Canadians At War, 1914-2009*

Canadians have sustained some 114,000 deaths in two world wars,

Korea and various overseas operations since 1914.

                                                                                                                               SERVED                                                                                                           WOUNDED
WAR                                                            YEARS                                         OVERSEAS1                                     KILLED2                                                 IN ACTION

World War I                                              1914-1918                                         418,000                                         66,655                                                         172,950

North Russia                                             1918-1919                                                 600                                                   7                                                                 N/A

Siberia                                                        1918-1919                                              2,000                                                20                                                                      0

World War II                                            1939-1945                                          545,000                                         45,631                                                           54,414

Korean War                                               1950-1953                                           26,791                                          5163 13                                                               558

Cold War                                                   1951-1991                                          150,000                                              7804                                                                    0

Vietnam War5                                           1965-1973                                            12,0006                                             126                                                                 N/A

Persian Gulf War                                    1991                                                        2,7007                                                   0                                                                     0

Yugoslavia (Former)                              1992-2006                                            46,200                                                  24                                                                 116

Somalia                                                      1993                                                         2,3328                                                  1                                                                      0

Kosovo                                                       1999-2000                                               2,8219                                                  1                                                                      0

Afghanistan                                               2002-2007                                            13,500                                               4510                                                               615
Update(14 February  2013)                                                                                                                                                  158

Peacekeeping Missions                          1947-2007                                          196,000                                              12011                                                                N/A





1The total number in uniform during WWI was 644,636; in WWII, 1,081,865.

2 Killed includes deaths due to battle, disease and accident.

3 312 were killed in action.

4 Accidental deaths in training in Germany, for example.

5 Canada was not officially involved in Vietnam, except for peacekeeping-related duties through the International Commission of Control

    and Supervision: 7 Canadians total died there in 1957-58, 1965 and 1973. The last was in a helicopter shoot-down.

6 The figures listed apply to volunteers who joined the U.S. armed forces and were killed. Among them was the son of Canada's former

    chief of defense staff Gen. Jacques Dextraze. As many as 40,000 Canadians may have served in the U.S. military during the entire

    Vietnam era worldwide.

7 Number who actually served during active hostilities. Some 4,074 were stationed in the region, 1990-91.

8 A battalion of the now-disbanded Canadian Airborne Regiment.

9 Canadians were part of the British Armored Brigade in Operation Kinetic.

10 34 in hostile action, 5 from U.S. "friendly fire," 5 in accidents and 1 special operator.

11 Includes 19 missions incurring fatalities beginning in 1950. Vast majority of deaths were non-hostile. Includes deaths in Somalia, Yugoslavia and Kosovo. The worst single loss,         however, occurred Aug. 9, 1974, when the Syrians shot down a plane carrying 9 Canadians.

N/A - Not Available


VFW Magazine Editor's Notes: In WWI, Canada suffered horrendous casualties of 57% of those sent over- seas.lts population was only 7.5 million in 1914. In WWII, by comparison, its casualty rate was 12%. An estimated 35,000 Americans enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during WWI. The government of Canada dedicated a Cross of Sacrifice to their losses in Arlington National Cemetery in 1927. Approximately 29,000 Americans crossed the border to fight early in WWII. The Canadian Cross also honors those Americans killed, primarily 1939-1941. Many years later, two Michigan Vietnam veterans returned the sentiments and saw to it that the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on July 2, 1995, in Assumption Park, Windsor, Ontario.


Interestingly, 40,000 Canadians joined 250 Union and 50 Confederate regiments during the Civil War (1861-1865). So many Nova Scotians enlisted in one Massachusetts regiment that it was nicknamed the "Highlanders." 30 Canadians earned the Medal of Honor and 14,000 died in the Civil War. See "Canadians Served Both Sides in the Civil War" by Norman Shannon in America's Civil War, January 2007, pp. 23-24.


*"Reprinted with permission from the March 2007 issue of VFW magazine."