Korean War Legacy Project

Colin C. Carley


Colin Carley grew up in rural New Zealand until he was a teenager.  At that point, his family moved from their farm to the city and at the age of seventeen, he volunteered for the Army even though he was supposed to be twenty-one years old to join.  After volunteering in 1950, he shares that he landed in Pusan in December of 1950. He remembers that the  weather was so cold that glass bottles would break in the night and he never felt that type of cold ever again. Due to the age restriction, he was forced to transfer back home after serving six months in the Korean War.  Even though he never had the opportunity to return to Korea for a revisit, he would still love to fulfill this goal.




Video Clips

Sneaking into the Military

Colin Carley shares how he was so proud and eager to volunteer for the New Zealand Army at the age of seventeen, but he never realized the conditions that he would have to face. Since it was so cold, he remembers that his drinks froze the first night in Korea in 1950. As a soldier who snuck into the military, he shares how he did not mind any challenges because he knew he had to blend with the traditional soldiers who were the required age of twenty-one.

Tags: Busan,Seoul,Basic training,Civilians,Cold winters,Food,Front lines,Home front,Living conditions,Pride

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Radio Operators in the Korean War

Colin Carley shares that he worked alongside an Australian brigade when he patrolled near Panmunjeom in late 1950 through early 1951. As a radio operator for his New Zealand Battery Brigade, he recalls being scared of all the tracer bullets that would whiz by him. He remembers how he would feel sick when battles began because he never knew if he would be able to return home again.

Tags: Hangang (River),Panmunjeom,Cold winters,Fear,Front lines,Living conditions,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons

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I'm Leaving For War without Any Ties to Home

Colin Carley shares how he lied about his age to sneak into the role of a New Zealand soldier during the Korean War. He recounts being so sneaky that not even his parents knew where he was. He recalls that the most difficult part of the war for him was the cold. He describes how living and working with both the Australian and New Zealand troops was difficult but adds that they all were good soldiers.

Tags: Hangang (River),Panmunjeom,Basic training,Civilians,Cold winters,Fear,Food,Front lines,Home front,Living conditions,North Koreans,Physical destruction,Pride,Weapons,Women

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Video Transcript


[Beginning of recorded material]

C: My  name’s Coloin Carley, C O L O I N  C A R L E Y.

I: And what is your birthday?

C: Eleventh of October

I: Um hm.
C: 1932.

I: ’32.  Okay.  Where were you born?

C: In Hamilton.

I: Hamilton.
C: Hamilton.

I: I am headed to there.

C: Oh, yes.

I: Yeah, to do interviews of Korean War veteran, your fellows.  


Uh. And tell me about your family when you were growing up there in Hamilton, your parents and your siblings pleas.

C: Uh, my father was a farmer.

I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, I have one sister and one brother.

I: Uh huh

C: They’re both younger than me.

I: Oh, so you are the eldest.


C: I’m the eldest.

I: Ah.  How was it growing up on the farm?

C: Uh, it very, very good to be quite honest, especially in these days.

I: Um hm.  Why?

C: Uh, 

I: Was it difficult time because it was after the Great Depression, right?  But because


C: It was after the Depression.

I: Right.

C: Yes.
I: But because your family was in, in the farmland so that you don’t have any difficulty to have food, right?

C: No.  We, uh, never short, short of food.

I: Yeah. Um hm.  Did you also take care of the animals and, and crops?

C: Uh, yes.  We had, uh, a few cows and sheep, of course.


I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, my father was running a, um, a dairy factory as well.

I: Ah.  

C: Oh.  Then we moved to the, uh, city of, uh, about 12 years.


I: What about school you went through?  Tell me about those schools that you went through.

C: Uh, the real country school

I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, there was about 20 pupils I suppose.  

I: That’s it?

C: Yeah.

I: Wow, that’s a very small school.

C: Um.

I: And?  How was it?


C: Well, it was very, it’s getting a bit harder to remember these days.  But, um, 

I: Did you learn anything about Korea?

C: No.  There’s.  not, not in those days.

I: Nothing.
C: No.

I: So you didn’t know anything about Korea.

C: No.  I, I’d be, uh, from about five to 10, five to 12.

I: Um hm.


C: In, um, 

I: Nothing you learned about Korea from the school?

C: No,  never.

I: So now you are Korean War veteran.

C: Um hm.

I: When did, when were you Korea?

C: In 1950.

I: Uh huh.

C: Uh,

I: What, what month?

C: Uh, uh, we arrived there Christmastime, I think, in 1950.


I: Um hm.

C: And, um, and ’51, I was there for about, it was six months.  And, um, I was, uh, returned back to New Zealand because I was under age.

