Presentation on theme: "Mikes Korean War Pictures I recently came across some old Korean War photos in an album that had been lost for many years. They were all taken when I was."— Presentation transcript:
Mikes Korean War Pictures I recently came across some old Korean War photos in an album that had been lost for many years. They were all taken when I was with 2 P.P.C.L.I. 81 mm Mortar Platoon in Korea in These photos were produced by an ancient, black and white box camera and are not of the highest quality. They may be of interest, however, to my fellow veterans of the Korean War. Editor Mike January 25 th 2010 More photos 4 Feb 10
Chinese prisoners of war. Note that they are wearing summer clothes and not the padded jackets they wore in the winter. One carries a bag that is probably full of seeds, a basic food they seemed to depend on. Another is smoking a cigarette, probably given to him by a Canadian.
The vehicle shown here is a U.S. "half track", the kind used by our 81 mm Mortar Platoon. Sitting at the top of the half track and next to the mounted 50 cal machine gun is Harry Brydon, a friend of mine who was killed by a Chinese shell in October, The three men at the bottom are, left to right: Rail, Baker and Belanger. I have forgotten their first names.
That's me, Editor Mike, in the interior of a C-47 winging its way from Kimpo Airport in Korea to Japan for a five day R& R leave. The photo is of poor quality, but it brings back pleasant memories. I loved Japan! It was a very exciting experience!
This is a photo of a typical Chinese bunker. Note the heavy overlay on the roof. These bunkers could withstand a lot of artillery and mortar fire, but were vulnerable to napalm, a jellied gasoline that resulted in temperatures of up to 1200º C.
This is a 17 pounder anti-tank gun. The T-34 Russian tanks used by the North Koreans were mostly all destroyed and gone by the time 2 PPCLI arrived in Korea in December, 1950, and these guns were used as bunker busters. They were later replaced by U.S. 75 mm Recoilless Rifles.
This is a typical 81 mm mortar pit as used by 2 PPCLI, RCR and Royal 22nd. It had no roof, obviously, because the mortar had to launch shells straight up! It provided protection except in the case of a direct hit or overhead shrapnel bursts.
If you served in 2 PPCLI you will remember, left to right, the colourful CSM "Little Jesus" Goldsworthy and Captain Andy Fouldes
If you served in 2 PPCLI you will remember, left to right, CSM "Scudd" Rudd and Major "BB Eyes" Henderson
A typical Korean winter scene. Korea was cold as hell in winter because of Siberian winds that blew south. Note the thin, spindly pine. Not many trees grew on the mountains.
This is a photo of a slit trench that I constructed and occupied in March, Note that I have a Bren Light Machine Gun mounted at the top of the trench. I sometimes dismounted the 30 cal machine gun from our half track and placed it at my trench rather than the Bren. I liked the Bren better. The trench itself was about 3 feet deep and lined with straw. Our 81 mm mortar was in separate trench and not far away. Each man had his own slit trench. I once found a beautiful straw mat, but when I unrolled it, I found a dead Chinese, much to my dismay. Fortunately it was winter and he was frozen solid and without odour.
This photo shows courageous Koreans planting rice in the spring of I say courageous because they planted rice even as the war raged around them. In those days the Koreans used fermented human manure to fertilize their drops. The smell was sometimes overwhelming, but the crops were great! People in the orient had been using human manure for many centuries and the crops they produced by this method saved them from starvation. They saved up their human manure up all winter, and in the spring they mixed it with water before pouring it onto their crops. I visited Korea in 2 and 28 and noticed that the Koreans now use chemical fertilizers.
In this photo you see, left to right: a little Korean boy, Sergeant Timlick, Robbie Roberts, and another little Korean boy. Robbie Roberts and I served on the same mortar together. Little Korean boys, many of them orphans, came to visit with us when we were not engaged with the enemy. They were hungry and cold. We fed them and gave them clothing. The Korean kids in this photo were dressed up and given cigarettes, which they did not actually smoke. Bad idea, I know, but smoking was more acceptable in those days. Our 81 mm mortar platoon had a "houseboy" called Kim. He was about 14 years old and helped us with everything. Many Koreans are called Kim. I often wonder what happened to our Kim. He was very intelligent. Maybe he became a successful business man in later years.
