Rodney Frederick Leopold Keller, born in
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, on October
2nd, 1900; died in 1954. Canadian Army Officer.
R.F.L. Keller addressing Canadian
troops in Normandy, August 2nd,
of National Defence / National
Archives of Canada, PA-129169.
Rod Keller entered the Royal Military College
in Kingston, Ontario, in the last years
of WWI. Upon graduating, he joined the Princess
Patricia's Light Infantry, one of the regiments
of the Canadian Permanent Force. Like many
other promising Canadian officers of that
era, he attended Camberley Staff College
When Canada went to war, Rod Keller was
sent overseas as a brigade major. He rose
to the command of the Princess Patricia's
Light Infantry in 1941 and was promoted
Officer Commanding the 1st Canadian Infantry
Brigade a few months later. Keller was made
a major-general and, between September 8th,
1942, and August 8th, 1944, he served as
General Officer Commanding the 3rd Canadian
Infantry Division. On D-Day, he led the
charge of that division on the beaches of
Normandy. He was wounded by friendly fire
on August 8th, when US bombers targeted
Canadian troops during Operation Tractable.
Major-General Keller was popular with his
troops, who appreciated his manners and
outspoken language; however, a drinking
problem and several breaches of security
measures before D-Day cost him the support
of his superior officers. After August 8th,
1944, Keller received no further command.
He died ten years later, while visiting
J.L. Granatstein, The Generals,
The Canadian Army's Senior Commanders
in the Second World War, 1993.