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His Last Battle

Heroes Remember

We attacked again at night. I remember when we were attacking at this little town of Xanten we had to cross a canal. It wasn't too wide I don't think, I don't remember how deep it was or anything. But anyway I didn't want to walk, wade across or swim across so there was a fence going across. So I crawled this fence barbwire fence. Well then got nicely halfway across and half a dozen guys had the same idea so we tore the fence apart and we all went for a bath. We got out of that one and kept on going and we come to this farm house. I remember a little Frenchman, Bourgeois was his name, come to this barn. I open the door and he stood there with his Bren, pulled the trigger and go no fire pull it back, no fire. It wouldn't fire. "Oh the hell with it." he says. I close the door, dug a slit trench, with water it. The next day, morning, got up and both of us went to this barn and it was full of cattle. "Go try your gun" I said. He goes and try it. Bup, bup, bup, bup, bup. I don't know why but something said, something said no to him I guess, not to, gun wouldn't go off. And I remember that. I remember the battle that day that took place, I was up, two floors up. And I watched the Canadian Army attack. It looked like ants, it looked like the whole Canadian Army. And I watched the whole battle from there and it went right to the Rhine. That was my last day, I came home from there.

Mr. Letendre recalls his last battle, near a small town in Germany.

Hugh Victor Letendre

Mr. Letendre was born on March 4, 1925 in the small hamlet of Lac Ste-Anne, Alberta. As a Métis, he grew up speaking Cree, French and English. He came from a large family with one brother and eight sisters. His father was a trapper and did a lot of commercial fishing. Mr. Letendre learned how to hunt and fish from his father.

When he was 11 years old he became the janitor for the one-room school that he also attended as a student. He would sweep the floors, make the fire in the morning, and haul water and coal. For all that, he was paid $4.00 a month which he gave back to his family because they had very little money at the time.

He enlisted at the age of 18 and served during the Second World War as a rifleman with the Calgary Highlanders. His overseas deployment included time serving in the Normandy Campaign after D-Day. After the war he became a leader of Canada's Aboriginal Veterans Association.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Hugh Victor Letendre
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Calgary Highlanders

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