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7/30 St Croix, Us Virgin Islands (2)

>> Okay, my name is Leonardo Ayala. I was born February 14, 1935, 1 more year older than he. Yes, [INAUDIBLE].

>> When did you volunteer?

>> I volunteer in … I think that was in January 1953, and they call me in March 1953.

>> Oh. That was right before the armistice was signed.

>> Huh?

>> That was before the armistice was signed in Korea.

>> Yeah, they were still in the war. Yeah, they were still in the war.

>> Mm-hmm. I … Wait. Why … Okay, so knowing that the war was still taking place, why would you volunteer?

>> That’s economics-wise because more work. I live in …

>> But …

>> I live in the island of Vieques. Vieques was small island and was a very, very poor island, and there wasn’t work to do. You would go to school, go away from school, and you can’t go to college because you don’t have the money to go to college, you don’t … You have … You find works and work around, so you have to go someplace. You either go to the state or either go to the army.

>> But that’s still different.

>> There was no choice.

>> But you’re still risking your life.

>> Well, yeah, but you have to survive. You’re looking for survival. That’s a positive.

>> Well, God must have blessed you so much because instead of sending you to war, he sent you to …

>> They sent me to Germany.

>> I know.

>> And I spend my whole time in Germany.

>> For how many years?

>> Almost 3 year. It was about 20 months, something like that. Almost 3 years I spent in Germany.

>> What was your service? What did you do in Germany?

>> I did infantry training.

>> Oh.

>> When they sent me to Germany, they check my MOS to Supply Specialist. They assign me to a supply company.

>> Actually, that’s very interesting. I like this interview a lot because most people think, “Okay, it’s war, so everybody goes to Korea,” but no.

>> No.

>> There were people serving in Germany, so right after World War II.

>> Yeah.

>> Not right after but soon after. There were people in other parts of the world, and they don’t realize that it takes a united effort to defend part of the army. So I’ve never … I haven’t really asked … I haven’t really heard from people who served during the Korean War in Germany, so can you tell us more about what it felt like being in Germany when you knew that a lot of people were fighting in Korea?

>> Well, in that year, in 1954 when I went to Germany, Germany was still under occupation. It was still in occupation for United States. So that’s what … We went as a occupation force. They still … United States was running Germany.

>> How many … How large was the unit or the people who were based there?

>> Well, I was assigned to the … I don’t know because they had so many bases in Germany, but this base that I was assigned was a supply company. All the part that the … All the vehicle, all the tank, all the … They need it there in Germany. They ship from the United States to Germany. I was stationed in [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], Germany. And so if they need a part anywhere in Asia or in Europe, instead of sending the part to the United States, they send the parts that are already in Germany. It was closer. It was a big, big, big, big supply, i think that supply is bigger than this down here, big supply. And then they had all kind of part in that supply.

>> Hmm.

>> So they don’t have to send something to the United States. If they need something for a tank or a truck or an airplane or something like that, they got them here.

>> Another question I always ask is, during the Korean War was when the army, military, was first integrated, right? Before it was segregated, and I ask many people what their experience in the military was like because even if the law said, “Okay, well, let’s” … “Puerto Ricans, they fought in a segregated unit.”

>> Yeah.

>> There was an all-Black army as well. So you were … Were you part of an integrated unit in Germany?

>> Yeah.

>> Did you face racism and …

>> No.

>> No?

>> No.

>> No?

>> No.

>> Really?

>> Really. When I was stationed in [FOREIGN LANGUAGE], no racism toward me.

>> Really? That’s …

>> I know that in United States, there was some kind of racism, racism, but none there. I talk about myself. I never was feeling that.

>> So other people in your unit, even if they were white Americans, they didn’t treat you badly?

>> No, mm-mm.

>> Wow.

>> Not in Germany.

>> That is actually a very encouraging thing to hear.

>> Yeah. Even when I … When my dad come to … When I wanted to enlist, I told them I don’t want to enlist. Even they … My company commander insists, [INAUDIBLE]. I said, “No. I don’t.” [INAUDIBLE] But I … Not in Germany.

>> So you left the service after 2 years?

>> Yeah.

>> And you came back to Saint Croix?

>> No, I was living in Puerto Rico at that time. I was drafted in Puerto Rico.

>> You were drafted in Puerto Rico?

>> Yeah.

>> What does that mean?

>> Well, they took me to the army, I was living in Puerto Rico. They take me to the army. I was living in Puerto Rico.

>> So you served in the army in Puerto Rico?

>> No, no, no, no, no, no. I took my training in Puerto Rico. They had training in Puerto Rico, and then when you take the training, they will ship you to the different place in the war. So when I completed my training, they shipped me to Germany. They ship some others to Korea.

>> Yes, but after, you could’ve come back home.

>> No, but my home wasn’t here. My home was Puerto Rico.

>> Oh.

>> Yeah, my home was Puerto Rico.

>> When did you come to Saint …

>> I was born in Puerto Rico. I was raised in Puerto Rico.

>> Oh, but you weren’t part of the 65th Infantry?

>> No, no, no, no, no. I was in the …

>> But you know about the Borinqueneers?

>> Yeah, I know about the Borinqueneers, yes. The Borinqueneers, yes, but I was not part of the Borinqueneers.

>> So when did you come to Saint Croix?

>> I come to Saint Croix … Let me tell you. My father moved here in 1952, and I came here in the same year, 1952. Then after that, 1953, I went to the army. When I came home from the army, I went back to school because when I went to army, I was only … I was in grade … was not high school. I had another 10 grades, so when I come home from the army, I went to fit in my high school. When I did my high school, I went to the state. I went to New York to live. And I stayed in New York until 1964, and that’s when I came to live here in Virgin Islands in 1964.

>> Wow. Do you still have family in Puerto Rico or here?

>> Yeah.

>> Both?

>> Yeah, yeah, both. And in the states, my daughters live in … I got two daughters and a son. My two daughters live in Jacksonville, Florida, and my son lives in New York.

>> Oh. Where in New York?

>> In the Bronx, New York.

>> Yeah. And you go visit them, huh?

>> Oh, yeah. I was there last year. And this year, I went to Jacksonville, Florida, to visit my daughters.

>> So between New York City, Saint Croix and Puerto Rico …

>> Puerto Rico, yeah.

>> … you like where best?

>> Well, I never complain about Saint Croix. I got no complaint about the state of what I was living in. Whenever I go, [INAUDIBLE] I don’t feel no homesick or anything like that.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (1)

– We were fighting in Korea. They’re doing a Korean Wonsan. The city’s infantry saved the American regiment. The Marine. For when the… came, they had to from Hungnam to… road. To go to the way because there were too many Chinese. They had to go the other way. They stopped the Chinese… the American gave into the war.
– Who fought in the, uhm, Hungnam evacuation?
– ¿A dónde?
– Fue que en el 50.
– ¿En el 50?
– …tuvo que agarrarle.
– En el 50 estaba allá.
– I went in 1951 until 1953. I went to the Geochang course. I go to different companies. I was the battalion company. Company I, second platoon, second squad. In Korea. Everynight… And I was the Army… with my company. Combat payment. Make the patrool everynight in Korea. Papas… She was my. Too much mine. Explosion.
– ¿Usted fue un policía militar?
– I was infantry over there.
– ¿Qué recuerda?
– ¿Qué recuerdo, qué recuerdo de allá? I was in the attack in… hills. Maybe you don’t remember.
– No.
– In Kelly mountain of Kelly hill. We fight over there in the mountain for three battalions. First battalion, second battalion and third battalion. First battalion about all the… battalion. Not all complete. Too much died. Killed. Too much killed over there in the mountain, and the second battalion, killed too. And the third battalion,… my captain said, “Two more dead, two more injuries.” So, we go to the mountain down.
– ¿Qué es el nombre de la batalla?
– Kelly hill. Three battalion. Right over there. – ¿Dónde?
– ¿Dónde fue esta batalla?
– En Corea.
– Sí, sí, sí, pero ¿el sur o no?
– I don’t remember the… You know. I was a debutant.
– Sí, sí, sí.
– In Kelly hill. The mountain is Kelly hill. The mountain.
– Korea Hills? Kelly?
– Kelly hill.
– Kelly hill. K-E-L-L-Y.
– Kelly hill.
– Kelly?
– K-E-L-L-Y.
– Kelly hills.
– Kelly hills.
– Yo estudiaré. ¿Sí?
– Sí, sí, sí. Y ¿qué, qué piensa usted de regimiento 65? De la legacía del 65.
– 65 pelió mucho allá en Corea y batalló mucho allá, mucho, batalló mucho.
– Muchísimo, ¿no?
– Mucho, muchísimo.
– ¿Por qué?
– I don’t know. The enemy took…
– ¿Cómo se llama? El terreno.
– Sí, sí, sí.
– El terreno. The mountain, the land, everything. The enemy took the…
– ¿Ustedes piensan que el general…?
– El general Cordero.
– ¿Qué?
– General Cordero nos metió allá.
– ¿Cordero?
– Cordero. Sí. General Cordero, eh…
– Three battalions. He make one… meeting in the yard over there. You can take the mountain in… You can take it. The mountain, the… You can take it. …the mountain. What? Okay. We go over there. No good. Too much dead. Too much injured. Too much killed. In the mountain, Kelly was the… Mongolian. Big one. The Mongolian and Chinese and Korean. North Korea stays over there too.
– Pero el regimiento fue segregado, ¿no?
– When we go back from the mountain the other day. We’re going to take the low weapon in the mountain. Too much weapon. And looking at the injured, the dead, too much people. Too much soldiers dead.
– Pero, pero el regimiento 65 solo, solo puertorriqueños, ¿no?
– Puertorriqueños, sí.
– Sí.
– Eh, después más tarde nos…
Attachment American soldiers in different company, Puerto Rico. Over there in Korea. The company… in different company attached the captain, the lieutenant to take out the…
– …eh, esto de, ¿cómo se llama? De que… los que… que venían de allá.
– Officer, American officer, attaching different companies. Attached my company, one American captain, I don’t remember now the name, he not believed me Puerto Rico. The American don’t believe me. The American captain don’t believe I’m Puerto Rico. When he go to the patrol and the scout take… the captain over here, this way. And the captain, I remember, because the captain said, “No, you have it the wrong way!” Company over here, this way. I don’t know. He walked to the patrol to the recognizant patrol, the enemy is approaching towards mine. I’m a soldier… Sergeant Rodríguez from… Puerto Rico. He exploded dead to the mine because the place is too much mine, you know? I remember the… I pictured it in my mind.
– Guao.
– Yeah, every…

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (2)

[habla en coreano]
– Poema, un poema dedicado a las mamás de quienes tienen…
– Hijos.
– …hijos que participaron en la guerra.
– En la guerra.
– Sí.
– Sí. Ya.
– Anita me pidió que recitara esta poesía, yo se la regalé a ella y le voy a regalar también el libro que escribió mi mamá cuando yo estaba, eh, de poesías, ella escribió. Pero la primera poesía que está en este libro es la que dedicó a todas las madres que tenían los, los hijos en la guerra y esta se la dedico a mi querida nieta Anita con, de Corea de su abuelo boricua Josué.
– Gracias.
– Dice mi mamá de la siguiente manera, una plegaria que ella compuso en forma de poesía pidiéndole al Señor que preservara mi vida y que no permitiera que yo, con mi arma de reglamento, matara a ningún semejante y decía ella de la siguiente manera: “Señor, ¿qué te daré si me traes a mi hijo, Señor? Que se han llevado a la guerra maldita, aquel infierno. Señor, ¿qué te daré? Si nada tengo, pero tú eres bueno, Señor, y guardarás su vida. Señor, ¿qué te daré? Yo nada tengo que te pueda ofrecer por su pronto regreso. Señor, ¿qué te daré? Si mi alma está triste, muy triste, y nada soy y nada puedo. Por las noches, Señor, sin querer me desvelo, por el día, Señor, al infinito vuela mi pensamiento para pedirte, Señor, que cuides a mi hijo, que está lejos, muy lejos. Señor, yo le enseñé a mi hijo las sublimes palabras de tu santo evangelio, donde el amor nos une en vínculo perfecto, haciendo una familia de este gran universo, que los… Señor, eran sus hermanos buenos, la raza amarilla, los blancos y los negros, sin distinción ninguna, teníamos un padre bueno y ese padre, señor, eras tú, amante y sempiterno, que tú eras padre amoroso, sublime y tan tierno que, por salvar al mundo, enviaste de su gloria a Jesús, el, el Dios, el, el unigénito. Señor, se han llevado a mi hijo, a mi hijo, Señor, que es amante y muy bueno, para enseñarle, Señor, a matar a sus buenos hermanos de este gran universo. Señor, mira mi angustia y oye mi ruego, permite que mi hijo, Señor, que es tan bueno, no use su espada para matar a su hermano, el cual tú has hecho. Señor, permite que allí tú estés en medio de ellos, protégele sus vidas, pues, son tus hijos, cuida de ellos, en ti yo espero, únelos con tu amor inmenso y del campo de batalla, Señor, que salgan ellos para proclamar el amor de tu santo evangelio. Señor, yo te imploro que cuides a mi hijo y también te pido, Señor, que cuides de aquellos que dicen que son malos, pero yo no lo creo, ellos tienen sus madres, que llevan en sus pechos el amor de sus hijos y el corazón deshecho. Yo sé, Señor, que tú los amas como amas a los nuestros, son tus hijos, Señor, unos y otros, tú eres nuestro padre y padre de ellos. Señor, haz un milagro, yo nada te ofrezco, pues, nada tengo, pero, Señor, haz un milagro, trae la paz al universo, en cambio, las madres de este mundo te ofrecemos lavar, no ya tus pies, sino todo tu cuerpo con lágrimas cristalinas que salen a raudales de nuestros vellos. Dios les bendiga.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (3)

– Pero mis tíos fueron a pelear también y donde yo peleé, pelearon ellos, uno de ellos murió en mis brazos, lo enterré y regresé de nuevo, pero yo sé lo que es un hijo cuando está guerreando, cuando se manda a sitios a pelear, donde uno ha estado pasando… Y pasando malos tragos en la guerra. Así que yo también siento como padre y como hijo, siento como hijo porque sé lo que sintió mi madre, sintió mi padre cuando yo partí.
– No.
– Y nosotros, nosotros apreciamos todo el esfuerzo que hacen por nosotros, somos, fuimos soldados y somos soldados porque el soldado una vez sigue siendo soldado todavía, pero siempre hay alma.
– Sí.
. Hay agradecimiento y amor. Okay.
– Y gracias muchísimo, padre.
– And there’s a picture…

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (5)

– Mi nombre es Carlos Josué González Mercado. Todo el mundo, las amistades y mi familia me dicen Josué porque mi papá se llamaba Carlos. Y antes de yo ir a Corea, trabajaba con la autoridad de Energía Eléctrica, y estaba a cargo del pueblo de Río Grande. En aquella época los pueblitos eran pequeños. Río Grande tenía 400 abogados y yo estaba solito a cargo de ese pueblo, pero empezó la guerra de Corea y, a pesar de que ya yo tenía 23 años, fui llamado obligadamente a servir en el ejército de los Estados Unidos. Recibimos entrenamiento en el campamento de Tortuguero en Vega Baja. Y a los 3 meses de recibir el entrenamiento zarpamos para Corea en un barco que se llamaba Sargent… Viajamos de aquí a Panamá. Cruzamos el Canal de Panamá. Llegamos a California. De California seguimos a Hawái. De Hawái llegamos a Japón. De Japón definitivamente llegamos a Corea un mes después. Salimos de aquí viernes santo de 1951. En Corea me asignaron al 65 de infantería como uno de los primeros refuerzos que fueron al 65. Había otros tres regimientos americanos, dos regimientos más americanos. Era el 7 y el 15, pero el único regimiento que era de puertorriqueños solamente era 65. Era un regimiento segregado de solamente puertorriqueños. Bien, naturalmente, nos unificó más como pueblo, como amigos, como compañeros, porque al fallecer uno nos dolía a todos. Y fue un año completo en que estuvo en la guerra de Corea. Si ustedes me permiten dar un testimonio de la grandeza del Señor. Mi mamá, cuando yo fui a Corea, hizo una plegaria pidiéndole al señor que no permitiera que yo con mi arma de reglamento matara a ningún semejante mío, una petición que para cualquiera es imposible porque a nosotros nos adiestraron para matar, para matar gente, y pedirle a Dios que un hombre que lo mandan a matar gente no mate a nadie eso es una escala muy alta. Ella también le pidió que preservara mi vida. Y durante ese año que yo estuve en Corea, al yo llegar, perdóname, al yo llegar a Corea, el comandante de la compañía donde yo estaba, vio mi récord y decía que yo era lineman, procurador de líneas, que tiraba líneas, conectaba teléfonos, y hacía instalaciones, y hacía bregar con los switchmodes. Y dijo al sargento: “Este es el hombre que necesitamos para conectar los teléfonos de la compañía de regimiento”. Y mi trabajo en Corea, donde un año, por un año fue conectar teléfonos y operar swichtmodes. Por lo tanto, mi mamá no puede testificar si yo maté a nadie, pero yo sí puedo testificar eso porque debido a ese trabajo que tenía, de mi rifle no salió ni un solo tiro, o sea que no pude haber matado a nadie. Y hay que darle gracias a Dios. Por esa oración de mi mamá que le pidió a Dios eso, y Dios oye a los corazones contritos y humillados que se doblegan ante… Por eso yo donde quiera que voy, y me preguntan, doy mi testimonio de la grandeza de Dios que me permitió regresar con vida sin tener que matar a nadie y servir en el ejército sin tener que cometer ese roll.
– Sí.
– Dios me los bendiga.
– Sí, sí. Gracias, gracias… Su Abuelo es un pastor, ¿no?
– Mi papá.
– Papá. Yo también.
– Este es mi papá, mi mamá, 9 hermanos.
– Oh, my God! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9?
– We were 10, but one died very old.
– Where are you?
– I am the 3rd one. That’s the oldest, 2nd and the 3rd. This is 4th, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
– Wow, bueno, el señor da a su familia muchos, muchos…
– Todos, toda la familia sirve al señor, toda la familia. Mi papá y mi mamá nos enseñaron a amar a Cristo por…
– Gracias.
– Esta fotografía fue tomada cuando mi papá y mi mamá cumplieron 60 años de casados.
– Wow, 60 años. Gracias muchísimo.
– Dios la bendiga.
Thank you.
– …
– Which battle did you fight?
– … una pelea, ¿verdad? Estaba encargado solamente de…
– No, no.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (6)

– My name is Carlos Pena Lozano. Okay. I went to Korea in 1951. I landed in Incheon through Yokohama on a small boat. We have sweet water at [—-] and saltwater. And we were to Incheon. The port of Incheon was in flames. I was a kid. 17 years old. I guess most of the kids in this island joined the army on those days because [—-], and it was showed to the world. So we went to the [—-], up on the mountains. I got wounded there. I shot two times. I [—-] the [—] river, and we got frozen. [—-] the Chinese. And you know, they started firing at us and everybody ran. But after that, a few months later, I was shot in [—-]. They said I was dead because I dropped in a creek, a frozen creek. The next day, a Korean peasant saw me and I was almost dead. They took me on a helicopter to Gimpo, to our base. I found out later that the Puerto Ricans operated me, and from there on, I was sent to Japan for recovery and to the States. Later on I ended up on Panama, and I got discharged.
– I heard that you went back to Korea last year.
– Oh, yes. Yes. I would like to thank the people of Korea, the government, all the people there that treated us like, you know… I don’t know if we deserve that kind of treatment. Even my wife cried the day all those Korean officials came to greet us, and I was never treated better in my life anywhere like in South Korea. People are marvelous. I guess [—-].
– Well, you should’ve been treated like that, because we, the Korean people, are here because you fought there, you know? I wouldn’t be here if you didn’t fight there.
– I’d also like to thank [—-], real Korean people that, you know… [—–]. We never had that recognition we had, you know.
– Well, you should be proud.
– Oh, yes, I was proud that I went to South Korea and I met nice people.
– Thank you so much.
– I guess everybody in the 65th infantry regiment have all the Koreans in our hearts. Yes.
– Thank you. That’s so sweet.
– The first thing that comes to mind.
– The people. The people.
– And what kind of people are they?
– Fantastic. They are nice people. Nice, nice. I guess that every time that I travel and go anywhere, people would do… [——] in South Korea. I’m talking for all the Puerto Ricans that have gone there, and I guess everybody that’d been there, so it’s your people. Really good.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (7)

– 2004, ¿no?
– Un poco…
– Más alto.
– Sí.
-Doménico Adorno.
– Sí, cuando, cuando, ¿participaron en la guerra?
– Nací en el pueblo de Trujillo Alto. A los 21 años fui reclutado por el ejército. Me enviaron a su país, Corea. No tengo buenos recuerdos. LO que tengo es un sentimiento porque muchos han ido ahora y dicen que Corea está muy pero muy alertada, muy avanzada, pero todavía en mi vida no capto, todavía yo tengo a Corea de 66 años atrás. Yo estuve en Chon todo el tiempo. Estuve en una oficina del tercer batallón. La oficina pertenecía al 65 de infantería. Estaba localizada en una universidad que había sido destruida por los americanos para sacar al enemigo, a los coreanos… metidos. Tuvieron que bombardear ese edificio. En ese edificio había partes que se podían usar, y ahí estaba yo en una oficina. Yo estuve 13 meses, un año y un mes. Mi trabajo allí era que me enviaban el informe, informe todas las mañanas de los muertos, de los desaparecidos, de los heridos durante la noche del cuerpo del 65 de infantería. Había mucho conocido mío. Todos eran puertorriqueños. Para mí era un dolor, aunque no los conociera físicamente, pero eran mis compatriotas. Eso es un dolor que llevo, ¿entiendes? Porque todavía conozco descendientes, descendientes de esos muchachos que perdieron la vida allí. Cada vez que los veo me traslado a Corea. Esa es la parte primordial del viaje a Corea. Bien, tengo otros recuerdos mucho más tristes del pueblo coreano.
– ¿Visitó a Corea el año pasado?
– No.
– ¿No?
– No, voy a visitarla.
– ¿Vas, vas visitar el mes de septiembre?
– Sí.
– Ah, ¡ok! Sí.
– Pues aquel tiempo ustedes no habían nacido.
– Sí, sí, sí.
– Fue un tiempo triste para Corea. La guerra destruyó la manufactura, destruyó la agricultura, y Corea vive… de la agricultura, de la pesca, bueno. Recuerdo, por la tarde cuando yo salía de la oficina, se había todo empolvado porque los edificios son hechos de un material, no recuerdo ahora, que es como tiza. Salía afuera. Había un, una reja para no entrar al edificio donde estaba la oficina. Nosotros pegábamos allí… y eso… triste ver cómo las mamás…
– Sí, sí, sí.
– Lloraban pidiendo comida, y muchas veces hacían cosas indebidas, cosas indebidas con sus hijos. Yo tengo mis hijas ahora, mi nieta, y eso me lleva, ver un pueblo destruido físicamente…
– Sí.
– Y moralmente.
– Sí, pero ahora es muy…
– Eso es distinto, pero yo no lo he visto.
– Sí. Gracias.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (8)

– My name is Domingo Pelliciel. I was in Korea in 1951.
– Look at me, look at me.
– Not the camera? Oka, my name is Domingo Pelliciel Febles, and I was in Korea in 1951. When I went to Korea I was 21 years old. We landed in Incheon. In Incheon, the ship [—-] stayed out the [—-], and then we go out through [—-], down to the small landing boat to the shore. From there, we went into the train. That train had [——]. There were two trains, one go in front and one in the back. So we went to Seoul. From Seoul we went to the frontline. [—-]. I was witrh the 63rd infantry regiment [—-], rifle man. And in Korea, I thought that was in the end of my life. I was in combat over there, with the infantry, and [—-], one time I was on patrol, and then the American airplane was bombing the Chinese, and then they thought that we were North Korean or Chinese, and they came to us. To bomb us. So I have a piece of cloth. This color. Yellow. And red. So the captain said, “Open the cloth.” So I opened it and the plane went out, because that showed that we were friendly, we were no enemy. So they went out. Another time, while I was in Korea, I was on [——], I saw a lot of people moving in the back, but to [—-], so I took a hand grenade to throw the hand grenade, and behind me there was a piece of… maybe a tree, and it my hand. So they hand grenade went out, so [—-] in the hole, so I jumped inside the hole. I jump, and then… If I stay up, my face would’ve disappeared from my body. One time, I was doing a hole up on the hill, and then, when I was doing the hole, there was snow, and the snow jumped, and the Chinese… I don’t know if they were Chinese or North Korean, they were watching me with binoculars. And then… I hear the mortar come to me, and I started to run so I go in the ground and start rolling like a boulder down the hill, so thank God. If I stayed up, they’d keep shooting me, but when they see me falling through the ground they stopped shooting. One time also I was with my friend, who was laying a barbed wire, and then the wire hit the fray, when you hit the fray it lights up, and the wire hit the fray, and the Chinese, Chinese or North Korean, I don’t know, they were looking and started shooting with the mortar, and my friend was wounded in the back. So thank God there was a hole in front of me. I jumped in the hole and they shoot my friend like 3 or 4 times. My friend was my Corporal. He was with a Korean soldier, a Korean company. They called it rock, right? Yeah, with a Korean company. So we had to translate from Korean to English, so we had Korean in the company.
– You remember his name?
– [—–].
– Amazing that you can remember them. Did you ever meet them?
– No, no.
– Maybe…You’re going to go to Korea next month, maybe you could find them.
– Maybe I find them. Maybe they’re dead right now. Maybe. who knows.
– No, maybe not!
– It was many years ago. It was 1951.
– That would be wonderful if you could find them.
– One time we were on patrol, and we walked, walked, walked, walked, and then the guy said, “[—-] we have to find the company. Please go back to the company.” So the… I’ll say the enemy, because I don’t know if they were Korean or Chinese. They were waiting for us. So this is the gate. we’re walking, so we stop over here and we say, “let’s go back.” and they started shooting with machine guns. They’re waiting for us to be right in front of the machine gun to start shooting.
– Did you get wounded?
– No, thank God I didn’t. Thank God, because my mother was praying for me. She was praying to Virgin Mary and Jesus. To Jesus. Saint Jesus. I went to Laos…
– They’re shooting, but I came out alive. Also, when I was on patrol, we used to see a little paper with [—-] propaganda, propaganda like writing in the paper, and the paper said [—-], “Go back to your country. Your family is waiting for you. Leave Korea for the Koreans.” In the paper. I used to look at the paper and say, “Oh, my God.” They have a soldier dead on top of the barbed wire. [—], “down.” but, forget about that.
– I’m so excited you’re going to get to go to Korea for the first time, right?
– When, now?
– Next month.
– No, second time, because I was there.
– Oh, second time!
– No, no. First time I was in combat.
– Oh, yes!
– Now I go for pleasure.
– Yes. I’m excited for you.
– I go for pleasure, for that time I was in combat.
– I’m so excited. Maybe I can meet you there.
– Oh, I hope so. I hope so.
– Yeah. Okay. What do you want to say when you go to Korea?
– Thank you, Koreans. Thank you.
– No! We thank you!
– Oh, yeah. Me too, me too.
– Why?
– You say it to me, I say it to you too.
– You don’t have to thank Koreans.
– No?
– No. We thank you, right?
– Well I say welcome. You’re welcome. You know, i was in Korea, I was in the hospital, in [—], in the hospital. From the frontline I went to sea, and they put me in the hospital, and the nurse was Korean. She shaved me, washed my face, my arms. Then [—], I keep sick, so they sent me to Busan.
– Swedish Field Hospital.
– Yeah.
– You went to Swedish Field hospital?
– There was a ship, a big ship.
– Yolandia.
– Yeah. In Busan. How do you say, Busa or Busan?
– Busa.
– We say Busan.
– Busa. You went to Yolandia, the ship?
– Yeah, I think so.
– Cool. I went…
– It was a big ship. [—-].
– I visited the Danish veterans.
– Oh, yeah?
– Yes.
– But that was their ship?
– Yes, Yolandia.
– Yeah. It was in the port of Busan. Right there. So I stayed there for one week, a couple of days, then they sent me back to the frontline.
– Thank you. I pray that you will continue to have a lot of…
– Also, I have a friend of mine, rest in peace, his name was Pedro [—], from Puerto Rico. He was in Korea for 13 months. They told him, “You go back to Puerto Rico.” in for days. So one night we had to go on combat patrol, on combat. And then he said to the captain – the captain was American – “I’ve been here in Korea for 13 months. You [—-] the company, so I can go back home.” He said, “I don’t care how much time you’ve been in Korea, you have to go to fight. You’ll stay in the company.” And we went to combat, and he was killed. One bullet in the chest.
– Well, thank you so much. I’m so glad you are not…

