“I Fought The War With Only One Eye
and I Did Pretty Good”
Leo Major, a native of Montreal, was 19 when he joined the Canadian Army in the summer of 1940. He was a fellow of medium size, described as sociable, somewhat happy-go-lucky and, as he was to prove in the war, fearless. He may have learned this latter trait, so valuable to a combat soldier, along with his survival skills, while growing up in a working-class district of Montreal during the depression years.
Major became not just the only Canadian to receive the Distinguished Conduct Medal (the second-highest award for bravery offered by the Royal government) twice, but the only person from any Commonwealth country to win it for actions in two separate wars.
Private Leo Major of the Chaudière Regiment of the Canadian Army bought his A-game to Europe back when Hitler needed a good bit of iron-fisted punching justice.
Major kicked things off by landing on Normandy along with the rest of the Canadian military, and not only did Major miraculously manage to somehow not die nose-down in the surf, but on his first day in the lovely French countryside he went out and single-handedly captured one of these bad boys.
Leo Major, a scout and sniper by trade, charged out in broad daylight, popped an entire squad of Nazis, stole their ride, and then impressed all his superiors when they discovered that the jacked truck was loaded up with communications gear that would prove invaluable in terms of intercepting and deciphering German messages during the Normandy Campaign. For those of you out there who aren’t experts in military tactics and strategy, being able to know what your enemy is going to do before he does it is kind of a good thing if you enjoy not losing wars, and that’s a benefit that the Allies had thanks to Leo Major.