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Former MP Passes Away
Former Liberal MP and retired Rear Admiral Fred Mifflin has passed away. A native of Bonavista, Mifflin entered politics after a respected career with the Royal Canadian Navy. He was first elected as MP for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception in 1988 and served for a time as Fisheries Minister and the Minister Responsible for Veterans Affairs. Mifflin died in hospital in Ottawa on Saturday following a brief illness at the age of 75. Mifflin had been living in Ottawa in recent years to be closer to his family. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
Former Liberal MP Dies
A well-known political figure has passed away. Former Liberal MP and retired Rear Admiral Fred Mifflin, a native of Bonavista, died in hospital in Ottawa on Saturday following a brief illness at the age of 75. His friend of many years, Fred Cuff, described the legacy Mifflin left behind.
Cuff spoke of the physical and structural legacies left behind such as his work on the Ryan Premises National Historic Site, the Rising Tide Theatre, the Carbonear Events Centre, the Admirals Marina in Harbour Grace, the Matthew Replica, the Church Street development, the Village Green, the Smallwood Statue, and Barbara Living Heritage just to name a few.
But, Cuff says, Mifflin's work extended beyond the structural legacy he created. According to Cuff, he was a man driven by his compassion and caring for people and their livelihoods. He spoke of the difficult impact of the cod moratorium of the '90s and how Mifflin helped fishermen preserve their way of life by creating the inshore shrimp fishery for small boats. Cuff says his efforts didn't stop there.
Crab fisherman formerly had permits for small boats, Cuff says, but Mifflin made those permits into permanent licenses, thereby guaranteeing seasonal work for the fisherman. This again helped fishermen and families stay in rural Newfoundland to live and work.
Mifflin entered politics after a respected career with the Royal Canadian Navy. He was first elected as MP for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception in 1988 and served for a time as Fisheries Minister and the Minister Responsible for Veterans Affairs. A wake will be held for the former MP on Thursday and funeral services will take place on Friday.
E.R. Campbell said:MGen (ret'd) Dan Loomis of The RCR passed away a few days ago. He was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in addition to severe disability in his legs and hips as a result of his wounds while serving with The RCR in Korea. His wife advised that Dan Loomis passed away in the hospital in Ottawa on Thursday, 5 December. She also advises that there will not be a public funeral or burial.
I will post more when The Regiment releases more information. MGen Loomis was wounded at Hill 355 but refused to be evacuated.
E.R. Campbell said:More, from The Regimental net, re the passing of MGen (ret'd) Dan Loomis:
A Regimental icon, who can also be fairly described as a Regimental giant, has recently died. Major-General Dan Gordon Loomis, MC, OMM, CD (Ret'd) passed away in hospital at Ottawa last Thursday, 05 December 2013. He was 84 years
of age. Mrs. Lorna Loomis, wife of Major-General Loomis, has confirmed that there will be no public funeral and interment. As a platoon commander with 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment (1 RCR) in Korea, 1952-1953, Major-General Loomis
was decorated for gallantry in action and was awarded the Military Cross (MC). Later he rose to become Commanding Officer of 1 RCR, 1969-1971. From this time he emerged as a key senior Regimental leader and was one of the principal
architects of the modern organization of The Royal Canadian Regiment.
Dan Gordon Loomis was born at Montreal, Quebec in 1929 and eventually attended Lower Canada College in Montreal. His first experience of soldiering occurred in 1944 during the Second World War he enlisted in the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
as a 15 year old Boy Soldier. Major-General Loomis attended Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) in Victoria, BC from 1948-1950 and Royal Military College (RMC) at Kingston, Ontario from 1950-1952. He graduated from RMC in 1952 as
a Rhodes Scholar. In 1952 Major-General Loomis commissioned as an officer into 1 RCR. He subsequently served as a platoon commander in "C" Company, 1 RCR in Korea from April 1952 - March 1953. On the night of 27 September 1952
Lieutenant Loomis led a patrol of "C" Company men against Chinese positions on Hill 227, a powerful enemy bastion. During the patrol contact was made with the enemy. In the short but savage engagement that ensued grenades and
small arms fire were exchanged at short range. Lieutenant Loomis and three of his men were wounded. Dan Loomis received severe shrapnel wounds to his legs and hips (debilitating injuries from which he suffered for the rest of his life).
Nevertheless, under the leadership of Lieutenant Loomis the "C" Company patrol carried the fight to the enemy, eliminating a Chinese machine-gun while killing its crew. For his gallantry and leadership in this action Loomis was subsequently
awarded the Military Cross. He was one of only 33 Canadian officers to received the MC during the Korean War.