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico In The City (9)

– English.
– Okay, this [inaudible] says, “Welcome to the 65th Infantry Regiment.” This insignia here [inaudible]. [Inaudible] everybody, because the Puerto Ricans, our 65th infantry was [inaudible], and it’s still commemorated for the Korean War. And let me tell you, I talked [—–]. After 50 years, I went back to Korea, and I was so happy, because Korea today looks so [——]. [inaudible]. [inaudible[, and are waiting for people to remember us and talk about the 65th infantry regiment. It was amazing. I feel so good we have this display here. [inaudible]. It is me. And I’m proud to be a Korean veteran. And to the Korean people, Salaam-Alaikum. [Inaudible].
– … of us, you know. We’re so grateful to you as well, you know? I’m so happy you said that we [—–].
– God bless.
– Thank you.
– Anita?
– Anita, my granddaughter.
– SÍ.
– SÍ.
– So, snow… I have, because [inaudible] in the United States, but we had two enemies. The enemy and also the snow, because it was really, really cold, and some of our men had to be amputated, because they got gangrene for the cold. And I tell you, it was terrible. But we made it, and, some of them… we have the man in Puerto Rico, who’s half maim. We had to amputate his legs.
– Frost bite.
– Frost bite, yeah.
– How many died, how many were killed in action?
– Wow. Too many.
– 70%.
– 70%?
– 17.
– 70. 7 – 0. 70% of the Puerto Rican heroes were killed in action.
– 70?
– 7- 0.
– My uncle, which was a soldier with the 65th infantry.
– How many…?
– I’ll look it up.
– 70%.
– But the round number… 70%.
– The funny thing is about my uncle, we never found out what happened to him, because…
– He’s MIA?
– I don’t know if he was a prisoner of war, but we never found his body.
– So he’s missing in action.
– Of course. As I already said, I’m going to dedicate my life for our veterans, because I miss my uncle.
– The records’ keeping at that time, remember…
– I know.
– There was a language barrier.
– I know.
– So… and there was a war going on.
– And there aren’t…
– So records got lost.
– And because the war hasn’t ended, you know, it’s difficult to identify the remains, or retrieve the remains. And so there are 8000 MIAs, POW in Korea, which is… you know…
– There might be some alive, but I doubt it, cause it’s such a long time. But I hope one day… they’ll return all these people to us. [—-].
– It’s something that’s very dear to my heart, so… Because the families will never know what happened to them.
– No closure.
– Yeah, no closure.
-Okay, my name is Thomas Lopez. I’m Puerto Rican, of course, and I’m part of the 65th infantry regiment. And let me tell you, they call me a hero, because [—-] the 65th infantry complete. [—-], because [—-] in Puerto Rico, they sent me some kind of… like a plaque, considering me a hero. It was not only Tommy Lopez, it was all the 65th infantry, represented. And when I went to Korea of course I’m going to talk about the cold, because it was really… the Puerto Rican, we’re not used to that kind of weather, and we had two enemies. The enemy and also the cold. And as a matter of fact, we have people, as I told you before, that became… A man in Puerto Rico that was half a man, because we had to amputate his whole legs. And a lot of them suffered the cold. [—-] being an infantry man, because we had to communicate in English, in Spanish. They sent me to school in Seoul, and I learned communications in Korea, and when I went back, I was [——-] for the big, big, big [—-] in charge of the 65th infantry regiment in Korea. And that made me feel so proud. But I’ll never forget those who still were fighting in Korea, because they were my people, and as A Puerto Rican I love [—-]. And thank you, thanks to you, Anita, because you make me feel so good, so happy. I wish you to continue learning with the 65th infantry, because we have to recognize [—-]. Personal recognition to Anita [….], thank you so very much. God bless. Okay, first of all, we should go up to the schools and teach our kids about the 65th Borinqueneers. A lot of people don’t ever recognize, no, when we’re in Korea, and in this personal memories that I still have should be distributed within the kids, to have an idea what it is to defend this great country, which is America. It’s my country too. I was born in Puerto Rico, but I became a citizen. When I was born in 1917, it was tough to be citizen, because we used to belong to Spain, and when they came to… the war between America and the other countries, we became citizens. [——] made us citizens. So I’ve been a citizen all of my life, since I was small, that’s right. But there’s one thing I’ll say. There was a smart kid [—–] and lifting the flag. There’s the [—-] reason the Puerto Rican flag, and wherever place I go, I make sure I take my flag too, because it represents the 65th infantry, the Borinqueneers. And this is why I want the kids to learn and to know the history, and love this great country. First, I’ll say thank you to the Korean people, because I love you. And also, such a big change made me feel so proud and so clean about Korea. The people dress so nice, everybody, [—-] people. And of course, [—-] before, we did the other… [—] and many evangelistic churches, and we’re happy we had a chance to some of them. [—–] was so happy that we were there.
– Well, you deserve to be treated like kings.
– Thank you.
– Hi, thank you, Hannah. Yeah, so, the 65th infantry regiment of Puerto Rico fought in every major campaign of the United States wars, from World War I to World War II and Korea. But they distinguished themselves during the Korean conflict. The Korean conflict was 3 years. The Puerto Rican regiment was a regiment sized military unit. So, they fought in 9 major campaigns, from the battle of the chosen reservoir, where they were the frozen chosen, to the evacuation of Hungnam, and most famously was the bayonet charge of February 2nd, in 1951, where 2 battalions of the regiment encountered the Chinese 149th division. Now, a division is made up of 10,000 men, and a battalion is made up of approximately 1,000 men. So, there are your contrasts. So the numbers were basically, you know, 10 to 1, right? 100 to 1. So they fought valiantly for 3 days. They fought so valiantly, that the order came down to fix… the order came back to fix – the memories came back – the order came back to fix bayonets. The bayonet was fixed to their rifles. The order was given to charge, and they fought almost basically hand to hand in a very ferocious battle. As the culmination of that battle, there was the sound of a bugle. The bugle sounded withdrawal. It was the sound of the Chinese bugle, which called their units to withdraw. Now, there were 7% casualties. They left no men behind. They brought back all of their wounded. They brought back the story of what occurred to their commanders, the commanders brought that back to us, and now we bring that story back to you. So, as a culmination of that distinction, that gallantry in the field of battle that even the enemy had to bow in respect to this kind of worthy opponent. So it took us approximately 65 years to bring attention to… the military, where they had to prove themselves, they had to contend not only with the elements and with [—-], but with a ferocious enemy. They proved themselves time and again in their ingenuity, in their gallantry, in their bravery in battle. And then even after such, here, 65 years later, I gather together the remnant of these veterans to be in the 65th infantry on a task force, to help educate the public, help educate the congress, to help bring attention to their magnificent story to the American landscape, which culminated in the award of the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest award that the people to the United States can give any military unit. and in their gratitude as well, the people of Korea, and the government of Korea, awarded each of the Korean veterans this friendship medal, and also the Ambassador for Peace medal, so…
– Smile! Look here!

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico National Cemetery (1)

– I’m your master of ceremonies during this event. We gather here today to present a flower wreath in honor and gratitude by… to the fallen soldiers of the Korean War buried and memorized in this cemetery, and to thanks the family members for their sacrifice. Please, stand up if you can. For the… in honor of our fallen heroes.
Please, be seated. We would like to thank the presence of Mr Glenn Power, deputy undersecretary of the. President of the Korean-American association of Puerto Rico. Member of the Remember 727 Organization for Korean War Veterans. Ms… President of 65th Infantry veterans. Member of the 65th Infantry divisions were engineers, family members. And now we have Mr. …. director of the Puerto Rican National Cemetery with a short message.
– I’m going to… I didn’t know I had to give a short message. But another things, uh, thanks him for actually taking time and making this possible. I’m very proud of the 65th Infantry … for their service in Korea, World War II and other places. They went to Panama, all the places that they served. And I was just talking to Mr. Glenn Powers about how all this as a society in Puerto Rico. We don’t give the honor to our servicemen. So, I think today with this short, small ceremony, we are honoring our Korean veterans and all that… year. And, also, the veterans that we have here and… all our respect. Thank you for being here. Thank you for what you’re doing. And welcome to our cemetery.
– Now we have Ms. Hannah Y Kim, member of the 727 Organization for Korean War Veterans.
– Gracias muchísimo, ah, por su hospitalidad y su dedicación de, para mis abuelitos. Yo soy, yo me alegro muchísimo porque yo estoy aquí porque ustedes fueron allí en Corea y yo estoy aquí con ustedes y mis abuelitos, quienes pasaron sacrificios últimos. Y no solo estoy aquí, estoy aquí con todos los coreanos, como presidente lee y representante de corea, porque no, ellos no pueden, ellos no pueden venir aquí, sí, y por eso yo estoy aquí para decir a ustedes gracias muchísimo, para todos. Y nosotros, coreanos americanos, como yo, y coreanos en Corea y coreanos en todo el mundo, nosotros disfrutamos libertad porque ustedes fueron en Corea y nosotros nunca, nunca olvidaremos. Gracias muchísimo, gracias, Javier, y gracias muchísimo.
– …and Mr. Javier Morales… Mr… to honor with your presence and… To place the flower wreath in honor to our… in the Korean War.
– …mis abuelitos. Gracias.
– Pueden ir todos, por favor.
– Sí.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico National Cemetery (2)

– I… War… of the island. I joined the army when I was 23 years old. That time, I had my training here in Puerto Rico and I was in all the places throughout the island serving on the World War II. There… Puerto Rico to South Africa, North Africa and then to Germany. In the… there wasn’t so much to do there, just clean pockets of the Germans. You know? Germans… clean the pockets of. From there I return to the island, then I, uh, I was out of the army. Then I went to study because before I had only eighth grade… the country. And the… I coursed my high school in another town in the center of the island called Barranquitas, … I had my high school diploma and then I moved to the nearest city of Puerto Rico. From there, I graduated and I went to the, to teach in Puerto Rican schools of Puerto Rico. But since then, I have my sedentary done and then out of… They happen to be I didn’t know about, but I was in the reserve when this… 1996 went to Korea. I was called into the field. I was sent to Korea. So, there, I fought in Korea. I was wounded in Korea. I returned to the streets and I was… help because… and I was sent to Germany to serve for 23 years. I was sent to… I served there one year. At that time, I had two sons, they were out of the… same place they died there. That’s the only thing that I will regret all my life. So, I know what the father and mother know and think about their son going to war. So, I went to war and my father said, “It’s time to war”. So, that’s life, what can I say? I am grateful to God, grateful to people that are around me now. People that are… there… Right now I’m 95-and-a-half years old and I still…
My only daughter died two months ago. One month back. And she comes here to be buried here. Today and talk to people here… So, I’m glad I don’t die. I don’t want to die, but… in the… another time… somebody will follow you. I’m very grateful, and thank you, people, for being here and taking care of us, and say hello to us and appreciate what we did in Korea. You probably know that… Korea… What I saw there and the people there. What the people did to us, I appreciate it very much. …and to people… not only myself, we were 19 of us, right? And we appreciate it… Korea. We appreciate that. Thank you again. I went to the country, how it was. Wartime. Everything destroyed. Very dead people. People dying by me. Many things. Very hard for me to tell, very hard to me to tell things like that. It’s another fight. No, no. The only thing I remember was I was there in … And walked all the way down to Seoul. And we fought and that was it. Until I was wounded and taken to home. I had no time to see the country or talk to the people in the country, meet the people in the country, nothing whatsoever. Which now I am very happy to… know the people. The Korean people now. I really appreciate it. And to say to other people what the Korean people were at that time and the way they did… Korea… this today. It’s very different. Very different. But I…
– Do you remember the name of the battle?
– No, we didn’t have time to that. We fought all the way through and the enemy was upon us. Nothing done. You’re fighting, fire. That was that. Bad. Terrible. I say that there should be no wars. Because everything… When there is a war, everything is destroyed. Including the people. Everything is destroyed. The city. The… Everything is destroyed. I hope… our island Puerto Rico for United States. I want to be clear…
– You too?
– I thank the Korean people, because when I visited there, the way they treated me or the people that went there. Good. Nice. And they showed us the way Korean is today… The country of Korea is today… Nothing… So, I, uh… I feel that when I lived in Korea. Little… The people of Korea… for Korea…

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico National Cemetery (3)

– To the cemetery,
what would you think?
– I want to tell you something.
… what I say. I’m going
to tell you something, you know.
– Okay.
– I joined the Army in 1940.
I was 17 years old.
I trained in Tortuguero, Puerto Rico.
Then went to Fort Neal, West Virginia.
From Virginia, we went to North Africa.
And so we headed. We landed there
with 40 dead because we had a kennel.
Because we had a coronel who don’t believe
that puertoricans were their friends.
He went there and kill it… Somebody killed it.
I said everyone in North Africa, they all went to,
uhm… Germany.
Yeah, and I always tell
… about 10.000 prisoners.
… The coronel called, he used to be a commander.
So I came back to Puerto Rico and stayed here.
Then, they planned the work, the maneuver…
Porter maneuver to certificate
that it was the best way to…
That’s what they said, to Korea…
They fought everything. so, myself was
the driver of Mayor General Harris,
so we left him in here, in Puerto Rico.
1950… December, 1950. So we went
in the Marine links, about 16.000 soldiers.
so we land in Busan. So, at the next day, we …
fight in the front, so I used to be the driver
and bodyguard from Coronel Harris.
So, I had a… with Coronel Harris.
So, one day, General McArthur stopped us himself
and he told to General Harris,
“you have to go to that hill
and throw the people in there.”
I remember that.
And General Harris said,
“no, my people has to come back to me, now.
They’re going to rest.”
So, I thought, uhm… He was, you know,
disobeying an order from a Mayor, a General,
he was a Coronel. So, well he left him over there,
So, I know we have a hook for,… in spanish and english.
So, we have everything that the guys have said.
That’s to believe. Because I spente 11 moths in there
with the Coronel and a mission… heave, we go.
I never really thought…
The day the guy walked in the kitchen,
the Admiral used to chew for…
And in the showers, the showers came down from the hill.
We didn’t know it came from the hill.
He said “my girl is washing there, so…”
So, I went down… three pieces of…, you know,
because I knew everything was alright.
The ’65 is one of the best in the world
I know, because I used to be the driver
for Mayor Coronel Harris. We sailed in maneuver.
We were five rocks from…
Then we left for…
And one of the guys said “load the arms”
and one guy from my hometown, they got a .45.
And when you load the .45, it fires a shot…
General Cordero, he was a volunteer for…
And that’s the way, if you are very sick…
I really think so, because the puertorican who
sailed there,… sleeping back, about 20 degrees.
Also, in North Africa, … we slept in there,
the valley… at 32 degrees.
We had to go to the river,
That’s the way…
I used to go with General Harris,
I uses to be the driver.
– But what do you remember?
– I remember the day.
– What did you feel?
– One day, he went to… We were below that,
everything, we didn’t know that they were hiding.
And one morning we called, so they came down
when we started the kitchen, you know, boiling eggs, the breakfast.
And they called out:
“Everybody! I have a job for our company,
every one of you have to kill seven guys.”
– Oh.
– Wow.
– That’s all I have to say. My brother,
he was a policeman, he.
So, we had so many points and they gave me
the break and sent me first.
Yeah, because, I mean…
The korean, yeah. We fought along that people,
you know, together. And they did.
They had this little sack and that’s where.
– Did you volunteer to fight for Korea?
– No, because I used to be a driver
for the Army, Fort Maneuver.
– Yeah, but did you volunteer to be the driver?
– Yeah.
– Volunteer?
– Yeah.
– Why? Why.
– Because I said “fine”, a day that I went to…
No, I forgot the General, to drive to Korea.
they said four days, and they selected me
to be the driver.
They were looking for a man to follow him,
the General.
Well, I’m telling you,
the worst would be the war.
Because I had to be the devil or the saint.
For example, I’m in Puerto Rico, what happens now?
They say I can’t walk, you know why?
Because that guy up there, he sees everything.
I’m alive because my mother,
she promised for me three times.
Three times. I’m alive because of her.
Look, …
but that one is the one that kept me alive.
Don’t worry. I’m 93 years old. Suffer? Suffer.
– The south korean people. Message.
– Korean people.
The korean people were, for me, the best people in the world.
Because I was with them, fought beside them.
We went over there, they were over there.
They give everything that people,
I remember that.
The people that were over there were…
I’d like to go back over there,
because they treat puertoricans like.
A friend of mine, he went.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico National Cemetery (4)

– …Cardónez. About the battles in Korea, I only remember that I was a lifer man, I was, all the time– Most of the times in different lines. When we arrived in Korea with the 63rd Infantry, that was the 6th battalion of the Infantry regiment. And we arrived in Korea on 1 October 1950. So we started going in patrols, because by that time [inaudible] elements, and probably the worst one when China came into the war. There were too many Chinese for us. And I remember that we were, I mean, the first division in the U.S., it was in the [inaudible] war. Is that right?
– Yes.
– So it was November, 1950 when China entered into the war, and the first thing they were trying to do was to finish with the Marines that were taking care of the reservoirs. So, it was winter, 1950. The water was up here, about our knees, and the Chines almost destroyed the Marine division, and the 63rd Infantry were holding the Chinese to help the Marines get out of the– and go to the port of [inaudible] in Korea. So…
– And you were part of that?
– Yeah. The 65th Infantry regiment was the last unit left in North Korea during the US [inaudible] in 1950, and — when we got into the ships that were about 15 or 20 miles in the sea, our regiment put a lot of dynamite in the port, and as soon as we left, they destroyed the [inaudible] in order for the Chinese to use any– for the moment. We were taking to Pusan– everybody was taking to Pusan. And– it was– we went into the ships, it was on 24 December 1950, Christmas time. And we had– they gave us supper on the ship, so we’ve been more– removing our clothes, and when we’re taking into the ships, we were ordered to take our clothes, and they gave us clean ones, clean clothing. So, after taking us to Pusan, they assigned us positions 12 or 15 miles at the North of Pusan. The January 1, 1951, I was assigned to this [inaudible] the 3rd Infantry division. When I stayed for 6 months– July, the same year, I think, 1951, I went back to my company, the Infantry division which was in the front. So, in September, 1951, we were attacking the hill at the west of Ch’orwon, there are hills at the west of Ch’orwon. Ch’orwon is about 20 miles from the parallel, up. And– with the [inaudible], the Chinese were all around, and they were attacking us with urgent. And it was raining like hell. It was in September. And I was trying to– we received orders to leave the place. I was assigned [inaudible] one of that. I don’t think the North Koreans are [inaudible]
– On 18 September 1951, we were capturing one of the hills. As I told you, it was raining like hell, and the artillery, the Chinese artillery all the time, and we were ordered to go back and leave our place. So, there were 12 comrades there already, and I was assigned to carry one of them out. When I was taking care of my comrade, I was hit in the back by Chinese artillery, and I have to leave him, to leave the dead man I was carrying. So, I was taken back to the line, to the resting line, and I was taken to some doctor, and — by that time, I had spent almost 14 months in Korea. And I never went back to the front line. They continued to [inaudible] to take me out of the front lines. So, I entered the Army for three years to volunteer. I can tell you that when I graduated from High-school in my hometown, I entered to work in a drugstore. And on 20 June 1950, I entered to volunteer in the Army to study for officer at the canals in Panama. Five days later, the North Korea, at that time, South Korea, and we were sent to the canal zone, and it was basic training. And when we finished the training, the company commander asked me that they wanted me to stay at the pharmacy in Panama, and I said, “No, I want to go with the Japanese.” So I went volunteering to Korea. I went volunteering in the Army, and volunteering to Korea.
– Why?
– Because at that time, I was 20 years old, and I liked adventures, I liked risky scenes.
– But you could’ve risked your life.
– That was something included in the package. So, I studied three years in the Army, and– get my [inaudible] studying at the University of Puerto Rico. I worked for the government for 23 years, and at the four years studying makes 27, and three years in the Army makes 30. “It’s time to get out of the government.” So, in 1881, I had been working by myself as a lawyer.
– Yes. One more question because you said that you wanted to risk your life for adventure, and you could die. But here, you’re at the cemetery, with comrades who did die. What do you think when you come here?
– Well, we come here because we’re alive to honor them with our visit here. And we do the best we can to have this place as it is.
– Are you glad that you didn’t die, though? I am, I’m glad.
– I’m glad. I’m glad I’m alive. And I– when I saw Korea last September, it was like a miracle because– Korea was all destroyed, and now they have this beautiful country, beautiful Seoul, the capital. And nice people everywhere and I’d like to do there again. Sometime, I will.
– Soon.
– It was nice to have you here, and I hope you enjoy your stay in Puerto Rico.
– Thank you so much.

8/20 San Juan, Puerto Rico National Cemetery (5)

– My name is Javier Angel Morales. I am the past president of the 65th Infantry Veterans Association. I served for about 5 years. Our organization [inaudible]. And they were the ones who organized this whole association in 1936. At one time we had numbers of about 500 members. Now they only have about 150. They had to open up the association to allow veterans from other conflicts or wars to become members, because we want to continue the legacy that the 65th infantry gave to Puerto Rico. As to the Borinqueneers, there was a voluntary army, first [—] in 1917. They were all voluntary. They didn’t have to be drafted. The draft came in World War II. After World War II then came Korea. During the Korean War there were a lot of draftees. I could relate to some of the stories given to me by the different veterans, who were in smaller towns, but when they heard that there was a truck coming picking up those that would like to join the service, they jumped on the truck and were taken to [—-]. Some of them… one person told me that it was the fourth time he was trying to get in the truck, but they turned him down because his age was not the legal age to be drafted. [inaudible]. The regiment was composed of veterans that were from World War I and II. They had been volunteers and they were ready to retire, but they were asked to stay so they could train the new recruits, so most of them did that. That’s why I think the regiment was so…
– Experienced?
– So experienced during the first years of the war, that they were labeled [—-].
– How many served and how many suffered [—-]?
– The count that I have from Puerto Rico was about 63,000. Out of those 63,000, there were 2,700 that were wounded in action. There were about 740 that were killed in action, and out of those 740, there were 122 that were missing. Currently I think there’s about 110 or 112 that are still missing in action. And as they find their bodies or they’re able to identify them, they are added to the Wall of Remembrance in San Juan.
– So, if there’s… I know the 65th earned the congressional gold medal.
– Yes.
– Of course I’m partial, I know they deserved it, but not everybody knows. So, why?
– Okay. The regiment was very successful. They had a maneuver in Vieques called Portrex. They went against the best unit from the United States [——], and they were able to repel that invasion. So that stayed in the mind of Colonel Harris, and when Colonel Harris was in Korea, they asked him that they needed an infantry unit to be able to go to Korea because they were running short. So he said, “Well, I had a regiment I’d like to bring here.” and he mentioned the 65th infantry regiment. But they were… the high brass was very reluctant, because one of the things they said is, “But they never fought during World War I.” Only one battalion fought, which was the 3rd battalion. There were two casualties. And during World War II, they were mainly to secure… or security, of the different bases, of the different places in the Caribbean and in Europe. During the Korean War they were an infantry regiment, and they were well prepared because, like I mentioned before, a lot of them were veterans from World War II. They had experience, they had training necessary to be in battle. And so, that training went on to the new recruits that came in. When they got to Korea, they were instrumental in helping the 1st [—] division exit from the surrounding by the Chinese. Although the Chinese were pushing us back into the sea, the 65th regiment was the last unit to disembark, or to get on the boats, because they were the last ones that were safeguarding the back of all the other soldiers.
– Two last very simple questions. One is, you’re not even a Korean War veteran, why do you care about them so much? Okay? So that’s one. Two, tell the Korean people why they shouldn’t forget.
– When I was in the service, I was serving in Germany, and one of my fellow compatriots mentioned the 65th infantry. I never knew anything about the 65th. I wasn’t interested because I just wanted to serve my two years and leave. When I retired at 60, there was another instance, where I was in Connecticut and I overheard somebody say, “The 65th? They didn’t do anything right.” And that kind of stayed on my mind. I said, “I have to find out about that.” So, when I retired at 60, I said, “I need to go to Puerto Rico, because I want to see Puerto Rico.” [——–], and I did that. But before that, I told my wife and she started crying, and I said, “What’s the problem?” She says, “Well, you’re going to get old on me, and you’re going to die.” And I said… that scared me, and I said, “No, no, no. I have to do something.” So I came to Puerto Rico. Six months I went around the island. This time my brother was calling me. He says, “Look, I need you to help me.” And I said, “Help you what?” He said, “I need you to help me find veterans that were wounded, because I want to start an organization in Puerto Rico called The Purple Heart Organization, to be able to recruit and have a chapter, a register in the national Purple Heart Hall of Honor.” And I said, “Well, I’ll see what I can do.” Meantime, the president of the 65th infantry association was after me telling me the same thing, “Look, I need your help. You’re the youngest, and I need to make sure people don’t forget this organization.”
– So, to the Korean people, why should they not forget the Borinqueneers?
– To the Korean people, first of all I want to thank them very much, because I had the opportunity to go to Korea, and the 65th infantry was very instrumental in safeguarding the country. They were very instrumental in making sure that democracy was installed in Korea. They were very happy to be able to defend your country. A lot of them gave their rights [?], they shed the blood, and they shed the tears. But they did it for a purpose. They wanted you to be happy, your generations in the future to be happy, to be able to live in democracy. And so, the sacrifice that was made by the 65th infantry regiment was not done in vain, your country has progressed quite a bit, your people are very nice, and we really appreciate the way you think about us, the Puerto Ricans and the 65th infantry regiment.

