Deadlock in Korea: Canadians at War, 1950-1953
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
This best-selling account of the Korean War is now available in Paperback. Deadlock in Korea profiles the personal accounts of ordinary soldiers and transports the reader into the water-logged trenches and insufferable POW camps. Includes 16 pages of black and white photographs and illustrations, as well as seven maps.
Behind the lines with “B” Company of the 2nd Battalion RCR in Korea, Duke drove a jeep and became the regiment’s unofficial social director. In his first days behind the lines, Poyntz organized a nine-man section with the sole job of manufacturing recreational venues. The group managed to obtain the first motion pictures since the men had left Pusan. They brought a US army show through. They built volleyball courts, baseball diamonds and a horseshoe pitch in every company area. They dammed a stream into a sizeable swimming and bathing hole.
Correspondent Boss reported on activity both at and behind the front. On March 17, 1951, the Princess Patricias came out of the line for a rest near Chipyong-ni. Seoul had been liberated again. The Chinese Communist Forces appeared to be pulling back across the 38th parallel. The battalion had suffered losses—fifty-seven casualties in its first three weeks, fourteen fatal—but morale was high. Coincidentally, it was the birthday of the regiment’s namesake, Lady Patricia Ramsay, so the battalion staged a parade to celebrate.
On September 27, Lt. Dan Loomis led a fighting patrol to Hill 227 to seek out Chinese positions and strength. The patrol suddenly found itself pinched between a machine gun on the hill and an ambush patrol in the rear. In the firefight that took place, seven of the patrol’s twenty-three soldiers were wounded, including Loomis, who took shrapnel from a Chinese grenade. He still managed to extricate his patrol by leading it “single file through an old minefield that had been laid during Operation Commando” the year before.
During the earliest flights to Korea, each RCAF pilot was issued a . 45-calibre revolver. “What the hell is this for? ” Dean Broadfoot asked. “Many of these guys don’t want to go,” explained an American army sergeant. “They’ve got their rifles, but no ammo. ” Beginning in January 1951, on many of the return trips through Honolulu and San Francisco, the North Stars were rigged with bunks to carry out as many as thirty-five wounded soldiers each. While the North Star was durable and reliable, it was neither soundproof nor pressurized, which would expose the evacuees to twenty hours of pain-threshold engine noise and the stink of fuel fumes.
The man said. “Sure,” Tomlinson laughed, “if you give me your beer ration. ” And he sat down and began undoing his bootlaces. Moments later, the recruit loaded his rifle and fired. The breach of the rifle was right beside Tomlinson’s ear and he jumped back in astonishment. The frightened man had blown a hole in his foot. Because most patrols were mounted at night, fear of the dark was common. Jim “Scotty” Martin, an RCR platoon commander with the 1st Battalion, had a corporal whose childhood fear of darkness lingered into his tour of duty in Korea.