A Korea War Medal to the Royal 22nd Regiment; KIA 1951
A Korea War Medal to the Royal 22nd Regiment; KIA 1951 - Canada Korea Medal (SD-4359 J.L.P. ISABELLE); Naming is officially engraved on the KM, with an over-engraving on the "B". Near extremely fine. Accompanied by an extensive file including copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, Test Results, Medical and Dental Records, Pay Records, Will, Telegrams, Estate Records, Correspondence between the Department of Veterans Affairs with both his Fiancee Pauline Gauthier and his mother Mrs. Louis Isabelle, plus a photocopied photograph of his Grave Marker in Korea. Footnote: Joseph Louis Philippe Isabelle was born on December 9, 1929 in Montreal, Quebec. His early education was at Matane, Gifford College in Quebec City, an Orphanage in Montreal and St. Vincent-de-Paul College in Laval, graduating in 1944. His parents had separated when he was young, with Isabelle finding himself residing with his mother, uncle or grandparents at various intervals. Due to financial strain, his mother was unable to have him continue his scholastic education past Grade Six but he was privately tutored by his uncle, a retired schoolteacher, achieving a level of Grade Eight equivalent under his uncle's tutorage. It was noted that his "M" score of 164, plus his vocabulary in French and in English, indicated that his Grade Eight level had been reached. He worked for his grandmother in the grocery store and on the farm from 1945 to 1947, as a Helper at Anticosti from 1947-1948, as a Labourer for six months at a pulp mill in Matane from 1948-1949, in 1949 as an Investigator for the National Investigation Bureau in Montreal and as a commissioned Book Salesman for Jean Bonnell Stationery in Montreal from 1949-1950. He sought out employment in the Army, "as a means of livelihood and to get established in anything secure" and was "Willing to serve anywhere." He signed his Attestation Paper with the Canadian Army Active Force on August 8, 1950 in Montreal, engaging for three years' service as a Private, naming his next-of-kin as his father, Mr. Louis Isabelle, stating that he had no previous military service and that he was single. He was engaged at the time of enlistment to Pauline Gauthier and volunteered for parachutist training as "he had no fear of height". His general appearance (slight but athletic build), together with his fighting spirit, impressed the Army assessor enough to recommend Isabelle for parachutist training. He also signed a separate document, volunteering for parachute training. He is documented as having joined the Royal 22nd Regiment and having received training at three locations in Quebec (Montreal, St. Jean, Valcartier) and one in Manitoba (Rivers, where he attended FAP). Isabelle passed the two week Airportability Advanced Course on November 18, 1950. In an Army Course Report Form, dated June 15, 1951, it documents that he passed the two week Scouts & Snipers Course and went on to state that he was "Capable of performing duties as Sniper or Scout" and that "This man should be employed as a Sniper in the Bn. with a bit more experience he should be an excellent Sniper." He continued to take additional courses in Synthetic Ground Training (two weeks), Tower Training (one week), Aircraft Descents (one week, where he completed five aircraft descents and qualified as an average parachutist), Winter Indoctrination (February 1951), in addition to qualifying as a Driver (Welled, March 1951). Isabelle had a history of discipline problems while at Valcartier. He was charged with "an act to the prejudice of good order and military discipline" over an incident that took place on the night of February 20-21, 1951. A District Court Martial absolved him, as they came to the conclusion that there was "No Case". He was later cited for a series of other infractions and disciplined accordingly: March 1951, neglected to place his kit according to Kit Layout (Confined to Barracks for three days); March 1951, neglected to return his rifle to the Quarter Master (Confined to Barracks for four days); April 1951, paraded himself to the Adjutant without authority (Confined to Barracks for five days); April 1951, appeared on parade unshaved and using insubordinate language (fourteen days detention); May 1951, found with seventeen cigarettes and two letters concealed in his socks and boots (admonished); and May 1951, bed improperly made (admonished). With hostilities in the Korean theatre in full swing, he was transferred from the Royal 22nd Regiment to the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps ("X" 4 (2 Canadian Administration Unit)) on July 6, 1951, in addition to qualifying as a Driver (Wheeled) the same day. He embarked Canada for the Far East on the 7th, disembarking there on the 18th. Upon arrival, he was treated for Venereal Disease at the British Commonwealth Occupation Force General Hospital at Kure, Japan. He was soon in the Korean theatre and admitted to No. 25 Canadian Field Ambulance with a Penile Ulcer on July 25th, where he to was spend the next 39 days, before being discharged on September 2nd. Isabelle was taken on strength from "X" 4 (2 CAU) to No. 1 Canadian Forces Supply System on September 10, 1951, where he was to serve for two months before being transferred to D Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment (1st Canadian Army Division) on November 9th. After two weeks in the field with the Royal 22nd, Isabelle was Killed in Action, as he suffered a wound from a missile in his back, after taking an artillery direct hit on November 23, 1951. He was buried on November 27th in the United Nations Military Cemetery at Tanggok, Korea, Plot Number Allied 20, Row Number 8, Grave Number 1201, his burial rites conducted by Captain Robert J. Dwyer, Roman Catholic Chaplain of the American Forces. In his Will, dated August 8, 1950, it stated that "I Give, Devise and Bequeath unto my Fiancee Miss Pauline Gauthier residing at (blanked out) all my estate both real and personal whatsoever situate for her own sole use personal benefit." Pauline Gauthier was the sole beneficiary of his estate and was awarded a War Service Gratuity in the amount of $94.98 and a Defence Services Pension of $219.50. However, in the Spring of 1954, Isabelle's mother, Mrs. Louis Isabelle wrote a letter in April to the Department of Veterans Affairs requesting his decorations, even though the Will clearly stated that the entire estate would go to Miss Gauthier. Mrs. Isabelle knew that all his previous personal items and estate had gone to Gauthier, as per the Will, although she was not happy about it. A response came from the Department of Veterans Affairs in May. Although they were sympathetic to the fact that she lost her son and wanted the medals as a keepsake, they made it clear that the Will was quite legal and that the medals were to go to Gauthier.