Devotion to Duty Ceremony Honouring Sergeant Tommy Prince for Canada’s 150th Birthday
Saturday September 9 2017 at 1430 hr -1600 hr
St. Anne’s Hospital
305 Boul des Anciens-Combattants
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue QC H9X 1Y9
I am co-hosting a Devotion to Duty Ceremony Honouring the Service and SacriFice’s of Canada’s Indigenous Veterans for Canada’s 150th Birthday Remembering Sergeant Tommy Prince who was a member of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry.
Recruiting 79 VETERAN VOLUNTEERS to walk 1.58 kilometers with and for 79 wheelchair bound veterans living at St. Anne’s, acknowledging the 158 Fallen Soldiers from the Afghanistan War. VOLUNTEER CADETS & SOLDIERS are needed to walk a 40 foot Canadian Flag 1.58 km as well.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-539-1312.
Sergeant Tommy Prince enlisted in June 1940, at the age of 24, and began his wartime service as a sapper with the Royal Canadian Engineers. After two years with the RCE, he answered a call for paratrooper volunteers, and by late 1942, was training with the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion.
Soon after Prince joined this select battalion, it merged with an elite American unit, forming a spearhead of 1,600 men who possessed an assortment of specialist skills. Officially called the 1st Special Service Force, it would become known to German soldiers as the Devil's Brigade. A versatile assault group with a reputation for specialized reconnaissance and raiding.
On February 8, 1944, near Littoria, Italy, Reconnaissance Sergeant Prince was spying on the Germans. An abandoned farmhouse some 200 metres from the enemy served as his observation post, and 1,400 metres of telephone wire connected him to the force. He had a clear view of the enemy's artillery emplacements and promptly reported them. During what would become a 24-hour solo watch, Prince's communication line was severed by shelling. Unfazed, the sergeant donned civilian clothing, grabbed a hoe and, in full view of German soldiers, acted like a farmer weeding his crops. He slowly inched his way along the line till he found where it was damaged, then, pretending to tie his shoelaces, quickly rejoined the wires. His reporting continued and so did the damage to enemy artillery posts. In all, four German positions were destroyed, and Prince had earned the MM. As his citation explains, "Sergeant Prince's courage and utter disregard for personal safety were an inspiration to his fellows and a marked credit to his unit."
Six months later, the Devil's Brigade entered southern France. On September 1, Sergeant Prince and a private, scouting deep behind German lines, located the gun sites and encampment area of an enemy reserve battalion. Prince walked 70 kilometres across the rugged, mountainous terrain to report the information and led the brigade to the encampment where he then joined in the battle.
Afterward, Prince was recommended for the Silver Star, an American army decoration for gallantry in action. His citation was glowing: So accurate was the report rendered by the patrol that Sergeant Prince's regiment moved forward on 5 SEPTEMBER 1944, occupied new heights and successfully wiped out the enemy bivouac [encampment] area. The keen sense of responsibility and DEVOTION TO DUTY displayed by Sergeant Prince is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations.
When the fighting in Southern France was over, Prince was summoned to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI decorated him with both the MM and, on behalf of the president of the United States, the Silver Star with ribbon. Prince was honourably discharged on June 15, 1945.
Prince re-enlisted in August 1950 and served with the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry. After two tours of duty in the Korean War, Prince had been wounded in the knee and was honourably discharged on October 28 1953.
Reflecting on Canada’s milestone Birthday and Sergeant Prince’s incredible Service to Canada can you please help me recruit the Volunteers needed to create an impactful and memorable ceremony for the Veterans living at St. Anne’s Hospital.