Canadian War Hero. Born of Aboriginal descent to Henry and Arabella Prince of the Brokenhead Ojibwa Nation in Scanterbury, Manitoba, Thomas 'Tommy' Prince was one of Canada's most decorated War heroes of both the Second World War and the Korean War. As a young boy growing up in Manitoba he attended the Elkhorn Residential School, and also became a superb marksman and tracker. After completing grade eight he took several jobs including one as a lumberjack. He later decided that military life was where he wanted to be. He volunteered with the Canadian Army and served from June 3, 1940 to August 3, 1945. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, and the First Special Service Force. The unit that trained for battle at Fort harrison in Helena, Montana, was made up of both American and Canadian servicemen, and became known as the 'Devil's Brigade.' After the war in 1946, he became Chairman of the Manitoba Indian Association. In 1950 he re-enlisted in the Canadian Army and served in the Korean War, where he again became a hero. He was awarded the Military Medal, United States Silver Star, United States Presidential Unit Citation, the Korea Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. After the Korean War he returned to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he became an instructor for new recruits. In 1955, he saved a man from drowning at Alexander Docks in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and again was cited for heroism. In his later years he soon became forgotten. He suffered from native discrimination, alcoholism, and painful arthritis in his knees. He lived as a vagrant in hostels, and passed away in a hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1977, at the age of 62. After his death, the Tommy Prince Award, and the Tommy Prince Scholarship, was established posthumously in his memory. Several streets and buildings was also named for him. The 1968 film, "The Devil's Brigade" was based on his units exploits.
Bio by: Kris 'Peterborough K' Peterson