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Rescued by the Americans

Heroes Remember

Rescued by the Americans

The Americans, they come over and they dropped parachutes and asked us to mark in the ground what we needed. They dropped a can of coffee, it went through the roof in the kitchen. They dropped big parachutes with fifty five gallon drums with cans all inside. And you know some of the men, they ruined their stomach, not me. I had a can on the window and I'd go and take a spoonful. But before we left there everything was clean. We asked the Jap could you give us a drum with a boiler for to put clothes in to steam them. He did, there wasn't a louse to be seen then, he sent each fellow a day, each room, cleaned it up fine. After the war was coming to an end they were better, they was scared. One of the head fellows had a long bayonet, he come, after the war, the night they signed peace on the boat; tore all the shades off of the lights, he said, "Tomorrow you are all going to come up, there's a school up there, we're going to have a concert for you." He was scared to death so he took us up there but you know it was nice, it was different to us. Interviewer: How long did you stay in that camp before the allies came and took you away? We stayed there until they came and got us. They took and they laid track, it was all blew out for miles, there was level ground, there was nothing standing, just like a fire had passed, nothing standing at all. And they laid the track and then two days after said alright, you can leave.

Mr. Devouge describes the American food drop in his camp, and resisting the urge to overeat. He also talks about being able to finally delouse his living quarters, seeing a concert at a local school and finally departing the camp by train.

Cecil Devouge

Cecil Devouge, the eldest of eight children, was born in Belle Anse, Quebec in 1913. As the eldest in the family, he was required to work with his father cutting pulp to support his family, and thus never attended school. After working on his own for as little as a dollar a day, he enlisted in July, 1940 in Gaspe at the request of a recruiter for the Royal Rifles. One month later he was married. Before going overseas to Hong Kong, Mr. Devouge spent time in several maritime military bases; St. John and Sussex, New Brunswick, and St. John's, Newfoundland. After the Hong Kong garrison surrendered, he became a POW, eventually being sent to Japan to work as slave labour in the Niigata foundry. After the war, Mr. Devouge returned to his home in Gaspe.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
August 24, 1998
Person Interviewed:
Cecil Devouge
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada

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