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…