8/30 Honolulu, Hawaii (11)

>> Hello, my name is Tommy Tahara, and then I was stationed at Camp [INAUDIBLE] in [INAUDIBLE], Japan, before the Korean War. That was in 1950 when … And then when the Korean War started, I was in the 7th Division, Company E … No, Company F. “Fox Company,” they call it, Fox Company, and then I was stationed in Camp [INAUDIBLE], and then … What do you call it? When the war started, took none of our personnel from our company and put them in the 44 and 25th Division, so we were left. We were [INAUDIBLE] starting [INAUDIBLE] our company. So, actually, we went in August. We went to Camp Fuji, and we were waiting for the KATUSAs to come in. They picked up all the young kids or whoever old men from Korea, and they loaded up them on a ship, and they shipped them to Yokohama, and then they trained them to Camp Fuji. That was in August of 1950, and one of a friend … He’s the old chapter. He’s a KATUSA. His name is Seok, and then he was with the 7th Division. Our 7th Division, we had about 9,000 KATUSAs, and every company had about 100 KATUSAs. In other words, that made us, you know, combat-ready, but we had to train those guys because they came from Korea, and when they hit our cafeteria, our kitchen, they’d get a cup of coffee. They’d put about 10 teaspoonful of sugar in there because, you know, sugar was … They couldn’t get it in Korea, but anyway, they were terrible. They had diarrhea and all that after that, but after we trained them only for about 3 weeks, and then we loaded up on a ship, and we sailed to Korea. We waited in Pusan Harbor, and we waited outside of Pusan Harbor and waited for Operation Chromite. That was invasion of Korea with the 1st Marine Division and the 7th Division, Infantry Regiment. Anyway, I was in the 17th Infantry Regiment, and my friend Seok was in the 31st Infantry Regiment, and okay. We landed in Inchon, and then we headed towards Seoul, but at that time when we left, we were still young. I was only a [INAUDIBLE] 19 years old, and then we saw all the dead bodies all over the train station, civilians and all that. First time we saw those dead bodies, and most of us … Korean civilians over there. They’re … I guess they got killed by the bombing and all the artillery and the ships because we had over 100 ships outside of Inchon. Anyway, after that we went to where the first battle. It was a hill over Seoul, and then that’s the first time I saw bullets flying all over my head, and my buddy right next to me, he got shot right in the throat. He was standing right next to me, and he got shot in the throat, and you know how frightened you get because that’s the first time you see a guy bleeding from the throat now. Anyway after that, we headed towards Suwon and Suwon side, down south. It was the North Koreans were retreating back. It was we were coming back from the Naktong River side. They were coming back up, and we were going down and meeting them, so we had some few battles over there, around [INAUDIBLE] Suwon earlier, and later on, you know, until almost October, they trained … We’re a convoy bound to Pusan, and from Pusan, we loaded up on our LST and then we headed up north on our [INAUDIBLE]. What sea was that? Japan’s sea all the way up north, and then we passed Wonsan and we landed in Iwon. That was in November of 1950, so you see, the 7th Division had three regiments: 17th Infantry Regiment, the 31st Infantry Regiment and the 32nd Infantry Regiment, and I was with 17th. Okay, that’s … I think the 31st one on our left, they closed the Marine side, the 1st Marine Division. They came up from Wonsan, riding down … What it called? San … What it called? Sanjin, or they’re … Anyway, they call that [INAUDIBLE]. I think they call it Hyesanjin. Hyesanjin, that area. Anyway, the Marines were on the left side of the Reservoir. Then couple of battalions of the 31st and 32nd went on the right side of the river, and our friend Seok was in the 31st. He was on the left side, and our 17th, we went up our way through Kaesong. We’re 80 miles above the [INAUDIBLE] to Chosin Reservoir. We ride up to Kaesong and then to Hyesanjin. It was right on the Yalu River over there, and we still [INAUDIBLE] was in the [INAUDIBLE] yeah. Anyway, was in the [INAUDIBLE]. October/November, anyway. That’s the first time I saw snow. The first time I saw snow, I’m from Hawaii, and it was real warm. [INAUDIBLE] just like cotton falling down, you know? So excited. Anyway, we went inside our [INAUDIBLE] first, before [INAUDIBLE] on Yalu River, and then [INAUDIBLE], we found a reindeer [INAUDIBLE] over there, so the guys shot one reindeer, and that was before Thanksgiving now, so they hang up the reindeer, and they cut it all up here, and I think I ate some. I’m not sure [INAUDIBLE]. Anyway, after that, we stayed there in, what do you call, Hyesanjin for a couple of weeks of [INAUDIBLE] in the new [INAUDIBLE], once you’re in [INAUDIBLE]. It was so cold, so anyway, right about that time, the Chinese came down, right through there, or [INAUDIBLE], what [INAUDIBLE] got paid back or something like that, and then the Chinese kept pouring in, so we had to retreat, so what we did was threw the [INAUDIBLE] lot of our equipment. We dropped. We [INAUDIBLE]. Another we had [INAUDIBLE] we couldn’t carry. We could run it, and then we kind of retreated back there. I think, gee, that must have been about over 100 miles to Hamhung, H, A, M, H, U, N, G, Hamhung, and then I think in a couple of weeks, we entered Hamhung, and we set up out base outside of … The 1st Marine was trapped inside here by the Chosin Reservoir, with about two, three regiments of the 7th Division, 31st and 32nd. I think that was called task force [INAUDIBLE]. Anyway, so we were down by Hamhung, and we set up our position over there in the … What do you call it? When the Marines got to the trap over there, they escaped. They came down from Hungnam. Hungnam, it was, Hungnam, and they moved to Hamhung, Hamhung. That’s where they had the big park over there, and we had, oh, so many ships out there, Japanese ships, all kind of ships because we had to escape. We had to get away. Whatever equipment we could carry, and then we load it up on the ship. Was in almost December, almost Christmastime, and the whole division loaded up on a ship, LST or whatever, and then we headed to Pusan. Again, the last outfit that left there was the 3rd Division. They were the last ones there, to blow up all the places that Hungnam, Hungnam, the park over there. And then December, Christmas, almost New Year’s, we were in Pusan, and then we had frostbite. Most of us had frostbite because the cold. Sometimes it was about 30 to 40 below 0, and the wind was terrible. You cannot go outside and just use the toilet over there because it’s so cold, you can’t … You know what I mean. Thirty, 40 below 0, so all our hands all black. You see my hands? Oh, yeah, all black. Anyway, so anyway, we went to Seoul or Pusan. We went to medical. They checked us out, and I guess at that time to last [INAUDIBLE] leave like a South Korean troop, so they got something out. At that time in the ’50s, a [INAUDIBLE] Caucasian, Asian. They’d call us gooks, again, even though I’m an American, but since I’m Asiatic and I look like a South Koreans or whatever, and they looked down on us, some of them, and some of them are nice, but anyway, after that, in January of ’51, we went up north again. [INAUDIBLE] set up position. Maybe [INAUDIBLE]. I know I remember when Chief [INAUDIBLE] someplace in the [INAUDIBLE]. They said Chief [INAUDIBLE] had a gold mine, so everyone [INAUDIBLE] gold mine [INAUDIBLE], and then [INAUDIBLE] went up to [INAUDIBLE], [INAUDIBLE], and then they all went to this, so the reservoir over there, I think it was [INAUDIBLE] or something like that, and then there was a lot of fighting over there, and actually scariest fighting we had was in February of 1951. At night, as a first stand we had a attack from, what do you call, like a bonsai attack where all of [INAUDIBLE] shoot the flares up in the air and the trumpet and the bugle and all that, and they come charging up there. That was the scariest one because you was young and only 19 years old. Anyway, that was the first experience. I said that [INAUDIBLE] because in the dock, you just keep firing. You don’t know who you’re shooting at because [INAUDIBLE], and a lot of troops died here. In fact, the scariest thing is when you shoot in a foxhole, and you wake up in the morning, and your companion is missing because the Chinese coming. You’re in a sleeping bag, sleeping. They grab the sleeping bag and drag you. They drag you, so when you look at, your buddy is gone. It’s very scary, so actually when I came back home, I used to get nightmares. When you’re in bed, you get what they call PTSD. [INAUDIBLE] screaming in bed, and you are yelling. Yeah, I was like that all those years. Anyway, after June or from 1951, they gave me a, what do you call, rotated. They rotated me out because I had enough points, so instead of coming back to Hawaii, I met my friend in Sasebo. Sasebo, and you know what he did? My friend, he went to personnel, and he changed my order, saying that he’s … I’m going to what do you call? I’m going to the East Coast with him, and he gave my name and his address, so they shipped me over to … on a ship, and we went to San Francisco, and the three of us, with friends, took a train all the way to Chicago and, from Chicago, caught another train to Baltimore. Went to Baltimore. In Baltimore, my friend, he had a wealthy family. They had a hotel, like a inn, a restaurant and a barber shop, so my friend’s dad, he bought him a new convertible, Ford convertible, and that was in ’51. Let me see what’s that, July … No, it was in August, September. Two months I was staying with him in Baltimore, called Baltimore. Anyway, we had a lot of fun. Then we separated. He went to Fort Benning, Georgia, and they sent me up to Fort Dix, New Jersey, so I was with the 39th, the 9th Infantry Division, 39th Infantry Regiment. There was a basic-training company, and then, see, I couldn’t stand the New Jersey weather. It was terrible. It was so cold. [INAUDIBLE] Atlantic Ocean, but it was … because I had all frozen hands, fingers. I didn’t like the cold, so I said, “I need a transfer.” So they tell me, “Where you want to go?” They gave me three options: 3S, it was on the great [INAUDIBLE] 3S [INAUDIBLE] same thing or Germany or Japan. When they said Japan, I said, “Oh, okay! Okay, I’ll go back to Japan,” so they sent me back to Japan, but you know where they sent me? They sent me with the first captain, the first captain that [INAUDIBLE] Korea from [INAUDIBLE] to [INAUDIBLE] Okaido. I went with a … They sent me with a 7th, I mean a 1st Cav, 7th Cavalry Regiment in support, outside [INAUDIBLE] Cav [INAUDIBLE] profit, so we had ski training over there, and anyway, I was there for all about, what, 2 months. Then I went AWOL. You know AWOL? And when I came back after about a week, they threw me in the brig, all of us in the brig. Well, they sent us back to Korea! Instead of giving us [INAUDIBLE], they sent us all back to Korea, so I ended up with a 3rd Division, so 3rd Division when I went there was in 2nd Battalion. They send me to 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division. This guy … They sent me to his headquarters company. It’s like a, what do you call, this Japanese guy, Futo. He was heading a squad of Koreans who could speak Chinese and all kind of Shanghai and Mandarin and all that, and then they could speak Japanese and, of course, Korean, so anyway, a squad of Crown, we call that the King Fishes, so I was put in charge of that. I was a squad leader for that, and it was all Koreans, and they don’t know Japanese. I could speak a little Japanese, so that’s why they put me in there. Anyway, what we did was … Everybody, we had some radio and we’d listen to the, what do you call, the Chinese and the North Koreans, whatever they say on their radio where they communicate, and we intercept them, and we tried to decode what they’re saying. They’re all talking [INAUDIBLE] we call it [INAUDIBLE]. The Chinese are talking code, so they’d translate to me in Japanese, and I’d try to translate it in English to the battalion headquarters. Most of the time, we were up on the hill because when we sent out a patrol at night, that’s when you … We had to listen to see if the enemy is … They came on the patrol that’s coming in, so anyway, sometimes when we’re up on the lookout, way up there and then we’re looking down, and then the Chinese threw artilleries, hundreds of artillery on us. In fact, one time the artillery was so close, it hit our bunker and then blasted us. It was almost a bit, only about 4 feet or 5 feet in front of me. I said the whole bunker, and I had three, four Koreans with me that were translators. All of us in that bunk [INAUDIBLE], and before I knew it, I was on a helicopter. They sent us back because my eardrum was blasted. Couldn’t hear, had concussion, and so they sent me back to the back. I don’t know how far back we went but helicopter. It was the first time I rode in a helicopter, and I was so scared. You know, helicopter is so nice, so small. Those days, the helicopters were small. Anyway, I was there for almost 1 month, and they sent me back to the company, and you know what? To this day, I cannot remember anybody, the first sergeant, the captain in that time. When I came back, I don’t know how I came back, and it took me months and years to find out how I came back, and I had PTSD. Anyway, when I came back in 1953, I’m telling you, oh, I didn’t know what to do because I couldn’t remember a lot of stuff. It was because of that concussion and all that. My doctor said maybe I had something, amnesia. You forget, yeah? And those days you didn’t have this kind of VA and all that. I had to go to a private doctor, and the private doctor … My hands were all blue and cold. They thought I had Raynaud’s disease, so I had to quit smoking, and I had to quit drinking coffee because it affected my hands, so to this day, I don’t drink coffee or smoke. I used to smoke two packs a day, but … Ah, that’s okay. Anyway, after that, when I came home in ’53, I found a job in the Marshall Islands with AEC, Atomic Energy Commission. We were testing those atomic bombs or hydrogen bomb, so we were a service company [INAUDIBLE] and in our, let me see, [INAUDIBLE] November. November, I went back to the Marshall Islands to stay there in Enewetok Atoll. Enewetok Atoll has about 22 small islands, and we were on Parry Island, and then what we did was our company was service [INAUDIBLE] of scientists, the army personnel there. You know, we’d clean. We’d clean their house, laundry, everything. It’s the kind of job we had. Anyway, I stayed there for about a year and a half. Then I came home for a couple months. Then I went back, and I did that for about 6 years until … from end of 1953 to about 1959. Almost 6 years I did that. And after that, when I came back, I worked for the US Post Office, and then at the post office, I was assigned as to deliver mail. At that time, we were delivering mail with a motorcycle, motorcycle with a sidecar. We’d put all the mail in a sidecar and then deliver the mail, so actually after that we had trucks, all different kind of trucks, and during that 44 years I worked as a carrier, I got bit six times by dogs because at first when you ride in a motorcycle, we didn’t have any leash law in Hawaii. Leash law is you’ve got to leash the dogs, but the dogs were always running loose all over the place, and they’d chase the motorcycle and jump on you, and they’d bite you. I got bit six times. Anyway, after that, we had the leash law, so they had to tie down the dog or put them in a fenced house, so they cannot be running around loose, so I was 44 years as a carrier, and then I retired in 2004. Ah, that’s about it.

>> And right now you play such an instrumental role …

>> And then in 1988, I joined our chapter, Chapter One, and then later on, 1988 and about 2006 or 2007, I started helping out with the POW/MIA guys. They used to come every year to what you call a reunion. Every year we had a guy in our [INAUDIBLE] POW [INAUDIBLE] Matsumoto, and he used to handle that, and I used to help him with our [INAUDIBLE]. Anyway, that’s how I learned how to do things, how to make a reunion in order. After I knew how to do that, I had to contact with all the personnel down in Hickam, down in Camp Schmidt, Hickam, and then me …

>> What …

>> Me and another guy, we did all our chapter’s event, even punch bowl event or [INAUDIBLE], whatever event we had in [INAUDIBLE] Christmas or whatever.

>> What does it mean to you, the legacy of Korean War veterans?

>> What’s that?

>> The legacy of Korean War veterans, what is it to you?

>> At first, we didn’t know where Korea was actually. I’m telling you, but we heard of Korea, but when we went there, the first thing we saw was, the Koreans at that time, they always walking with that hat. What do you call it, the long hat, the black hat?

>> The gat.

>> Yeah, with the [INAUDIBLE].

>> Yes, gat, gat.

>> And they got white, white shirt. Everybody wore white those days and then the smell of the, what do you call that thing, honey bucket? They used that as fertilizer, yeah? They put on the whatever, the waste from each house. They put it in a bucket, and they get the ox to move it, and we would see that, and what they did was they threw that thing, that dew, into the rice field as a fertilizer, but that’s the first time we seen it. Anyway, Korea, when we left over there, it was a wreck, nothing. Everything was flat, and I was surprised when I came back for the revisit. I think it was in 2001, the first summer I came back. Wow, everything was built in [INAUDIBLE], those big towers, all that. I was really surprised. I tell you, though, Koreans, they really worked hard, and they did a good job. And I guess they always respect [INAUDIBLE] soldiers or whatever for helping them out because if it wasn’t for American soldiers, our soldiers from the different countries that helped Korea, Korea would be just nothing, just like the North now. Look at the North. At night, you cannot even see the lights, so anyway, I’m really thankful that Korea is what it is today. Okay.

8/30 Honolulu, Hawaii (12)

>> My name is Jose Jimenez. No. Frank R. Chang, and I was in the First Marine Division, and at that time, back in the 1950s, right after World War II, I joined the Marine Corps, and it was rare at that time because there were no Chinese in the Marines, very few. They were just starting to let them in, and I was one of probably the first half dozen to a dozen, at best, in the Marine Corps. Okay? What else do you want to know?

>> Did you get to … Why not the Army? Why the Marine Corps?

>> Oh, there was a lot of good movies put out on the Marines in those days, so that’s what got me in there, and it was very romantic and brave and heroic, and they were going to save the world, and I was a young guy, and didn’t know any better, and so I joined the Marine Corps when the war, Korean War, broke out. That was December of 1950, I don’t know, 1951, ’52.

>> Knowing that the war was ongoing, and knowing that you could die …

>> Oh, when you’re young, you don’t worry about dying. You think you’re going to live forever.

>> What do you remember?

>> What do I remember?

>> Where did you get trained before …

>> What do I remember?

>> Where were you trained? Which camp?

>> I trained in Camp Pendleton, California. Down there towards San Diego, between San Diego and Los Angeles. I was probably one of the first half dozen orientals that joined the Marine Corps at that time because it was right after World War II, and prior to that, and during World War II, they did not have … bring in the Chinese or orientals in the Marines, and especially during the Korean War you would be mistaken for an enemy because at that time, they were stripping our wounded and dead and wearing our uniforms because they were poorly equipped. The Chinese that came into the war in Korea were not equipped very well. They were recruited fresh from China, and they were only in Chinese uniforms, and it was winter when I went over there, so they were stripping our dead and wounded of their clothing and wearing it, so it was quite something that I was able to go over there because, being oriental, that’s the first thing you aimed and pulled the trigger on because we were fighting North Koreans and Chinese at that time.

>> Did you face discrimination among other …

>> Well, they always thought I was the enemy, and having joined the Marines, I was probably, like I said, probably one of the first half dozen, not even a dozen that joined the Marines and were able to be part of the Marine Corps, and many times I was pushed out of the foods lines, what we called the chow lines, because I looked like a Korean or a Chinese, not Chinese but mostly Korean because we had a lot of Koreans working for us.

>> Oh.

>> So if I’d get in the chow line, they’d kick me out.

>> Because they thought you were one of the houseboys or interpretors.

>> Yeah, they thought I was one of the houseboys or one of the what we call … I hate to say it, but that’s … We used to call them chiggy bearers, and these were the Koreans that we recruited to work for us.

>> What bearers?

>> We used to call them chiggy.

>> Chiggy?

>> Yeah, C-H-I-G-G-Y, chiggy.

>> What does that mean?

>> I don’t even know what it means, it’s just a name, but these were Koreans that we hired and they carried all our ammunition, all our food on their backs up these mountains, and this was when I was young and wild, and I called them the chiggy bearer, but I soon learned that these were not just chiggy bearers and slaves. They were people, and one of … A little old Korean man taught me a lesson that I will never forget.

>> Share that.

>> Well, we just got through battle, a battle, and we took a hill. We took the position, and as we were digging in, as we call it in the Marine Corps, we were digging out foxholes and building fortification, this little Korean chiggy bearer, as we used to call them, this little Korean guy, after carrying a big, heavy box of food or ammunition up those mountains to us, after they drop off all the supplies, before they go back down the mountain, they’d spread out through the area, and that day, after the battle, I was cutting a huge log for something, and being a young person and a Marine, I looked down on this little old guy, but he pushed me aside, and he grabbed the ax that I was using, and I’ve been working on this log for maybe an hour or 2 hours or 3 hours but forever, and I hadn’t gotten very far, but he grabbed the ax from me, and he proceeded to chop it up in about a minute and a half. He was like an automatic machine, and as I leaned against a tree or wherever I was leaning against, I thought to myself, “I’m ashamed of myself. I’m very ashamed of myself because I looked down on this little Korean man. He carried my ammunition and my food up this mountain, and I’ve been working on this log for 10 years and didn’t get very far, and he comes up here and he shows me in a way how to chop a log up,” and he had it chopped and piled up in less than a minute and a half. He was like a machine, and that’s when I learned, as a young person, never look down on anybody else, no matter what, and even though I came over to this country to help him, he showed me something, and I was ashamed of myself, and that was a lesson in life. I never forgot that.

>> Humility, huh?

>> Never look down on another human being, no matter what.

>> Let’s talk …

>> That’s my story.

>> Yeah. Let’s talk about Punchbowl because Punchbowl is a very famous battle.

>> Well, by the time I got to Punchbowl, the hills had been taken.

>> When was that? What month and year?

>> I don’t remember the month. I’ll tell you the year: The year was about … I think I was … I don’t even remember. I think I was over there in ’51, ’50 or ’51. We were there. I was there, and I spent a Christmas there. Christmas Eve, I was walking by myself, and the guns … And we had big guns in the Punchbowl area, and they would fire off every so often, and it was one of the most … How could I say it? Incredible sounds that I hear to this day, the big guns firing. Christmas Eve in Korea, a cloudless moon. It was a beautiful sight, really, in your memory, and the guns would fire off every 5 to 10 minutes, and the echo reverberated through the Punchbowl area because it had, what, three sides of the mountains all around you, and I hear those sounds today, periodically, so that’s kind of a memory of Korea.

>> Many died in that battle.

>> Many, many, many.

Many, many, many, and they … not ours but on the other side, the enemy, they laid where they died.

>> North Koreans or Chinese?

>> Pardon?

>> North Koreans or Chinese?

>> Probably a mixture because you couldn’t tell. They all looked alike. I looked alike. I looked like them, and in fact, I’m probably … Like I say, I’m probably one of the first half dozen, other than my comrades here in the group because they were … I guess I’d say they were probably in the northern part or the western part of the … I don’t know. I was young at that time, but in the Marine Corps, in our sector, I was probably one of the first half dozen that was in combat. Yeah. Because in the Marines, they didn’t have Chinese, and they didn’t have orientals, and in fact, when I went over as a replacement, there was one other guy that came in from Tarrytown, New York. His name is Al Hui. That’s that guy right there. That’s Al Hui, and …

>> His last name was Huey?

>> H-U-I, Hui.

>> Oh, and where … Which state was he from?

>> Huh?

>> Which state was he from?

>> No, no, I’m sorry.

>> What’s his hometown?

>> There were two. That’s Al Hui there. He was from Tarrytown, New York, and this is Herbie. That’s the other oriental guy that I met over there.

>> Where was he from?

>> He was from Wisconsin some place, which is from unusual, and I was from the San Francisco, Bay Area, so there were three of us. We got all separated in different parts of the First Marine Division, but Al and I landed together, ended up together at the replacement depot where the new guys came in, and they called Al and myself into the commanding officer’s tent, and commanding officer is siting at a table there, and we were standing at attention in front of him, and he said, “You two guys” … I remember, he pointed at … “You two guys are not going to go up on line and join an outfit.” He said, “You won’t last more than a week,” because we were fighting the Koreans and the Chinese at that time, and it was wintertime, and they were stripping our dead of their clothes and wearing them, so the first time orientals in the Marine Corps, there was no such thing. There were, like I say at that time, there were maybe six, half a dozen at best of …

>> In the entire Marine Corps or just your division?

>> Hmm?

>> In the entire …

>> In the entire Marine Corps, in the entire Marine Corps because the Marines were fighting in the islands during World War II, so they were fighting the Japanese, and they had no Marines, as far as I know, and I’m pretty darn sure because when we went over there, Al and I stayed together, and the commanding officer said, the replacement depot officer said, “You two guys are not going to go off the line. We’re keeping you back here. You won’t last more than a week,” and I looked at Al, and he looked up at me, and I said, “No, sir, we want to go up on line and join our company,” and I remember his exact words: He said, “You sure?” and I said, “Yes, sir. I want to join my company.” He said, “Okay. You won’t last more than a week, but if that’s what you want, you will join them,” and I joined Dog Company, and Al joined the Easy Company, which when we went up on the battle together, battle lines, we were always together, the two companies, alongside of each other.

>> Did he make it back too?

>> Hmm?

>> Did he make it back?

>> Al made it back because he was a machine gunner, and machine gunners are pretty good. And, well, we were both lucky.

>> And you saw combat?

>> Oh, yeah.

>> So you saw people actually die next to you?

>> I wasn’t with the company more than 2 weeks. I walk down the hill one morning. There was roughly 27 guys. Next morning, four of us was carrying a stretcher, and one of my guys that I went over there with, we carried him on that long, up a mountain, and by the time we got within about 25 feet of our line, he rolled off one last time and died. I carried him all night. We carried him all night up a mountain. So that was my beginning in Korea. Yes, we saw a lot of people die. We saw a lot of people never made it home. This is why, today … That’s why today, I still don’t forget. You never forget.

>> And you were how old?

>> I guess I was … No, I was 17. I joined when I was 17, April 5th. I was in Korea, I think November, November of that same year, after training …

>> In 1950? In 1950 or 1951?

>> 1950 … I don’t know. It was 1950 or ’51. I forget the year now. I haven’t looked at the records or anything.

>> Because the war broke out on June 25th, 1950, so maybe ’51?

>> Well, it might have been ’51. I forget now. My mother had to sign on a dotted line for me to get in because I was 17. Yeah.

>> How old are you now? Or how young are you now?

>> Eighty-four.

>> Well, you’re still considered young compared to some of the veterans, right? And you keep yourself very, very fit and healthy and young, and I guess …

>> Well, God has been good to me. He gave me good genes, and I guess I took care of my body.

>> Because you probably understood how precious it is.

>> I stayed fit. All my life I was pretty fit because I’ve been in the outdoors. I was at … No, actually, I have to take that back. See, I have to think because I never even thought … I was 18. I was 18 when I went over to Korea. I was 17 when I joined the Marine Corps, and in the Marines … I went in at 17, and I had my 18th birthday a month later. I had to get in so bad. That’s another story from way back.

>> When’s your birthday?

>> But I had to have my mother sign on a dotted line.

>> When’s your birthday?

>> Hmm? April 5th.

>> Your birthday is April 5th?

>> Yeah.

>> I went in March 7th, March 7th.

>> My birthday is in April too.

>> You’re another Aries, that’s why.

>> Oh, I’m a Taurus.

>> Oh, you’re a Taurus.

>> Yes.

>> Oh, well.

>> Even more stubborn, Tauruses.

>> Yeah.

>> Well, first of all, you …

>> Yeah, well …

>> Many followed … You’re a pioneer, in a way, because many … Now we know there’s many Asian-American …

>> Oh, nothing but orientals in there now, many, many.

>> My cousin was …

>> In fact, I have a grandson …

>> Yeah, my cousin was in the Marines for more than 20 years.

>> Yeah, my grandson was in there. Where is my grandson? There’s my grandson. He came back from Iraq.

>> That was another difficult war.

>> This shows him come back from Iraq, and I was carrying his pack.

>> Mm. You must have been so proud.

>> I was carrying his pack.

>> Now, you have some pictures here. Did you take any of them yourself, the pictures?

>> Oh, I probably did. These were in Korea. These were the only ones that survived in Korea. I had what we call a Pony 135-millimeter camera in those days, but the thing is I had several rolls of film, but the moisture, and we could not develop over there, so by the time I got them back, they were all moldy, so I never bothered to develop a lot of these pictures, and they were all …

>> But they’re still very well-kept.

>> Well, not all of them. They were mostly all ruined. I didn’t take a lot of these pictures. A lot of these pictures I … Some of these, I took. This was over there. This was over in Korea. These are the hills in Korea, and I think these were too, yeah, but very few of them survived. That’s when I graduated from what we called boot camp. This is a picture over here in Camp Pendleton that I was at, 18 years old, but the only pictures that really survived … This is a battle picture that survived.

>> Where was that?

>> I don’t know. One of the many hills. Right here, this is one of the many hills that we took, and here’s that Al, up in the battle line. He was in Easy Company, and I was in Dog Company, and we was always together.

>> Did you both keep in touch afterwards?

>> Pardon?

>> Did you keep in touch after the war?

>> Yes. We both made it through and came back, and we kept in touch, and he was a smoker, so he did himself in.

>> What do you think … Looking back, while at the time you were young and you wanted to seek adventure, so you joined, but looking back now, almost 70 years later, what do you think … What do you think your legacy was?

>> What do I think of what?

>> What do you think your legacy …

>> I have no legacy. My legacy is, I behaved myself, became a good Marine, did my part for something. I don’t know what, but the most important part is, God taught me many lessons.

>> And you’ve been back to Korea?

>> Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Most wonderful part because the Koreans over there had a program for these last … How many years now? God, 30 years, 40 years, and I’ve gone back and able to visit and see the growth and what was accomplished, and it kept me humble.

>> I hope you feel very proud.

