Pete Lemon

The Vietnam War hero Canada forgot

One steamy April Fool’s Day during the Vietnam War, a kid from Toronto named Pete Lemon found himself bloodied and besieged at a U.S army outpost. Hell on Earth, they later called it.

Pete was all of 19. His machine-gun growled and glowed in the jungle night until it jammed on dust. He fought hand to hand. He was wounded three times. He saved his mates. He was Gary Cooper as Sergeant York.

His heroics that night won him the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military award, the first Canadian-born winner since the Second World War, plus a chestful of other baubles. Two Bronze Stars, two Air Medals, Purple Heart, Gallantry Cross …

NB: about 30,000 Canadians volunteered to fight in southeast Asia

  • Minicapt

    Corporal William Henry Metcalf, MM
    16th Battalion (The Canadian Scottish) CEF
    Arras 2 September 1918
    Buried in Eastport, Maine, USA
    Medals at The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) Regimental Museum in Victoria, British Columbia
    Note: One of only six Americans to receive the Victoria Cross


  • Drunk_by_Noon

    We had far more Canadians volunteer to fight in Vietnam alongside us and under our colors than we had Americans that ran away to Canada.
    As always, the comments section at the Sun is a disappointment.

    I always wondered how much all of those draft dodgers dragged Canadian politics to the left, and if that was why Pierre Trudeau would not deport them.

    • Minicapt

      The problem was that people in the State Department were under the impression that they were responsible for providing direction to Canada in international matters, in the absence of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
      Plus Mike Pearson had spent quality time in the trenches during WW1.