Veteran Stories:
Clarence Joseph “CJ” Cormier

Army

  • Régiment de la Chaudiere landing craft.

    Clarence Cormier
  • Landing at Bény-sur-Mer, France.

    Clarence Cormier
  • July 1944, France.

    Clarence Cormier
  • Training, England, May 9th.

    Clarence Cormier
  • Liberation of Zwolle, The Netherlands, April 13, 1945.

    Clarence Cormier
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"When they asked me to go on Special Force, I volunteered right off the bat. You jumped on the plane and then you had your orders with you and when you got there, you burned them up. That was it."

Transcript

Have you ever seen the Devil? He comes in many forms. I was on a back road one time, going from road to the shore and a big black dog stood right in my path. It was a black dog, a big dog. He’s got red eyes. I would say that’s the Devil. That’s what I thought at the time. I turned my eyes the other way and I looked the other way, he was gone. I know it was a dog, you can always tell a dog. He didn’t growl, but looked at you. I said to myself, is that an omen or what? When they asked me to go on Special Force, I volunteered right off the bat. You jumped on the plane and then you had your orders with you and when you got there, you burned them up. That was it. But the best thing is to go at night, you don’t see anything, you just feel. You’re going over and you see a light way down about a mile there, a blue light or a green light, with everyone, and you see two or three more lights coming on. That’s the Underground [members of the local Resistance movement]. They’re waiting for you. Somebody says, we’re getting handy, when you press the green button - if you don’t go, I’m going to shove you. That was it. I was never sent to kill anybody, I wouldn’t tell you anyway if I [had killed anyone]. But if you were caught at it, you had to defend yourself, one way or the other. And they had a rifle that’s - what do you call it, there’s no sound to the rifle - a silencer. Breaking a twig and shooting same time and you’d never know where it came from, they didn’t know where you were. You couldn’t trust anybody when you were back in the lines, you were there alone. Some of them are too bad, too bad to talk about, sometimes, you know. Like to see a young kid getting hit or something there, killed or … I can see a soldier taking it because that’s going to happen anyway, so… but a young defenseless person, I can’t see it. Now I won’t say anything.
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