Box 024, folder 39: Roland A. Leroux

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LEROUX, Roland A.

Canadian 3rd Div.

BOX 24, #39

Last edit about 3 years ago by SarahAnn
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For Cornelius Ryan Book about D-day

THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT JUNE 5, 1944 AND MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.

What is your full name? ROLAND A. LEROUX

What was your unit and division? S.D. & G. HIGHLANDERS - 3rd Can Infantry Div

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? BERNIÈRE - SUR - MER APPROX. 7. A.M. JUN 6/44

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? SERGEANT

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 23

Were you married at that time? NO

What is your wife's name? N/A

Did you have any children at that time? N/A

What do you do now? CANADIAN CUSTOMS OFFICER

When did you know that you were going to he part of the invasion? ABOUT 24 HRS IN ADVANCE

What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time? CHANNEL WAS NOT ROUGH - CONVERSATION WAS LIMITED MOSTLY TO WHAT WE MIGHT ENCOUNTER ON DISEMBARKATION. WHILE ON BOARD LANDING CRAFT, WE HAD A SERIES OF QUIZZES IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR MINDS OFF WHAT WAS AHEAD.

What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the crossing? (Some people remember scuttlebut to the effect that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in).

RUMORS WERE THAT ACCORDING TO INTELLIGENCE REPORTS THAT COASTAL DEFENCES WERE STRONG BUT ONCE PASSED THAT WE WOULDN'T HAVE TOO MUCH OPPOSITION

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- for Cornelius Ryan 2 - Your name R.A. LEROUX

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? NO DIARY KEPT AS I WAS TOO BUSY LOOKING AROUND AS TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during the landing or during the day? DUE TO LENGHT OF THE ELAPSED THIS IS QUITE VAGUE BUT I DO RECALL THAT CASUALTIES WERE LIGHT ON THE FIRST DAY

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualties? NO

Were you wounded? NO

Do you remember what it was like- -that is, do you remember whether you felt any pain or were so surprised that you felt nothing? N/A

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seemed funny at the time? ONE DAY, I RECALL HEARING A GERMAN WHO COULD SPEAK VERY GOOD ENGLISH OVER THE SIGNAL SET. THE PURPOSE OF THIS INTERRUPTION WAS TO TRY AND OBTAIN OUR HQ POSITION BUT OUR C.O. WHO WAS NEAR THE SIGNAL TRUCK AT THE TIME FOILED THEIR ATTEMPTS, AS BEING OF GERMAN DESCENT HE NOTICED A FLAW IN THE LANGUAGE AND TOLD THE SIGNALLER NOT TO ANSWER.

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else?

A MEMORABLE INCIDENT WAS WHEN TWO BROTHERS IN OUR UNIT WERE KILLED IN ACTION PRATICALLY WITHIN 24 HOURS OF EACH OTHER.

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- for Cornelius Ryan 3 - Your name

In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance, others do incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either from D-day? THIS IS TOO DIM IN MY MEMORY ESPECIALLY TO RECALL ANYTHING OUTSTANDING.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? ON THE LANDING CRAFT IN THE ENGLISH CHANNEL

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? ABOUT 4 OR 5 MILES FROM BERNIERE - SUR - MER FRANCE

Do you know of anybody else who landed within the 24 hours of D-day, June 6, as infantry, glider or airborne troops, or who took part in the air and sea operations, whom we should write to? QUITE A FEW AROUND CORNWALL, ONT THESE VETERANS COULD BE REACHED THROUGH OUR LOCAL CANADIAN LEGION BRANCH.

PLEASE LET US HAVE THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WE CAN INCLUDE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE BOOK. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE YOUR STORY ON SEPARATE SHEETS IF WE HAVE NOT LEFT SUFFICIENT ROOM. FULL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WILL BE GIVEN IN A CHAPTER CALLED "WHERE THEY ARE NOW;" YOUR NAME AND VOCATION OR OCCUPATION WILL BE LISTED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

Cornelius Ryan

Frances Ward Research, The Reader's Digest

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