Tommy Prince movie

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Tommy Prince movie

Post  MacDaddy on Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:04 pm

Born in Manitoba, Canada, he was one of eleven children of Henry and Arabella Prince of the Ojibw'e Nation at the Brokenhead reservation in Scanterbury, Manitoba. He was a descendant of the Indian chief, Peguis, who had led his nation from Sault Ste. Marie to the southern end of Lake Winnipeg in the late 1790s, keeping their French name, the Saulteaux.

Growing up, Prince became a superb marksman with exceptional tracking skills learned from countless days spent hunting in the wilderness around his Indian reserve. He attended Elkhorn Residential School, completing grade eight. After leaving school, he was employed at a variety of manual labor positions but primarily as a tree feller.

At the outbreak of World War II Prince volunteered to fight with the Canadian Army and although Prince easily met the requirements for recruitment, he was turned down several times before he was finally accepted on June 3, 1940. He was originally a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers, trained as a sapper. He volunteered for duty with a parachute unit designated the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. This designation was used to disguise the true reason for the recruitment of parachute volunteers in the UK at that time. Britain, the United States, Canada, and Norway had begun the formation of a special force to conduct sabotage in Norway. Men were recruited in Canada and the overseas army for this Force dubbed the 1st Special Service Force. The Canadians involved with this training continued to be on strength of their prior units. Although later dubbed the 2nd Canadian Parachute Battalion for administrative purposes, the unit did not actually exist. Prince then reported to the U.K.'s parachute school at RAF Ringway, near Manchester. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in February 1941.

In September 1942 Prince returned to Canada and joined the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion (1CPB), and was promoted to sergeant. It was determined by the CO of the Force that no more men could be absorbed from the UK due to lack of time to prepare the men for their mission. The Canadians then decided to go ahead with the actual raising of the 1CPB. Prince volunteered for this unit and proceeded to Fort Benning Georgia where they were forming. Shortly after, the Force mission to Norway had been cancelled. By December 1942 other alternative operations for the Force were being proposed. The Canadians were well below strength due to injuries in training and washouts. The Canadians then agreed to bolster the Force by allowing men from the growing 1CPB to volunteer for the Force. Between December 1942 and the beginning of 1943 some men decided to make a move to the Force. Prince was one of these men. Not only did he parachute train in the UK method but he also received US parachute training. Although the Force was not technically a parachute unit, the CO of the Force, Colonel Robert T. Frederick wanted his men familiar with parachute training should a parachute descent be required in future operations. Prince, and the other men of this unit were originally chosen for their rugged outdoor backgrounds and received a rigorous training schedule, often under live fire. All members of this elite squad received intense instruction in stealth tactics, hand-to-hand combat, the use of explosives for demolition, amphibious warfare, rock climbing and mountain fighting, and as ski troops. Prince became a "Reconnaissance Sergeant" or in the Force table of organization a "Scout", responsible for moving into forward positions and reporting on the movements of the enemy.

The SSF moved to Italy in November 1943. They would take part in the clearing of the Bernhard or Winter Line preventing the Allied push towards Rome. They attacked and captured Monte la Difensa, Hill 720, Monte Majo, and Monte Vischiataro in December and January. They were then moved to Anzio. On February 8, 1944, near Littoria, Italy, Prince was sent forward to report the location of several German assembly points, including artillery positions. He set up in an abandoned farmhouse about 200 metres from the enemy assembly area, well behind enemy lines, with 1,400 metres of telephone wire connecting him to the force. He had a clear view of the enemy's emplacements and promptly reported them. An artillery duel followed as the Allies attempted to knock out the guns reported by Prince, and one of these rounds cut the telephone wire. The duel died down as a result. Prince donned civilian clothing, grabbed a hoe and, in full view of German soldiers, pretended to be a farmer weeding his crops. He slowly inched his way along the line till he found where it was damaged, then, pretending to tie his shoelaces, rejoined the wires. After finishing the repairs, he made a show of shaking his fist at the nearby Germans, then again toward the Allied lines.[1] Returning to his lookout spot, he continued his reports, and over the next 24 hours four German batteries were knocked out of action.[2] In all he spent three days behind enemy lines. For this action, Prince was awarded the Military Medal, his citation reading (in part) "Sergeant Prince's courage and utter disregard for personal safety were an inspiration to his fellows and a marked credit to his unit."

After being the vanguard of the US Forces liberating Rome on 4 June 1944, the SSF was moved to southern France as part of Operation Dragoon. First they would assault the Hyeres Islands before going ashore at Sylvabelle on the French Riviera. There the Force was ordered,as part of the 1st Airborne Task Force, to push eastward towards the Franco-Italian border. On September 1, Prince and a private were sent forward through the German lines to scout their positions near L'Escarène and came across an encampment area of an enemy reserve battalion. On the way back to report, Prince and the private came upon a battle between some Germans and a squad of French partisans. They started sniping the Germans, who eventually withdrew. When Prince made contact with the French leader, he asked Prince where his company was located, when Prince pointed to the private and said "Here," the French commander exclaimed that he thought there were fifty of them. The French commander recommended Prince for the Croix de Guerre, but the courier was killed en route and the message never reached the French Commander-in-Chief, Charles de Gaulle.[3]

Prince continued on to reach his unit. He then personally led the unit back to the encampment and joined in the battle, which resulted in the capture of the entire battalion, about 1000 men. From start to end, Prince had been without food, water or sleep for 72 hours and had walked over 70 km across rugged, mountainous terrain. Afterward, Prince was recommended for the Silver Star, his citation reading:
“ So accurate was the report rendered by the patrol that Sergeant Prince's regiment moved forward on 5 September 1944, occupied new heights and successfully wiped out the enemy bivouac [encampment] area. The keen sense of responsibility and devotion to duty displayed by Sergeant Prince is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the Allied Nations. ”


After it was determined that both US and Canadian personnel would be better suited if they were dispersed to units in their own forces, the 1st Special Service Force was disbanded in December 1944. After returning to the UK, Prince was summoned to Buckingham Palace on February 12, 1945 where King George VI presented him with his Military Medal. He asked the CO of the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Jack Akehurst to accompany him. Once it was determined in early 1943 that the force was to be sent into action the Canadian Government had to promulgate a unit so that matters of promotions and permanent transfers to the unit could be made. This unit was promulgated in April–May 1943 as the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion. Prince would later receive his Silver Star on behalf of the American President from US General Koening on April 24, 1945. In all, Tommy Prince was decorated nine times, the most of any aboriginal soldier in the war. The war in Europe ended while Prince was in England.

Filming this year is a 3 part bio movie of Tommy Prince starring Adan Beach. I cannot wait to see it !!!

MacDaddy

Posts : 20
Join date : 2011-02-09
Age : 50
Location : near Collingwood Ontario

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Re: Tommy Prince movie

Post  John Dallimore on Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:47 am

They contacted me regarding that movie last summer(2010) and were supposed to start filming in the Fall. I never heard another word from them. I was told that they had some other productions which had priority, so who knows when they'll get it started.
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John Dallimore

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LET ME KNOW!!

Post  MacDaddy on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:17 am

John

If they finally get around to getting back to you and want to use the group as extras, I'M IN!!

MacDaddy

Posts : 20
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Age : 50
Location : near Collingwood Ontario

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Re: Tommy Prince movie

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