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Falaise Gap

Heroes Remember - D-Day

The damage that was done on the road that was going to Falaise. The Tiffy’s with their, there was some of the Germans that were trying to run away, get out of that trap. And they were on a road, there were horses. The Germans used a lot of wagons with horses. That’s probably all they had, they weren’t getting anymore vehicles or tanks or whatever you want. And there were tanks on the road that were knocked out, these were German tanks. Horses, and even soldiers, German soldiers that were caught in certain vehicle. And that for miles. Now I know why they call it the Falaise Gap the whole thing, and a large size army that was being caught behind there. They were desperate, and they were using anything they could to get out of there. And, God, vehicles were running over everything. Until they got, army did have the Brits anyways, bulldozers with in front, they use a tank with a blade in the front And they, they had to use those things to clear the bloody road. And I can just imagine people that came in later had to go up that road, the stink must have been terrible. Because you can tell the difference you know between an animal and a human being. You can tell the difference between one that’s, you know, rotting away. And that was something else that was something to think about. And the deeper you got into this kind of thing the more you thought about it. And the business of me thinking it was just going to be a picnic, it sure as hell wasn’t.

Mr. Champoux describes how the Germans were attempting to escape. He also describes the destruction on the road of the Falaise Gap.

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
13 Platoon - Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
Machine Gunner

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