Signaller Biography

Home> Signaller Biographies> Michael Comeau

Updated 8 August 2013



Other than for a couple of years as an Army Cadet and 6 months in the Armoured Corp Reserves, (Sussex N.B., my hometown); my military career began in 1958 when I joined the Royal Canadian Corp of Signals and trained at Vimy Barracks in Kingston, Ontario, as a Motorcycle Dispatch Rider. The Corp was soon re-named to Royal Canadian Signals (RCSigs) and I re-trained and qualified as a Signals Electrician.

In 1960, I was shipped-off to the Middle East to serve with the United Nations Emergency Force as a Signalman (Private). I spent a full year in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai village of Rafah, Egypt. I celebrated my 20th birthday in Cairo, Egypt during a rest & relaxation weekend.

Returning home in September of 1961, I decided to change trades and began training as a Physical Education and Recreation Instructor (PERI) and after my initial training, was posted to the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps School in Camp Borden. Due to the untimely-death of my wife at (her) age 20, I was returned to Kingston and served on the Phys Ed Staff at Vimy Barracks and assisting the Phys Ed Staff of the Royal Military College. I was 24 year old when my wife passed away. I was left with two daughters and life was quite difficult for while.

In 1966, I had the pleasure of being assigned to a Canadian Centennial, celebration activity; namely, the Canadian Armed Forces Motorcycle Display Team. After intensive trick rider training for a full year, we travelled from "coast to coast" in 1967, performing 125 shows over a period of 6 months. You can imagine the thrill and excitement of actually being "paid" to do tricks and stunts as the "starring attraction" in most towns and cities we visited! We had 21 broken bones, during our training year and "wrote-off" 20 motorcycles, as "scrap-for-parts". While on tour, we only had one serious accident, but everyone recovered.

At the conclusion of the Centennial Program, the Motorcycle Team was disbanded and I returned to my normal duties as a Phys Ed & Rec Instructor. In 1969, I was transferred to CFB North Bay, the home of Air Defence Command Headquarters and it’s infamous (underground), nuclear facilities. In concert with it's sister-facility in Colorado Spring, a nuclear attack could be launched from either facility, during the "cold war" years. At that time, North Bay also had a Bomarc missile site, armed with nuclear warheads! 

In 1975, while still assigned to CFB North Bay (Air Command), I was shipped to the Middle East to serve with the United Nations Emergency Force (II). I was assigned to the Canadian Contingent Headquarters in Ismailia, Egypt (Suez Canal zone) and was second-in-command of Welfare and Amenities for both Canadian and foreign United Nation’s Contingents. I ran a physical education, recreation and sports program and was responsible for the purchase and supply of all sports, recreation, and entertainment equipment as well as, vacation (R & R leave) tour operations. My "makeshift" gymnasium (actually a bombed-out theatre), was decorated in; "early-bullet-hole" motif, when I first arrived but was pretty nice by the time I completed my 6 month tour-of-duty. We even installed three swimming pools in our Camp, compliments of the Canadian government. The pools were a wonderful relief for the guys returning (for a break) from the BUFFER ZONES in the desert. 

Upon completion of this UNEF tour, I returned to CFB North Bay, was promoted and posted to the Canadian Forces School of Physical Education and Recreation (CFSPER) in Camp Borden, Ontario. I had the privilege of teaching my fellow tradespersons from all across Canada while teaching at our school. I served as Course Conductor and my primary subjects were; Physical Training Instruction, Unarmed Combat, Battle Physical Training, Survival Swimming, Tennis, Anatomy & Physiology, First Aid, Organization of Leagues & Tournaments, Volleyball (skills, coaching and officiating), Basketball, (skills coaching and officiating) and Competitive Badminton (skills, coaching and officiating).

I retired (while serving at the school) in 1979 and commenced a 20-year, second career with the Toronto Transit Commission, attended Toronto Police College, was appointed as a Special Constable, retiring as a Staff Sergeant in 2001.

I am now fully retired and enjoying the benefits of 43 years of hard (but interesting) work


Boating, gardening, travelling, volunteer humanitarian work, veteran-activities and family activities.

Member of the Bradford Legion, Barrie ANAVETS, Canadian Airborne Forces Association and the Canadian Association of Veterans in UN Peacekeeping. My dedicated-passion, is being the volunteer Director of the International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering. 


· Military Paratrooper Wings
· UNEF Medal (X2)
· UN Medal
· Canadian Decoration
· Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal
· Founding Chapter President of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, Central Ontario Chapter
· Former Provincial Director, Canadian Association of Veterans in UN Peacekeeping and one of a team of veteran's responsible for the Provincial Proclamation of Peacekeepers Day, 9th of August each year (2005).
· Recipient of the ICROSS Canada Humanitarian Award-2005, presented by the Lt Governor of Ontario at Queens Park in December of 2005 and MC’ed by Major Gen Lew MacKenzie (my proudest moment).
· Police College Diploma, Special Constable, Law Enforcement Toronto Transit (retiring as a Staff Sergeant in 2001.


"High boots and Desert Snakes and the PINKIES"
"Under House Arrest in the Cairo Leave Centre"
"The Start of War in Lebanon-a Peacekeeper’s Convoy in 1975"
"The North Star Flights to Egypt in 1960"
"Fun Flights with the Buffalo Pilot s- (cargo/only)"
"Chocolate Coated Insects in Pizza Italy"
"Waving the UN Flag and Yelling Ceasefire as you danced in bullets!"

*Note: these stories are embellished-half-truths, told to entertain school children. Makes them really smile and identify with the plight of a Peacekeeper. I often issue helmets so they don't get struck by any bomb-flak! (chuckle).

"A pleasure to have served and a joy; to continue serving"