I: Under age.

C: Under age.

I: So you cheated your, your age.
C: Yes, I did.

I: Oh boy.


Have you been back to Korea since then?
C: No, I haven’t.

I: You never.

C: No.

I: No.

C: I, I’d like to get back there.

I: Um hm.

C: And, um

I: Because you’re young.  You can make it.

C: Oh, yes.

I: Yeah.  

C: Yeah.  I’ve, uh, got a Korean friend up in, in, um, [Whangaui] and, uh, we get talking quite a bit about Korea.

I: Um hm.  Why do  you want to go back to Korea now?


C: Oh, just have, have a look around the place and just, um, it, I wouldn’t recognize it now.

I: Do you know what’s been doing in Korea after you left by now?
C : No, not

I: Korean economy.  Do you know anything about Korean economy?

C: No.

I: You don’t know any Korean company name?

C: Oh, Hyundai and

I: Hyundai

C: And


I: So you want to go back and see what’s been done?
C: I would like to, yes.

I: Um hm.  Um hm.  So you didn’t know anything about Korea.  Nobody told you about Korean history  or culture from the school?
C: Not when I, I was at school.

I: Right.

C: No.

I: But now you are the Korean War veteran.

C: Um hm.

I: Are you proud of, to be a Korean War veteran?

C: Oh yes, I think so.

I: Why?

C: Oh, well it was all voluntary and, uh,


we were the first to leave here, and there was 1,000 of us went, went over there on the, uh, boat, The Ormondre.

I: Um hm.

C: And, um, we arrived there, I think right, just after, after Christmas, between Christmas and New Year.

I: Yeah.

C: And uh, we, uh, stayed at the, uh, ex, uh, Japanese barracks in Pusan.


I: Pusan.  You arrived in Pusan.

C: Um.

I: When did you arrive in Pusan?  So it’s, Christmas time.

C: Yeah, in 1950.

I: Yeah.

C: Um.

I: Was it cod to you?
C: It was cold.

I: Tell me about it.

C: It was cold.  We, uh, the coldest I’ve ever been and, uh, uh, we had sleeping bags and [INAUDIBLE] 


But. uh, it was so cold I had a bottle of beer that I kept off the boat and, uh, I thought oh, well I’ll, I’ll  keep this bottle of beer until we’re coming home.

I: Um hm.

C: And after we left Pusan, we moved up to, uh, [MIRYANG]

I: Um hm.

C: and the first night at [MIRYANG],


I woke up in the morning, and  my bottle of beer

I: Um.

C: was broken open. It was frozen.  It had broken open.  And that just proves how cold it was.

I: So you couldn’t keep it.

C: It’s still in [MIRYANG]

I: But tell me about.  Uh,  when did you join the military?


C: Uh, we had, uh, three months before we departed.

I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, so it was, uh,

I: So it was right, you mean like in September, did you  join the Army?

C: Yes.  Uh, September, October I think it was

I: Yeah.

C: And, uh, in 1950, yeah.

I: Um.  So how old were you at the time?


C: I was 17 when I went in and, uh, I had my 18th birthday in there.

I: 19th?

C: 18th.

I: 18th.

C: Um hm.

I: But why is it, what, what age has to be to join the Army?
C: Twenty-one.

I: Was it 21?

C: Um.

I: At the time?

C: Afraid so.

I: So did you cheated?

C: Cheated?
I: Yeah.  How did you, how did you join the Army because you were 19?

C: I just said I, I was 21.


I: And they believed you?

C: Uh, I was, I looked 21.

I: So what happened?  Where did you get the basic military training?

C: At, um, Burnhum.

I: B U

C: R

I: Uh huh.

C: N H U M.  That’s in the South Island.

I: Um hm.

C: And, um, 


once, uh, yeah.  

I: And after basic training, you just went to Korea

C: Yes

I: right after that?

C: Well, we went to, uh, [Yroo]

I: Um hm.

C: and fini, and finished out training at Yroo. And we went from there train to Wellington and then caught the boat from Wellington, 

I: Yeah.


C: And, uh,

I: So the, the, the name of the ship was Ormondre?

C: Ormondre.

I: Ormpmdre.

C: O R M O N D R E.

I: And where did you go?

C: Uh, we went, uh, 

I: Did you go to Japan?

C: No, we went to, uh, Manilla

I: Um hm.

C: and then Pusan.

I: Um hm.

C: Oh, [Brisane], Manilla, Pusan.  That’s the way.


I: Lots of veterans went through the Japan to Korea, but you never been in Japanese soli?
C: Uh, when I was coming home I, I left, uh, uh, oh God,  


I: Inchon?

