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.