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Darkness Comes Early (Part 3 of 3)

Heroes Remember

Darkness Comes Early (Part 3 of 3)

And about the middle, out of the way, but the minute we crossed this, we crossed a road that was parallel to it. I had to go across, there was one house there, and we, we heard one rifle shot. One. We didn’t know whether it was one of our guys that shot it or whether it was the enemy. So we had to go through that house to see whether anybody was hiding in there. And my, I was, I gave the instruction that nobody was to shoot first. No throwing of grenade in the house, we didn’t want to advertise our going forward. And then we ended up in the Dittaino river bed maybe you’ll read about it, the river, Dittaino river bed was sandy and rock you know, it was dry, no water and I advance in it and then we could see that bloody mountain there, Santa Maria as one big mass black shadow. And I didn’t dare, I crossed that one fence and I turned back, it was getting too late. We had to, to go back because we had lost time to go through that house. So we went back, we arrived finally back in the regiment about seven o’clock in the morning or something along that line and got my hair cut and got my breakfast of a tin then and then Bernatia told us we were attacking at Santa Maria that very morning.

Mr. Robitaille tells the story of his reconnaissance mission at Santa Maria.

Guy Robitaille

Guy Robitaille was born October 2, 1920 in Lauzon-Lévis, a small military town. Mr. Robitaille had four brothers and three sisters. His mother died in 1925 and his father died in 1936. After his father's death, Mr. Robitaille made the decision not to finish school, but rather to work and help his family. On August 26, 1936 he received his mobilization papers and started full time with the army. Shortly after, he transferred to the Vandoos training centre. In August, 1941, he arrived in Brockville, Ontario where he became an officer and later returned to Valcartier. In Italy, wounded in the thigh and chest, Mr. Robitaille spent nine months in hospital where he went through five operations. While in hospital he heard on CBC radio that he had received the Military Cross. In November, 1943, he returned to Canada to recover in a Québec City hospital. Upon recovery, he returned to service with the Canadian Army.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Guy Robitaille
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal 22e Régiment
Platoon Officer

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