C: Hm?

I: Inchon?

C: No, um.  The major city up north.

I: Seoul.

C: Seoul.

I: Yes.

C: Uh, Seoul, flew over to, uh, [Ewooturni]

I: Um hm.

C: And [Korea], I was there for about two weeks and then I, they shipped me from there to Hong Kong to Australia, and then I flew home.  I’m flying back.


I: I see.  So when, so from Pusan you went to [Milyoung], and it was cold, and tell me about the Korea you ever saw for the first time in your life overall.  How was Korea at the time that when you saw it for the first time?  Be honest.  Just tell detail.  Give us detail.

C: Oh.

I: How was it?


C: Well, we came from  New Zealand, and I’d never been away, out of our country before.

I: Um.

C: It was, um, oh, a very poor country, very, looked very poor.

I: Yeah.

C: And, uh, it was really cold and snow everywhere.

I: Hm.  What about, did you see many children in the street?


C: No, not really, not really.

I: Um.  And what was your unit?

C: Oh, it’s on Fox troop.

I: Fox what?

C: Fox troop.

I: Um hm.

C: 163 Battery.

I: Fox troop 16

C: 63

I: 3.

C: 16th Field Regiment.

I: 63

C: 16th Field Regiment


I: Oh, 163 16th Field Regiment.

C: Um hm.

I: Okay.  What was your specialty?

C: I was a radio operator.

I: Radio operator. So where did you go from, um, [Milyoung]

C: Uh, I can’t remember the names of the places now.

I: Well, where, up to north or?

C: We went north, um.

I: Near to 38th parallel? No.


C: Uh, 

I: Was it Seoul?

C: When I was, came home, uh, we were, the fighting had stopped up there and, uh, that was it.

I: Um.  Was it near Panmunjom or

C: Yes.  Yes, I think that was the place.

I: Uh huh.  Um hm.  And what did you do there?


Tell me about the daily routine that you did.

C: Well, I spent a, a fair bit of time with the, um, 27th Brigade was Australians

I: Oh.  Yea?
C: And, um, 


Uh, the, uh, God, I can’t think here

I: Take your time, take your time.  It’s hard to remember all those, right?  Yeah. So what was it like every day?  What did you do?  Did you go patrol, or did you

C: Well, I, I was with a, um, 


as I say, we, we had a, about a week each

I: Um hm.

C: with the, uh, Infantry, the Australian Infantry.

I: Yeah, 27th Brigade, yeah

C: And, uh, and after we, we’d go back to our unit and, uh, more less.. more less swapped jobs.

I: So to, to be a radio operator is a dangerous job, isn’t it?


C: At first.   You got used to it.  The first time was, uh, was really scary.

I: How was it, scary?  Why?  What was, what made you scary?  Tell me.  Tell me the detail please.

C: The, um, tracer bullets.  That was the scariest part.

I: What, what was it?

C: Tracer.

I: Tracer.


C: Yeah.

I: Oh.

C: Coming back towards us.

I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, then, uh, 

I: Were there any dangerous moment that you might have lost your life?


C: There was a few.  There was a few.  

I: Few?  Tell me about those.

C: Well, when you’re with the Infantry

I: Um hm

C: I was behind the Infantry

I: Right.

C: That, I was working with them.

I: Yeah.

C: And, uh, when there was a skirmish,


you felt really sick.

I: Um.  Why?

C: Well, you won, wondering if you’re gonna go into, uh, come out of it to be quite honest.

I: Um hm.  And you were not sure, right?

C: Yes.  That be true, um hm.

I: Because 1950 was the first year.

C: Yes.

I: of the War,


and I think that’s been really severe battle.

C: Yes.

I: Yeah.  So you went north?

C: North.

I: Up to where, North Korean territory?

C: It, uh, 

I: Did you go up to Pyongyang?

C: The Hahn River.

I: Yeah, yeah.

C: Yeah.

I: Yes.

C: Yeah.

I: So you stayed there?



I: You didn’t  go further up?

C: No.  No.  No, I don’t, don’t thing we went any further than the Hahn River.

I: Uh huh.  But by the time of, uh, December, yes, the Chinese came in, right?
C: Yeah.  I, uh, I’d left before the, the, um, oh, uh, 


April or May I think I, I left then.

I: Left Korea.

C: Um hm.

I: Um.  So how did they, how did they know that you, you cheated your age?

C: My father got a hold of them.

I: How?

C: He got the authorities.

I: So he wanted you to be back.

C: He didn’t know I went.

I: You didn’t tell him?

C: No.

I: Come on.  How could do that?


C: Easy.  Easy.

I: So you didn’t  let your mom know about either?

