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Off to Iceland

Heroes Remember

It was the 17th of July, 1940. And, of course the boat turned around, it was going south, and we said, “Oh good, they are going to Jamaica.” We had heard the rumour that we were going to Jamaica. And by getting on a ship that was already with everything that was still in there, waiters and everything, and heading south, “Gees we’re, we’re going there.” But when we woke up the next morning we were in different temperatures and everything and the ship was going north. So, we found out the second day or third day whatever it was, that they didn’t want to tell us where were going incase something happened, well you know the old system. We heard that we were going to Iceland. I said, “Iceland, holy gees." I barely ever heard of Iceland.” So that’s where we ended up. Well they wanted a machine gun regiment, to a, to set their guns around the island between, the northern part actually touched the arctic circle. We had groups up there and we were concerned about the Germans being in Norway and the purpose was that we would be in Iceland if they decided to invade Iceland.

Mr. Champoux describes how he went to Iceland on July 17, 1940. The Allies wanted a machine gun regiment to set up their guns on the Island in the event of an invasion.

Robert Arthur Champoux

Mr. Champoux was born in Hull, Québec on March 21st, 1921. He lived there until the age of 8 when his father, a First World War Veteran, moved the family to Ottawa. Mr. Champoux had three brothers and four sisters; he was the third oldest child. When the war broke out he was attending Ottawa Technical High School. He left school, after his first year, to join the Army after failing to join the Navy and the Air Force (who were not yet recruiting). He left for Europe July 17th, 1940 and ended up stopping in Iceland where he remained for the next 10 months. Mr. Champoux’s wartime service saw him fighting on D-Day and in the Falaise Gap. He also fought in Calais and later on in Holland where he was wounded. Mr. Champoux got a job with the Mint upon returning to Canada. He joined the army again in 1948 retiring in 1965.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Arthur Champoux
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Atlantic Ocean
13 Platoon - Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa

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