remember that pretty well. The Medic was with us and he was more busy with the kids and stuff. The population. They were looking for supplies and for treatment which they didnít have.
And they would bring their kids over and the medic would do them up the best he could and away they go. But after that were did we go Ö.we went out and paraded along the dyke and we come down to..I donít know, a little town or a settlement or, what it was and that afternoon I remember we stayed in a church. We stayed in a little church there that night.

 

The next morning we got up Ö it seemed to me that the South Saskatchewan Regiment had taken the canal but the town was about a half mile up from the canal and we were supposed to take the town the next day. We went across the canal with little boats and stuff and got on the other side and we started going up towards the town and I only got up on half way. I got wounded before we got into the town. I donít even know the name of the town. I went back to Holland at the 50th anniversary and this girl, she drove me all over Holland I think trying to find that place but I never could find it. You were young then and I wasnít worried about the names of towns or anything else.

But I got wounded at about 10 o clock in the morning and I think I laid there for. ..Oh.. It was after dinner before they picked me up. I donít think they knew I was there. But what it was before. I carried a 2 inch mortar and as far as I know the sergeant wanted to lay a smoke screen and he called me up so I started it up but I didnít get up. We just parted ways and thatís it. And I donít know who it was but somebody grabbed the mortar behind me and kept on going. I donít know who it was. Anyway, I was laying there and the only thing I was watching was, there was a Rotor firing Typhoon was flying on the town. I was watching them, more I was watching that thing going then anything else. But I laid there for 2 and a half hours anyway, before and then, Ö laying there and I heard this fellow walking on the sidewalk and Gee I said what is that, is that another Canadian, a German, what is it?
 

 

 I was in the back of a hedge and I didnít know what to do, whether to holler out to him or not. Anyway I thought Iíll take a chance so I hollered out, and he answered me: ĒnoĒ he said,  Ēno I canít help you I got shrapnel in the backĒ, he said, ĒI am going to the hospitalĒ. Good enough, keep going. So it was quit a while when I heard this. It was the Sergeant. ĒGodĒ, he said, ĒI didnít know you were hereĒ. I guess nobody knows I am here.

I remember going down. There were 4 stretchers in the Ambulance and in one of them was an old Dutchman and was he ever cursing at the Germans, He had walked on a landmine and broke both legs and every bump we hit he would be in pain I would imagine. Of course I had a compound fracture of the arm and they tightened it right up and put a cask on.

 I got wounded on the 28th of October 1944 and returned to Canada in February 1945.
The bullet hit me in the shoulder and I imagine it was the impact of the bullet that caused the bone to break.

 
 

photo bottom left:
Interview 2000

  background photo left: Fall 1943
photo right: July 1942