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Closing The Falaise Gap

Heroes Remember

Closing The Falaise Gap

La Gap. You’ve heard of that? La Gap Falaise. Yeah, now what happened there, they were trying to trap the German SS2. And what happened, the American were coming on one side and the Canadian on the other. That, as far as we know, that we were told to be careful about the range we were firing because the Americans were coming into the... so the Gap. And then, when they told us, when the Gap was closed... But what happened at night, they lit up the whole sky with flare on parachute. On the chute, like, and they float. They just lit up the whole area. And we were on... we didn’t have too much to do because there was not much out there to be shot. Because the Americans and their, it was mostly ground troop, you know. Probably tank, a lot of tank, anti-tank and tank, and a lot of Bofors. What they, Bofors is an anti-ack-ack gun. We always had one with us, in case we were attacked by the German, they would shoot it down. But we had a Bofor with us and the Bofor, in a day about 10 o’clock in the morning, the German, they were really pushing to get out. The Gap was almost closed except there was that little opening. And they were shooting out there and there was a halftrack, a German halftrack full of soldiers, all SS2. And the Bofor, well, we were sitting right there and I thought, What in the heck’s going on? All of a sudden the Bofor fired and he nailed that thing on the side, yeah. Some of them ran away but they were caught as prisoners of war. But I don’t know how many there was killed. But anyway they was loaded, yeah. And they were trying to get out through that Gap. That was the end of the Gap actually. It was completely closed after that.

Mr. Ducharme describes the closing of the Falaise Gap by the Allies

Paul Ducharme

Paul Ducharme was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1919. His family moved to Lorraine, Ontario where his father had a successful career with the Abitibi lumber company. Mr. Ducharme left home, penniless, at the age of thirteen. In the years leading up to his enlistment, he was employed as a trapper, a guide, a male poster model, and a mushroom picker. He enlisted in Ontario and volunteered for the new 19th Self-propelled Artillery Regiment being formed in Borden, Ontario. After shipping overseas on the Queen Mary, Mr. Ducharme took part in the D-Day invasion, landing at Juno Beach. He saw further action in France, Belgium and Holland. He was wounded by shrapnel in Holland and sent back to England. After leaving the service, Mr. Ducharme operated an auto body shop for 40 years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Paul Ducharme
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Tank Driver

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