Following his return to Canada from Korea, Dan Loomis attended Queen's University in Kingston, graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Chemical Engineering. During 1954-1955 he returned to Regimental service with
1 RCR, first at Wolseley Barracks in London, Ontario, then at Fort York, Soest, West Germany. Remaining in Germany Lieutenant Loomis was employed as a staff officer at the Canadian Brigade Headquarters during 1955-1956. Promoted to
Captain in 1956, he attended the Royal Military College of Science in England from 1956-1958. Captain Loomis was to eventually graduate at the top of his class receiving a further science degree. Not surprisingly with his background in science,
Captain Loomis next served as a Technical Staff Officer at the Joint Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Warfare School at at Camp Borden, Ontario during 1958-1959. From 1959-1961 he attended the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston.
Promoted to the rank of Major, Dan Loomis commanded a rifle company in 1 RCR from 1961-1962, first at Camp Ipperwash, Ontario, then at Fort York in Soest, West Germany. From 1962-1964 Major Loomis was employed as an Operations Staff Officer
at British 1st Corps Headquarters (British Army of the Rhine). Returning to Canada in 1964 he was then a staff officer at Mobile Command (Army) Headquarters. Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, Dan Loomis attended Queen's University, 1967-1969,
graduating with an M.A.
Lieutenant-Colonel D.G. Loomis would now command 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment from 15 January 1969 - 21 February 1971. Concurrently he would serve as Home Station Commander. During his tenure of command
1 RCR mounted two significant operations. The first was Operation SNOWGOOSE 13, a Battalion deployment to Cyprus on UN peacekeeping duties from March-October 1970. Returning from Cyprus, 1 RCR was flung almost immediately into the
FLQ Crisis (also referred to as the October Crisis), participating in Operation GINGER, an internal security operation designed to apprehend a potential insurrection instigated by FLQ terrorists in the province of Quebec. In addition to commanding
1 RCR at this time, Lieutenant-Colonel Loomis was also acted as the Chief of Staff of the Western Quebec Sector during the FLQ Crisis. Dan Loomis would eventually write an account of the Canadian army's role in the FLQ Crisis,
"Not Much Glory: Quelling the FLQ," published in 1984.
Following the period during which he commanded 1 RCR, D.G. Loomis was employed at NDHQ in a staff capacity from September 1971 - November 1972. Immediately following this he served as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the Canadian Contingent,
serving at Saigon in Vietnam as international military observers and monitors during the climactic phase if the Vietnam conflict, 1972-1973. Dan Loomis then served as a Special Policy Advisor at NDHQ from 1973-1974. Eventually attaining
the rank of Major-General, he would subsequently hold a myriad of important posts, including: Chief of Staff Mobile Command HQ; Commander C.A.S.T. Combat Group and CFB Petawawa; and NDHQ Chief of Programme.
Following retirement Major-General Loomis served as a senior-level management consultant and advisor to, among others, the Treasury Board, the Department of External Affairs, and various private sector entities. Major-General D.G. Loomis
is most certainly one of our most important Regimental leaders. His importance to our Regimental development in the modern era is absolutely fundamental.
I have attached a photo of Major-General Loomis and his highly illuminating article, "The Regimental System."
Maj.-Gen. Dan Loomis — 1929-2013
‘Valiant officer’ led army in Ottawa-Hull during FLQ Crisis
BY CHRIS COBB, OTTAWA CITIZEN
JANUARY 10, 2014
Maj.-Gen. Dan Loomis, former commanding officer and a principal architect of the modern Royal Canadian Regiment, was chief of staff in West Quebec during the FLQ Crisis and a soldier who took enormous pride in Canada’s military role as international peacekeeper.
He died Dec. 5 at age 84.
Former Chief of Defence Staff Ramsey Withers, a close friend and contemporary, describes Loomis as “a valiant officer — one of the best officers I knew.”
The two met in 1948 as cadets at Royal Roads Military College and completed their academic education at Kingston where Loomis studied chemical engineering.
“Dan was a brilliant student and an honours graduate,” said Withers, “but he had no intention of joining the regular army. Those of us who were going into the regular army as opposed to the reserves were called to muster. An officer from army headquarters came and said ‘when you graduate all of you are going to the Korean War’ so Dan wasn’t in that line up. But when news got around the college that we were being posted, he hastened across to see if he could join.”
It was in Korea that Loomis was awarded the Military Cross and suffered an injury from which he would never fully recover. He was one of only 33 Canadians to receive the Military Cross during the Korean conflict.
As Withers recalls it, Loomis led a fighting patrol with orders to capture an enemy soldier who could provide intelligence on Chinese army formations. He established an operating base and pushed ahead closer to enemy lines where he was ambushed.
“He was wounded and bleeding,” said Withers. “He got back to his front base and evacuated the whole of his patrol into battalion lines. He made his report, looked after everyone and wouldn’t allow himself to be treated until all his people had been looked after and he had done his job.”
