Canada in the Second World War

People

Roméo L. Boulanger

Identity
Roméo L. BOULANGER (Joseph Roméo François LEFEBVRE-DIT-BOULANGER)
Born June 4, 1917 at Saint-Côme, Beauce, Québec
Deceased on September 28, 2009
Son of Elie (Lefebvre) Boulanger and Rose-Anna (de) Rancourt
Married to Yvette Desrosiers of Rimouski on September 23, 1947
Father of Denise

Norman origins
Paternal: The origin of the family name of Roméo L. Boulanger is “Lefebvre”, which later became “Boulanger”. In order to emigrate to New France, Claude Lefebvre, his ancestor, declared his profession as “baker” (boulanger). Over time, the name of his profession became the family name of many of his descendants. This ancestor was the son of Louis Lefebvre and Marie Verneuil of Rouen. He arrived in New France about 1663.
Maternal: Joseph-Noёl de Rancourt, son of Pierre de Rancourt and Jeanne-Claude de Boisandré from Saint-Jean, Caen, arrived in New France in September 1667.

Education
Roméo L. Boulanger holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree and a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Science. He studied two years at the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. In 1969-1970, during a sabbatical year, he studied Political Science and Spanish at the University of Toronto.

Military Service
Final rank: Major
In 1937, Roméo L. Boulanger served as a bombardier in an anti-aircraft unit based in Halifax. During his university studies from September 1937 until June 1941, he enrolled in the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps (COTC). He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Medical Corps and later in the Infantry. In 1941, he joined the Régiment de la Chaudière in the regular army. At the time of the landing of his regiment in Normandy at Juno Beach, he was a Lieutenant in charge of a flame-thrower unit mounted on tracked vehicles. After landing in Normandy, he fought with the Régiment de la Chaudière in Northern France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. In July 1944, he was promoted to Captain in charge of a large unit of tracked vehicles. In August 1944, he took command of a weapons support company. In the autumn of 1944, he was transferred to the post of Captain-Adjutant. In February 1945, he took command of B Company with the rank of Major, a rank which he still holds. He was demobilized on February 14, 1946.

Medals and Decorations
1939-1945 Star
France-Germany Star
Defence Medal
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
War Medal (1939-45)
Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France)
Croix de guerre avec palme (France)

After the War
After the war, Roméo L. Boulanger worked until his retirement for the Government of Canada. First in the Ministry of Veterans Affairs helping veterans establish themselves on agricultural  lands, and later in the Ministry of Indian Affairs and Northern Development where he was a Director General from 1957 until 1982 (the year of his retirement). In this connection, his territory covered all of Quebec as well as a portion of New Brunswick and Ontario.

As he was portrayed in a Juno Beach Centre exhibition in 2007, Roméo Boulanger declared:

I enlisted to help France, with my modest efforts, to free herself from her occupiers. France, land of our ancestors, could not remain alone and tortured by her invaders. Happily, it seems certain that our sacrifices were not in vain.

 

Bernières-sur-Mer, 1964. Capitain H. Rutledge (deceased), Major R. L. Boulanger, Capitain Daniel Paré (deceased) in front of the monument dedicated to the soldiers of Le Régiment de la Chaudière who fell on Juno.

 

Aldershot, England, 1942.

 

R.L.Boulanger (second from the left), basic training camp, Chicoutimi, Quebec, 1940.