By WO CE (Terry) Warner, CD BA, Mapping and Charting Establishment
The Canadian Military Engineers are pleased to advise that Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis presented the National Order of the Legion of Honour to WW II Veteran Warrant Officer 2nd Class George Fouchard, CD (Ret’d) on 10 November 2015 at the Embassy of France on behalf of the Government of France. WO2 Fouchard is a retired wartime cartographer who landed in France as a member of 3 Field (Repro) Survey Company Royal Canadian Engineers and participated in the Battle of the Liberation of France.
Some background on this honour is found at: Wikipedia List of Canadian recipients of the Legion d'Honneur. Over 1000 surviving Canadian veterans of the Liberation were identified in the course of the French government’s efforts to recognize those who freed their country. The 10 November ceremony was the last of the campaign.
George Fouchard joined The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa in September 1939 and was recommended for the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE) in April 1943. After receiving specialist training, he was posted to the newly formed 3 Field (Repro) Survey Company RCE as a “map draftsman”. Three similarly equipped companies were busy throughout 1943 learning how to support the ever-expanding Canadian Army. By spring 1944 they were making the maps of France inland from the planned D-Day Normandy beaches.
George’s company arrived in Normandy at Bernières-sur-Mer in late July 1944 in a Landing Ship, Tank with their trucks, printing presses, portable darkrooms and other stores. They were immediately put to work preparing the maps for Canadian forces in the recapture of Caen and closing the Falaise Gap. The companies moved many times, taking over school buildings for short periods, otherwise they worked under canvas or outdoors. As a cartographer Sapper Fouchard’s job was to annotate the topographic maps from the latest air photos, and prepare defence overprints of known enemy dispositions. George was in northern Holland when the war ended, and he returned to Ottawa in September 1945.
He served in Army Survey Establishment until 1966, and worked another seven years for the Geological Survey of Canada. George and Betty Fouchard, who came to Canada as an English war bride, have been married over 70 years. They live in Ottawa.