David LaBonte (1931)

David Labonte was born in 1931 in Tecumseh, Ontario. He served for three years in the Royal 22nd Regiment, which came to be known as Vingt-deux (twenty two in French). He completed basic and advanced training in Quebec at Camp Mount Prince, and left for Korea in April 1952.

One of his most memorable moments in Korea surrounds the death of his friend. A water shell landed about five feet from where David had been standing. He said that if it had exploded any further from him, he would have been buried alive by all the dirt that was thrown into the air. A friend of his who was standing about thirty feet away was not as lucky. He was impaled by shrapnel which pierced his arm and his heart, killing him instantly. David stayed in Korea for 13 months before returning to Canada to continue service with the military as an instructor.

He married his wife in 1958 and had four children. After his service, he worked at Chrysler for six years before spending the remainder of his work-life with Canada Customs. He retired in 1986 at the age of 58.