Albert Mendelsohn, Brigadier General

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Albert Mendelsohn, Brigadier General

Death: 1995 (78)
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac Mendelsohn and Ida Eihevet Regenstreif
Husband of Susanne Perfitt Saville Mendelsohn
Brother of Edith Mendelsohn

Managed by: Adam Robert Brown
Last Updated:

About Albert Mendelsohn, Brigadier General

A few years before his passing, Bert took a profound interest in Jewish religious matters. He studied Hebrew and relearned the prayer book and joined Beth Sholom Congregation in Ottawa.

“Canada’s Craftsmen at 50!” is the story of Electrical and Mechanical engineering in the Canadian armed forces. The book was written by Colonel Murray c. Johnston and it includes descriptions of its Officers. Colonel Johnston wrote:

“Brigadier-General A. Mendelsohn served as a regular officer for 32 years. He was born in Montreal on 21 March 1917. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in 1939, at which time he held a commission in the reserves. Transferring to the Active Service Force, he went overseas in 1941 with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. As EME of that division’s artillery headquarters, he landed in Normandy during the morning of D-Day. He remained with this division until the end of the war.

“After the war he served on the directing staff of the Canadian Army Staff College, as the Canadian Military Observer with the United Nations Military Observer Group(India and Pakistan), as the first commander of the Canadian Headquarters United Nations Forces in the Congo, Commandant of the RCEME School and. in 1962, DEME and Head of Corps of RCEME.

“Promoted Brigadier-General in 1967, he was appointed to Headquarters Materiel Command. Later, having served as Senior Military Advisor to the Canadian Delegation of the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Laos, he became Director General Maintenance and subsequently Director General Ordnance Systems until his retirement in 1972.

“He passed away on 10 November 1995. At his funeral the Branch provided a Guard of Honour or 100 Craftsmen from CFSEME and Maintenance Company 2 Service Battalion. –The Guard was probably the largest ever assembled by the Branch. It paid due Honour to a former comrade who, during the turbulent times of Unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, had dedicated his foresight, energy and leadership to help ensure that the Branch remained a separately-identifiable engineering group in the Canadian Armed Forces.”

Colonel Johnston delivered a eulogy at the funeral. Others were given by David Saville a stepson and by Albert Regenstreif a cousin.

Irving Pfeffer wrote, “I met Bert Mendelsohn during the war. He was a remarkable man, the first Jew ever to rise to the rank of General in the Canadian Army. He graduated from McGill in 1939 having served in the OTC. He was commissioned a Lieutenant, became a Captain when he joined his unit and a Major on going overseas. At Normandy he became a Colonel where he was stationed for a while. He had all the perks of rank: a chauffeur, a chef and a batman. He was exceptionally bright and a mensch.”

In a separate section, under his own name, there is a transcript of an interview Bert gave to the Museum of Civilization for it’s exhibit “A coat of Many Colors; The Jews in Canada”. The interviewer was Shelley Posen of Ottawa.

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Albert Mendelsohn, Brigadier General's Timeline

Age 78