Cap badge Le Régiment de Hull (RCAC)

brass construction, both lugs intact


When Canada declared war on Germany on 10 September 1939, the Regiment did not expect to be mobilized for war. Detachments of the Regiment were assigned to mount guard at points considered vulnerable to saboteurs, specifically Rockcliffe Aerodrome and the Residence of the Governor General. Many members of the Regiment enrolled in the active Army and initially served as instructors in numerous training camps, including in Saint Jérôme, Quebec and in Cornwall, Ontario.

The first Battalion of Le Régiment de Hull was mobilized for active service on 29 July 1941. A few days later, National Defence Headquarters entrusted command of the Regiment to Lieutenant-Colonel Marcel Grison. In the meantime, an initial group of officers had been sent to Brockville to undergo special training and the Regiment left for Valcartier, where it underwent intensive training from December 1941 to mid-April 1942. It was subsequently sent to Nanaimo, British Columbia, where it participated in the defence of Canada as part of the 13th Infantry Brigade, 6th Canadian Infantry Division. This was the first time that a Francophone regiment had been stationed on Vancouver Island.

Operation Cottage (August 1943 - January 1944)

Invaion of Kiska

In August 1943, Le Régiment de Hull took part in the invasion of the island of Kiska, in the Aleutians. The Regiment was at the time under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dollard Ménard, DSO, CD a hero of the Dieppe raid. The Japanese had invaded the Aleutians in June 1942. Although Kiska was 4,500 km from Vancouver, the enemy presence caused considerable concern in Canada and the United States. While the US Navy imposed a blockade, air raids were carried out. The blockade and the bombing nonetheless did not succeed in dislodging the enemy, and the Americans decided to attack the islands directly. On 12 May, US troops landed at Attu, resulting in one of the fiercest and most costly battles of the entire war. Of the 3,000 Japanese in the garrison, only 11 were taken prisoner; all the others were killed or committed suicide.

Since Kiska was defended by a stronger garrison (some 5,400 soldiers), the Americans asked Canada for help. The 13th Brigade was chosen to participate in the invasion of Kiska, comprising, in addition to Le Régiment de Hull, the Canadian Fusiliers, the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Rocky Mountain Rangers. "D" Day for Kiska was set for August 15, 1943. Since the enemy had secretly abandoned the island, Canadian troops were not called upon to fight. The Regiment nonetheless had to stay on the island until January 1944, during which time the soldiers were subjected to the worst weather conditions endured by the Canadian Army anywhere, throughout its entire history.

Europe (1944–1946) After being repatriated in February 1944, the Regiment embarked at Halifax for the United Kingdom on 25 May 1944. Its new barracks were at Camp Gandale in Yorkshire. The soldiers were expecting to take part in the eagerly awaited invasion of occupied Europe. Shortly after its arrival, however, the Regiment was temporarily renamed the "4th Training Battalion" and assigned to training until their release on 18 September 1945. Many members of the 1st battalion of Le Régiment de Hull were nonetheless involved in fighting on the continent of Europe as reinforcements for other Canadian regiments, an honour for which some paid with their lives. During this time, a 2nd Battalion served in the Reserve Army. Members of the 2nd battalion contributed to the Army's recruiting efforts, guarded locations considered to be of strategic importance, took part in guarding prisoners of war and subscribed to numerous campaigns to sell Victory Bonds, in which they set records.

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