C: Uh, my parents were separated in those days.

I: Oh, okay.  So did you let your mom know?

C: No, no.

I: You didn’t even tell your mother.

C: No, no one knew.

I: You’re bad.  You are bad.  

C: Yes, I’m bad.

I: So


So your father talked to the authorities

C: Yes.

I: And so that day found out.

C: They found out, um.  And, and, uh,   I come back to New Zealand and, uh, oh, after about six months, I, uh, I had to go in with a compulsory military training

I: Again.

C: Compulsory.
I: Yeah.  


C: And, uh, yes.

I: What happened?

C: Well I, I had to go down to [Wylu] and, uh, but, they made me stay the, the, eight weeks or eight or nine weeks and, uh, that was it.  And then I was on


the Reserves for around another five years after that.

I: Um hm, um hm, um hm.  What  was the most difficult thing in Korea when you were there?  If I asked you to pinpoint one thing, what bothers you most?


C: The cold I, I think.

I: Ah.  

C: Yeah, it would be the cold.

I: Uh, Colin, there’s a lot of young students in New Zealand who will listen from you because we’ll put it on the website.
C: Alright.
I: So you need to tell me the detail.  How cold was it?  You told me about the broken beer bottle, right?  Did you have, uh, winter gear?
C: Uh, yeah, uh,


yes.  We had a little bit of, uh, but not a, not a great deal.

I: Huh.

C: Um, it was later on that we got some, uh, issued gear.

I: Um hm.

C: But, uh, 

I: So the, the warm weather like this

C: Well, later on, um, after a few months,


it really got hot.

I: Yes.

C: And, and the war started, too.

I: Yeah.  

C: But the cold, I don’t, I’ve never been so cold.

I: Yeah.  Many, many veterans telling me about that.

C: Yes.
I: They said damn cold.  

C: When that beer bottle broke, it’s just, that was how cold it was.

I: Exactly.  Tell me about, a little more about, uh, your battle experience.


How was it?

C: Well, I was, I was well trained, um, and, and before I, I went away, even though I was young.  But, uh, I was well trained.  And, uh, 


If you do as you’re told, you survive and the mind thing.

I: Who was the enemy?  Was it North Koreans that you fought or Chinese?

C: Ah, North Koreans.
I: It was North Koreans?

C: Um hm.

I: Uh huh.

C: Yes, North Koreans.
I: Yes.  So what kind of conversation did you have with Headquarters when you


were the radio operator, right?  So what did you do?

C: Uh, we reported back to the base like, um, of our grid positions.

I: Um hm.

C: And uh, oh, back to the Artillery base and, uh,  

I: Tell them the coordinates?
C: Yes.

I: Yes.  


So you didn’t work with the New Zealand soldiers, but you worked with the Australian soldiers?

C: Yes.  But we worked, with the Australians back to New Zealand, um, Artillery.

I: Um hm.  

C: And, uh, yes, that’s.

I: How was it working with the Australian soldiers?  Are they good?

C: Yeah. 


 They were good.  They were good, don’t worry.

I: Yeah.  So where did you sleep?  

C: When you could.

I: Yeah.  

C: When you could.

I: Where did you sleep?  Was it bunker or is it tent or foxhole, where?

C: Uh, when I was back with the unit, we slept in tents.

I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, yes, that’s it.


I: But when you were in the mission, you couldn’t sleep at all?

C: No, you got very little sleep, very little.

I: Um.  What about eating?  What did you eat?

C: In the food positions, we, uh, had, uh, C-rations.  That’s American C-rations.

I: Right.


C: Then back at base, we had, we’d eat Army, Army rations.

I: Um hm.  Like what?

C: Uh, regular food, you know.  Your regular food.

I: Um hm.  So looking back all those years, what is Korea, Korean War to you, and what is Korea to you?


Why do you think that you were there?

C: Uh, well, it  started off as an adventure.

I: You wanted to be in other country?


C: Yes.  But

I: Not Korea.

C: Oh, no.  I didn’t, didn’t say that.

I: Okay.  You didn’t  say that.

C: I didn’t say that, no.

I: Uh huh.

C: No,  I, uh, I had a chance to, uh, join the Army and, well, I thought I was gonna do my, my, uh,


my piece anyway.

I: Um hm.  

C: Even though it was short.  

I: Do you regret to be there?
C: No, I don’t regret it.

I: Not at all, no.  Um hm.

C: No.  It, uh, I had a, got a better understanding of life actually.

I: How?  What, tell me, what kind?

C: Oh, well it took me from an adolescent.


I: Yeah.  

C: And, uh, a lot more respect.