When the two socialized, the conversation inevitably turned to military matters.
“We had lots of good discussions — military academic discussions,” said Withers. “He was a brilliant scholar and after his retirement he wrote extensively about military matters.
Loomis downplayed his many military achievements and despite his deep knowledge, could be a down-to-earth communicator.
In a 1988 interview with the Ottawa Citizen, he compared Canada the peacekeeper with the patriarch on TV’s Bonanza, played by Lorne Greene.
“Our peacekeepers have to be like Pa Cartwright on Bonanza,’’ said Loomis, who served on peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Vietnam after three years of combat in Korea.
“Pa Cartwright had to settle some pretty strong arguments and he did it by standing firm between the two sides, and by earning a reputation for fairness. So Canada has to be like the Cartwrights, with Pa using common sense and humour too.
“Canada expects that from kids right out of high school,” he added, “and they have come through for 40 years.’’
But he took pains to emphasize that peacekeeping was no benign activity.
“It’s not a very romantic job,’’ he said. ‘’It’s traumatic as hell, and dangerous. The work is psychologically exhausting, and physiologically exhausting too. Armies by definition use maximum force to overcome the enemy. But in peacekeeping, our soldiers must use only minimum force, and only in self-defence. That means our guys don’t shoot back.’’
So Loomis, a consummate military professional, led the sort of life that could fill a book.
He was born in Montreal in 1929 and was the grandson of Sir Frederick Loomis who commanded the Third Canadian Division during the First World War.
Dan Loomis enlisted with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa when he was 15 and attended Royal Roads in Victoria, B.C. from 1948-1950 and Royal Military College at Kingston, Ontario from 1950-1952. He was commissioned as an officer in 1RCR shortly afterwards.
He was a platoon commander in “C” Company, 1 RCR in Korea from April 1952 to March 1953. According to his regimental biography, the injury described by his buddy Withers happened on the night of Sept. 27 1952: “Lt. Loomis led a patrol of “C” Company men against Chinese positions on Hill 227, a powerful enemy bastion. During the patrol, contact was made with the enemy. In the short but savage engagement that ensued, grenades and small arms fire were exchanged at short range. Lt. Loomis and three of his men were wounded. Dan Loomis received severe shrapnel wounds to his legs and hips (debilitating injuries from which he suffered for the rest of his life).”
Promoted to lieutenant colonel, Loomis commanded 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment from Jan. 15 1969 to Feb. 21 1971, serving concurrently as Home Station Commander.
During his command, Loomis led 1RCR into two major operations. The first was Operation Snowgoose 13, a UN peacekeeping operation in Cyprus from March to October 1970. Almost immediately after Snowgoose, he was plunged into the FLQ Crisis, playing key part in Operation Ginger, an internal security operation designed to stamp out the FLQ’s attempted insurrection.
In addition to commanding 1 RCR, Loomis was Chief of Staff of the Western Quebec Sector during the crisis and in 1984 published “Not Much Glory: Quelling the FLQ” in which he challenged a popular view that the FLQ was — in the words of former separatist premier René Lévesque — “a couple of dozen young terrorists whose ideology was a hopeless hodgepodge of anarcho-nationalism and kindergarten Marxism with no chance of having any kind of serious impact.”
Not so, according to Loomis, who said the public only saw the tip of the iceberg.
During the war measures operations in the Ottawa-Hull area, Loomis applied lessons he had learned from military history and from peacekeeping missions in Cyprus, deploying small infantry units with specific anti-terrorist tasks.
“One company protected potential assassination or kidnap targets in Ottawa and Hull,” he wrote, “while another secured vital points on the hydroelectric system feeding the National Capital Region to avoid a repeat of Castro’s success in Cuba in May, 1957, when terrorist bomb units hit the power system supplying Havana. Other companies conducted area patrols to ‘show the flag’ by making contact and maintaining the confidence of the population.”
“We learned respect for the enemy — the sort of respect practised by Montgomery, who pinned Rommel’s picture beside his bed so he could understand him better in order to destroy him,” he wrote. “The enemy was also training and preparing. We learned that the urban guerrilla was not ‘nine feet tall,’ that he, like us, had to follow long and difficult training courses and that he required discipline, especially self-discipline, just as we did. We learned that while the basics were the same, the tactics, tempo of operations, environment of the ‘battlefield,’ organization for combat, equipment and battle drills were different but no more difficult to master than those we had mastered.”
Twice married, Loomis leaves two adult children and one grandchild.
In its homage to Loomis, his former regiment described him as an icon — “a Regimental giant.”
His friend Withers sums him up this way: “He was a valiant officer who served Canada very well.”
See the full details of Loomis career in the ‘some recent passings’ section at www.thercr.ca/main
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