>> Well, I just did my part, just like many, many guys, and especially the guys that never made it home. That’s what I’ll … And that’s what … That’s what I keep remembering. I made it home, and most of these guys that we had reunions later on that I was able to get ahold of, we owe for all those that never came back …

>> Well …

>> … that never came back. We were all young men at that time, and these reunion pictures that were taken, we grow old from young men. We grew old, and there I am old.

>> And I would like to say you lived to tell the stories, and honor the memories …

>> Well, it’s important …

>> And honor the memories of those who couldn’t come back.

>> Yeah.

>> So thank you, and I guess that’s what I’m just trying to do to honor your memories.

>> Well, not so much as mine but those that never made it home.

>> Yeah, but …

>> That’s the important …

>> You’re the one that’s tell theirs …

>> Well, I can …

>> … because who will remember them?

>> I can do my best to tell the story as best as I can, but it’s not just me. It was many, many of them, especially those that I went over with. They never saw a month. They never saw one month more.

>> I guess when you’re young … Well, not even when you’re young, but many people think it won’t happen to them, like you read in the paper about somebody crashing and dying in a car accident, but you never think it’s going to happen to you, but so many of fearlessly just joined, thinking it won’t happen to you, but it must have been very, very real when it did … you saw …

>> When you’re young, your mind is small, and you don’t experience a lot of things. You go over there as a young man. As a young man, I walked down the hill. I wasn’t over there a month. I walked down the hill one morning with, I would say … I have the number in my head 27. Twenty-seven of us walked down the hill one morning, and the next morning, to my knowledge, there was only four of us that walked back up. I carried a stretcher within one of my buddies at 18 years old up a hill all night long after a battle during the day. We walked down a hill 27 of us. Next morning, four of us walked back up carrying a stretcher.

>> So what do you think was … How are you the four that survived? What do you think was your, I don’t know, blessing, luck, fortune, skill, whatever it was?

>> God. There’s such a thing as a God.

>> Well, why do you think …

>> See, I was raised in an orphanage that was a Christian orphanage.

>> Okay, that’s what I thought.

>> So I believed in a God quite early as a young man.

>> Okay, so it was God, but why did God spare your life if, maybe out of the 27, all of them believed in him?

>> That’s what I asked. Through my many, many years to my old age, I talked to God constantly. I don’t quite follow him well enough, but he’s there. I know there is a God. I believe in a God.

>> Oh, I do too, but sometimes I ask, “Why me?”

>> That’s the question that we all had. That’s the question that all of us asked, not in public, but I can tell you this between you and me that I don’t talk to other veterans a lot. We don’t talk about it too much, but I know in our secret of our time together, sitting on a couch, sitting on a chair, sitting on a bench, sitting outside, looking around, we know there’s a God, and for those of us that really knows him, we thank him for allowing us to be back here to raise our families, raise children, have grandchildren, but never, never a week goes by that I don’t think of those I left behind that never came home.

>> Even after 70 years.

>> That never came home. Our debt is to our buddies that never came home, and when you see the craziness and the wildness in the youth that is growing up thinking that there’s forever, we do the best that we can for those one-on-one, maybe, and pastors in churches or whatever, they do it one on the congregation, and we try to tell a message that, “Hey, sober up. Mature. Do something for maybe one other. For as many as will listen to you.” See, I owe a debt, not to me but to those that never came home, never got old. I’m an old man now, not a young guy anymore. Not a young guy, 18 years old in Korea. I owe my buddies a debt to be a better person, to do something worthwhile. That’s the important part. That is the most important part.

>> And I’m sure you’ve fulfilled it.

>> I’m very fortunate. God loves me, and I’m still here. I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

>> And one more.

8/30 Honolulu, Hawaii (7)

>> My name is Ken Tashiro. My wife and I like to sing, and when we were living on the big island, I was inspired to write this song, and she helped me with the lyrics.

>> What is the song?

>> It’s “This Land is Your Land,” and it was written by Woody Guthrie, and it was sung by Pete Seeger. And so we took those words, and we made new words for it that applied to Korea. I was in Korea from July 4th, 1950. I was there 1 week after the war started. I was in Japan with the occupation, so this song details all the things that I’ve seen. I started out in Busan, went up to the [INAUDIBLE] and had the first battle and went up to …

[ Chatter ]

>> Okay. All right. And then we went up to North Korea, went to Pyongyang, and then we were 5 or 10 miles south of the Yellow River when the Chinese communists came in, and so we had to retreat, so …

>> Were you part of the Task Force Smith?

>> No. If I had been, I’m afraid I would’ve been dead, but we were … I was fortunate and got back, and got back south of Seoul, and then in June of 1951, I had enough points to rotate to go back to the mainland or to Japan, and since I had almost 10 months left, they had me sent to Japan. Then I got out May of 1952, so I almost spent 5 years in the army. But this song reflected my feelings and the third verse about the people that were killed and about the people who were wounded, and maybe they weren’t wounded in body, but they were wounded in mind or in the soul, so that’s what that came from.

>> Can you take it out, the lyrics, so I could show the lyrics?

>> Yes.

>> How long did it take you to write it?


>> Okay.


>> You know, here I was so surprised that you wrote against the armies of North Korea and the Chinese commies too. Many of your friends, your comrades in the chapters, they’re Chinese Americans, and, first of all, you as a Japanese American, what did it feel like to you? Because there’s a very complicated relationship between US and Japan at the time because it was right after World War II and Pearl Harbor, and you were here in Hawaii. And then, of course, the Japanese had colonialized Korea before, and so there was that very complicated relationship. So what, as a Japanese American … It’s not like you chose to make all of that happen. It was more political. What, as a young boy, how did it make you feel? It must’ve been so difficult.

>> Well, as a young boy during World War II, the Japanese Americans were evacuated from the West Coast. I was born and raised in California, and we were forced to leave there and go inland. And then we went to a camp in Gila River, Arizona, and we were in camp for 2 years. Then I was sent out because my dad, who was in the 442, he was an [INAUDIBLE], he was in the 442, but it didn’t make any difference. So we had to go to Minneapolis, and I went to high school there. And finally we got back to California, and then in 1947, I volunteered for the army.

>> Why did you want to volunteer? I would’ve been so angry, honestly.

>> Well, I’m a Christian, first of all.

>> Yes.

>> And so first, I felt very angry about the war, but then I decided that the war, it’s one of those things. There’s a saying in Japanese. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. It means, “Can’t be helped,” but anyway. So I went in the army. I went to army language school. I studied Japanese, and …

>> Did you face any discrimination in Korea?

>> Beg your pardon?

>> Did you face any discrimination or racism in Korea?

>> Well, yeah. In any situation, because of my face, I was often taken for the enemy, and so one thing that saved me was I knew a lot of swearing in American language. And I’d swear like that, and then they’d say, “Oh, he’s GI.” So, anyway.

8/30 Honolulu, Hawaii (8)

>> My name is Earl Kalani Simerson. I went to Korea in 1950, July 1950. I followed after the 5th Regimental Combat Team had left before me. I was at that time at the [Indistinct] general’s office in 4th Chapter.

[ Chatter ]

>> You’re a local native Hawaiian. As a local native Hawaiian, what did you know about Korea and the Korean War before you went, and how did you feel about it after?

>> Before the Korean War, I didn’t know nothing about Korea, but after I went there, I left Korea. In Hawaii, well, we always had kimchi, so when I was in Korea, there was a lot of kimchi, so that was my meal, kimchi and rice. Still today, I still got kimchi and rice.

>> You had kimchi before you went to Korea?

>> Yeah.

[ Chatter ]

>> Wow.


[ Chatter ]

>> Tell me about your experience in the war. Your experience in the war and after.

[ Chatter ]

>> In the beginning, I saw a lot of casualties, and as a young boy, I never seen this in my life, and so I couldn’t eat for 11 days. I was so upset. And after that, I started to eat, understand I got to eat. Otherwise, I’d die. But I learned a lot about the Koreans. They were very nice people. Everywhere we went, they were taking care of every soldier, and otherwise, that’s about all [INAUDIBLE].

[ Chatter ]

>> You can talk about anything you want.

[ Chatter ]

>> Whenever you’re ready.

[ Chatter ]

>> Well, one of the things that we were there, we didn’t have supplies, so I never changed clothes for 3 months. That’s how bad. There was no supplies, no clothing.

[ Chatter ]

My clothes was just like leather. Most of us, every time we went to take a shower, everything was frozen, and so we couldn’t take showers but … And we used to burn houses to keep warm because you had no facilities, and so as we advanced, we’d stand under a house with a cigarette lighter, keep warm. That was it, but we had no winter clothing. By the time April came, 52 of the supplies came. It was too late, but that was because of the war started, and then America wasn’t in any war at that time so unprepared for it, the Korean War.

>> You know Hawaii didn’t become a state officially until 1959?

>> Yeah.

>> And you were sent to Korea in 1950. I don’t understand.

[ Chatter ]

>> Yeah, well, we were a territory of the United States.

>> I know, so did you volunteer, or were you drafted?

>> I volunteered in the Army.

>> Why would you want to volunteer for? Technically it wasn’t even your country.

>> Well, I volunteered in 1948. There was no jobs. Well, most of us all … After you got out of high school … Because of the second war, my parents went broke. We lost everything due to the Second World War so couldn’t go to college, so after I graduated from high school, joined the Army. Most of us all did. We joined the Army to get income, I guess, because at that time, there weren’t many jobs around.

[ Chatter ]

But that was one of the reasons why. Yeah.

[ Chatter ]

>> That makes me sad because you risked your life.

>> What’s that?

>> That makes me sad because you had to risk your life.

[ Chatter ]

It makes me sad because you had to risk your life for it.

>> Yes. When I think of it, oh, my god, I was lucky, but thank God.

[ Chatter ]

All my friends got wounded or were killed in action.

[ Chatter ]

So I’m thankful for what I have today.

[ Chatter ]

>> Thank you.

Australia Canberra (1)

>> My name is Brigadier Colin Kahn, retired, of course, and I served in Korea in 1952 as a lieutenant platoon commander of an infantry rifle platoon, but before I say a few more words about the army, let me explain a little bit about this memorial, which I was on the planning committee, which we helped build when it was completed in the year 2000. This memorial is located in in our avenue of memorial called Anzac Parade. Anzac Parade runs from in between two major buildings in Canberra. The Australian War Memorial at the far end of the parade where veterans of all wars are honored, particularly on Anzac Day on the 25th of April. The other building it joins with is our Parliament House down on the right-hand end, and Parliament House looks up Anzac Parade and right to the War Memorial. We hope that the politicians will see a little bit looking at these memorials of what decisions they made and what some of the consequences of sending out troops and people to war.

Anzac Parade is our parade, I say, of memorials, and all people, veterans and relatives of past wars like the Boer War, World War I. Most of the veterans are all dead, of course, but their relatives walk and march here, and they go up Anzac Parade to the Boer War Memorial where a service is held on the 25th of April every year. Now the memorial itself, I say, was finished in the year 2000, and the money to build it was given by the Australian government, by the South Korean government, by all our Korean and returned servicemen organizations around Australia. It took some time to build, and we had our committee navy, army and air force, and I represented the army, and women and widows of people, of soldiers who had died. It consists of out on the front an obelisk, an obelisk which is dedicated to all those who are buried without a known grave, and we have some of those. There’s an inscription on that obelisk which comes from the war cemetery in Busan, and put that inscription on the obelisk. Now the obelisk itself then leads onto a walkway, which runs up to the main memorial itself inside the memorial, which we call a contemplative space, it is where people can come and lay wreaths and where, on special days, units will come and lay wreaths and bring visitors to wreath and see what Australia’s part was in that war. On the outside of the memorial, we have listed all the 21 countries that assisted South Korea during the war, and three badges of the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force and the badge of the British Commonwealth Division. We in the army served under the auspices of the British Commonwealth Division. Also, you can see on the scroll there all the nations that served in the war. Outside in the space out here, you will see there are three statues: one of a soldier over here, one of a sailor and one of an airman. That represents our three combat services who served in Korea. Beyond that, probably note there are no symbols to nurses here, but the Nurses Memorial is directly opposite us on the other side of the road, but they’re not here. Now these statues here are interspersed, or covering them are a series of stainless-steel poles. Some people think they represent all the dead, and, yeah, we had 250-odd killed in South Korea, but they are just indicative of it. The other thing the poles do is give us an indication of the starkness of the cold which we soldiers in particular remember of some aspects of the terrain in Korea, and they cast long, gray, cold shadows in wintertime, and that really reminds us of Korea. Also, there are some boulders, and I’m sitting on one here. They were donated by the Korean government, and they were flown back from Korea from the area around Kapyong, where we had a major battle, and placed here. Now this particular memorial, I say, is used on Anzac Day, but also units come here and have their own specific parades, army, navy and air force, and then march up Anzac Parade towards the main memorial, which is dedicated to all Australians who fought in all wars in which Australia has participated. All right? Now let me give you a little bit about the army. Know we had 17,000 Australians who fought in South Korea during the war from ’50 to ’53. There were over 200 and almost 250 killed, 1,300 almost wounded, many seriously with limbs blown off and things like that. We had four taken prisoner, and a number are still buried in graves that are unknown. As I said earlier, the majority of our dead are buried in the Korean cemetery in Busan. Now the army had three battalions that served in Korea. I served in the 1st Battalion, and, you know, you can pick up all the detail of what those battalions did. There were two phases to our war. There was what we call the mobile phase when one battalion, which came over from the occupation force in Japan, participated from October 1950, at almost the beginning of the war, and it fought all its way up the peninsula, the Chinese border, and then withdraw back again when China came into the war and helped established our peace line just north of Seoul. Two other battalions we said came in the later 2 years of the war, and I belonged to one of those, and I fought in what was called the static phase. The static phase of the war is with the war patrolling where every night and during the day sometimes, we would send our fighting patrols to attack the enemy. We’d send out ambush patrols to ambush the energy, reconnaissance patrols to recognize or hear his positions because we were located on opposite sides of the valley, the Samichon Valley. The Chinese and North Korean positions were on one side, and our positions were on this side, and we had to find out what was going on, on the other side, so we’d send patrols in to find out. This patrolling activity got particularly intense in October, November 1952, and with my battalion, which was called the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, we had a big hill in the middle of our area called Hill 355 or Maryang-san. It was vital ground. Vital ground means if the enemy captured it, they could almost control what’s going on all around it. One of the United Nations battalions, not an Australian battalion, was attacked very heavily up on this particular hill and almost overrun, so my battalion was sent up the next day to reoccupy the position and try to regain the initiative in the patrol battle. My platoon of 30 men, we were given the forward platoon, close to the enemy positions, and we had an intensive patrolling program where every night, we would send out half of my platoon. My platoon sergeant might take it out from last light until midnight, and then I would take the rest of the platoon from midnight until dawn, and we’d either have fighting patrols or ambush patrols to try and get the enemy as he was coming across to our positions because the name of the game was to control no-man’s-land, and this is why this position was overrun before we got there. The battalion that was there before we arrived did not patrol actively, and the enemy, the Chinese, came across no-man’s-land and dug tunnels at the base of this big hill, 355, and infiltrated soldiers across over several nights, and they occupied this position at the base of one of our positions, and they weren’t interrupted, which means that whoever was on our side wasn’t patrolling actively enough. They all should have been picked up and destroyed long before this, so when they decided to attack the hill, they were already on the hill, and our artillery and mortars had no effect on them, so they did overrun several of the positions. Anyway, a lot of the positions on this hill were destroyed, and we were sent up to reoccupy and take it over, and this is when we did all this active patrolling. Now let me tell you a story about one particular patrol, which I always remember, was a patrol which occurred that I was leading on November the 11th, 1952. I remember November the 11tth because it was Armistice Day, not for Korea, but it was Armistice Day for World War I. My platoon was under heavy artillery and shell bombardment all through the night, and we were supposed to leave at midnight, but we couldn’t get out of the position because there were too many shells falling, and we couldn’t expose ourselves out of the trenches. I managed to get the platoon out sometime after midnight, and we started to go down the hill as a fighting patrol to start to see if there are any enemies still on our hill. Halfway down the hill, we ran into an enemy ambush.

The enemy opened fire, and I was hit with a machine-gun through the chest, and I had three bullets which went through my chest. Then they threw hand grenades, and fortunately I was wearing a United States armored-proof vest, and that stopped all the grenade shrapnel, but you might ask, why didn’t it stop the bullets? Well, the bullets happened to go through the vest, the zipper, which was in the middle of the jacket, and these three bullets went through the middle of the zipper and caused all my casualties. I must say. The next morning, when I was in an American MASH hospital, American scientists visited the hospital and said, spoke to me about my action, and they decided then they had to change the design of the armored-proof vest, of the armored vest from having a zip down the middle. They put the zip under the arm, and I said, “That’s a good idea. I wish I had have had it.” Anyway, I had an interesting experience when I was shot, and it was, you know, severe wounding. I had an experience where I left my body and went up into the sky, and I was in no pain.

I could look down on the battle that was taking place with my soldiers and the Chinese soldiers on the ground, and I could see this battle taking place that I was divorced from because I was in the sky, and I suddenly realized that if I didn’t do something, I might die altogether because I shouldn’t be doing this. I should be in pain on the ground, so I forced myself to come back to the ground, and I did. I managed to come back onto the ground, and after that, my own stretcher-bearers got me and took me back to my lines, so that was my experience with an out-of-body, out-of-life experience, which I’ve had in South Korea. Now my evacuation also shows what happened in Korea.

When I was wounded in this no-man’s-land area, I was carried back to the Australian aid post in our battalion by Australian stretcher-bearers. One of those stretcher-bearers happened to be a man named Keith Payne, who eventually won a Victoria Cross, our highest award for valor. However, at my battalion aid post, I was then picked up by an Indian field-ambulance, which drove me to a clearing station. Then it was another Norwegian base picked me up there and took me to American MASH, and the MASH was 8055 MASH, which is the one you see on television every night. It was all taken at the MASH I was in. After I was treated in the MASH for several weeks, I was then taken by a bridge hospital train down to Seoul into a British hospital, then flown by an Australian medical aircraft across …

Australia Canberra (2)

>> …threat. I’m Norman Lee. You want to know when I was first in Korea, October 1951, flying from an aircraft carrier from the Royal Australian Navy, flying Firefly aircraft. Our task was interdiction, which meant we had to keep all the roads closed, and our weaponry was bombs, so we did a lot of bombing of bridges, et cetera. Interestingly enough, we found that you can bomb a bridge, straddle it, and the bridge is not damaged. Am I going into too much technical detail here?

>> No.

>> No. So we decided to do low-level bombing with delay fuses, a 27 delay between the bomb hitting the ground and exploding, four aircraft. Me, the last aircraft in, I had to get in within 27 seconds. Obviously I did because I’m still here. Interesting things, we operated out of Guri, the carrier, out of Guri and Sasebo. We alternated between the two. We were on patrol for 10 days in the Yellow Sea. We alternated with American aircraft carriers. We were there for 5 months.

We relieved a Royal Navy aircraft carrier, and it came back and relieved us. It went down to Australia to be refitted. Highlights? I remember taking a group to Iwakuni to do a test flight on an aircraft, and on the way back, we were still in uniform because it was still wartime. We stopped at a Russia bar, and it was still dead flat, and we wandered around. We were looking for somebody to get something to eat like today, and we came across what we thought was an eating place, and we walked in, and obviously we weren’t very welcome, and it turned out that it was a private place, and then they realized we’d made a mistake, and then they welcomed us. They took us out the back, sat us down, and we had a cow sukiyaki as they called it, lots of acai beer, and then they put us onto the train back to Guri so good fun. Highlights? We went through a terrific typhoon, Typhoon Ruth. We lost aircraft off the flight deck because of the weather. The flight deck is 44 feet above the water level, and we lost a tractor off the front of the island and a boat from behind the island, so you can see how the waves at 44 feet were [INAUDIBLE]. The ship rolled 35 degrees, which is a lot of rolling in an aircraft carrier. What else can I tell you? Ask me a question.

>> Do you remember seeing some of the civilians?

>> Oh, yes, Korean. Interesting, I took the mail from the ship into Gimpo, and as a result, I went into Seoul. In Seoul, there wasn’t a building standing that didn’t have a hole in it, and the only bridge was in the river, in the Han. And when I went back about 15 years ago, multistory buildings and, what, 17 bridges across the Han now, very prosperous country. Two of my course mates were shot down during the Korean War. They both survived, very interesting. We lost 10 aircrafts, shot down. We lost three pilots killed. We incurred 90 instances of damage to aircraft in the aircraft fire. Anyway, when it came time to come home we did. We arrived in Australia and as if we had never been away. There was no … not like Vietnam where there was lots of anti. It was just the flow. We’d never been away, and we went straight into peacetime routine, and that was that. What more can I tell you?

>> So …

>> I’ll tell you a little interesting story.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> We had destroyers and frigates, surface ships, operating all the time, and you would have seen pictures of the Thames in London. There’s a cruiser sitting in the Thames, HMS Belfast and Tobruk. Tobruk was an Australian destroyer, and Belfast was a Royal Navy cruiser. We were on the east coast doing shore bombardment where the pilot directs the fall of shot from the ships. All right? Are you still with me?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Good. Stay with me. Anyway, exchange of call signs between the ship and myself. Went ahead shooting. I made corrections to their fall of shot, and there was a problem. The ship had to come closer. Something was awfully wrong, and it turned out I was correcting the shot from the destroyer on the cruiser’s fall of shot.

>> Mm.

>> White phosphorus, Willy Peter, does this make sense to you?

>> Yes.

>> Anyway, about a year later on back in Australia, we had the Navy officers out to lunch, and their gunning officer said, “You’re an aviator,” and he said, “I’ve met the biggest idiot aviator in Korea.” That was me. Good story.

>> Did you tell him it was you?

>> Now, during the talks, truce talks, we were on the east coast at Hungnam, which is on down the east side. We normally operated on the west side. And the word went round the truce talks were almost going to happen, and we were given a code word, and the code word was Brandywine. And if we heard the code word … We were flying. Heard the code word Brandywine, stop bombing, rocketing, whatever you were doing because the truce had been declared. And the joke went around the squadron that if you had just dropped a bomb, you’d better duck down and grab it before it hit the ground. Joke. We need to worry because it was, what, 18 months, almost 2 years before we finally had a truce. Yeah. Now my reaction to being there? I could remember one time forming up, flying back from a bombing mission on my leader, and I suddenly had a thought, “What am I doing here 10,000 miles away from home bombing these people?” And that was it. I mean, anytime I ever thought about it … When you’re 21, it doesn’t matter, does it?

>> So have you thought about that question now?

>> No, doesn’t worry me.

>> Well, I’m glad you made it home safe.

>> I did, didn’t I? Obviously.

>> And you stayed in the service for a long time until you retired as a commodore.

>> Yeah, 33 years. I had commanded three ships …

>> Mm.

>> … which is good. So I was both an aviator and a seaman officer.

>> Since you were with the Navy for a very long time, what do you think the significance of Australia’s Navy was in Korea?

>> Then?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Not that great really, the surface ships, I mean. The carrier, yes. We certainly … We did as good as what the Americans and everybody else was doing, including 77 Squadron. But the surface ships, all they could really do is gunfire ashore. It wasn’t a great effort. Well, I better clarify that. They were there from the beginning until the end. We rotated ships through in support as you would do, and some of them were pretty heavily involved, but not like the second World War.

>> Of course. The Second World War was a little different.

>> That’s a little different.

>> And so many more died, and it was …

>> Yeah.

>> It was a little more grander in scale, but it is true that the Korean War was a united effort of more different people from different continents, and I would think that Australians, coming from Oceania, as you said, 10,000 miles away and yet still participating in this war, you may have wondered why. But if you look back, it was really … You defended the freedom of South Korea.

>> Well, I think, looking back on it, we very much recognized the United Nations concept, and if the United Nations said we’ve got to go to war, we went to war, and it really was as simple as that. That’s my opinion. What do you think?

>> Yeah, I became very sympathetic to the South Koreans.

>> Yeah.

>> We’ll do his shortly, but yeah. I mean …

>> Since then, Australia has been involved in wars it should not have been involved in, right?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> The Korean War was a legitimate action. There’s no question about that to me.

>> Well, it stopped the threat of communism all over in that region.

>> So they say, and we’re led to believe.

>> You can tell for sure. I mean, there’s a stark difference between North and South Korea. You know what you fought for. It’s one country, I mean, one people, but the Allied helped South Korea and took down North Korea. I hope that you’re very proud.

>> Well, yeah. I’ve accepted that’s what we should have been doing, and that’s what we did, and you’re right. I’ll tell you a final funny. Do you want to hear a final funny?

>> Yes.

>> On the flight deck of the carrier, having started the aircraft, I couldn’t get my gun sight to work. No gun sight, and I fiddle with it, and I change the bulbs in it, and still no gun sight. And off I went, and we came across some Chinese, and all I could do was sort of point and spray, right? Right back on board the carrier, and I was sitting in a little cafe behind the island with my air group commander, the boss. There was a knock on the door, and a petty officer came in and said, “[INAUDIBLE] Lee, we’ve found out what’s wrong with your gun sight,” and I said, “Oh, good, what? Bad maintenance?” “No, no, no, no, sir. The brilliance was turned right down.” Good story? Naughty, naughty it was, too.

[ Chatter ]

Australia Canberra (3)

>> It’s amazing now, isn’t it?

