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What the Congo was...

Heroes Remember

What the Congo was...

To be honest with you I had no idea of what the Congo was except that I knew it was in Africa and what to expect when we got there. First of all I expected to see a whole bunch of grass huts, you know villages and so on. I had no idea what there would be there and in Leopoldville, it was like if you saw pictures of a mural. I mean they had buildings and houses were in better shape than what we had. And I said you know what’s this? But then it changes and outside of the city or Leopoldville it’s a little different. It’s just day and night. The first week or so it was very difficult. Here we are eating proper meals and you had natives gawking at you and it was difficult because you felt like maybe giving some, but the thing is you couldn’t do that because if you throw to one then you have to give to all. They would take and be just like a riot. So the thing is that you put in your mind I’m here to do a job and that was it.

Mr LeBlanc talks about what the Congo was like and the culture shock of seeing things for the first time.

Fred LeBlanc

Fred LeBlanc was born on September 5, 1935 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Having trouble finding a job, he decided to join the Royal Canadian Signal Corps. He remembers convincing his mother to sign the permission slip because he was only 17and a half. After three months of training Mr. LeBlanc had to leave for brain surgery. He believes he was lucky it happened while he was in training because he probably would not have survived if it had happened during civilian life. In 1953 he went to Kingston,Ontario his first time away from home. Mr. LeBlanc was trained as a as a teletype operator and eventually became a cryptographer. With young children and a wife back home Mr. LeBlanc was posted to Congo for a seven month tour.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Fred LeBlanc
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

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