Tommy Prince, Ojibway, 1915-1977
He is Canada’s most-decorated Aboriginal war veteran and was a brave and remarkable man. Prince had a strong sense of civic duty and a fierce pride in his people. He said “All my life I had wanted to do something to help my people recover their good name.” A descendant of Peguis, the Saulteaux Chief, he dedicated himself to attaining increased educational and economic opportunities for Aboriginal peoples. In 1940 he enlisted in the Canadian Army first as a Field Engineer and then with the Canadian Parachute Battalion. He trained with a specialized assault team, the 1st Special Service Force, which became known to the enemy as the Devil’s Brigade. When the fighting ended, King George VI decorated Prince with both the Military Medal and the Silver Star, an American decoration for gallantry in action. Prince re-enlisted and served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. During two tours of duty during the Korean War he won the Korean, Canadian Volunteer Service and United Nations Service medals. He was wounded in the knee, and was honourably discharged in 1953. A longer biography appears in Native Leaders of Canada.

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