Philip Favel biography - Veteran of the Second World War


Indigenous Veteran Mr. Philip Favel

Canadian War Museum Image credit:
Normandy Warrior
Painted by Elaine Goble in 2020
Egg tempera on panel
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
Canadian War Museum 20200359-001

Mr. Philip Favel was born on April 30, 1922 in Prongua, Saskatchewan which is part of the Sweetgrass First Nation reserve. Prior to joining the military, Mr. Favel worked as a laborer on his father’s farm. On May 11, 1942, he joined the Canadian Army and chose to serve with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (RCASC). He conducted his basic training with the No. 121 Canadian Army Training Centre in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan before completing his trades training as a driver. Mr. Favel served overseas from August 1943 to July 1945.

During his two years overseas, he trained in England before being sent to France for Operation OVERLORD. As a member of the RCASC, Mr. Favel was part of an organization that was responsible for holding, moving, and issuing supplies to the fighting troops. As a driver for the 3rd Division and the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, he frequently went to and from the front lines to supply the troops with ammunitions and gas. Mr. Favel served in France (Juno Beach), Belgium, the Netherlands (Holland) and Germany.

On numerous accounts, his truck’s windshield was hit and smashed but Mr. Favel never stopped or turned back. He always stayed focused on the task at hand. Mr. Favel earned the French Legion of Honor Medal for not only helping an injured person but also for taking care of two children while on task.

When the Second World War ended in Europe, Mr. Favel volunteered to go to Japan but as the war’s end drew near, he was not able to partake. Mr. Favel’s dedication and courage embodies the idea of putting country before self.

Mr. Favel was released from the military on November 21, 1945. Afterwards, he fervently fought for fair compensation for Indigenous Veterans who were excluded from the benefits that non-First Nations veterans received after the war. His fight continues to this day.

Medals earned:

  • 1939-45 Star
  • France and Germany Star
  • Defence Medal 
  • Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
  • War Medal 1939-1945
  • Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • National Order of the Legion of Honor (France)
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