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Louis Bourgeois was born in 1931 in Saskatchewan, Canada. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1952. Louis Bourgeois was a member of the 426 Air Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). During the Korean War, his unit provided airlift service for Canadian and U.S. troops, ammunition, and cargo into Korea. The 426 Air Squadron also carried back wounded soldiers. Louis Bourgeois spent 35 years with the RCAF.
Ronald Bourgon was born in Ottawa, Canada, and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army in 1950. He details being shipped to Korea, arriving in Busan, and making his way to the front lines shortly after arrival. He recalls witnessing the atrocities of war as his company came upon a Korean home that had been quartered by US soldiers; all had been shot and killed while in their sleeping bags or while trying to escape. He recounts his experience being surrounded by Chinese soldiers for three days and shares his worst memory of his time spent while serving in Korea. He compares South Korea to the Korea he remembers during the war, and he is proud of the small role he played in helping South Korea become what it is today.
Raymond H. Champeau was born in Canada in 1933. After leaving school, he worked in a plywood manufacturing factory before volunteering to join the Royal Canadian Navy in 1952. His initial training was in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, and he was subsequently trained as a cook in Victoria, British Columbia. After training, he worked as a cook aboard the HMCS Huron in September of 1952. His ship, which was a destroyer, patrolled the East Coast of Korea during the Korean War. The ship's mission was to patrol island areas, and to engage in shore bombardments on enemy trains that were sighted emerging from tunnels near the border of North and South Korea.
Claude Charland was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada 27 February 1929. He enlisted in the Canadian Army as an infantryman in the second battalion. While in Korea, he served as a platoon commander and led men into combat on numerous occasions. While in Korea, Charland and members of his regiment (the Van Doos) organized hockey games on the frozen Imjin River. He says that being able to play his countries national sport allowed him to forget about the war for a little while. After the Korean War, Charland served with the Canadian Army until he retired in 1982.
Jesse Chenevert had an office job in Ottawa following graduation but found herself drawn to volunteer work with the Red Cross that subsequently led to her entering nursing school. After earning her nursing degree, she joined the Canadian Army and served as a nurse in a Canadian Field Dressing Station north of Seoul for a year. She spent her time tending to mostly Canadian and Australian soldiers. One of her most memorable experiences is being prepared to receive Canadian prisoners of war from the Chinese and discovering that they had been treated very well for propaganda purposes.
John P. Downing volunteered for the Royal Canadian Regiment in 1950 influenced by his families' participated in WWI and WWII. After entering the war in 1951, John P. Downing was an infantryman who fought on Hill 355 which is a hill that overlooked the 38th parallel. Therefore, it was a sought-after location by both the North and South Koreans. Every Canadian regiment spent some time on this hill and it was constantly hit with artillery by the enemy. John P. Downing remembers the night patrols and the cold weather vividly. Food rations were limited and he was wet and cold most of the time. After his time in the Korean War, John appreciated life and he felt freer than ever before.
Stuart Douglas "Jim" Gunn enlisted in the Army at 17 years old. Being too young to enlist, he used his brother's name and went by Jim during his time in the service. Stuart Gunn, being a Toronto native, served in the Royal Canadian Regiment during the Korean War. During his time in the Canadian Army, he was captured by Chinese forces and became a prisoner of war. He reflects on the memories of being a prisoner of war and the conditions of the camp.
As a Battalion Intelligence Officer in the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR), 2nd Battalion, Edward Mastronardi was responsible for the scouts and snipers. Upon his arrival in Pusan with the 2nd Battalion, their first mission on the front line was to cut the Chinese main supply line to Manchuria and protect a local village just up the road. Edward Mastronardi describes the RCR troops attacking the Chinese defenses around Hill 467, as known as Kakul-bong, around the valley of Chail-li, but they were forced to withdraw after the Chinese outnumber the RCR. By October 1951, his company regiment was put to the test by taking position over looking the Samich'on River and attacked the Chinese position atop Hill 187 that could result in heavy casualties of his own men since they were leading the attack, but with the help of New Zealand and Australian armament, they headed full steam into battle without losing a single man in his group while breaking the Chinese. Edward Mastronardi believed that Canadians efforts exceeded the expectations of other countries efforts in holding the main line of resistance by describing that the Canadian soldier had a feeling of mutual dependence towards each other, and a responsibility to defend that at all cost. Upon Edward Mastronardi's return from the Korean War, he wrote, Mock The Haggard Face, that tells the Canadian War story by portraying the motivations and experiences of the soldier against the unknown enemy in the Far East. A historical documentary was made called 28 Heroes, directed by Paul Kilback in 2013 for the infamous story, and received a nomination at the Canadian Screen Awards for Best History Document Program or Series.