>> I am Milton Cottee, retired from the Air Force. I’m 90 years old, and I did my flying training in 1948 and ’49, after World War II. I was married during World War II, and that is significant to something I’ll say a bit later. After I completed my flying training, I was posted up to the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces in Japan to a place called Iwakuni where our squadron, No. 77, was based, and that posting was to have been for 6 months. Towards the end of 6 months, I decided to bring my bride up to Japan, and she arrived on the 28th of July, 1950. Sorry, 28th of … well, 2, 3 days before the war started, which was, yeah, June, June, yeah, June. Anyway, so I had my wife with me, and she shared all of my experiences during the Korean War. On the 25th of June when the war started, our squadron was put on immediate standby about 4 hours later because we were part of the United Nations’ battle group, and we were asked to go on standby. We armed our aircraft and got them ready for war. However, our government’s approval was necessary before we could get involved in the war, and that took 2 weeks, 2 weeks where we were waiting and learning as much as we could about where Korea was, and how could we get there and what was happening, so we were all apprehensive as to what was to happen. On the 2nd of July, asleep in a married quarter on the base of Iwakuni, a phone call woke me up at about 2 o’clock in the morning, and a voice said, “Milt, our government has approved us to go to war. There will be a jeep around to pick you up in 1/2 hour. You’re off on the first mission. All you need is your flying suit,” so I had to get up and leave my wife behind and go to war. It was the first time that I’d flown a Mustang at night, which was quite an experience, and our mission was to give top cover, top fighter cover, to DC-3 aircraft or Dakota aircraft that were evacuating civilians from Taejon in the middle of Korea. We flew across the sea towards Korea, and we normally flew a section of four aircraft. Very rarely did we fly any fewer than four aircraft in one section. One aircraft had to turn back with radio trouble, so that left three of us on the mission. We were fueled up with fuel in every conceivable tank, and our aircraft were consequently unstable. We had full guns at 2,500 rounds of .5 ammunition in the six guns, and we were ready for air-to-air combat. I had had very little training as a fighter pilot in that role and was wondering how I was going to manage. As we approached the coast of Korea, one of the members, number three, surged forward, and we wondered where he was going because we were normally in a formation, and the leader called up and said, “Where are you going, Tom?” And then the penny dropped. He wanted to be first into Korea, and he was. We chased him, but we couldn’t catch him before he crossed the coast. Anyway, it wasn’t a very successful mission. We found an airfield which we thought was the right one, circled around it for a long while and then went back home to Japan. My third mission was very eventful. We checked in with a control center and were given coordinates to go to, which was to a little place called Pyeongtaek just south of Seoul, and that’s where the bomb line was. That’s where the enemy had advanced to at this stage, and there was an airborne forward air controller giving us directions as to what to do, but we contacted him by radio, and we were about 10 miles away from him when he suddenly called up and said, “Little friends, little friends, come, hubba-hubba. I’m being attacked.” Now little friends is a name for Mustangs which derived out of World War II because they were escorting bombers into Germany, and the bomber crews called them little friends, and hubba, hubba is come quickly, so it was a funny mix of language that we heard on the radio. I was the first to see the other aircraft that was supposedly unfriendly, and I thought, “Well, I’ll have to shoot him down.” He was much lower than I was, and I chased him, and I was just about to fire with a no-deflection shot, which would’ve … couldn’t have missed him when he yawed out to one side, and I saw South Korean markings on the side, and I refrained from shooting and pulled up thinking that maybe it was a North Korean in South Korean markings, so I didn’t want him to have the opportunity to shoot at me, so I pulled way up above him and looked down while I was upside down and eventually determined that it was a South Korean aircraft that had come out of the sun to have a look at the airborne forward air controller. Now, back to the forward air controller, who had as targets or had had as a target a little bridge over a little river near Pyeongtaek, which he wanted to us to knock down. Now the armaments we had were just 3-inch rockets with 60-pound explosive heads, and we thought that they would be rather ineffective against a bridge. Nevertheless, as we started attacking the bridge, tanks were coming down the highway, and they were firing at us, so I diverted away from one attack to fire at the tanks, and at that stage, we hadn’t worked out that the best way to hit a tank was from the rear, and I was firing at them from the front. Anyway, it stopped the tanks from progressing down the highway, and then we tried to knock the bridge down, expending all our ammunition, and then we didn’t have enough fuel to get back to our base in Japan, so the forward air controller said, “Well, you can come back to my airfield at Taejon,” and we followed him, and it was late in the even and getting dark, and by the time we landed at this little airfield at Taejon, it was crowded with aircraft of all types, and we had hardly a place to park our aircraft, and here we were, three Australians in funny-looking flying suits which had been made Japan. They were actually white at the time, and we were carrying around a Mae West and a .38 revolver, and we were trying to get a message back to our base at Iwakuni in Japan. We found a communicator who wouldn’t take our message so … because of higher priority traffic at the time. We could hear artillery in the distance, and we wondered whether we would be overrun in during the night. We found a place to sleep in an empty house, and the next day, we foraged around for something to eat. The Americans on the base didn’t know that Australia had entered the war, so they were trying to get us to do things that we didn’t want to do. Anyway, we didn’t … We had to get some fuel, so we found an airman with a fuel tanker, and he didn’t want to give us any fuel because of the shortage of fuel, and I traded my revolver for a tank of fuel, and that was the way we got back home. Anyway, because of that, the leader that I had normally flown with had flown on another mission with someone else, and he was our first casualty, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that we had been delayed from getting back to our base that night … He launched the next day, before we got back to the base, and he was our first casualty. He flew into the target and was killed. That upset us to no end, and shortly after that, we lost our commanding officer, and we then progressively lost more and more people. We lost something like 41 pilots and many more aircraft. The missions that I flew early in the war were hectic because the enemy was advancing regardless of what we were doing. We were trying to stop them all the time, and when they got down as far as the Nakdong River, General MacArthur, the overall commander, said, “Hold the river. Don’t let them cross the river,” and we fought valiantly to help troops on the ground, who were on one side of the river and enemy on the other side. I found a bridge across the Nakdong River at a place called Chilgok, and I had two 500-pound bombs, and I thought, “Well, maybe they will want to cross the bridge, so I’ll knock it down.” I tried to hit the bridge with my two bombs, and I missed fortunately because several days later a message came down from General MacArthur’s headquarters saying, “That bridge is off-limits because we want to take an offensive shortly, and we want to cross the river on that bridge.” Anyway, that bridge is still standing even though a new bridge has been built beside it at Chilgok now. Now I have been back to Korea a couple of times since the war, and the battle of the Nakdong River is quite a classic. We were able to hold it. A funny incident occurred while we were doing that. We were flying from a place called Taegu, which is now called Daegu, and it was a very active airfield, and we would fly across from Iwakuni in Japan with a load of weaponry and deliver it and then refuel and rearm at Daegu, and one of our targets given to us out of Daegu was a railway tunnel in which North Koreans were putting supplies and men to hide during the day, and we were to knock down the entrance to the tunnel. We had rockets, and to get rockets onto the tunnel mouth, we had to fly very low along the railway line approaching the tunnel, bearing in mind that there was a hill to go up and over when we fired off our rockets, and after a while, we were getting out the odd rocket down the tunnel, and every time a rocket went down the tunnel and went off inside the tunnel, there would be a huge smoke ring come back out of the tunnel, and this amused us very much, and from then on, it was a competition to see who could blow the best smoke ring. And of course we were very effective in knocking out whatever was stored in the tunnel. We knocked down bridges. We knocked down gunning placements. We strafed dug-in troops. We had no rules of engagement actually. I wasn’t aware of any rules of engagement. We made up our mind as we went along. In wars these days, you have rules of engagement. You can hit this, or you can’t hit that, that sort of thing. I feel very sorry for many of the citizens of South Korea because often we would be tasked to fire at people on the ground that had enemy mixed in with the local population, and that leaves me very sad that we had to do that. In fact, I’m emotional about that. Anyway, all of this time, my wife was back in Iwakuni in Japan, and later in the year, later in 1950, we moved across to Korea to a place called Pohang, and it was a bare concrete strip with no facilities at all, and we lived in tents. And it was a very frugal existence, and we were resupplied by a transport aircraft coming out of Japan, and I can remember on one sortie out of Pohang where we went up as far as occupied Seoul and the airfield there at Gimpo, and I dropped two bombs on the main runway at Gimpo, and one of those bombs hit the runway and made a big crater. About a week later, the landing at Incheon had occurred, and Gimpo had been retaken, and we flew into Gimpo at night to support a paradrop operation that was being launched at Sunchon and Sukchon, the biggest paratroop operation in the world, I understand. Anyway, this was to cut off enemy troops from … that were trying to retreat towards the north, and I can remember running over a rough patch on the runway, and I thought to myself, “Well, they filled in my bomb crater, and I’ve just run over it.” We spent the night in a bombed-out terminal building at Gimpo. It was absolutely destroyed, and it was the only cover we had and the only place we could spend the night, and the next morning, we supported this big paratroop drop at Sukchon and Sunchon, flying in amongst the paratroopers as they dropped down and giving them support. Now after I’d flown 50 missions, which was towards the end of 1950, I was posted back to Australia and went back to Australia with my wife on a ship out of Kure on what I call Hell Ship Changti, and I have been back to Korea several times, and I’m amazed at the reconstruction of the country. We left it with hardly a building standing anywhere. Anything that stood up was knocked down, and now to go back and see the advances South Korea has made is quite incredible. And a group of us were fated at a ceremony at Chilgok, which was played on TV live, and we were on a stage with garlands of flowers around our necks and hailed as heroes, which was rather … forgotten the word. It was a little unusual for us to be called heroes. Anyway, everywhere we went in Korea, we were hailed as heroes, but I don’t think we deserved that. Anyway, in front of us on this stage, in front of a vast number of people on the side of the river, the Nakdong River there, there was a row of little tables, and on the tables were what we thought were little gift boxes, and we were asked to approach these tables after a while, and in each of these little boxes was some soft clay, and we were asked to make a handprint. We put our hands down on the clay and pushed it into the clay, and when we took our hands away, there was a handprint. Now these were to be the first exhibit in what was to be called the Peace Museum along the Nakdong River, and I’m rather keen to hear whether that museum has progressed and how finalized it is. I would love to go back and see it. Since then, I have had a very unusual Air Force career, becoming a test pilot, flew with the RAF on flight tests of their V bombers and then came back to Australia as chief test pilot for our own Air Force and actually took part in a top-gun competition that squadrons were entered into each year, and two of us became top guns for a year, and I blamed the Korean War for that because we ended up being able to fly very accurately to be able to aim accurately and feel what the aircraft was doing very precisely. I would like to add that my younger brother, name of Keith, Keith Cottee, thought that, “If Milt can do it, so can I,” so he joined the Air Force, and he was trained on No. 6 postwar flying training course. He was posted to Gimpo and flew Meteors out of Gimpo, so two brothers flew in the Korean War. Okay.

Australia Canberra (4)

>> Well, my name is Kevin Collin Joseph Berriman, commonly known as Col. I joined the Army on the 25th of October 1951, on my 17th birthday, as the Korea War was waging at that time. However, as I was underaged, at 17, you weren’t allowed to go into active service until you were 19. So therefore, the first 2 years of my Army life was spent waiting to go to Korea, in fact. I finally made it just after the Armistice when I went back for a second tour on the line. When we arrived, we did not have to put up with the shelling and the major fighting patrol activity, however, when I arrived my immediate thought was the sympathy for the people, and most of the populous was in starvation at that time. It was a terrible time for the South Korean people. When we arrived, there was still activity up on the DMZ. We established the demarcation zone, and our main activity at the time was patrolling inside the zone, which was allowed in those days. We patrolled one side, and the Chinese, who were still there, patrolled the other side, and we used to to wave to each other occasionally in the center. There was still activity with North Korea crossing the border on several occasions. Of course, we had to keep the whole area fortified, and I served there for approximately 12 months in that activity. There were several clashes on the border at that time, and I was injured during one of them where we had to chase some suspects. We chased them into a mine field. Well, we didn’t ever find out who they … I’ll have to stop. Anyway, we never got to catch the four that we were chasing. We saw them, nearly caught them, but they went into a mine field, and we stopped the chase, but sadly saw them … Well, we couldn’t interview them because there was nothing left of them to interview after that. During the chase, I sadly fell down a ravine, and I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d fractured my spine, and really I was out of action for some weeks after that. I spent time in hospital, and then came back to Korea for a short time where we engaged in more patrol activities, especially along the DMZ. Then my time was up in Korea, and I was hospitalized again, but over in Japan while I was in hospital, I was approached by the public relations officer. They wanted somebody to look after the office in Japan for a while, and they recruited me as a junior noncommissioned officer in the public relations office, where we were engaged in photography of Operation Glory, which was where the exchange of the dead occurred. We were receiving our dead, which had been buried in North Korean graves before the establishment of the static war lines on the Kansas Line on the 38th parallel. And also, we were working returning North Korea and Chinese dead at that time. I was engaged in the fringes of that, mainly working with a photographer that was taking photos of the Operation Glory activities. Some of them are still in the memorial at the present time, when our dead were coming back, and we were sending dead back over to North Korea. I left Japan in July 1955, so I was over there for almost 2 years, and I came back to Australia. Korea had finished with then. I was just due to go over to the mine action, the emergency which was occurring over there, but was found to be, because of my injuries, no longer suitable for the infantry or active service. I retired from the Army in 1957 under the care of our Department of Veteran’s Affairs, who really have cared for me since I was 22 years old. I was re-educated through our Department of Veteran’s Affairs, became an accountant with a university degree and worked with the public service for a further 25 years until my injuries caught up with me again at the age of 48 when I was retired from public work. Since then, I’ve had another career of volunteer work for the ex-service community, mainly in welfare and bereavements, and that’s it.

>> So can you tell us a little bit about how many veterans in Australia are still remaining?

>> Sadly … Can we stop for a moment? You asked me, Hannah, how many veterans are left in Australia. There were 17,850 served in Korea from 1950 until 1956. Now, as of October last year, there were less then 3,000 of us still alive. To be in fact, there was only 2,700. They’re dying very quickly. At the present time, there would be no more than 2,400 of us left. Now, I can also give you some casualty figures of those that we lost. Those that paid the supreme sacrifice during their service in Korea was a total of 356 who lost their lives, 340 before the cease fire on July 1953, and 18 after the uneasy armistice that occurred on that date. Is there anything else that you would like?

>> POWs, missing in action?

>> Missing in action, we still have 42 that are missing in action, about half from pilots that were lost, mostly in the North. Only one that we haven’t recovered in South Korea. The rest of the missing in action are Army personnel mostly in the DMZ, which nobody can find in any case, even to this day. We suspect that some of those pilots that were lost in the North could have gone back on recoveries that have occurred by the Americans. It’s a possibility that they could have some of them in Hawaii. We’re investigating this matter at the present time by organizing a memorandum of understanding with the American authorities. Those that were recovered, of course, are all in the Hawaii cemetery, the beautiful American cemetery in Hawaii. I think it’s called the Punchbowl. Perhaps they could be, but it’s very doubtful if any of the 22 Army personnel are there. They’re mostly still in the demilitarized zone. There’s thousands of Chinese still there, and Americans, many thousands of them, still missing. That’s about all that we can say about the MIAs. Under the current regime in North Korea, I don’t think we’ll ever recover any more of those. Anyway, it’s so long ago now, what, over 60 years. What’s to recover?

>> How about POWs? Australian POWs?

>> POWs, there are very few of them alive now. I can’t tell you the exact … We had probably over 20, 25. Some of them died in captivity, three of them, to my mind. I don’t know whether we have any still alive at the present time. I think there was about less than 30 we had POWs in Australia. What else?

>> What do you think is significant about Australian contribution in the Korean War?

>> What?

>> Australia’s contribution in the Korean War unlike other countries? For example, on top of my head, I could think of is the Australians contributed all the …

>> Well, for our size, we contributed quite a lot, especially … You’ve heard some stories from two of our pilots, both from the Navy and from our own 77 Squadron, who flew there. Our Army contribution, of course, was three infantry battalions, which for our population at that time, 17,850 of us served, so for our small population of seven million was … Our actions, of course, in the infantry we contributed to several major battles: the taking of Maryang-san, which during the static war was … Although we took it in October 1951, it was lost shortly after, unfortunately, but Maryang-san was the main Chinese outpost on the Jamestown Line. That was a major battle. The Battle of Kapyong, of course. Australians and the Canadians held the line at Kapyong during the big Chinese offensive of 1951, in April 1951. The Australian battalion 3 RAR held the Chinese offensive during that time long enough, for 3 days, for them to establish the defenses around Seoul, which stopped the Northern advance. And then, of course, the static war period happened shortly after that in October 1951, where the war stayed until the armistice just about the 38th parallel. For a small force of 17,000, as I said, we lost almost 400 killed in action. Many of us were wounded and injured, like myself, I suppose. I was one of the injured. Anyway, that’s about all I can say really. It was a long time ago. My main thoughts and feelings during the time that I served was heart rending. I was so sad to see the population starving, especially children, which upset me very much as a young man. All that I can say is my … The sacrifice that the South Korea people paid was enormous, and they must be congratulated for how they’ve lifted themselves up after that disastrous time to such a prosperous country that it is today, and I’m very proud to be concerned with the recovery of Korea. They’ve done a wonderful job. That’s about all. I can’t think of anything else. I get bad thoughts when I think of what the people suffered. It was a terrible, terrible time for them. Terrible thing to see. We helped them as much as we could, of course, but we couldn’t feed the whole population. Anyway, that’s it.

Australia Melbourne (1)
>> Well, my name is Kevin Collin Joseph Berriman, commonly known as Col. I joined the Army on the 25th of October 1951, on my 17th birthday, as the Korea War was waging at that time. However, as I was underaged, at 17, you weren't allowed to go into active service until you were 19. So therefore, the first 2 years of my Army life was spent waiting to go to Korea, in fact. I finally made it just after the Armistice when I went back for a second tour on the line. When we arrived, we did not have to put up with the shelling and the major fighting patrol activity, however, when I arrived my immediate thought was the sympathy for the people, and most of the populous was in starvation at that time. It was a terrible time for the South Korean people. When we arrived, there was still activity up on the DMZ. We established the demarcation zone, and our main activity at the time was patrolling inside the zone, which was allowed in those days. We patrolled one side, and the Chinese, who were still there, patrolled the other side, and we used to to wave to each other occasionally in the center. There was still activity with North Korea crossing the border on several occasions. Of course, we had to keep the whole area fortified, and I served there for approximately 12 months in that activity. There were several clashes on the border at that time, and I was injured during one of them where we had to chase some suspects. We chased them into a mine field. Well, we didn't ever find out who they ... I'll have to stop. Anyway, we never got to catch the four that we were chasing. We saw them, nearly caught them, but they went into a mine field, and we stopped the chase, but sadly saw them ... Well, we couldn't interview them because there was nothing left of them to interview after that. During the chase, I sadly fell down a ravine, and I didn't know it at the time, but I'd fractured my spine, and really I was out of action for some weeks after that. I spent time in hospital, and then came back to Korea for a short time where we engaged in more patrol activities, especially along the DMZ. Then my time was up in Korea, and I was hospitalized again, but over in Japan while I was in hospital, I was approached by the public relations officer. They wanted somebody to look after the office in Japan for a while, and they recruited me as a junior noncommissioned officer in the public relations office, where we were engaged in photography of Operation Glory, which was where the exchange of the dead occurred. We were receiving our dead, which had been buried in North Korean graves before the establishment of the static war lines on the Kansas Line on the 38th parallel. And also, we were working returning North Korea and Chinese dead at that time. I was engaged in the fringes of that, mainly working with a photographer that was taking photos of the Operation Glory activities. Some of them are still in the memorial at the present time, when our dead were coming back, and we were sending dead back over to North Korea. I left Japan in July 1955, so I was over there for almost 2 years, and I came back to Australia. Korea had finished with then. I was just due to go over to the mine action, the emergency which was occurring over there, but was found to be, because of my injuries, no longer suitable for the infantry or active service. I retired from the Army in 1957 under the care of our Department of Veteran's Affairs, who really have cared for me since I was 22 years old. I was re-educated through our Department of Veteran's Affairs, became an accountant with a university degree and worked with the public service for a further 25 years until my injuries caught up with me again at the age of 48 when I was retired from public work. Since then, I've had another career of volunteer work for the ex-service community, mainly in welfare and bereavements, and that's it. >> So can you tell us a little bit about how many veterans in Australia are still remaining? >> Sadly ... Can we stop for a moment? You asked me, Hannah, how many veterans are left in Australia. There were 17,850 served in Korea from 1950 until 1956. Now, as of October last year, there were less then 3,000 of us still alive. To be in fact, there was only 2,700. They're dying very quickly. At the present time, there would be no more than 2,400 of us left. Now, I can also give you some casualty figures of those that we lost. Those that paid the supreme sacrifice during their service in Korea was a total of 356 who lost their lives, 340 before the cease fire on July 1953, and 18 after the uneasy armistice that occurred on that date. Is there anything else that you would like? >> POWs, missing in action? >> Missing in action, we still have 42 that are missing in action, about half from pilots that were lost, mostly in the North. Only one that we haven't recovered in South Korea. The rest of the missing in action are Army personnel mostly in the DMZ, which nobody can find in any case, even to this day. We suspect that some of those pilots that were lost in the North could have gone back on recoveries that have occurred by the Americans. It's a possibility that they could have some of them in Hawaii. We're investigating this matter at the present time by organizing a memorandum of understanding with the American authorities. Those that were recovered, of course, are all in the Hawaii cemetery, the beautiful American cemetery in Hawaii. I think it's called the Punchbowl. Perhaps they could be, but it's very doubtful if any of the 22 Army personnel are there. They're mostly still in the demilitarized zone. There's thousands of Chinese still there, and Americans, many thousands of them, still missing. That's about all that we can say about the MIAs. Under the current regime in North Korea, I don't think we'll ever recover any more of those. Anyway, it's so long ago now, what, over 60 years. What's to recover? >> How about POWs? Australian POWs? >> POWs, there are very few of them alive now. I can't tell you the exact ... We had probably over 20, 25. Some of them died in captivity, three of them, to my mind. I don't know whether we have any still alive at the present time. I think there was about less than 30 we had POWs in Australia. What else? >> What do you think is significant about Australian contribution in the Korean War? >> What? >> Australia's contribution in the Korean War unlike other countries? For example, on top of my head, I could think of is the Australians contributed all the ... >> Well, for our size, we contributed quite a lot, especially ... You've heard some stories from two of our pilots, both from the Navy and from our own 77 Squadron, who flew there. Our Army contribution, of course, was three infantry battalions, which for our population at that time, 17,850 of us served, so for our small population of seven million was ... Our actions, of course, in the infantry we contributed to several major battles: the taking of Maryang-san, which during the static war was ... Although we took it in October 1951, it was lost shortly after, unfortunately, but Maryang-san was the main Chinese outpost on the Jamestown Line. That was a major battle. The Battle of Kapyong, of course. Australians and the Canadians held the line at Kapyong during the big Chinese offensive of 1951, in April 1951. The Australian battalion 3 RAR held the Chinese offensive during that time long enough, for 3 days, for them to establish the defenses around Seoul, which stopped the Northern advance. And then, of course, the static war period happened shortly after that in October 1951, where the war stayed until the armistice just about the 38th parallel. For a small force of 17,000, as I said, we lost almost 400 killed in action. Many of us were wounded and injured, like myself, I suppose. I was one of the injured. Anyway, that's about all I can say really. It was a long time ago. My main thoughts and feelings during the time that I served was heart rending. I was so sad to see the population starving, especially children, which upset me very much as a young man. All that I can say is my ... The sacrifice that the South Korea people paid was enormous, and they must be congratulated for how they've lifted themselves up after that disastrous time to such a prosperous country that it is today, and I'm very proud to be concerned with the recovery of Korea. They've done a wonderful job. That's about all. I can't think of anything else. I get bad thoughts when I think of what the people suffered. It was a terrible, terrible time for them. Terrible thing to see. We helped them as much as we could, of course, but we couldn't feed the whole population. Anyway, that's it.
Australia Melbourne (2)
>> Hello there, my name is Laurie Krause. I served with the Royal Australian Air Force on the 77th Squadron, based at Kimpo Air Base just northwest of Seoul. I was there in October '52 to April '53, mainly the winter, although when I first got there, it was summer there or the end of autumn, and middling cold in the winter, I remember that for sure. I think all Korean veterans in the winter remember that. I was an armorer and serviced all the [INAUDIBLE] aircraft we had. At that time, they were reduced to ground support, and they supported, earlier on, the squadrons supported the troops at the Battle of Kapyong, where the Australian Army, along with the others, were awarded the U.S. Presidential Citation, which was a great honor for the troops that were involved in that battle. One of the worst things I remember is a lot of times when the pilots took off, and they never come back, some of them that I knew very well. One come from my city of Geelong who I knew very well, and I'm afraid he'd never come back one day, and he's never been found. He's one of the MIAs, but we lived intense there in the winter, and that's why we think of Korea as being a cold country, but not the people. The people are very good to us in their latter years. They remember. The children here in Melbourne remember the hardships that their grandparents went through, through either the stories told to them or their parents, and every year in Melbourne, we attend a Korean church service, along with the beautiful Korean community, and the Australians who attend are extremely grateful for the kindness that is offered to us veterans. I'd like to say to the American people, "You've got a beautiful memorial in Washington," and we have to have one built here very shortly in Melbourne. It's taken a long time, but finally we are going to have one. On Kimpo Air Base, we had a lot of fraternizing with the Americans, and we had ... All the tanker drivers were America drivers, and we got along very, very well with them. I don't think I've got much else all to say except may God bless you all, and as I say, Hannah is telling us, like hair, we're disappearing into the sunset. Thank you very much, and God bless again.
Australia Melbourne (3)
>> My name is Jon Muller. I served in the Royal Australian Navy. I was a young sailor at the time and served on the HMAS Sydney. We [INAUDIBLE] up there. We had Christmas 1951 in Japan, well, in Korea, but we were back at Kure Harbor, and I remember that quite well because my father's friend, Sergeant Jet Kessels, he was back in Korea in Kure [INAUDIBLE], and I went there on Christmas afternoon and caught up with him and some of his friends and then had to go back on my ship, and this Aboriginal captain, Rhett Saunders, he said, "I'll drive you back." I said, "Oh, no, I'll get a taxi." "No, no, I'll drive you back," he said, and Captain Rhett Saunders drove me back to the ship. When I got there, he got out and opened the door and [INAUDIBLE]. He said, "Oh, I'm the officer coming on board. [INAUDIBLE] officer today, but the only bloke who came on board was this young sailor." But that was it. It was Christmas. We had to sail, and we had to have ... [INAUDIBLE] one morning. They said volunteers required to sweep the [INAUDIBLE] to get the planes on, and the Queenslanders and West Australians all jumped out of their hammocks, and away they went. Second morning, a few of them did but not all of them. Then on the third morning, [INAUDIBLE], flight deck, so they were forced to go up and sweep the ... [INAUDIBLE], but that was good. We had lots of ships around us, and we lost a couple of planes and a couple of [INAUDIBLE] unfortunately, but, yeah, that's about it from there, I think. >> Where do you take pride in the sailors? >> Sorry? >> Your comrades, the sailors, Australian Navy, you must be proud of your contributions in the Korean War. >> Yeah, well, I agree, much proud. >> Mm-hmm. >> And I still think about all of the things I did, and I'm also very proud of what the Korean government have done since. I remember going back there, 40th anniversary of [INAUDIBLE] with Jim Hughes and Greg McTheran, and I went back last year subject benefit of [INAUDIBLE] did the whole thing, and just the difference is still ... Twenty years, look at the difference. It's like I'd never been there, and you've done a great job. She contributed a lot of money to the museum there, and all the countries are represented there [INAUDIBLE] around areas of the museum, very, very impressive and thankful for that. >> Well, thank you for your contribution. >> Thank you. >> Thank you.
Australia Melbourne (4)
>> I came to Australia in 1968. >> Your name? >> Brian Edwards, ex-Lance Corporal, Royal Military, please. So I served in Korea from 1951, August, until 1952, August, where I served with the 28th Brigade, and the brigade at that time consisted of the Third Battalion Royal Australia Regiment, and apart from the King's Own Scottish Borderers and one or two other regiments, but the bulk of it was the Australians. That's why I'm affiliated with the Australian branch of Korean vets, so you want me to say something about whatever? Okay. My duty as a military policeman, apart from keeping law and order among the ranks, we have to assign the routes for troop movement, and my job was assigning routes for the 28th Brigade, mainly the Australians, whenever they were moved anywhere, and I had to sign the routes right up to the forward line to make sure they knew where they were going, and then once I'd done my job, then the troops would move in. We normally was the first in with an engineer or signals. The engineers would clear the mines. Signals would establish telephone points, and I used to point the signs down and say this is where this battalion or the second is going, so that's what a military policeman does in war. He's usually the first in and the last out to make sure all the wounded go out and everything is cared for apart from looking after all the roads, making sure all the roads are clear, so it's a big job, but it's good, and it's a rewarding job, and you usually do 3 months in the forward area and 3 months in reserve, but whilst I were in reserve in April '52, I escorted the First Battalion or Australian Regiment to relieve the third battalion, which was in the line, from Incheon. That was just the transport section. The other troops arrived Busan, and then came by road, so it was interesting job. You had to know the roads. You had to keep the roads clear, and you had to keep ammunition and supplies going to the front, and you had to make sure the wounded and/or dead were back behind the lines, so that's what a military policeman does in war, and that's how I was sort of affiliated with the Australians. >> But you're British. >> When did you come to Australia? >> 1968, so I've been in Australia quite a while. >> Were there other countries that sent their military policemen? >> Yeah, most countries did, but the British military police was probably the first big one. The Americans did have police there, but they didn't do as much as what the British ones did. >> You're actually the first military policeman that I have interviewed. >> There you are. >> I didn't even know. >> And we all wore red hats. >> Can you put it in? >> All right. >> Wow. Wow, looks handsome. >> But it wasn't a hat like this we wore. It was more what we called a cheese-cutter where it had a big down where it had a red top on. I should have brought ... I've still got the red top I had there, but it's got a few holes in it now. Just I remember one time. It was the battle of Maryang-san. That was on the 3rd of October to the 8th. I, as a policeman, assign the route from the 28th of September before we moved the brigade up on the 3rd of October, and it was during that time ... I think ... In that battle, I think 30,000 wounds of shells went in, and I think we took 20,000 back, and that was on a crossroads. There was the enemy there. There was a road to Goheung down there, and there was the British. 29th Brigade was up there at one time, but on the 3rd or 5th of October, I had the bring the 28th Brigade up, so I was the last man. My mission dropped off at various points on the road, and I was the last one on, and I took control of this crossroads, and the shells was coming in at us, and a soldier from there took my into a ditch, and he said, "It's that hat of yours, which they're using as a target," and he was commander of a tank regiment. All the tanks were lined up there, and he was right. The shells were on it. What the hell? Just one cool experience that we came across. >> Wow. >> It was exciting. I was 19, and I think my first job when it comes to a large road was to stop a truck going too fast, and I asked him why he'd gotten ... Because he was creating dust, and you can't have dust in the war area, and he said, "I want to know where the graves commission is." He had dead bodies. At 19, it was bit confronting [INAUDIBLE]. There you are, but I'm here and thankful.
Australia Melbourne (5)

