Dmytruk, Peter (1920–43)

The monument in Martres-de-Veyre to the memory of Peter Dmytruk (Demytruck)– “Pierre le Canadien.”
Barry Needham

Peter Dmytruk was born in Radisson, Saskatchewan on May 27, 1920. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in July 1941, and in 1942, after graduating from Bombing and Gunnery school, was assigned as Flight Sergeant to No. 405 “City of Vancouver” Bomber Squadron, flying from the bases of Topcliffe and Leeming, Yorkshire, England. On March 12, 1943, during a mission over France, a German fighter attacked the Lancaster on which Dmytruk was the rear gunner. He survived the crash of his plane and eventually escaped to the Auvergne region. He later served in the French Resistance for ten months, hijacking ammunition trucks, stealing supplies, blowing up railroads, and hiding Allied airmen who had been shot down. Dmytruk was captured and executed on December 9, 1943, in the village Les Martres-de-Veyre after being stopped at a German roadblock. He remains a local and national hero to the French, who in 1947 awarded Dmytruk the Croix de Guerre; in Les Martres-de-Veyre a street was named after him, and the French have erected a monument on the spot where he was killed. In Saskatchewan, Dmytruk Lake was named in his honour. In 1999 he was posthumously awarded the Nation Builders Award, which celebrates the contributions of outstanding Ukrainian Canadians from the province of Saskatchewan.

Dagmar Skamlová


Further Reading

Chisholm, D. 2001. Their Names Live On: Remembering Saskatchewan’s Fallen in World War II. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center.