Bob Near, president of the Royal Canadian Regiment, has an extensive relationship with the Canadian veterans of the Korean War. A veteran himself, he dedicates his time to honoring the service of Canadian veterans and their service. He describes the role of Canadian forces during the Korean War. He also includes a description of a yearly military competition honoring the Canadian capture of Hill 187, including the capture of a Chinese Burp gun. In addition, he describes the importance of the Korean War at the time and now to the Canadian people.
Born in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1921, Joseph Quinn is a veteran who is proud of his service. He was trained as a medic in Canada, spent some time in Newfoundland, and then was sent over to Korea with a team of men. He recalls what it was like when they arrived in Incheon and then when they finally got to the staging camp. He describes the injuries he saw as a medic, remembering one specific man who survived thanks to Joseph Quinn's quick thinking. Overall, he was able to help a lot of people through his service as a medic.
Robert James Rose was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on October 15, 1929. After graduating from Leamington High School in 1948, he moved to the United States to pursue a career in professional baseball. He returned to Canada as an arm injury ended his baseball career and began working at a factory. In October 1951, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained to become a radio/navigation officer. From December 1952 through 1953, he was part of the crew of a Canadair North Star (426 Squadron), responsible for airlifting military personnel and supplies to and from Japan. Today, he enjoys talking to school groups and other veterans.
Raymond Scott was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1932, and moved with his family to Toronto, Canada in 1948. After graduation from high school in 1950, he worked as a draftsman for a building surveyor. In 1951, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force due to the love of flying he developed while he was an Air Cadet in Ireland. After graduating as a Navigator in 1952, he navigated four missions to Korea during the Korean War until 1955. He stayed active in the Royal Canadian Air Force, where he recorded over 10,000 fight hours from 1952 to 1976. Following the Korean War, he continued working for the Canadian government as a systems analyst. His experiences during the Korean War affected him so that he began a habit of investing in Korean goods, in efforts to support the South Korean people.
James Shipton grew up in a family with a strong military heritage. His father and six uncles participated in both World War I and World War II. In 1943, James Shipton joined the Air Cadets before joining the Canadian Air Force in 1948 as a radio navigator. Starting in 1950, James Shipton flew to Washington Air Force Base to begin his mission to fly United States soldiers back and forth from Korea to Japan. James Shipton retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force after 37 years of service.
Jean Paul St. Aubin joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1951, leaving behind his government job and looking for adventure. He volunteered to serve in Korea, not knowing where it was and despite the risks which worried his family as his brother had died serving during World War II. He describes his first impressions of Korea and details his duties as a Pioneer. He offers an account of the difficulties of war, providing an example of an attack on fellow soldiers as they attempted to carry out a mission, and offers a glimpse of what it was like on the front lines enduring cold weather and corresponding with loved ones back home. He considers it an honor to have served in Korea and to have helped the Korean people.
Donald St. Louis grew up in a farming family in Cornwall, Canada. When the Korean War broke out, he was working on his family's farm. In 1950, he joined the Canadian Army to find employment and make money. Once enlisted, he received basic military training in Ottawa. His specialty was as a mortar-man in the Canadian Infantry. He did not know anything about Korea before enlisting. While in Korea, he was injured by a mortar, recovering in the military hospital.
Tom S. Sutton was born in Toronto, Canada on November 15, 1928. He was the youngest of six children, and his parents were immigrants from Scotland and England. He attended Parkdale, a public school in Canada, then joined the Canadian Air Force in 1946 after his high school graduation. Tom Sutton became an engine mechanic in the 426th Squadron, and later a flight engineer. He flew in the North Star Aircraft that was responsible for the Korean Airlifts. Later in his military career, Tom Sutton flew with VIP's, including Queens, and Prime Ministers.
Austin Timmins was born on July 10, 1929 in Packenham, Ontario, Canada. After graduating from Almonte High School in 1948, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. He attended basic training at Clinton Air Station and then trained to be a radio navigator. In 1949, he was assigned to be a part of the flight crew (426 Squadron) of a Canadair North Star flying supplies and troops from McChord Air Force Base, Washington to Tokyo, Japan in support of the war. Later, his crew's mission changed to evacuating wounded soldiers. After the war, he continued service in the Royal Canadian Air Force assigned to stations at home and in Europe, eventually becoming the commanding officer of 426 Squadron. He retired as a Colonel in 1985 at the end of a long and distinguished career in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Willis Verch graduated high school in 1946, then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving many years. He was an Air Traffic Assistant, and also flew as a Loadmaster on cargo airplanes. Six months of his military career were spent serving during the Korean War, from July through December 1950. He describes his journey from Tacoma, Washington by way of the Aleutian Islands, to Haneda Airforce Base in Japan, for the transportation of American cargo and troops during the Korean War. Additionally, he describes the difference between American and Australian barracks, the amount of money Canadian soldiers were given during the war, and taking part in the 1950 Korean Airlift.