Family medals passed on to MARPAC

Family medals passed on to MARPAC

Inset: The gifted medals originally awarded to the late Rear-Admiral Victor Brodeur throughout his 38-year-career in the military. They include Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, presented by King George VI for his services during the Second World War. Plus the United States Legion of Merit (Commander) presented by President Harry Truman for his work as the Canadian Naval Attache and Naval Member of the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington DC.

The walls of the Admiral’s suite at Maritime Force Pacific (MARPAC) Headquarters will now be home to an important piece of Royal Canadian Navy history.

In a small presentation held July 23 in the Wardroom, VAdm (Ret’d) Nigel Brodeur passed on the medals worn by his father Rear-Admiral Victor Brodeur to RAdm Bill Truelove, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific.

“My father cared very much about this navy, and that caring shaped the organization into what it is today,” said VAdm Brodeur, who followed in his father’s footsteps into the navy, and eventually retiring as Deputy Chief of Defence Staff in 1987. “In passing these on I hope to pass on his memory and passion for the Canadian Armed Forces. He would be very proud of everyone here today.”

RAdm Victor Brodeur served in the RCN for 38 years from 1909 to 1947. During his lengthy career, RAdm received recognition for his service from heads of state around the world.

Most notably, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by King George VI for services to the Empire. King George also awarded RAdm Brodeur with the CB (Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath), the senior honour for service “of the highest calibre” during the Second World War.

RAdm Brodeur was also recognized for his service by the United States. President Harry Truman awarded him the Degree of Commander in the United States Legion of Merit “for extraordinary fidelity and exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service” as Canadian Naval Attaché and Naval Member of the Canadian Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.

Also, among the medals presented were a service medal for participation in the 1914 Mexican Revolution, the Croix de Guerre avec Palme en Bronze from France, and the Second World War Victory Medal

During the presentation, VAdm Brodeur played a number of sound clips from an audio interview conducted with his late father during his retirement, speaking on his service during World War One, his feelings on the state of the navy following two world-spanning conflicts, its future, and his reflections on his career.

“I would do it all again in a second,” said RAdm Brodeur in the interview. “I enjoyed every minute of my time, and loved my service and my fellows very much.”
RAdm Truelove spoke on this sentiment and what it means in the modern day.

“I think if anything this shows us that our purpose has not changed and that we will always rise to the challenge. You and your father collectively laid the foundation for this navy and it’s up to us and those who follow us to carry our history forward. With these medals we will be reminded of you and your father’s careers, and carry the lessons on into the future.”


Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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