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.