>> Okay. I’m Alan Everett. I’m not Australian. I came from England originally. I served in the First Essex Regiment, and in those days, in 1952, all the British men at the age of 18 conscripted, and so I was conscripted, and I elected to stay in the army for 3 years rather than just 2 years National Service because that was half pay, and I served in Germany, then Korea and then Hong Kong, so that was my 3 years which was spent mainly overseas. I was very fortunate in my training because I was trained to be a signalman, so I went to the School of Infantry in England, and in that School of Infantry, all the officers and NCOs all combined in their exercises, so it was quite an all-embracing training, so I then went to Germany, and then my battalion got moved to Korea, and we arrived just after the ceasefire, so I’m not a peacemaker. I’m a peacekeeper. So we were stationed on the southern bank of the Indian River for 12 months, and that was incredibly cold and incredibly hot, and we didn’t get to see much of the people because we were in a defensive position, and so most of the stories we heard were from the previous people who had been through the war itself, so that was quite a challenge, and I found since I left the army and I was trained in Hong Kong, as a national servicemen, you’re allowed to get some retraining to get back into civilian life. I wanted to go to agriculture college, and I had to study chemistry to meet my qualifications, so I went to the Royal Agriculture College at Cirencester in Gloucestershire, and I did my course there. Farmed in England, met my wife Nicole who you’ve met, and we had been together for 8 days, and then I came out to Australia, so that was quite [INAUDIBLE], and when I arrived in Australia, I got myself a job. It was great. A year later, I rang up and proposed to Nicole, and she came out with her mother, and we got married over here, so quite a different story to what you expected, I guess. So my servicing career, I did so much there because I was working in the signals office, and being part of the brigade and the companies that reformed our defense positions, so I was in contact with people all the time, so when the opportunity here came available for to be a secretary for the Korea Veterans, I offered to take that job on, so I’ve been National Secretary for 8 years, but I haven’t been involved in the war side of the whole thing. The impact of the Korean War hit me when I had been here some time because the Australian soldiers that came back from Korea were not recognized as having been part of a war, and they were actually refused entry, particularly in New South Wales, to go into the returning servicemen’s clubs. They said they weren’t eligible to be members, and that took some time to overcome which is very sad, but that’s the sort of reception the Australian soldiers got when they came back to Australia. We didn’t have that in England. We just went back, and we just got on with our jobs, and it was no problem. Here in Australia, in Maldon, every year, we have a church service run by a Korean church in Maldon, and we have one of our biggest attendances of the year. We have about 90 people turn up, and about a good half of them will be veterans, [INAUDIBLE] one, and one day I was standing next to a father with his little Korean boy, and the little boy talked to his father and said, “Why are all these people here?” His father thought for a bit, and he said, “Well, without these people, I wouldn’t be here. Your family wouldn’t be here, and you wouldn’t be here.” I think that says it all. It’s such a moving experience to me. I found that quite fascinating, and the Korean community here are so helpful and want to look after the veterans as we get less and less, so it’s a beautiful encounter, that was. Now, we’ve given you the background to the memorial in Queensland, in Cascade Gardens. To me, that is the most beautiful memorial that anyone could make for any country. It’s a tribute to the people of Korea as well as the veterans from all nations who served, and when you see it, there’s a whole history that goes with it, but it’s well worth it, set aside in a beautiful park, and it depicts everything that is Australian and Korean. It’s just so well … And then, there’s another little memorial in Alexandra Heads, which a small association got formed in Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, and they made it specific for their veterans, so they’ve got this wall, and when one of their members dies, they put a brass plaque on the wall with his name and his service record on it, and I think that’s another one of the best memorials I’ve ever seen, so that’s my story.

