The Montreal telephone directory lists him simply as “Louis-René Drapeau (Capt).” The browser might well ask: “Captain of what?” Like so many others, the ordinary person has very little knowledge of what went on a half-century ago except what he may have seen in John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart movies on late night TV. Unlike these Hollywood heroes who managed to avoid involvement in war in order to continue successful and growing film careers, men now grown old have nothing but memories (and medals tarnishing in dusty drawers) to remind them of days of youth and danger. One of these is a man who earned the rarely-awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal not once but twice in the same war and in the same theatre of operations. Now 78 years old and ill, René Drapeau was unemployed when he transferred from the NPAM (Regimental #393 - Le Regiment de Chateauguay) to Active Service with Le Royal 22eme Regiment (R22eR) on 26 October 1939. In his youth, he had served in the bugle band of the Navy League of Canada. But for this man, war provided a long moment and warm place in the sun.
"Captain Louis-René Drapeau, DCM & Bar, ED, CD, Air Medal (US),"
Canadian Military History:
2, Article 15.
Available at: http://scholars.wlu.ca/cmh/vol6/iss2/15