Gilles Turcot

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Gilles Turcot
Born 9 December 1917
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Died 15 December 2010 (aged 93)
Magog, Quebec, Canada
Allegiance  Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army/Canadian Forces
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Commander, Mobile Command
Awards Order of Canada
Order of Military Merit
Canadian Forces Decoration

Lieutenant-General Gilles-Antoine Turcot CM CMM CD (9 December 1917 – 15 December 2010) was the Commander, Mobile Command of the Canadian Forces.

Military career[edit]

Educated at the Séminaire de Québec and Université Laval, Turcot enlisted in the Militia in 1935.[1]

He served in World War II, joining Royal 22e Régiment in 1939. After training in England for several years and defending the coast, the Regiment was sent in on the invasion of Sicily, where he was injured.[2] He later fought as a company commander in Eastern Italy, notably at the bitterly fought Battle of Ortona where his regiment was out-numbered but held off a determined German attack aimed at encircling the Canadian Division. He was promoted to command the Regiment when it was redeployed to fight in the liberation of Holland, liberating several Dutch towns.[3]

After the war, he attended the Canadian Army Staff College and later the Imperial Defense College in London. In 1952 he was appointed Director of Military Operations and Planning at National Defence Headquarters and in 1957 he was transferred to the International Commission for Supervision and Control of Laos.[1] Then in 1958 he was put in charge of administration at Quebec Command Headquarters in Montreal.[1]

He became Commanding Officer of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in CFB Calgary in 1959 and Director General of Military Training for the Canadian Army in 1962.[1] In 1964 he was made General Officer Commanding the Land Force Atlantic Area and in 1967 was appointed Commander of Allied Command Europe ("ACE") Mobile Force, a multinational NATO flank force based in Seckenheim, Germany. In 1969, he became Commander, Mobile Command.[1] which included all Canadian Land Forces. He led the military response to the October Crisis when the Front de libération du Québec initiated kidnappings in October 1970.[4] Subsequent to retirement he led the administration of the Montreal Olympics and later served as Honorary Colonel of the Royal 22e Regiment.[2]

Family[edit]

He married Helen Mitchell and had two daughters.[1]

References[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
William Anderson
Commander, Mobile Command
1969–1972
Succeeded by
William Milroy