Australia Melbourne (6)
>> So I was in Brownville, and I was a lieutenant, first lieutenant, with the Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in the Korean War. I had my full 12-back then, and 3 days waiting for an airplane back, 3 days was ... and I served in the Citizen Forces for some years after that. I was a company commander, and what else would you like? >> Some of the duties that you had in Korea. >> Well, they used to say it was a Ten Commandments war. We were out there doing patrols nearly every night and making sure that the opposition didn't get too close to us, and if he did, then he scared and bothered because we sorted him out. And very growing up time because I was only 22, and a lot of my sorties had been in the Second World War, and they were 30 years old, and so it was a swift learning curve for a young lieutenant, to have all those older men with the experience, and I was a reinforcement officer. I went up and replaced an officer who'd been killed, and it was a good place to come back from but a wonderful experience, great experience growing up. >> I know you're very ... You have a photographic memory you said. >> I can't hear you. >> You have a photographic memory, you said. >> Yes. >> And you ... I know you can read beyond just the surface. What do you remember about this war? >> Well, I was very thankful that we had air supremacy. We didn't have to worry about air, but I can very vividly remember night patrols and being in positions where we were heavily mortared and shelled by the enemy. I vividly remember them, as I imagine everybody would remember, but maybe, you know, position of trust and responsibility to our troops was rather humbling actually, so I had a lot of work to do there, quite a lot of work to do. Try and save their lives was maybe ... >> This war never ended, you know, and some of the people from all over the world sacrificed their lives and they died, even on the other side, and there's no peace, and there's no reconciliation. >> Do you know? I have a theory that I've never mentioned. You know, for years, on the continent, the Balkans have always been kept neutral so that other countries could move through there. Now I think that suits the Japan ... or the Chinese and Russians to have top of Korea and the Americans, it suits them to have the bottom because if the Chinese had the lot, then the Russians had us jumping for to go into Japan and America. If America had the lot or was [INAUDIBLE], they could jump onto China and Russia. Well, it's never mentioned, and they say, "Oh, we'll have to unite," and the Korean people would love it. I think it suits both of those people to have them separate. Have you ever heard that. >> No, but I'd listen to ... >> That's by Mark [INAUDIBLE]. >> Are you retired as an Army chaplain, right? >> I never was an Army chaplain. I had retired from the Army at the age of 16, and I was in the civi industry, and I suddenly found and studied theology, so I spent 8 years studying at the theology college part-time because I was in shipping. And during that time, the Victorian Council and the churches put me on the Board of Industrial Mission, and I was so impressed with them, I don't have the words here, that when I graduated, I became one of their chaplains from the understanding that I didn't run a managerial job. I wanted to be out helping people, so I had 28 years of that. Now I'm bordering on [INAUDIBLE]. >> And you've seen many veterans pass away? >> I've buried a lot of them. Yeah. >> I'm so glad to be here, and I'm so glad that you brought up, you know, Moroccan solution and the enemy and just the lives, you know, because I truly believe that every life is precious before God, and, you know, that we don't choose. We really don't choose who to fight, you know? And ... >> It's a very complex world, and the best one can do is ... My father was told, when he was 5, by his mother ... She was a very clever woman. She said ... although she said other children, she said, "When you grow up, men throughout the world will listen to what you say with regard to your profession. Never, even espouse any cause or sign any document that your conscience isn't fully at ease," and that's how I was brought up. >> I believe that. Kind of like earlier I said, "God, I'm only going to do what my heart tells me to do." >> Yes. That's the game. >> I thank you so much for ... >> It helps you to sleep a lot better than ... >> Oh, yes. Absolutely. Yeah. I do feel that, you know, even if I can wake up, even if I could foregone, I could say, "God, I did I my best. I really did." >> Mm-hmm. >> You know? And thank you for the greatest compliment I've ever received in my life. Without a doubt, I will take with me ... >> And coupled with that, after all, is that you're an exceptionally beautiful woman. >> Thank you. >> So it's, very, very great [INAUDIBLE] to find a beautiful combination. >> Thank you. >> I'm really a better man for having met you and your philosophy. >> Thank you. I pray and hope and dedicate my life so that ... >> And what will happen when you get back? How are you going to use this travel? I won't bore you with certain occasions when it's amazing I wasn't killed and various times, and I believe that I was being saved to do the work I'm doing today. >> I believe so too. >> I think so. >> I know so. >> Yeah? >> And because you've had many near-death experiences, you can empathize, and you know and understand things that other people can't, and it's an honor to point where I'm grateful that I also experienced a near-death experience and pain because even though I was very young, I'm able to kind of see the invisible pain that many people are experiencing, whether physical, emotional or psychological, and again, you know, one of my great passions is to visit my grandpas and let them know that ... Because many of them, like I've said, they have nightmares, they said. You know? Remembering the war, and I say, "You know, the war is atrocious, and it's ugly and horrific, but out of that bleakness sometimes you can find roses." And here I am. I can represent some good that came out of the war, so ... >> Indeed. And I just cannot believe, having traveled a lot, how a country which was bereft of trees, the Japanese most of all, which a mud heap, in 63 years ... as I said, the people flying over in time [INAUDIBLE] makes Sydney and Melbourne look like villages ... >> I know. >> And each time ... I've been back six times. Each time there's been so many more improvements, and I remember going around, and they've spent ages, everyone, putting trees around everywhere. And I went to show ... I was sent over to take some students there and then on to Gallipoli, and I was going to show them where the Battle of Kapyong took place. >> Mm. >> And that was not possible because instead of being able to see two miles down the road, I couldn't see more than 20 yards through all the trees they'd put in. >> You know, it's remarkable, and thanks to your contributions. >> From here to the end of the table and that round, when I was at Kapyong in 1995, they'd just trimmed some of the trees. >> Mm. >> And I got the branch off a ginko biloba on the B Company position, the Three Battalion at the Battle of Kapyong, and I have that at home. >> Wow. >> And I'm going to give it to Three Battalion one day. >> Wow. >> Yeah.
Australia Melbourne (7)
>> Oh, good morning. Hannah. Still ... Just 1 minute to midday. Thank you for interviewing me. My name is Vic Dey. I am national president of the Korea Veteran's association of Australia. I served in the Australian Army for 6 years. I went to Japan in March 1952 and went into Korea for 1 year from June '52 until June '53. Mainly, the Australian soldiers signed on for 1 year to serve in the Korean War. I served with the third battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment and saw a bit of action. My first patrol was the 12th of July 19 ... My first combat patrol was the 12th of July 1952 when 26 Australians crossed the Sunyoodong Valley, which is nearing the DMZ, to supposedly gain a prisoner. We lost three men. Never seen them from that day or this. Their class was missing in action. 15 wounded, and eight others didn't get it, a really traumatic night which I will never forget. Many things happening between then including the Korean weather which I didn't like, like snow, until the following June the next year when my 12-month tour of duty was up, and I got out, back to Japan and then back home to Australia. Thank goodness, but I would do it all again if I had to, and I was young enough. >> What are some of the activities as president of the Australian Korean War Veteran's Association? What do you think is significant about Australian's contributions to the Korean War. I know you've met, you know, veterans from many different countries and president of different associations, but when you, say, meet with other president, like, what do you feel pride about Australian forces? >> Australians have fought in many wars in many countries around the world for over 100 years, and for some time after the Korean War, we felt that we weren't recognized as returned servicemen. Korea was sort of classed as a forgotten war, which is sad because the Korean people, and the veterans have paid a supreme sacrifice. It certainly wasn't the forgotten war to them or us, so that kind of thinking has thankfully passed, and now we are completely recognized as Korea being a war and not a police action. Police action is a sarcastic, demeanal saying. I hate it. The Korean War was a Korean War without a doubt for those that served and the Korean people that suffered. Without, it was a war, and we went to help. All Korean veteran, Australia Korean veterans are volunteers. We volunteered to go. I often wonder why I did, but I don't regret it, saw a lot of things that I'll never forget, houses down near Busan at the limits made of American sea ration boxes, which are said to be waterproof, and the Korean people built houses out of them because they had nothing else. In 1976, my wife and I went on a short tour of Korea through Busan, Seoul, and in every city intersection, there was a sentry box made of sandbags and machine gun in the center and four soldiers. There was a curfew, so you had to be off the streets from midnight to 6 a.m., everyone, all civilians and visitors, tourist, off the street at midnight or not back until 6 a.m., or you get shot, and that went on until ... the Korean consulate in Melbourne told me last year that went on until 1980, so I amazed, truly amazed, that the Korean people from the Republic of Korea have graduated to become the 10th largest trading country in the world under those conditions for that long. I'm truly amazed. [INAUDIBLE]. >> Show me some pictures and articles. >> Okay. I filled a folder here. I made up a folder for Hannah. This one is out of a newspaper going back quite long. The date, I've got it somewhere. They interviewed three of us. Those two have two ... Unfortunately ... Navy, me in the middle in the Army, and the Air Force fellow. Those two have since passed away, but their stories are in there. There's a photo. That's the day they took it. This one was done for the local paper [INAUDIBLE] back to Korea. I got some rations and flora and fauna to take to give to the schoolchildren, which you see when you go to the museum or the memorials, and I distributed the Australian flora and fauna posters to the children, which they loved. This is a photo of here I've talked to Wusan Ku, who was the ambassador at the time, and we played on a vine tree at a school in Melbourne, and then I'll be there Monday, and there we are in Memorial Garden. It has obviously grown since that time. Here's a story I wrote some time ago of an interview, and it got printed in Graybeards. That's out of the Graybeards, the American magazine and a story that I wrote down and a couple photos. There's a photo of my after the patrol I spoke about before. Here's a story about the patrol from after. This is an article I wrote to speak at schools and clubs. It's a three-page article. It can delete some things if children are too young to understand, but if they're adults, we can talk about the hard lot. There's a photo of my at ... in Korea in the snow, not a very good photo. Here's a photo of a church, Korean church of Melbourne and all the Australians and a few Korean nationals in there. This is a photo of a friend and ... me and a friend of mine. He's since passed away unfortunately, which is not unusual these days. Here's a photo of me the morning after the patrol, some photos at Uijeongbu when I was in the Canadian battle school. There's a couple stories in here about our newspapers, and I put in some postcards of the National Korean Memorial, not the Korean Memorial, the National Australia Memorial for you to take home and some Army stickers, so there you go. That's yours. >> Thank you.
Australia Sydney (1)
>> My name is Mick Kilhov. I live in Australia now. I served in Korea with the British Army, the 10th Regiment. I had never heard about Korea. I didn't know where it was. I couldn't even point on a map where Korea was, but anyway, I was serving in Germany and was sent from Germany back to the UK to familiarize ourselves with the Centurion tank, which is the heavy tank used with the armor, and after 6 weeks, we were put on a ship, the Empire Halladale, at Liverpool, and it took us 6 weeks to get from Liverpool in England to Pusan. When we got to Pusan, there was an American band on the docks. They were playing, "If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake," which we thought was hilarious. We were then unloaded, put on to flatcars and sent on these flatcars from Pusan to Uijeongbu. We went to Uijeongbu. That's the only Korean place I can remember going up to. I remember Seoul. Yes, I remember that, but it was in the middle of the night, pitch black. We were given a bag of rations. The first ration we had was homemade sandwiches, an apple, which you couldn't eat because it frozen solid. During the middle of the night, the train stopped because they said there was going to be an air raid. There was no air raid, but we did stop there, and a little voice came out of the dark, and it wanted to know if we wanted to swap some food for what they had. All they had was apples. We gave them what we had, just sandwiches and a piece of fruit cake. That's what we were given, and they gave us these apples, and we could not bite these apples. We had to hit it with a bayonet, and it shattered like glass. It was frozen solid. Anyway, when we got to Uijeongbu, in the case of taking over from another regiment who were pulling out from Korea, and we took over their positions, and we had Alpha, Beta and Charlie squadrons. Three squadrons were sent to three different areas, some on the Imjin River. I don't know the name of the Korean location. I just know that it was Hill 355, Green Finger, Winston Churchill, Jane Russell. These were all features in Korea, and by then, we weren't told very much about what's going on. We just got what we called a sitrep every morning, a situation report. We were told what action was going on during the night, what action, what we had been through, and I remember being hit by 99 mortars one night on the tank. It didn't make much difference. It blew all the camouflage nets off and the antenna for the radio. It wasn't a very pleasant place. It was just a case of very, very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. Rations were very meager unless you got combat rations, which were supplied by the Americans. Normal British rations were bully beef and hardtack biscuits, and these tins of bully beef were 7-pound tins that were leftover from the Second World War, and when you took the top off, we had a hiss of gas coming from the meat, and the meat was black. So you had to cut the outside off with your knife and then get to the real piece of meat underneath, the bully beef, and we had hardtack biscuits full of weevils. We had to tap them on the side. We also had what they called pom, which is powdered potato, dehydrated potato, and I can distinctly remember the cook used to ask us, "What would you like today? Would you like a bit of steak and chips?" And you'd say, "No. Just give us the usual," and he'd say, "Oh, do you want your potato mashed, fried?" It was all the same. It was just boiled, boiled, boiled, powdered potato. That was what we had. Combat rations were good. Whenever we could, if we could get to an American camp, they were very generous. We could get from Marines anything you could pick off the table. Whatever they were eating, they'd give you, and at the end of the table, there was stuff donated by American firms. There were things like Hershey bars, writing material, torches, pens, writing paper, and right at the end, you put your name down, and you got a Chicago Herald Tribune sent to you once a month. Very handy because you had nothing else to read, and it was very useful at the end of that period to use as toilet paper as well. The thing that left me my lasting memory of Korea was the suffering of little children. It really left a mark on me. Normally, I wouldn't shed tears, but after seeing little babies and little girls and boys in the condition they were in, it really affected me. I did more than a year in Korea. I was then claimed by my older brother to his regiment. It was an artillery regiment. So I went over to spend another 3 months with them. We then went from Korea. We said farewell to our friends in Pusan who were lying sleeping in the cemetery. We went from there to Hong Kong for another year or just over, and by that time, because we had come from Germany with our own seas for 3 years, we went back to UK. And within 5 months of getting back to UK, I was then called up again for Cyprus. We were sent to Cyprus for a year. In the meantime, I got married on one day, the 22nd of October, 1955, and on the 24th of October, I was on an aircraft carrier on my way to Cyprus, where I spent a year. Having done that, I came back to leave the Army for a few months and got called up again, honored to be called up for Suez Canal trouble. So anyway, that's a part of my life, and I'm quite happy I've been married 62 years now to the same woman. I've got one daughter, and I live in Australia now. I'm quite happy with my lot. I've never been back in the UK. I have no desire to go back there. I've just been involved with the Korean War Veteran Association here. I've been their president for over 10 years. I'm still the president emeritus and their quartermaster. So I just do what I can to help my fellow man. I do a lot of hospital visits. I visit people who are in nursing homes who have had sickness, strokes, dementia. That's as much as I can do for my fellow man, and I hope one day, and I've also decreed that when I pass away and I leave this mortal coil that my body goes to research. I don't want a funeral. I don't want anything left of me. It'll go to the University of New South Wales. And I'll say my goodbyes there. Thank you.
Australia Sydney (2)
>> My name is Peter Berger. I served in Korea in 1952 but not a long time. Most of the time, I was in headquarters. From Korea, which as I said, wasn't a very long time, I was sent in Japan and was in [INAUDIBLE] in Japan. Actually, the second time, it was over in [INAUDIBLE], and we spent our time running up and down the hills. We got very fit, but while [INAUDIBLE] I sent out the signals, and I used to work on the switchboard or phones or whatever was needed. And from Korea, I went to Japan, as I said, and I spent quite some time there, and then we were sent to Singapore. And in Singapore, I saw advertised, people saying that they needed NGOs to volunteer for the Gurkhas. So I volunteered for the Gurkha, and I went out of the country to a place called Seremban, and I spent the rest of my time there serving with the Gurkhas. Then I was sent home, and I really didn't want to go home because I was quite enjoying myself, and you might think I did fly home, and I had to leave most of my stuff that I had collected over the time, all of it there, including beautiful Gurkha khukuri. You know the big knife? So I had to leave that one there too, but I already said it all. >> Okay, but I still wanted you on camera.
Australia Sydney (3)
>> I'm Harry Spicer. I'm a Korean War veteran. I was in the British Army, and I went to Korea in August 1950, and I was there for 10 months. Then we went back from there back to Hong Kong, where we were before we went to Korea, and then I spent 3 months in Malaya and came back to Hong Kong again, and then I transferred to the Parachute Regiment, and I went back to England in the December of that year, and I joined the Parachute Regiment. It was just [INAUDIBLE] and we met our ex-colonel, a Korean War veteran, and he wanted to get a monument for the Korean Veterans in Sydney. I met with him, and then a few of us met with him, actually, and we decided we'd form a committee, and he was the president of the committee. I was the vice president, and we got together. We started talking about the monument. We always said just we want from the government just the land to build the memorial on and that we didn't need money because the Korean colonel had said, "We don't need money. We just want the ground to put the memorial on." So I got my local member of parliament to try and get an interview with Morris Iemma, who was the Premier of New South Wales then, to talk to him about getting the land to build the memorial, and whenever I met with him, we told him that, "We just want the land. We don't want money," because the colonel says, "Don't worry about the money. Money will be okay." So he accepted that, and at the next meeting of the Korean Veterans, which they hold 1 day a year in Government House in Sydney, and in his speech, he spoke about it, and he said, "I'm behind it 101 percent where possible and to get everything we can done to get this memorial. We've just got to get the memorial built." So then they formed a committee with the government, and basically, the government took over the organizing of the monument, and we had the committee. I was on the committee. There was a number of government people, the government surveyor and finance minister from the government and the Korean from the Korean Veterans Association, and we got the committee to start doing the memorial. The first thing, of course, was to get the land, so the government looked at a number of places that we could get, and they offered them to us, and we looked at them, and what they offered wasn't suitable, we didn't think. Then they came up with the site at Moore Park in Sydney, and we looked at that and said, "Oh, yeah, that's it. That's the place to build the memorial." So the decision was made, and we told the government that we would like to have that in Moore Park, and they accepted that, and then we started working on the memorial itself, the design and everything else of the memorial, and I don't know how many meetings we had, but it used to be every week, every couple weeks, once a month, at different times just when it was needed to make decisions on what we must do, but all the work was being done by the government, the architects, detail with parliament, the government surveyor, government finance, all the bodies that were needed for to build the memorial. They all had a position on the committee. So we was there, and we made our suggestions of what we want, and they'd ask us exactly what we wanted, what sort of thing we wanted. So it was decided that we get some quotes of designs, and I think we had about five. Lots of people gave us a design for the memorial. We went through them. We picked the one that we do have now, which as far as we were concerned was the number one pick, and by the response we've had from people since it's been built, we made the right decision, and so then it was there from then on. We got to ... So then we got onto raising the funds for the memorial. We did tell the government that we won't need money, but the colonel's idea was ... He was the fella who said that we don't need money, but we didn't know at the time, he had cancer, and it wasn't long after, we got the decision from the government that they were going to support it, and he passed. So I took over the presidency of the committee, which is the Australian and Korean War Memorial Association, and then from there on, we just carried on with the government, and gradually got all of the things necessary done and got to the building of the memorial and the design. They came up with the design of the memorial, but some of the things on it, they didn't. We got the names of all the countries that served in Korea on the pathway on the memorial. That was my idea, and we also put the names of all of the battles that the Australians served at and that became battles, and we got the names of all those on different stones within the memorial, and also then we got the Korean national flag, and we had poles with the national flag on them in the memorial, and we also had the copies of the medals that the Australians received, the United Nations medal and the Korean medal, and the Korean medal is the same as is given to any of the Commonwealth forces that fought in Korea. When the British got the medals, they all got the war medal for Korea. >> What have been the reactions of ... What do the veterans feel about this memorial? >> They're happy with it. >> Mm. >> They are happy with it, yeah. I don't think we've had any comments that was against any part of it, so it's worked out that we liked it. They liked it, so that's it, and nobody's ever said, "We should have done this. We should have done that." >> Oh, yeah. >> I think people are happy with what we finished on. >> And the significance of the area, the surrounding area? >> That's got no significance with regards to the Korean War. >> Oh, you're right, but the significance of this area with Anzac Parade. >> Yeah, no, that didn't come into it either. It was just the place where ... >> I know, but isn't it still very meaningful that it's ... >> Oh, well, it's on Anzac Parade. >> Yeah. >> It's on Anzac Parade, yeah, yeah. >> And where it's the Anzac Parade across where they're commemorating World War I. >> Yeah. >> Yeah. >> There's a memorial, yeah. >> It's not just a ... >> A special dedication ... >> It's not just randomly located in a remote area. >> Yeah, yeah. >> It's a pretty significant road part. >> It is, yeah. >> Yeah. Now let's go back to your experience in the war a little bit. So do you have any recollections, something, I don't know, like an anecdote from the war, your time in Korea in 1950? >> We went there in August of '50, and there was the Middlesex Regiment and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and at that time, we only held the Pusan area, around the Pusan area of Korea, and I think, basically, the North Koreans had run out of steam, and they were getting their reserves up and everything before they moved on, and in that time, of course, there was getting more troops out there. We were the first troops after the Americans to go there, the British who got to do so, and we was the 27th Brigade. Then in the ... I think it was about October ... The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment joined us, and then we became 27th British Commonwealth Brigade. Then after that, we had New Zealand Artillery join us. They came into the brigade, and we also got the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battalion join us, and there was an Indian medical team that joined us, and so we was the Commonwealth Brigade. We was always under strength, and the units, when we took over an area from the Americans, we'd have a battalion to take over where they had a brigade, so the ... A brigade is about three times the size of a battalion, so we was taking over a much bigger area, which made it more dangerous because with people on the ground compared to what they were, and the first thing that we had as far as the war was concerned is that we was in positions on the Nakdong River, and we got shelled and mortared, and the noise, it's unbelievable. It was just so loud, and there's nothing to do. What we'd do is just sit in our trench and hope that it didn't land in our trench, which it didn't, thank goodness, and a short time after that, we had to ... We set out on a platoon patrol across the Nakdong River, and it wasn't a fighting patrol. It was just to observe, see if we could find out what was going on, went across the river. There's sand beaches each side of the Nakdong River, and we turned left as we went across from the boats, and we left a section with the boats, and then the other two sections went along the beachline, from the beachline along, and we must have been probably about a mile or so along there, and we looked up in the hills, and we saw the enemy up on the hills, and we saw them waving. They was waving people from the other side of the hill, and they were all of a sudden [Indistinct] gunning at as with machine guns, and we couldn't touch them because it was too far for us with our rifles or [Indistinct] guns to extend, and so we hit the ground as soon as they started, and where the river goes along, most of the other section, the two, was along the line of the river, but my section, I was in section one. My section went from the edge of the river up to this bank where the other section was, so it went ... The shots was going around us, and they were so close. I just thought myself, "If you're going to hit me, hit me," because the tension was so, so great, and then as soon as there was just a lapse in the machine gun fire, [INAUDIBLE] in the bank, so we dashed it to the bank. We had with us four Americans. They was for if we needed artillery support. As soon as the Koreans opened fire, three of the Americans took off, and it was on officer, sergeant and two others, but the officer stayed, and one of the Americans, when they took off, got hit. He got right through the middle, but he was okay. So when we finished up, we carried him out, and when they fired, we'd get down, and when they stopped firing, we'd get up and move, and we also had our own machine guns on the other side of the river firing at them to keep them down as well. So we come in on the way back, and I was right behind that [INAUDIBLE], and walking along, I said to him, "I think there might be a reception or something [INAUDIBLE] that come down and try and block us off," and he said, "Yeah," because he was that tense, and then all of a sudden, there was a noise of machine gun, and we hit the ground, and he was still standing up. I said, "Was that you, sir?" He said, "Yeah." His machine gun went off, but anyway, we found out when we got back the boats, the other Americans was there, the ones that took off, the two that took off, and they'd have taken the boats if we hadn't got the section out, and there was a party coming down to meet us, but our machine guns opened on them, so that broke them up, so we was right there, so we got back in the boats, and we crossed the river, and that was that. The night before we went down to the river, we slept in Korean houses overnight, and we went overnight, went through their clothing. We got back, and that was okay, and then after that, we moved forward across the river, and we was given the job of taking a particular hill, which was later called Middlesex Hill because that was the British [Indistinct], and we had platoon go first with a small hill and then a large hill went on from there, and the platoon went, just one platoon, went and took the small hill, and I think they got two killed taking that hill. Then the rest of the company took the larger hill, and we lost ... I think we lost about three or four taking the hill, and it took us nearly all day to get up to the top of the hill, and the Koreans, there was some dead, and some had took off, and when we got there, they had fires, and one the North Koreans had got thrown into the fire, and his clothes was burning, and his ammunition was exploding out of his body, and [INAUDIBLE], and it was with his own [INAUDIBLE] explode. Then at the nighttime, they mortared us, and we had another one killed when he was wounded. The next day, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was to take another hill the other side of the road to where we were, and when they went up, we used to have color signs that we used to have made out on the ground. They'd be red or yellow or whatever, and they'd be sort of in a cross one day, two lines together another day, all different sort of shapes so that the air knew that we were friendly. Well, they had their colors, and they had them on the floor, but the Americans came and they bombed them, and with the ... what? What do they call the bombs? >> Mortar? >> No, fire. >> [INAUDIBLE] bombs? >> No. >> Flash bombs? >> No, the ones they drop from the airplanes. >> Air bombs? >> What? >> Air bombs. >> What? What'd you say? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> No. Once you're up there, you drop the bombs, and it's just all fire, flame and ... >> Yeah, napalm. >> Napalm, they dropped ... We'll have to sort that out. They dropped napalm on the Argylls, and I don't remember how many they killed. I think there was about 20 or something killed, and then the second-in-command of the Argylls, Major Muir, he won the VC on that, but they came down, and we were still on a hill. My company was on this hill over here, and the rest of the battalion was down behind, and they went up and helped get the Argylls get down. Then we moved on from there, and we did a little bit in the country, looking for any North Koreans who might be hanging around. Then that's when the Australians joined us, and we flew up to Seoul to keep [INAUDIBLE] airport. The Australians stayed there for a while cleaning up, and then we was at the airport probably about 3 days [INAUDIBLE] and we started moving north, and so every day, we'd get in our trucks, go north, stop at night, dig in. Maybe we'd have some action. Maybe we wouldn't. Maybe we'd run into some action. We'd just keep it as we went, and we did that all the way up, and there was a number of battles. I can't remember what they were, all of them, but there was a number of battles, and we got as far as ... What is it? I can't think of the damn name. [INAUDIBLE], I think it was. I think it was [INAUDIBLE]. We got as far as there, and then the winter started coming in, and then all of a sudden they said, "Chinese on horseback," you see, and the Chinese came into the war, came across the border, and they stayed there quite a while. We didn't even know they were there. They didn't know [INAUDIBLE] and there was hundreds of thousands of them. They came [INAUDIBLE], and when they did, our brigade was out on its own, and they were saying nothing could save the British 27th Brigade because the north would surround us and we would be gone, but anyway we did. We got out. We came back, and as we came back, we had to fight and withdraw, and we got action, and that is when some troops stayed in their position to let the others come through, and all the time when doing that, when we were in our position, we were expecting the enemy to be right behind them, so you'd expect that you're going to get caught, but luckily, we didn't. We just got away with it, but we got back and went way back down to the other side of the border, the 38th parallel, which I think we stopped there. We dug in and everything else. Then the Chinese came, and then there was a backwards and forwards, and we left in the ... June, I think it was, we left. June, we left and then went back to Hong Kong, and from there, from Hong Kong, I went to ... The battalion had to stay there another 10 months or something to complete their 3 years, but I volunteered for the Parachute Regiment, and I went back to England to join the Parachute Regiment. >> Mm.
Australia Sydney (4)
>> Good morning, or good evening, Hannah. My name is Ian Crawford. I am a retired rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy. I served in Korea in 1950 and '51. At that time when I first arrived there, I was an 18-year-old midshipman serving in the Royal Navy light cruiser HMAS Shoalhaven. We were intended to be the flagship of the East Indies Station based in Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, but when the Korean War broke out, the British had to withdraw a cruiser from the Far East, and we were very quickly prepared to go to Korea. On our way there, we were diverted to Hong Kong to pick up the 1st Battalion, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who, together with the Middlesex Regiment, who were carried in the HMS Unicorn and, were the first British troops and the first non-American and Korean troops in the Korean War. They were to form the 27th Brigade, and the Australian Army, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, joined later in September to form this brigade. After delivering the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to Pusan, and at that time, Pusan Perimeter was at its smallest, we landed the Argylls and the Middlesex Regiment from the HMS Unicorn, and we went about our naval duties. Very soon after that in September, we were part of the cover force for the landing at Inchon. We were escorting the British carrier, HMAS Triumph. Two Australian destroyers were with us, HMAS Warramunga and HMAS Bataan, and they stayed with us for most of our time on the west coast. The British, various fleets, together with the Commonwealth navies, formed the West Coast Task Group. On one occasion, we were transferred to the East Coast, and we went as far north as Chongjin, which is 2 miles from the Russian border. That was as far north as you could get in Korea, and we bombarded there. By October, there was the general feeling ... The forces, after being released from the Perimeter in Pusan, went up to the peninsula and across the 38th parallel, and the feeling was the Korean War was over. So the British withdrew to Hong Kong but not us because we were from the East Indies. We had no families in Hong Kong, so we stayed there, and we were just starting a refit in Kure in Japan when the news came through that the Chinese had entered the war, and they were making fast progress down the peninsula. We were quickly put together and diverted to the Taedong River, which is in North Korea, which is the entrance to the river that leads to Chinnamp'o, which is the port for Pyongyang, so we were diverted there in the belief that we were going to have to evacuate large segments of the Army and a lot of civilians. In the event that we evacuated a lot of civilians, we in a light cruiser could not get up the river, the Taedong River. It was very narrow, badly chartered and the sandbanks were not evident. So there were three Canadian destroyers, two Australian destroyers and one American destroyer. One Australian destroyer went aground, one Canadian destroyer got a wire around its propeller, so eventually only two Canadian destroyers, one Australian destroyer and one American destroyer got up to Chinnamp'o. Supervised the evacuation, and the evacuees came down in the ships and in separate pairs, and then they destroyed the Port of Chinnamp'o. Our main operating base when we were on the west coast was an island called Daecheongdo, which our captain used as a base, and everybody followed his example. It became a place where we convened to meet with South Korean guerrillas and exchange information, where our smaller ships took shelter in bad weather while we made our forays up the Gulf of Korea very close to the border with China. The Chinese and North Korean advance continued. We were in Inchon, and it became evident that Inchon was going to be uncovered, and so all the American stores had to be destroyed, and our ship was the last ship out of Inchon. We continued to go into Inchon, moving from position to position so that people would not fix us for counter-bombardment from batteries ashore, and we at times came under fire from these batteries, and eventually, we were 20 miles behind the front line, so we had to leave the port. The great problem was the extreme cold. It was the coldest winter of the century. It was so cold that our close-range weapons, pom-poms, Oerlikons that we had to move the mounting every 15 minutes. Otherwise, the lubricating oil would freeze. And at sea, when the spray came over the bow and hit the superstructure of the ship, it turned into ice, so it was cold. We stayed on patrol for a long time. I think we spent more time on patrol than any other ship. At one stage, we had patrolled 43 days. So the important thing was to keep the sailors entertained, to make sure they got their mail, and we provided our own entertainment. I know for sure, Roseanne, Bob Hope and a lot of Hollywood people came out and did sing to the soldiers. That wasn't available to us. We had to provide our own entertainment, which we did, and it was a great success. The other thing was the feeling we had because everyone thought the war was over, and everybody had gone south to Hong Kong, and we were quickly pushed into the breach. We felt very lonely. We could feel the malevolent omnipotence of China bearing down on us, and morale was very, very low. There came a message from families, from Littleton from families in England because I was the only Australian in the ship. All the others were British. We'd be mentioned in the news, and we were going to get a medal. Now, that amounted to recognition, and one of the most important features for any serviceman, for his morale, is recognition, and this medal was awarded, and I always maintained that recognition is important for morale while serving and for the peace of mind of veterans in their older age, and this has been a principle that has guided for a lot of my time since the Korean War and the various studies that I've done. I've been involved in many studies. The Australian government has been very proactive in trying to determine the problems of the Korean War veterans, and they carried out three studies, health studies, cancer incidence studies, to find out why there was such a large number of Korean War veterans dying early. We had the very comprehensive studies, which at one stage was made available to all other members of a committee that I was working on in Korea for their information. I have been asked by the government to do other studies. We had quite a lot of Australians serving in Korea for the 5 years after 1953, and it was called the post-Armistice period. I was cochairman of that committee, which once again, was motivated by the need to recognize the service of these people after the Korean War because we had people who died there. We had 18 people die during this post-Armistice period. Once again, the recognition of these people and the service of these people was so important. And I'm still involved. We have 43 missing in action. Some will be in the demilitarized zone. Some will be in North Korea still. Many will have been recovered, and we are trying to develop a process where ... And those who were recovered who were Caucasoid will probably be in Hawaii where the Americans take all their casualties, all their dead from all wars who have not been identified, and there is a process using DNA and dental records, and we are trying to progress more actively on the part of our government to identify these people. Also, I started the program for an Australian National Korean War Memorial. It became a big hobby of mine. At that time when I was thinking about it, we had one memorial on top of Anzac Parade, which is called the Australian War Memorial, and as far as I was concerned, that was the memorial for all wars, but because the Vietnam war was so politically sensitive, the government decided to give the Vietnam people their own war memorial. As soon as that happened, I said, "Okay, they've got their memorial. We have to have our memorial." So I gathered together some colleagues, and they suggested others, and we went through the process of raising the funds, getting the government's agreement to give us a site on Anzac Parade for the memorial, to do a design brief of what we wanted to be put out to a design competition for a sculptor and an architect to design our memorial, and then eventually, to supervise the construction and then the dedication of the memorial in 2003. The design was interesting. I knew that the sailors, soldiers and airmen wanted figures that they could identify with, but the winning design didn't incorporate any figures at all, and all my colleagues said, "That's the winning design," and I was the chairman, and I said, "I don't want it unless we have figures." And the architect and sculptor was flexible enough, and he said, "Well, I think we can remove some of the poles," which he had put into the design, "and make space for the figures." And we had three figures: a sailor, a soldier and an airman in their winter garb. He had some misgivings initially, but on the day before the dedication of the memorial, and it was all there, and it was a grand style, he came up to me and said, "It works." We were very happy about that. We had another problem. The National Capital Authority didn't like the obelisk that we had there. They said there was too much verticality, and they wanted to remove it, and with some of the fasting thinking I've ever done, I said, "Oh, but that's for the missing in action," and they found that very difficult to counter that argument, so we kept the obelisk. And a few weeks before the dedication and the final erection of the memorial, the sculptor and architect came to me and said, "What plaque are we going to put on this obelisk?" And my wife had taken photographs in Pusan of the missing in action for those with no known grave, and so we transposed the design of that plaque onto an obelisk. We were constrained by ... We wanted to have Korean flora in the surroundings of the memorial, but our heritage people only wanted Australian material, so we were prevented, but some, oh, I suppose 12 years later, they relented, and we were able to incorporate into the design flora from Korea, Korean box, which is placed at every grave, and the Korean Cedar trees, which surround Pusan, so that we were recreating in miniature some of the ambiance of what is in the Pusan Memorial, where 282 of our dead are buried, so that the families can share some of that environment. >> Let's go back to some of the basic numbers for those that don't know how many Australians fought and how many died and how many are missing and how many POWs there were. And I know that post-Armistice there were some that also served after the war. >> Right. We do not know definitely how many were there during the active service time and during the post-Armistice, but there is a rough figure that says around 17,000 served for the totality of the time during the combat time and the post-Armistice time. Some people say that the people there during the combat time would be as few as 13,000, which by that measurement, meant that our casualty rate, taking term into consideration the time we were and the number that were there, was a very high casualty rate compared with other wars that Australia has been involved in. So we still have 43 missing in action. Some of them would be in North Korea, some in the demilitarized zone. I think I've said earlier on that some would be in Hawaii. There were, I think, 27, somewhere in the mid-20s, prisoners of war. >> But they all returned. >> Not all, no. Some are now included in the missing in action because they would have died in the prisoner of war camp and been buried in North Korea in a cemetery there, which we've never been able to get to. We had over 1,200 who were wounded. Originally 339, and they're now found another person, so 340 killed during the combat time. >> How do you think Australians remember or know even about the Korean War veterans? >> Not very well. When I was doing the Korean War Memorial, I went to industry for them to make donations, bearing in mind that because of the winter and the feeling that the Korean War could topple over into the third World War. There was a great demand for a lot of the material that we had in Australia, especially our wool and our strategic materials and some of the minerals. I argued, and I argued in my approach to business, that the Korean War heralded in a period of prosperity for Australia because of the demand for our raw materials. Some people don't agree, but some 50 years after the Korean War when I approached these companies, the corporate secretaries had never heard of the Korean War and wanted to know why we were there. So it is still, for many of the people, a forgotten war. We're trying to make it not forgotten. That is why we had the memorial, so it wouldn't be forgotten, and interviews like this will help us not to be forgotten. >> So when the secretary said, "Why were you there?" what did you answer? How did you answer? >> It was a very sound and strategic decision that we went to the Cold War. In fact, the Korean War was the first how war of the Cold War, and if we hadn't checked the communists in rows onto territories that were more democratic, or in the process of becoming democratic, they wouldn't be encouraged to go further, as in Vietnam. So it was the right decision for Australia to be involved and the right decision for Australia to make its own strategic decision to get involved. We did not automatically go to war, as we did in the first World War and the second World War when Britain went into the war. We made our own independent decision and committed our own forces, but