Joseph-Armand Ross DSO CD BAwas born at Rimouski, Quebec. In 1940 he enlisted in the Canadian Army and went overseas the following year with Le Régiment de la Chaudière.
He was recalled to Canada in January 1942 to serve with the Fusiliers du St. Laurent. Colonel Ross returned overseas in March 1944, with the Hull Regiment, and in September of that year returned to his old unit, Le Regiment de la Chaudière. He was promoted to the rank of major in November 1944.
During the final phase of the Allied campaign in Europe (March 23rd to May 5th), the Canadian army’s role was to open up the supply route to the north, through Arnhem, then clear north eastern Holland. North of Arnhem was the town of Zutpen, near the south end of the Ijssel River, which ran in a north-south direction, eventually emptying into the North Sea.
In order to defend their battle line along the Ijssel River, with the minimum troops, the Germans pulled back their forces into the towns of Zutpen, Deventer, and Zwolle which they turned into strongholds.
Allied General Keefler ordered the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade to finish the capture of Zutpen started by the 9th Brigade, which was now assigned to move northward away from Zutpen. On April 6, 1945 , Major Joseph-Armand Ross, commanding C Company of le Regiment de la Chaudière displayed unusual leadership and gallantry in the face of stubborn and fierce enemy resistance.
Without waiting for orders, Major Ross gathered six soldiers of his company and, despite the intensity of fire directed at anything that moved, he personally led this small patrol to find a way into the town. In doing so, this small patrol suffered three casualties but he was successful in finding an unguarded entrance. He came back bringing the wounded with him, still under intense enemy fire.
Without pausing, he led the first platoon in and sent guides for the other. He personally led the first platoon in mopping up the enemy from the rear. This action had the result of forcing the enemy to give up this key location and retire into another part of the town, which relieved a critical situation, thus allowing the balance of the battalion and the flanking battalion to proceed according to plan.
The brilliant leadership on the part of this officer, his initiative, personal bravery, utmost gallantry and entire disregard for his personal safety in the face of enemy fire was a source of inspiration to his men and was a most important contribution to the success of the regiment’s campaign and earned him the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).
In 1972 he retired from the Canadian Forces with the rank of Brigadier General. He was married with four children.