A WWII Memorial Cross Group to Flight Sergeant Charles E. Paquin
A WWII Memorial Cross Group to Flight Sergeant Charles E. Paquin - Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp; and War Medal 1939-1945. Un-mounted, with original ribbons. Accompanied by his Memorial Cross, ERII (R-59019 F/SGT. C.E. PAQUIN). Naming is officially engraved on the MC, with bar suspension. Both medals and the cross with dark patinas, the medals with their cardboard boxes of issue, the MC with its hardshelled case of issue, extremely fine. Accompanied by copies of his Service Award Computer Card (confirming his award of the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp and the War Medal 1939-1945), Medals and Memorials - Deceased Personnel Index Card, Attestation Paper, Service Records, Department of National Defence Official Duty Letter for Proceeding to the United States of America (dated May 13, 1944), Dominion of Canada - Medical Services Case Sheet (Specialist Report, dated September 11, 1944), RCAF Medical Board Proceedings Report (dated September 12, 1944), Department of Pensions and National Health Service Interview Summary (dated September 29, 1944) and Discharge Certificate. Footnote: Charles Edward Paquin was born on April 7, 1913 in St. Boniface, Manitoba, the son of Frederic Paquin and Olivine Paquin (nee Bibeau). HIs early education included Oblate Sisters' School for Boys (1920 to 1924) and St. Boniface College (1924 to 1928), where he achieved a Grade Eleven education. After the completion of his schooling, he was employed as a Teamster beginning in 1933, working for his father under contract work for the City of St. Boniface, until 1936, when they lost the contact. During this time, he took a wife, marrying Mary Paquin (nee Bodnarchuk), on November 9, 1935. They were later to have one child together, a daughter, Helene Olivine Marie Paquin. He was then employed as a Sausage Maker with Canada Packers in St. Boniface for five months, from May 1937 to October 1937, but lost his job due to lack of work. The following Summer, he sought employment with the City of St. Boniface as a Labourer and would hold the position for the next seven months, from June 1939 to December 1939, when he finished his term of work. Paquin enrolled in a course in Electricity and Radio with the Dominion Provincial Vocational Training School in St. Boniface on February 1, 1940, finishing the course successfully and graduating as a "Radio Electrician" on May 20th. As a hobby, he had always been interested in radio, as well as participating in fishing, swimming and skating. Paquin was a resident of St. Boniface when he enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force, signing his RCAF Attestation Paper, on May 28, 1940, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the age of 27, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was married to Mary Paquin (later of Toronto, Ontario) and that he was "Unemployed". He was bilingual, in that he could both read and write English and French and stated his citizenship as "French-Canadian". He began his service in the RCAF as an Aircraftman 2nd Class, striving to become a Wireless Operator, Ground (WOG). He was transferred to No. 1 Manning Depot in Toronto on June 5th, before being posted to No. 1 Wireless School in Montreal, Quebec on November 9th. It was here that he was secured as a Wireless Mechanic Group "A", the highest standard in his trade. He was to see a series of promotions in 1941 and 1942, including: to Aircraftman 1st Class (June 23, 1941), to Acting Corporal (November 1, 1941), to Leading Aircraftman (January 1, 1942), to Temporary Corporal (February 1, 1942) and to Temporary Sergeant (July 1, 1942). After twenty-eight months at No. 1 Wireless School, he was posted for the next five months to No. 3 Training Command Headquarters in Montreal, in a teaching capacity, as a Technical Advisor under the Wartime Emergency Training Program (WETP), on March 14, 1943, before being transferred to Eastern Air Command Headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on August 12, 1943. It was here that he was promoted to Temporary Flight Sergeant, on November 1, 1943. In early May 1944, he was posted to RCAF Headquarters in Ottawa, for transfer to the United States, in order to attend a course of instruction at the Federal Telephone Company in Newark, New Jersey. He departed Ottawa on May 13, 1944, with an expected return date of October 30th. While in the New York area, he began to develop symptoms of shortness of breath and swelling of the ankles, along with chest pain. After a brief hospitalization, he made a hasty return to Canada on July 31st, for treatment at RCAF Station Rockcliffe. In his Dominion of Canada - Medical Services Case Sheet (Specialist Report), dated September 11, 1944, at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, the doctor stated that "This senior N.C.O. has a history suggestive of rheumatic fever in childhood without any further trouble until he was on a course in New York during the spring of this year. About May 20 1944 he began to develop symptoms of shortness of breath and swelling of the ankles. Also attacks of constricting precordial (chest) pain. He was admitted to hospital in Newark, New Jersey. No report is available of their findings. In June 1942 on routine examination his heart disease was discovered. He was told at that time to restrict his activities. The patient has been admitted to this hospital for investigation and assessment." It was also noted that he was "A rather obese appearing healthy male.", with an enlarged heart. The cardiologist determined that Paquin had "rheumatic heart disease with early enlargement and probably both mitral aortic valvular damage." and was determined "not fit for duty". In his RCAF Medical Board Proceedings Report, dated September 12, 1944, at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, he stated that he felt it "difficult go to sleep at night.", that he felt "well during the day, while working, but after meals" he got "cramps", on the "left side underneath the heart". He was often "short of breath", with his "ankles and hands getting puffy" and a "sort of stiffness and tingling" in his fingers. He was "conscious of (his) heart beating and at night it 'shakes' the bed." Two and a half weeks later, he was re-assessed in Montreal. In his Department of Pensions and National Health Service Interview Summary, dated September 29, 1944, the examiner noted that Paquin was officially diagnosed with "Rheumatic Heart Disease with Mitral Insufficiency and Aortic Regurgitation". The examiner noted that Paquin had been previously employed by the Department of Vocational Training as an Instructor in Radio and Electronics in General and had directly been connected and instructing in Radio for the past four years. He had acted as a Technical Advisor under the Wartime Emergency Training Program (WETP). It was noted that he was a "competent mature intelligent personality, who has held responsible positions in the RCAF connected with his trade. Service career has been very good - generally a much above average type." and that he was an "ambitious type". Paquin had plans after the war to continue studies, leading to a BSc, the examiner noting that he "Would surely take advantage of any opportunity offered him." and that he came "Highly recommended." Paquin was discharged on Medical Grounds and transferred to the General Section of the Reserve, Class "E", at No. 3 Training Command Discharge Unit, in Montreal, on November 6, 1944, entitled to wear the War Service Badge, number 109682. For his Second World War Service, he was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp and the War Medal 1939-1945. He died on October 11, 1958, at the age of 45. Memorial Crosses were issued to his widow, Mrs. Mary Paquin, on April 30, 1959 and to his mother, Mrs. Olivine Paquin, on May 20, 1959.