our forces were part of the British Commonwealth Organizations, the Army in the British Commonwealth Division, the Navy with the ships on the west coast were led by a British admiral, and the soldiers were very proud of being in the British Commonwealth Division because the last time they went to war with the British force, and that comprised of the British, the Canadians, the Australians and the New Zealanders, and our soldiers were so proud that they insisted that when we did the Korean War Memorial, as well as having badges for the Navy, Army and Air Force on the face of the memorial, we showed the badge of the British Commonwealth Division., so it was very important to them. It was also an interesting time for Australia that up to the Korean War, in the Army, you had to be a volunteer to serve outside Australia. So for the first World War and the second World War, we had the Australian Imperial Force, which is made up of a big group of volunteers. Up until then, if there was a war, you could only serve in Australian territory unless you were a volunteer. So we had to have volunteers to go into the Korean War from the Army. The Navy and Air Force were automatically committed because of their global span, but for the Army, there had to be a volunteer, and somebody wrote a book called "The Last Call of the Bugle," and that was because people think about responding to the call of the bugle as volunteers, so the Korean War was the last call of the bugle to attract volunteers to serve in the Army overseas. Nowadays, we have a regular force that is volunteers when people join the regular force, but we did not have a standing Army in Australia at that time, and we only had a militia. >> In the '50s? >> In the '50s, yes. We did not have a standing Army. We had a militia who could be expanded in the time of war, and if there were volunteers, they would serve overseas. >> For how long? >> As long as needed. >> Oh, really? >> So some people went right through the second World War, 6 years as volunteers. I had volunteered. My father was second in command of a regiment, which is a militia regiment, and he had to cajole and persuade the members of his regiment to become an AIF regiment, Australian Imperial Force, so they could serve overseas. >> That's very interesting. So let's talk a little bit about Australians who went post-Armistice. Why were they sent post-Armistice? >> They had been committed to Korea or committed to Japan for part of the occupation force, and they had been promised certain entitlements, which one normally associates with active service. But when the Armistice came, and it was only an armistice, and it still is only an armistice. So we had to present to the North Koreans and the Chinese our determination to hold the line, and so we had a large force of the former Allies who remained in Korea. They didn't get a ... And they felt very proud of this, and they felt that they had been ignored in the recognition that we were giving to those who served during the combat time, and there was conflict between those who served in the conflict and those who were post-Armistice. We had to do a study to decide how we would recognize these people in the post-Armistice time, so I was asked to cochair a committee, and we did a 6-month study and came up with what we felt was the right answer to make up their recognition. They got a medal, which was called the General Service Medal for Korea. They did not get the Active Service Medal, which was for those who were in combat, so we felt that was the right balance. >> I was surprised to see that there were about a dozen who died post-Armistice. >> Nineteen died. >> Yeah. >> And vehicle accidents, weapon accidents, all sorts of problems, but it was a very intense time over there. >> Until 1955, right? >> '55, yes. Yeah, and we had a communication group who remained up there after the main force went through, and they were part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force or communications group. >> My last question is, well, first of all, have you been back to Korea? >> Yes, I have. When I announced to the government that we should have a Korean War Memorial ... And it wasn't until we got a visit from the Korean president that we got recognition from the government. I like to think that they were saying, "Hey, we've got the Korean president coming down. What can we demonstrate to him that we have an interest in Korea?" And somebody said, "Well, they're talking about a Korean War Memorial," and the government said, "That'll do." And at the state dinner for the Korean president, our government announced that they were going to dedicated $67,000, and the Korean president stood up and said, "I'll match you," so we were off very well right from the start. Now what ... Your question was ... Oh, Korea! Well, it was at the Korean recognition, the Korean Federation of Industry gave us a huge donation. >> No, have you visited Korea? >> Oh, have I visited Korea? Yes. Yes, I had to go to Korea. I said, "I'm going to England to see my family. I am prepared to divert from Hong Kong, which is the route to England, to go to Korea. If you will pay for that diversion." And so we diverted, and that was my first visit. I've been back since on revisit programs and as part of the International Federation of Korean War Veterans Association. So I've been back a few times, and most impressed by the change, from what I saw. In Pusan in 1950 and Taechongdo, which is a very impoverished island in 1950 and '51, so I just never ceased to be amazed. The urban development, modern technology, like the Korean very fast train, or the French call it Train a Grande Vitesse. I don't know what the Koreans call it, but it is the French technology used between Seoul and Pusan. So marvelous technology, and my sympathies are with the Korean people with this threat across the border. And as we're talking now, there's this unease about what might be the outcome of that. >> I know, for almost 70 years. I truly hope that Korea will achieve lasting peace or even reunification during your lifetime. >> That's going to be a challenge because it's more demanding than the unification of East Germany and West Germany because, you realize that as well as I do, that North Korea has never been exposed to modern culture. It was part of the Japanese kingdom, and then after the war, the North remained that hermit kingdom, which was a term applied to the whole of Korea. They have never, ever been exposed to Western culture. Places like Albania and the Eastern Bloc in Europe, yes, they have been, but it'd be an enormous change for the people to adjust to, and a great burden fall on the people of South Korea. >> Well, I don't know if and when and how or whether they should, but all I know is that this war that still hasn't ended should end, and there should be peace, so that at least there's no threat, even if there's no unification. There's no threat of constant threat of war. >> Yes. >> I think that would be the greatest honor that would be given to the Korean War veterans who really sacrificed their lives, their time to defend Korea. >> I agree entirely, Hannah. And the other thing, it made us realize that the Asian culture is different, and we had to adjust and understand that. Those of us who have been back and have been sufficiently interested to study the cultures of East Asia, which is China, Korea, Japan, and realize that each one of those is different. So trying to achieve harmony in East Asia is not an easy thing. >> It isn't, and that is why, all the more, thank you for your service. One last question, you retired as Rear Admiral, right? >> Yes. >> What was your rank when you were in Korea? >> Oh, midshipman. >> Oh! >> At 18. I had my 19th birthday in Inchon. >> Wow. How many years were you in the Navy? >> Forty years. >> Wow! >> I was in a British ship because when we left our Naval College in Australia ... Because we didn't have a big fleet, therefore we didn't have the range of experience of a large fleet. So at the age of 17 leaving the Naval College, we went and served with the Royal Navy, with the British Navy, for 3 1/2 years. And so ... >> And you were born where? >> Here, in Sydney. >> Canberra? Oh, Sydney! Not Canberra. >> No. >> Okay. >> No. No. >> But you lived in Canberra for a while? >> I lived I Canberra for 30 years. When you got old in the Navy, you end up in Canberra, which is where the headquarters is. >> Yes, of course. >> And our children went to school there, but I finished the Korean War Memorial. Kathy didn't like the cold of Canberra. Our children had moved to Sydney and got married and had children, and she said, "We're going to Sydney." And here we are. >> And here you are. Well, thank you so much, again. This is wonderful. >> Yeah.
Belgium Brussels (1)
>> My name is Roger Verbist. I went to Korea with the first battalion. I joined the first Belgian volunteers on the first or second of October, 1950 and got trained in Belgium until we left on the 18th of December on board of The Camina to go to Korea. It took us 6 weeks to arrive at last in Korea, in Busan, after a not-so-pleasant trip because the ship was not made for so many people. We were overcrowded. Anyway, we arrived at last on the 31st of January '51, in Busan at port. After that, we went to a trainings camp for a week of adaptation equipment change because we were fully equipped with the good old Belgian army coat and everything, which was really not adapted for the Korean thing. Also, to sleep, we had five, six blankets, which was really uncomfortable or impossible to take with you. Anyway, so after 1 week or so change, in 2 weeks maybe, where one nice remembrance is that we went training at night. Our second in command, Major Vivario at that time, he became later lieutenant general in the Belgian army, head of the Belgian army, but at that time, he was a major, second in command. He took the whole battalion out on a night exercise to get adapted to the mountains and everything and the hills, and we left in Indian file, and when we came back, he only had two people behind him. All the rest of the people had been lost. But anyway, we came back a few hours later to the camp. After that, we went for another what they call [INAUDIBLE] and said [FOREIGN LANGUAGE]. It was [INAUDIBLE] of course between guerrilla and [INAUDIBLE]. After there, a few things, at last, we could go to the front line at the Han in the winter that time still, quite cold at the Han and everything, stayed there in position. Anyway, we crossed the Han and moved to the north. We had in April the Battle of the Imjin where we got surrounded, and as I said, I had nothing, but I've seen it all what happened there and everything. After that, we had some relative peace when we went to the neighborhood of Gimpo, the other side of the Han. That's where I took my first rest and recreation holiday in Japan and where I got promoted from corporal to sergeant for the Battle of the Imjin. Anyway, after that, we had, with the first battalion, a lot of [INAUDIBLE] which have been explained by General Crahay in is book. [INAUDIBLE] participated on that, and while I was there, on the 23rd of March, we had a fight before the Imjin, even, on the hill where I had some personal experiences and killed an American observer and some Chinese, but okay. I never had any. It was not my fault. He shouldn't have been there in the dark at night. We never knew he was there, but he was a hero, really, this guy. But anyway ... >> Explain what ... Explain a little bit. >> Explain? >> Uh-huh. What happened? >> Well, it's never ... You see, it was what they said, hill 155, 3 kilometer out of [INAUDIBLE]. The C company, which was my company, and the third platoon, we had been progressing, and in the afternoon, we took over hill 155 from an American company. I don't know which were the guys, but they had taken the hill, and they were still everywhere, Chinese around foxholes and everything, some still smoking from phosphor and everything. Anyway, we took over the top, my platoon, the rest of the battalion. It was the top of the whole thing. The rest was down. The battalion was everywhere. We had the top. So the lieutenant, the American, I still remember. When he left, he said, "Oh, guys, I would be careful. You probably will get a visit tonight." He meant from the Chinese. Anyway, we had foxholes, and we threw the bodies off. I don't know if this [INAUDIBLE] threw them off. We took over the foxholes because they were [INAUDIBLE], and we settled down for the night, but we had been working just with a little backpack, so nothing, sleeping bags, nothing, nothing, nothing real. Anyway, at the certain time when it got dark, they said, "Ah, the trucks arrived downstairs at the hill. One-third of the platoon can go down and get the kit bags for your sleeping bags for the night," and everything and everything. So instead of 1/3, about 25 people went down. We were left on top of the hill with maybe 10 people. That was all. So while they were down to pick up, we got attacked by Chinese, and the first thing I heard, I was in a foxhole. It was when a grenade fell in the shoe of the companion who was with me. He had took off his shoes. He was not supposed to, but he had done anyway. A grenade fell in his shoes and rolled away, and his shoe exploded. He had size 46, so at around maybe 3 months later because they didn't serve the size of shoes on his gymslips. Anyway, we got out. They were all over the place between us in the dark, and I got out, and I did something to some Chinese [INAUDIBLE], and as I said, very dark, confused. One guy came getting up on the thing, and I couldn't tell. It was an American first sergeant, I found out later, an American first sergeant major, who was an observer for the motors. I didn't know he was there. Anyway, I shot him, and he died of his wounds later, so I still thinking ... I have never known, knew his name, who he was or everything. That was one thing that, if you say, that after that, that I said we did. After May, everything got more quiet down, a little bit more comfortable, so then after the day, the day after that I shot this guy, General MacArthur came on visit. Oh, yeah, I met him downstairs. They called me down. In effect, he said, "I know what you did. Don't worry. You did what you have to do. It's not your fault," and at that time, too, the chaplain of the battalion came to me said. He said, "Oh, you know, I have some bad news for you." I said, "What?" He said, "Your father died." I said, "Oh, yeah?" I said, "When?" He said, "Well, in the middle of January." I didn't know, so I said ... Well, he said, "Yeah, we apologize that you've been advised so late," and so on and so on. And then he said, "Do you want to go to Belgium?" I said, "What am I going to do in Belgium now? He's gone 2 months already. Now you tell me, so, no, I don't want to go to Belgium. I stay with the battalion." So then, anyway, the first battalion went back home somewhere middle of August. We had to take the General McRae to go back to Amsterdam, and about 400 of us went back to Belgium. In Belgium, I had 1 months of holiday, and after that, we joined the first airborne battalion to get parachute training which I did obtain my parachute training. At the beginning of January, I was qualified and everything, and then I was giving training to some [INAUDIBLE]. That time, they had draftees. We still had draftees, so I was training draftees in [INAUDIBLE]. I didn't like it, so I re-enlisted for Korea, and the 3rd of March, I went back to the training center of Korea in [INAUDIBLE], stayed 1 month, and I rejoined the battalion where I arrived. I left Belgium again on the 7th of April and arrived on the 24th of April, just in time for the celebration of the Battle of the Imjin where there was a ceremony there. And there, at that time, I decided, and I said, "I'll never go back until the last Belgian goes back," and that I did. I stayed until '55 until the last Belgians had to come back. >> [INAUDIBLE] >> No. If you're interested, in '54, but then after the third year or second year, you got 1 month of holiday in Japan, and regular R and R, like they said, famous R and R. I had people I knew in the embassy. In fact, one of my friends, he's married to a Korean. Her name is Kim, by the way. They have this shop in [INAUDIBLE], very famous, really became rich, she did, very aggressive saleswoman and everything. No, they have a very good company. It's still existing, Pagoda, in [INAUDIBLE]. It specialized in Oriental stuff and everything, and that's why I learned my wife, my friends married her. I went to their wedding party in Tokyo. One year later, I also went to the celebration of their first baby which was born in Tokyo, so I've been kept in touch with them very much. I learned my wife there, and I went back to Korea, and then I applied for permission. You had to have permission to get married that time. Oh, yes. There are a lot of regulations. I still have them. In fact, you had to do this and that and that and that and that. I did all that and brought it to the embassy in October '54 to get married, and I came to the embassy. This is another story, and the chancellor said to me, "I'm sorry. I can't marry you because the Belgian government changed the regulations. If you want to marry, you first have to go back to Belgium, stay 1 year there, and you can't come back to Korea. You have to bring her there and everything." He said, "I can't marry you. Everything is okay, but I can't marry you." Said, "but," he said, "Do you want to get married?" I said, "Sure." He said, "Okay. Tell your wife to go to the local administration not outside of Tokyo." I said, "They don't have the instructions yet." I said, "Get married for Japanese law." And he said, "If it's Japanese, and if you're married there," he said, "You bring me the papers. The same day, I make a Belgium passport for it." That doesn't exist anymore. At that time, it was. "And you're legally married because Japanese law is legal in Belgium," so we did. My wife went to ... We lived in Tsurumi between Yokohama and Tokyo. She went there. In fact, I didn't even go. She just brought all the papers. No, I was staying at home. She took two witnesses, and they witnessed, and we were legally married. So I went to the embassy. She got a passport. It's the chancellor who did it. I was not supposed to do it. He was a very nice fellow, so that's it. So then I stayed until '55 in Korea until the last one and came back on the last like everybody else, and wife rejoined me. >> After the armistice in 1953, July 27th, what were some of the things? Because people think the war ended, so everybody goes home, right? But you stayed until 1955. >> Mm-hmm. >> What did you do there after the armistice? >> '55? Well ... >> No, after the armistice, what did you do there? Why did you stay in Korea for another year and a half? >> Well, we had still some obligations to the American thing and to the United Nations. There was not officially, shall I say, a peace. There was a cease-fire, but still, they still have demarcation line, as you know, so at that time, we were still there at the first time. They still expected some attacks even after that from the Chinese, so we were staying there on the line, occupying our position. We had to move back so many kilometers to have the demarcation zone. We had to move back. We occupied and just stood guard like we did before except that we didn't get artillery shells and everything for the rest. Then after 5, 6 week, we went back, rotated, got in reserve, and there, we did like the Belgian army does when they're on the camps, and we're training, exercises with the Americans, tests, to compare our combat readiness, tested by the Americans, which, by the way, we came out first of the whole thing. We had 87 percent, I think. We always used to love the [INAUDIBLE] They wear those big boots. They couldn't move around, so I think we wear just a normal thing. We moved around like that on the hills three times when they moved. That was the thing. We were training just like, as I said to him, hasn't known this. He has just known the period in Korea at the beginning there when there was every day moving up mountain, down mountain, up mountain, here a shot, there a shot, attack, this and that, never ate really. At night, you slept in a little hole and everything. After that, from when I went back in the beginning of '52, '51, things had changed completely. Before, it was a moving war, and every day, as I said, up and down, up and down, up and down. You never had any food, C rations and things. After that, when we get a static war and got on lines, it changed. We had tents where you had certain periods on line where of course, you were in bunkers and had some attacks and patrols, but once you were out of the line, in reserve or so, you had tents, beds, cots, to sleep on. You got a bar. You got food instead of C rations all the time, so conditions changed completely, and I said, I've had worse training in Germany as I had there in Korea at that time. That was the thing, but we stayed there because they wanted, how I shall I say, to have the representation of a Belgian thing. That was 200 people they chose who stayed. >> Mm. Did you go back to Korea? >> Huh? >> Did you go back to Korea after the war? >> Yes. After the war, as I said, after Washington, I quit the army after 6 years at the embassy in Washington. I quit the army. I took to my pension after 20 years, and at that time, I was 38 years old, so I had to make a decision. Am I staying in the army, no promotion until I'm 56 and then retire, or am I going to try to do business, a career in private civilian life? I decided to get out, so in fact, I still have my blue card as a permanent resident of the United States, but my wife and my daughter then, they wanted to move out, and me too, out of Washington, so we went to Hawaii and lived 1 year in Honolulu where, in fact, I got my first job as assistant manager from the Hilton Lagoon apartments. I don't know if you know Hawaii. The Hilton Lagoon, I got there. After 1 year, my wife and daughter, and me too, said "Always this sun, always this beach. Let's go back to Japan," so we moved to Japan. >> I asked whether you went back to Korea to ... >> Yeah, well, that's what I'm coming to, yeah? So was in Japan, I start working in civilians for civilian transportation, German, Japanese thing. I went. I had very good relationship with ... It was in the air cargo business, so I had very good relationship, first of all, with Korean Airlines, and I had to go at least six, seven times to Korea as civilian then for business. >> What year? What year? >> I was in from '76 to '90, I stayed. I was in Japan, but as I said, at that time, I traveled to Australia and New Zealand. I'm doing what you're doing now, I did many times before: the States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Europe. I did that at the time, but I went back at least four or five times to Korea for business with a certain Mr. Lee. There are also many Mr. Lees and Kims. I've been back many times. >> When was the last time you went? >> As civilian? The last time I went was in 2012 for the big Revisit Korea thing. >> Oh, and so it was very different from when you went for ... >> That's what I've told him. He remembers, and I remember, first time where we went in Seoul, I still remember the railroad station. Everything was in ruins, and everything there in '55, when I left, was already quite a different change, but not like this, but I told him. I said, "You're going to be surprised when you're going to [INAUDIBLE]," because it was still in his mind this way. Anyway, but it's the same in Tokyo. When I was first time in Japan in Tokyo, it's nothing. Now, the last time I went to Tokyo was maybe 4 years ago. Every year, and I lived in Tokyo [INAUDIBLE] between Tokyo and Yokohama, 12, 13 years there. I lived there. When I left in '90, came back to France because I lived in France, and I went back 5 years later, I didn't recognize Tokyo already: new highways and everything. And every time I go back with my wife and my daughter now, it changes so quickly. >> Well, so let's go back to Korea. >> Yes. >> So, did you think of ... >> You know what? >> The people, I mean, what you experienced now towards the end of ... You visited again recently in 2012, and, you know, it's very ... You say, it was very different, and, I mean, just the people. Explain a little bit more about what you felt because you were there when ... almost 70 years ago. >> What I saw in 2012 was the normal Revisit Korea program. We went to Busan to the military cemetery, or to the United Nations cemetery, to visit. We visit [INAUDIBLE], a few ceremonies in Seoul and things like that, ceremonies and medal and things like that of the normal program, but I was amazed by the efficiency. This tour was organized, and as I said, how they took care of us, that amazed. There was just another couple who was in a wheelchair. They were waiting at the airport. Took us there. I said, everything was perfectly organized because I have been worried. I said, many times, I worry when Korean veterans, Korean nationals, came to visit Belgium, they didn't get the same reception. Much less, huh? >> Okay. >> I found that regrettable.
Belgium Brussels (2)
>> My name is Philips Armand. In English, Armand, the British English. I was in the third battalion volunteered with Korea with Roger, my friend, and the make ... The meeting was in Belgium, three battalion to go to Korea. The UN, United Nations, ask, and one battalion complete, but Belgium has never can come to the number of 650 men like the English. They only had 600, 700 people, but one-fourth of it is administration. Fighters was not enough. It was 500, and all of the English were 800. Belgium wasn't the right force to go. Then we made a prepares to go. We're coming to Korea. Roger says with all the dates and began ... Busan, is it Busan? We stay a little while in Busan, and then we move higher and higher. Along way we helped ... We make a ... with the American Army, but Belgium Army has British weapons and the equipment, all British and a Lee-Enfield rifle, the old one. The US go, "No thanks, to Belgium, Put them over there," because we cannot give them ammunition, and it was just ... Put your gun away and take another one. That was a diplomatic difference over there, and after the Imjin is over, go on, go to America, so Roger was free. I was away in this moment. Then we do this the same way, Busan, higher up to the 38th frontier on the Imjin, and that you know. You know that. And along the way, we have made the [INAUDIBLE] and was looking for the invasion of the Chinese soldiers. When the Belgiums were on the boat, the Chinese, not the North Koreans [INAUDIBLE] were something we never see. I never see the North Korea. It was China. China was behind it. And they [INAUDIBLE] onto Seoul, bombardment of American Seoul. Seoul was a wreck, completely horizontal. No people over there and the Belgium battalion [INAUDIBLE] over the Han River to platoon, with a platoon to look if there was enemies where they is, but the Chinese were away. They were going, and we never known why, and we did a night patrol over the Imjin, and my platoon commander, the lieutenant, was the leader, and I stayed with the others on the other side. They said, "Spend the night over there," and when they come back they ... I was watching on the land mine, and the Chinese have their little dynamite box on the Han River, on the side, for the tanks. There were tanks, and that is with the wire to the big one, 2 kilo and a half dynamite, and the tanks of America has changed before. They cleared a little bump. They can't ... But the big bomb was here and the little one there, 5 meters. When the little bomb sprang, it's with the chains, but the other 2-1/2-kilo dynamite was under the tank. They're smart, this one, and my platoon commander was leader, and he was floating 8, 10 meters in the river and on the ground, and commander of the company was dead and two or three American officers, and the tank was finished too. On that moment was I platoon commander, as Sergeant First Class. It was in the company C. It was platoon A, B and C. [INAUDIBLE] was in platoon B or G ... B or C? There was no platoon. There wasn't one platoon. I was second-in-command, and I make [INAUDIBLE] platoon something to say, but afterwards, platoon commander. I was first sergeant, Sergeant First Class, and all the time from the Imjin and that, I stayed around the Imjin. I got shot. Now I just would finish it, but the Battle of the Imjin. When we come on the Imjin River, in Panmunjom was the peacemaking, right? Come on, it was starting then, but we're still staying on the way, on this side of the Imjin, but the British have let go the Belgium on the other side, and there was a bridge over with ... a military bridge on the Imjin River, and they put the Belgiums on the hill sometime, and there was a platoon. Roger's was on the right. I was in center, and another group was ... platoon, three platoons. We have communication with the radio and telephone, booby traps and all the things, wires [INAUDIBLE] like the Belgium Army with the protection. Then the invasion was coming, and in the night, the battalion commander, the colonel, said, "They will not come now because they have need 2 days to come from higher on the Imjin," right, higher up. [INAUDIBLE] was somewhere. We have time to make the defense here, but the Chinese were very quicker there, and we have not finished anything, and the Chinese ... Well, the Belgium battalion or the platoon, we are maybe 90 persons over there. The Chinese come maybe by thousands along the hill, and we got surrounded by the Chinese, and [INAUDIBLE] then my platoon commander was coming back over there. After the commander was over, I was again shot. I got a bullet in the rear. And then was I platoon commander, and I will see in a moment there's no more ammunition. The day and the night shooting always, grenade [INAUDIBLE] not much ... Let me see. [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] ... wounded, wounded, a lot of wounded people, but not too heavy. And I was there in a certain moment. There's one corporal. Combat is ... the machine gun. They say, "Adjunct." I stay adjoint to the platoon. They always call me Adjunct. I was commander of the platoon because of ... And he comes away, and I see in the slit trench was when you go was around and make the connections make a place for the men. When they go up to come to the center, you see he has no main cover, and one of those corporals comes to get the machine gun and say, "Adjunct, it's no more good to sit around [INAUDIBLE]," and I run toward him. I say, "Go back," and then I gave him a [INAUDIBLE] ... And he's as far as I am, and on the look for my left, there was a little horse with an officer, North ... from North Korea or the Chinese, and two men were the problem, the little problem, the covered problem [INAUDIBLE] and one of the men stood because that was the way of coming up, up over the hill. He makes a ... and one of the moment, I gave a shout to the other. He give ... and I got a bullet here and comes out here. I got my mouth open. My tooth was back here, but I got wounded, and then, a little bit before, my platoon commander was wounded. He was around 90 kilo. He's a very heavy Russian big man with four soldiers to take him away into the tent. They gave him a shot, can no more do. No more can aid than that because there was a war on, and I had command to the people, and everybody asked, "Ammunition, ammunition, no more," and the British have a basic load, the double. Leave it there, and we'll take over, but the ammunition stays because we have to sit, but we have double ammunition, and the night, after the night, was no more ammunition, just shooting all the night, all the night. And we take care of the officer in the tent, give him a shot, and I take the platoon over. When I was shot, I asked for the oldest sergeant, oldest. That was Roger. I didn't know very well, but he knows. I came to the commander, and I say to him, "You have joined the company staff" because in the war, if you give over command, you must give him the order if you continue because there's no more ammunition, and the company was on the right side, and I said, "You come back to the company," and there was a mistake. I don't know what's happened. He's going up in panic. They shoot and grenades. He says to the men, "Follow me," which means, "Follow me," but I tell them, "You go to the company. That's the orders." It's the right thing. If you don't do the order, you go to ... You're punished, and we have 2 year in the school. We know what we have to do and not to do, and he was in the same school as me, and he says, "Follow me," and he run to the staff over there, to the Imjin, and the colonel put him away and put the people back, and at that time, we must evacuate with the officer that [INAUDIBLE] and he don't want to go. He stand up, and he's falling on the way somewhere in the corner, and I was not shot at this moment, and a bit later, I gave over the orders, and I go, and the people say, "We go with you [INAUDIBLE] it's under" [INAUDIBLE] no, no, I go. I say, "I'm finished," but with the bullet, I ... And I see my officer in the gate somewhere and the jeep with the doctor and the boss there. I was running to look for them. Was maybe 500, 600 meters after them, and I see him, and I go. I'm trying to look for them since I can't continue. I was wounded too, that bullet here, and I see the jeep for the doctor, and I go, and when I was on the jeep, I heard a commotion, and I say, "Benoit is over there, the officer," and they get, and they haven't found him, and they gave me the paper, confirms latest ... Roger has it. I have saved his life on that moment because I say to the doctor, "[FOREIGN LANGUAGE] Benoit is there, my officer," and I approach them, and we were in the same in Daegu, in the hospital, and in the helicopter, he was on the left side and the right [INAUDIBLE] Russian and we go to Daegu, and the hospital in Korea is in South Korea. Well, it's still Korea, and in Korea, I was wounded, could not solve it. Must go to Japan, and he was going to Japan too, but I had no way of knowing. We were not in the same plane, and in Japan, I see him back. He was come to visit to me. The bullet was gone in there and out. There's nothing touched on the inside. There was a second wound for him, and he was with the colonel [INAUDIBLE] too. They come to visit. They said, "Thank you, good job. That's it [INAUDIBLE] you see," and a salute and this in the hand and gave me a paper later, but I stay 4 months in Tokyo because it was very ... And because the bullet hit my tooth and go in and here, it was in my right ear was amber fluid, they call it, here, and there was always ... And there was a Japanese doctor, very old, that was used to seeing things like that. The Japanese always have been in the war, was one of the doctors, and the major, a black man, negro, major. One of the first, highest officers I've seen in my life. He was major, a big one, you see, and the Japanese, the old doctor, said to him, "We must do this one [INAUDIBLE]," and they gave me a shot, go to the room, and it was with a syringe, a pump but with a needle, goes in the ear to the place, and they pulled the amber fluid out three times, going back to the room, and then 4 months in the hospital, and a couple of time after was better and could going out, maybe dancing on the promenade later, but the doctor said to me, "Pay attention. You're wounded, no [INAUDIBLE] for you," so while I watched, and I have do. I do what he said to me. Well, that's my story. That's in Japan, and then ... >> So were you able to fully recover? >> What? >> Were you able to fully recover? >> Yes, they said at most there was a hole here and a hole there, here, under there. >> But they've ... you ... >> Put your ... Put your finger here. Push, push, do you feel it? That's the wound I was given over there, and the bullet just ... >> But now you are okay? >> Lots better, I don't really ever hear, the ear is sort of imperceptible. I always look like this. >> And did you go back to fight? >> No, no, I must stop [INAUDIBLE] and go to Belgium in the first boat, and it was a British boat. We stayed 14 days in Hong Kong, and then we go out there and to Liverpool. In Liverpool, England, in the plane, a DC-3, go to Brussels, and my parents were over there, my friends. It was a homecoming, everybody. >> Yes, did you volunteer? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> Did you volunteer? >> Yes, I was ... >> Why? >> I was in the military school for noncommissioned officers because there was no more for all the old officers after the war. The school, the school of the cadets, as I would call it, was for all young people, has them in the order, the school. That was not exist, but the noncommissioned officers was open, sergeant and the [INAUDIBLE] and I go, and then we see, and when it is over, I go to the para-commando in Belgium, parachute [INAUDIBLE] the commander and was ... And then, I am sectioned by the commanders in Belgium, and the first time that the Korean War are announced and volunteers, I all say, "I am in the army. I know very good the rules, just not the logistics," and that's no good [INAUDIBLE] can do this and that, but the action of the war, they don't know what it was. We have seen it in the film, like the [INAUDIBLE] said, "The Korean War has come." I said, "I go," not because of the Chinese or Korea, but for to learn something. When you have 18 years or 19 years, sort of, I know you hoping for your life, and we are careered to handle that. We know each other in the Leopold [INAUDIBLE] Belgium, and we are in the same company. >> You came ... You went, and you came back wounded. Did you regret that you went? >> No, no, I got the pension. I asked for it. I am an old war elite and a big one, more than 50 percent, but [INAUDIBLE] but that sound like the good, I have the one on that, and I was married at same time, and I had a boy. I lost my wife 7 years now. I am alone in the house. I got a grandson and a son. I have no many contact. Contact is okay, but I'm better alone with my little dog, and I lose him, and I'll make a [INAUDIBLE] four, number four, but I'm still a little bit sad because there was no more there, and I was only a line, only alone, and now I don't see him anymore. He got this [INAUDIBLE] and I ... That's my life. >> Did you go ... >> And then we have ... >> What did ... >> ... we write a book of what we do in Korea, and I was the beginning, and I gave him two books on the other, when the embassy was still on the older side in Brussels. Maybe in the library [INAUDIBLE] you can find. The book has maybe stay over there. There's a book about over the Imjin and the company C, company. I said [INAUDIBLE] there's still two [INAUDIBLE] ... >> And you ... >> But if you want to know more in detail, it's in the book. >> Okay. >> It says the one ... >> And you ... >> ... "One Season in Korea" because we still stayed 3 or 4 months, the wounded, and then the platoon was [INAUDIBLE] we put the people in the other platoons, and the commander was liquid and me too, was finished and the reorganization ... And that's the stopping them on the Imjin [INAUDIBLE]. >> Last question: You revisited Korea. How did you feel? >> I ... We do it with Roger. We go together. That's 3 or 4 years ago, and we are still candidate to go, but the nationalists, I guess ... >> How did you feel? How did you feel when you ... >> I was ... I can't explain this. It was special, really. The special was in the [INAUDIBLE] I went to Busan over there. Then after, we contact them at the Korean [INAUDIBLE] the special forces. They gave a demonstration, something that ... more better than the Belgians. I cannot take out the ... always the taking out [INAUDIBLE] was very fine in the military, and then Roger was the spokesman on the table with the big boss over there. Then we had the medal decoration, like that. Yeah, that was very fine, very good, but the boss, the best over man over there, this was him. He know everything about Korea. It's 4 years over there, yes, but you must [INAUDIBLE] ask. If it's not possible, then the library. Yeah, over there with the books, maybe you find the book over there. It's "One Season in Korea." [FOREIGN LANGUAGE] it's in French. I gave two ... Maybe it's the officer.
Belgium Brussels (3)
>> My name is Declane Louis born 12th June, 1931. I'm Belgian. I served in the Korean Battalion from the 7th October, '50. Joined a ship the 18th December, '50, to go to Korea. We need ... Our ship was a very, very quick ship, and it's only 41 days, normally 35, okay? You see, first ship, okay. We start with landed at Pusan the 31st of January, '51, and there, we're leaving to a little camp on river. I think it was Nakdonggang. I'm not sure, and we stayed there, and we saved some equipment? Why? Our equipment was very nice. We need everything. It's easy. After 8 days, we went Nakdong River, Nakdonggang, supposed to be fighting against guerrilla. I never saw a guerrilla, but we went several times in the mountains. After 1 month, we won. We were leaving to the frontline. It was in March '51 in a train, a wagon, not Volkswagen, an old wagon, and came at ... I think I mixed up the names ... At the village near the Han River, Hantangang, and my platoon was immediately on the line at the OP. I was an OP-4. They had OP-1, 2, 3 and 4. I make the OP-4, and I was surprised to see for the first time in my life a rifle that's shooting at night. I never saw it. [INAUDIBLE] green thing. The morning at the Han River, there was some fog. You know what I mean? Incidentally, wind comes up, and all of a sudden, [INAUDIBLE] that was a village and an ocean officer, and this ocean officer was talking with a Korean, okay? I remember this officer. Why? He have a big [INAUDIBLE] his boots, golden things, the North Koreans don't have this in this time, the Chinese certainly not, and I know that's in '47, okay? When I saw ocean soldiers, '47, okay? After 3 weeks, I think, we were leaving and making offensive to the north. The north was [INAUDIBLE]. There was no bridge at Seoul. There was only a ship bridge into [INAUDIBLE] and the field battle that we have was at Uijeongbu. There we lost our first man [INAUDIBLE] company, and he was in Charlie Company, the first soldier to die. Okay, meanwhile, I forgot to say at [INAUDIBLE] we make the first combat battle my platoon, the combat patrol on the other side from the Han River, and the Chinese [INAUDIBLE] move, which was maybe, maybe not. And I know that after [INAUDIBLE] this of the Han River was full with mine, all that I know. That was before after [INAUDIBLE]. Then after we go farther to north, and we will leave the 187 air bomb, jumping behind the lines. I don't know if you know that, 187 air bomb jumping behind the lines, and we are the first to leave quickly against all the people to move forward to the north. And we leave the 187 air bomb, and from there on, we went on to the Imjin, Imjin. We changed from American to the British. Why? Our rifle was 707, 703, anyway, something [INAUDIBLE]. It was too long a time ago, and the British went in the 29th British Brigade. A big thing that I'd like to say, our battalion was only 699 men and not 1,000. Mostly people say one battalion, would say 3,000. No. We are still of 700, complete battalion, until 1953 with the relief to get [INAUDIBLE] 3,000. Don't forget it. It's easy to say 3,000, but we're only 700 men [INAUDIBLE]. American, 1,000. Korean, 1,000, and we never go back, never. We hold whole time our position. That's all that I can say about Imjin after the Chinese attacked on the second day of April, I think. I remember [INAUDIBLE]. Why we're surrounded? British take us north of the Imjin. and all the people British on the south of Imjin. We are surrounded. We had broken the surroundings and tried to deliver the [INAUDIBLE] battalion that surrounded too and completely down. The Chinese [INAUDIBLE] prisoner camp. Then after we retreat until Kimpo. From Kimpo, again, attack on the Imjin. Imjin was finished, a second Imjin. From there, this was the beginning of the position, means trench, bunkers. That was the beginning, June, July of '51, and the whole [INAUDIBLE] the Belgian fight and the antinaval just the same. We're on the front. Why with the [INAUDIBLE] and not with the other? Yeah, that's it, tactical. Okay, and I make all the rest [INAUDIBLE] in placement to stay 30 days on the front line. I stayed 55 days, and after several attacks from the Chinese in a still hold position. The Chinese never gained in our position, never. That's all that I can say. What about after? I came back in '53 the 4th December and the 4th November, '53. They came back in Belgium the 4th December, '53 [INAUDIBLE] holiday, and I joined the Army, first the light infantry and then after Belgian airborne special forces. That's all. Something further? >> Have you been back to Korea after? >> Sure, and I like Korea. I was surprised, really surprised. The first time I went is after the Olympiada. >> Olympics. >> No, no, just after, and I was surprised. I know Korea from before at landing, Pusan. It was terrific to see it, all these people leaving from the street. Impossible to believe it [INAUDIBLE] left and right and dogs and cats, and then I came in Korea, and I saw a beautiful nice, little country, all these highways, buildings, buildings, building, bridges on the Han River. That's impossible, and then I went in the tunnel that not Koran did. You know that they make it to inside? And I was proud that the Korean soldier hear it and said it to his officer. That's all. That's enough. >> Well, thank you so much for your service. >> Okay. >> And I hope that you will visit Korea again and again because ... >> I hope so. >> ... it's very, very advanced, right? Very advanced. >> It is. The last time I went, a few years ago. I went to [INAUDIBLE]. >> You're young. You're young. >> Hey, old papasan, don't forget it. >> No, no, no, no, you're young. >> And my wife is a mamasan. >> Yeah, mamasan, yes. >> Okay like that? >> Yes.
Belgium Brussels (4)
>> Good afternoon. My name is Raymond Bier. I am the national president of the Korean Veterans of Belgium, the Belgium United Nation Command, BUNC. I was born in Limburg, one of the nine provinces in Belgium, in October 1933. As I went to the military school, I had to wait until January 1953 to go to Korea. When I arrived in Korea, I saw a country where the children were standing in the mud. On the way, I saw the papasans and the mamasans carrying all kind of things to build sheds to live in. Children were asking for some food, and I thought, "What did you do? Where are you came? You came to a country where we had the same problems as we had between the War '40, '45 with the German." When I came to my company and the Chinese attacked Shadko, the old papasan, and we lost many people, and soldiers were crying for their mother. I was sitting. I was moderating one. I was sitting in a hole, and my friend who lived 32 meters from my hometown, and he would go home next month. He was killed in front of me of 1 yard, and I was thinking about friends. Okay. War is no good. Afterwards, I came back to Korea, and I was invited by the Korean people [INAUDIBLE] a restaurant in Korea. It's so good, and they asked me if I could give them an interview and the lady who watched me, and she said to me, "Mr. President, are you certain that your friends who were killed in action in Korea are worth it?" And I didn't have to think it over. I said this. When I left Korea in 1953, I had to cross the Han River on a bundle bridge. Today, I came to Korea, and I saw 32 bridges with six roads, and it's not enough. They're still building them, and when I saw in the museum the little children who were all in dresses from their schools in yellow and blue, and they were waving with the flags, and they were happy, and they're laughing, and they say, "hello," to us. And I saw the old people driving [INAUDIBLE] with a bicycle and having such high products on their bicycle, and they were happy, and they were laughing. Then I saw that the Korean people are happy. I saw that we did something for the Korean people, and yes, lady, it was worth that we lost more than 100 soldiers in Korea. That is Korea today. Today, it is the fifth biggest economy country in the world, and we are proud that we have given them a hand. I was not a general. It was 18 years, and I'm proud to have a second home in Korea. Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] of the the Belgian Korean Veterans is mostly the same as in all the other countries. We have nine provinces in Belgium. It is a little country, but we are very proud of history, and we have nine monuments, Korean monuments, and we are gathering, every province, are getting once a year to maintain our friendship, but we are also very close, and I tell you, very close with the Korean people. I send every year four students to Korea for the young camp, and I tried to send all those people who were injured in action [INAUDIBLE] disabled person. I tried to send them to Korea on the base of visiting Korea, and once again, those people, when they came back, they are telling me, "How is it possible that the Korean people treated us like [INAUDIBLE]." But we are getting old and getting no [INAUDIBLE], and there was a time to come, and there was a time to go. The time to come is gone, and the time to go is in front of us, and it won't last too many years, and we will be history. I wish you very luck [INAUDIBLE]. Okay.