This half track was demolished by a road mine. Shades of Afghanistan. The Chinese planted mines on the roads frequently. I seem to recall that some of them were made of wood and therefore undetectable. We were once in a convoy when a vehicle about 1 yards in front of us ran over a mine. The vehicle was destroyed and its occupants killed or injured.
We celebrated Christmas, 1950 at this location in Pusan. The man standing at the front is Kerry Dunphy. Kerry was a medical student at a university in eastern Canada before he joined the special force as a private. He acted as the master of ceremonies at this Christmas gathering. He was very charismatic. He later attended officer training and was commissioned. Most of his life was spent working for the Canadian Legion. He died a number of years ago.
Pamphlets of this kind were used by the Chinese and the United Nations. The Chinese sent us messages to tell us that we would be well treated if we surrendered. The UN did the same thing. I don't know what this Chinese message is saying, but the propaganda is evident. Surrender or die! If you are able to read Chinese, please translate and let me know what the message says! I assume that it is in Mandarin, the most common Chinese language, rather than Mandarin.
This is a typical R & R (Rest and Rehabilitation) scene in Japan in the summer of We were given 5 days of R & R in Japan and $ 2 after serving 6 months in Korea. The Japanese "geisha girls" loved "handsome Canadians". The following names of the PPCLI soldiers shown in this photo are listed on the back as: Buckland, Clasher, Jobagy, Oakley and Black. The soldier at the left of the photo is "Red" Buckland, who I knew well. As you can see, I am not in this photo. I was probably visiting a museum. You don't think so? Would you believe an art gallery? A Walter Black was killed in Korea in November, I am not sure if this is the same Black, but I think that it is Walter.
: These two American soldiers are members of a 4.2 mortar crew that came to help us out. I remember that they were surprised by our accents. I think that we were the first Canadians that they had met. They told me that I spoke like someone from North Dakota, South Dakota or Minnesota, which made sense, since I was born and raised in neighbouring Manitoba! They were very friendly and had great senses of humour.
This photo shows Captain Fouldes talking with Canadian reporter Bill Boss. Boss, the son of a Canadian colonel, was hated by the military censors because he filed stories that were supposed to be kept secret. Shortly after we arrived at the front line we found about 67 black (Negro, in those days) American soldiers who had been bayonetted and shot in their sleeping bags. They were led by white officers, who had apparently not ordered proper sentries. We were all shocked by this scene. They were naked, frozen solid and looked like black marble statues. General MacArthur was angry because they had allowed themselves to be killed in this careless manner, and he did not want people in the U.S. to know about it. Boss filed a story about these deaths and it appeared in all of the major American newspapers. It was a good lesson for us. Big Jim Stone, our commanding officer, decreed, that in future, no sleeping bags would be used by 2 PPCLI in the front line. Better to be cold than dead.
Members of the 2 PPCLI mortar platoon posing in front of a half-track. Notice the Korean "house boy" in the light shirt. Notice also the 50 cal machine gun covered with a tarp.
Dog Company, 2 PPCLI, had 7 men killed on this hill. They were the first Canadian casualties of the Korean War.
A temporary stop for the 2 PPCLI mortar platoon. The winter scene and landscape is typical.
Left to right: Major Tighe and Lt. Col. Stone of 2 PPCLI.
Korean refugees. Notice that they are carrying what few belongings they have.
Harry Brydon of 2 PPCLI mortar platoon sitting on a statue at a Korean temple. Harry was killed in October, 1951.
Korean shoe shine boy offering his services to soldiers of 2 PPCLI.
: Section from 2 PPCLI getting ready to go on a patrol.
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