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.