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Voyage to Japan

Heroes Remember

They choose them according to their health, if they looked healthy they took them but I mean that’s not all healthy because when we got on that ship, I read different books on that already there and I was one of them down in those dreary holes like cattle going over to Japan and we were down there like cattle and you couldn’t even sit down, you couldn’t move or a damn things and there was guys that had dysentery and diarrhea and everything else and I mean it was a pig pen down there. There was nothing to eat, you had a hell of a time to even try to get up to go to the bathroom, that was God awful, we thought we were never gonna get there and they were dying in that hole too. If anything would have happened we were all gone because there was a ship, the Americans I think already had blew up one of the ships that had a lot of prisoners on it. Anyway, on that ship the Japs would just laugh at us anyway down in the hole. They would heist down the rice and that. That was our main food, rice was all we seen. But when we got over to Japan, if I’m not mistaken, I landed in Hiroshima or Nagasaki or one of those places that they had bombed. They didn’t bomb it then but one of those places, anyway and then we ended up in Yokohama. That was a shipyard.

Mr. Lecouffe describes being in a ship's hold, jammed in like cattle, with no toilet facilities for men still suffering from dysentery. He eventually reaches Japan and is sent to the Yokohama shipyard.

Lionel Lecouffe

Lionel Lecouffe was born in Campbellton, New Brunswick on March 23, 1922. His father was a First World War veteran and his mother a war bride. Mr. Lecouffe worked on the road for food vouchers before becoming a deliveryman to Easton Bakery at $2 a day. Only seventeen and already a member of the Campbellton militia, he lied about his age to enlist with the Royal Rifles at Matapedia. Ironically, after his release from a Hong Kong hospitalization, Mr. Lecouffe found himself attached to the Winnipeg Grenadiers with whom he finished the war.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 10, 2000
Person Interviewed:
Lionel Lecouffe
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Royal Rifles of Canada

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