“A su­per good guy”

Se­cond World War vet­eran and hall of fame ath­lete Walt LeMes­surier dies at age 95

The Western Star - - OBITUARIES / CLOSE TO HOME - DIANE CROCKER [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_DianeCrock­er

COR­NER BROOK, N.L. — One of Cor­ner Brook’s few re­main­ing Se­cond World War veter­ans, who al­ways had story to tell and a smile on his face, has died.

Wal­ter Smith LeMes­surier died Sept. 12 at the age of 95.

Born in St. John’s in 1924, LeMes­surier came to Cor­ner Brook in 1937.

He en­listed in the Royal Air Force at the age of 18 and served as a wire­less air gun­ner dur­ing the Se­cond World War. His years of ser­vice in­cluded many mis­sions in South East Asia.

He was the only per­son from New­found­land and Labrador present at the Ja­panese sur­ren­der. His crew was tasked with fly­ing dig­ni­taries from var­i­ous coun­tries to the sign­ing of the sur­ren­der in Ran­goon, Burma in Au­gust 1945.

When the war ended LeMes­surier re­turned to Cor­ner Brook to raise a fam­ily, tak­ing a job as leas­ing man­ager with City Mo­tors. He stayed with the car deal­er­ship un­til he re­tired 26 years later.

LeMes­surier lived a full life fo­cused on fam­ily, ser­vice, sports and the out­doors.

His ser­vice would con­tinue long af­ter the war as a mem­ber of Branch 13 of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in the city.

Branch pres­i­dent Derek Ham­lyn met LeMes­surier 35 years ago and will re­mem­ber him as a true ath­lete and a no-non­sense man.

“And a su­per good guy,,” said Ham­lyn. “He was in­volved in ev­ery­thing that was giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity.”

If there was any­thing go­ing on at the Le­gion he stopped by to see if he could help — in­clud­ing work­ing on ren­o­va­tions.

He was also there to mark the im­por­tant events and to pay hon­our to com­rades past and present, never miss­ing a Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony.

Some­times he’d turn up in un­likely places.

Ham­lyn laughs as he re­calls a day of moose hunt­ing just out­side the city on Lady Slip­per Road, when he came up the road to see a guy riding a bi­cy­cle.

“And who was it but Walt LeMes­surier.”

An avid sports­man, LeMes­surier played soc­cer, base­ball, hockey, soft­ball, ta­ble ten­nis, bil­liards and golf and was in­ducted into the New­found­land and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in Novem­ber 1988.

A top goal keeper in 1951 and 1952, and a top goal scorer in 1953, LeMes­surier was elected to the New­found­land and Labrador Soc­cer Hall of Fame in 1983. He cap­tained the city’s all-star team to pro­vin­cial ti­tles in 1952 and 1956. In base­ball, he of­ten led the Cor­ner Brook squad at the plate in pro­vin­cial tour­na­ments, once bat­ting .519 in the city’s se­nior league.

He was an ex­cep­tional hockey player and soft­ball pitcher/short­stop, a western New­found­land bil­liards cham­pion, held pro­vin­cial ti­tles in sin­gles and dou­bles ta­ble ten­nis and rep­re­sented New­found­land and Labrador in na­tional golf tour­na­ments.

He was also an avid run­ner, cross-coun­try skier and hiker.

Walt LeMes­surier

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