Leo Major

Leo Major

French-Canadian soldier.
Country: Canada

  1. Biography of Leo Major
  2. Early Life and Military Career
  3. Heroic Actions in the Battle of the Scheldt
  4. Refusal of Medals and Second Distinguished Conduct Medal
  5. Legacy

Biography of Leo Major

Leo Major, a Franco-Canadian soldier, was one of three Canadian soldiers to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the only Canadian to receive it twice, and the only soldier of the Allied forces to receive two such medals in two different wars. Throughout his military service, he performed several incredibly heroic acts, such as single-handedly liberating an entire city from enemy forces.

Leo Major

Early Life and Military Career

Leo Major first gained recognition for his bravery in Europe shortly after the legendary D-Day invasion in Normandy. During a reconnaissance mission, Leo managed to single-handedly capture a German armored vehicle containing crucial Nazi army codes and communication devices. A few days later, Leo encountered a patrol of SS soldiers. He killed four enemy soldiers but was injured when one of them managed to use an incendiary grenade, costing Leo his eyesight. However, Leo refused to be evacuated and continued his service. He primarily served as a scout and sniper, claiming that he only needed one eye for accurate aiming.

Leo Major

Heroic Actions in the Battle of the Scheldt

During the Battle of the Scheldt, Leo Major achieved another incredible feat by single-handedly capturing 93 German soldiers. During a reconnaissance mission, he encountered two German soldiers. Despite being soaked and freezing, Leo decided to take out his frustration on them. He seized one soldier and attempted to use him as bait, but the soldier's comrade tried to open fire. Leo managed to shoot him first. He then captured a German officer and proceeded to kill three more soldiers, forcing the entire garrison to surrender. The sight of a group of German soldiers, captured by a lone Canadian soldier, surprised an Allied unit passing by, causing them to open fire on their own. Leo led almost 100 enemy prisoners to the Allied camp.

Leo Major

Refusal of Medals and Second Distinguished Conduct Medal

For his extraordinary accomplishments, Leo Major was again recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal. This time, he accepted the award, which he received during the Korean War. Leo earned the second medal by capturing and holding a strategically important hill called "Hill 355." Initially held by an infantry division, the hill was lost due to heavy Chinese artillery fire. Leo and his reconnaissance-sniper group were sent to support the troops. They stealthily approached the hill and quickly eliminated the Chinese soldiers, retaking the hill. However, Leo faced intense enemy counterattacks with nearly 14,000 Chinese soldiers. Despite orders to retreat, Leo refused and held the position throughout the night. The Chinese continued their attempts to retake the hill for three more days, but Leo's determination prevailed. His remarkable leadership earned him his second Distinguished Conduct Medal.


Leo Major survived all the wars he participated in and passed away on October 12, 2008. He is still regarded as one of the greatest soldiers in Canadian military history and world history in general. His incredible bravery, heroism, and unwavering dedication to his comrades and mission are an inspiration to soldiers and civilians alike.