Ouellet, Joseph Anthony

Nationality:
Canadian (1931-present, Constitutional Monarchy)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
"D" Company, The North Nova Scotia Highlanders, 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division ("D" Company, The North Nova Scotia Highlanders, 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division)
Recommendation:
Sergeant Joseph Antoine Ouellet came to this Battalion in July 1944 and fought as a Platoon Sergeant in "D" Company through the Falaise period. On the formation of the Scout Platoon in August, Sergeant Ouellet was transferred and became Scout Sergeant. In this rather hazardous job this Sergeant excelled. He took out patrols continually, at great personal risk, and he went through the enemy positions time after time. Two Scout Officers were killed in the first month, but Sergeant Ouellet still carried on until 4 January 1945, at which time this Sergeant while on a particularly dangerous patrol had the misfortune of having his leg blown off near Nijmegen, Holland.
Sergeant Ouellet excelled himself in the Nijmegen salient. Here this Sergeant did a series of extremely dangerous patrols to find out enemy dispositions. One position in particular, always referred to as "Little Tobruk" was a very strong enemy outpost bordering the Wyler Meer southeast of Nijmegen. This position had been attacked unsuccessfully by two other battalions and it was decided to send Sergeant Ouellet and two men to investigate. There was only one approach, along a dyke, the rest of the ground was a sheet of ice, but Sergeant Ouellet penetrated into the heart of the position, discovered the dispositions but was himself spotted and came under direct automatic fire. He was grazed in three places but managed to escape. Two nights later this Sergeant's patrol again returned to this position, this time with two engineers. It was a bright moonlit night with snow on the ground so the whole patrol had to be smoked in. Sergeant Ouellet and four men covered the engineers while they removed the mines, and he and one other again personally investigated the positions. He was able this time to report the strength quite accurately, but was again intercepted and had to fight his way out, this time he killed two Germans and was slightly wounded himself. As a result of these patrols the battalion was able to successfully cope with this position.
Sergeant Ouellet continued his patrols several times a week in the Nijmegen area and brought back much valuable information until the night of January 4th 1945 when he stepped on a Schu mine and lost a leg, which afterward resulted in the loss of both legs. This Sergeant's heroic devotion to duty and fearless courage on all occasions was a wonderful example to his men. His contribution to the success of the battalion last winter in Holland was very great.
Royal Decree no. 2, 8 December, 1945.
Bronzen Leeuw (BL)

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