I: What did you learn from the War?  Did you, you saw many people being killed.

C: I, I saw, yeah, quite a few.
I: Yeah.  What, what did you learn?  How does that affect  you?


Well, it doesn’t affect me really, not, um,  like I tried to put it all out, out of my mind.

I: Um.  

C: That, that took about a great deal.  Matter of fact, I don’t talk about it much at all.

I: Um hm.  And you told me you saw Korea very poor, right?


C: Yes.  Um, with all the paddy fields there.  Coming from New Zealand, I never saw a paddy field before.
I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, but they were hard workers.  They were always working in their fields.  And, uh, we didn’t see the, uh, The only city we saw was, um, Pusan and, uh, like Seoul.


I: How was Seoul?  Was it okay, or was it all destroyed or what happened?

C: Uh, no.  Uh, it wasn’t all destroyed.  But, I just saw more less the outskirts of it.

I: Um hm.


C: And, uh, of course a, uh, the airport .  But, uh, 

I: Oh, so you were in the airport, too?

C: Yeah, I, when I flew from there to Japan.

I: Oh, okay.  Yeah.  That was Kimpo Airport, right?  Kimpo.  Should be.

C: Uh, yeah.  I’m not too sure.

I: Yeah.  

C: And that’s, uh, 


the, uh, just about 70 years ago.  

I: Do you know the rank of Korean economy now in the world?

C: The Korean economy?

I: Yeah, Korean economy, the rank of Korean economy in the world.

C: No, I don’t really.  But I’d, it’s nowhere near the bottom.  I know that.

I: They are the 11th largest economy in the world.

C: Hm. 
I: Can you believe that?


C: No, I can’t.  

I: I mean, you saw pretty much all destroyed and very poor country.

C: Yes.

I: And it’s a small country, you know, right?

C: Um hm.

I: Australia is 78x bigger than Korea, South h Korea

C: Yes.  Yeah.

I: So I guess that  New Zealand will be more like 30 or 40x.

C: Surely.

I: We are 11th largest economy in the world.  We are, in terms of GDP, it’s bigger than New Zealand.


C: You know why?  They work.
I: You don’t work here?

C: No, the Koreans work.

I: Yeah, I know.  But New Zealand is working, too.

C: Yes.  But the Koreans work hard.

I: Oh.  What do you know about it?

C: Well, because I remember my friend up in the Mangawhai there.  He, uh, he worked damned hard, and since he’s been there, he’s opened up, uh, another shop.


And, uh, they work hard.  

I: So you think Korea become 11th largest economy because Korean people working hard?

C: That’s right.

I: Did you see them working hard?  How do you know?  Tell me about it.  Detail.  How do you know that Korean people working hard?

C: Well, with their factories and so forth, there was no


like the big factories here.

I: Right.

C: And those days.
I: Um.  

C: And, uh,  who you see on tv now is, um, these big factories and all these Koreans there working hard.  

I: In Korea.

C: Um.

I: Oh.  You saw that in, from tv?

C: Yes.

I: Yeas.  The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, they invite you back.  You know that, right?  


The Korean government invites you back to Korea.  Do you know that?

C: No.  I haven’t been there.  I haven’t been back.

I: You’ve never been to Korea back, right?

C: No.

I: But Korean government invites veterans from New Zealand back to Korea.


I: You didn’t know about that?

C: No.

I: Oh.  I can, I can arrange it for you.  If, do you do really want to go back to Korea?

C: Oh, man, yeah.

I: Then you gotta give me your


phone number and address, okay?

C: Yes, yes.

I: And I’ll talk to VA office here in New Zealand so that you can be invited by the Korean government.  And they will pay hotel, half of airfare, everything free.  Just pay half of the airfare.  Yeah.  Do you wanna go?

C: Oh, [INAUDIBLE], right?
I: Oh yeah.  So then give me your contact information please, okay?  Yeah.


I: Any other things that you want to say to me?  Please, you don’t speak too much.

C: No.

I: Come on.

C: No, no.  I, uh, 

I: about the Korean War.  

C: Nol.  The Korean War, we didn’t see many Koreans to be quite honest, be honest, quite honest. And, uh, 


Place we did help, help a bit over there anyway.

I: Um.  What would you say to young New Zealand students about the War that you fought for?  What would you say to them about the Korean War?

C: Uh, 


I: Anything you want to say to them about the War that you fought for?  

C: Do what helps some, somebody, uh.

I: Um hm.

C: that’s less or, I don’t know.  It’s hard to say.


I: You said to help others.

C: To help, help others.

I: Um.

C: Yes.
I: So you helped Koreans at the time.

C: I hope so.
I: Yeah.
C: I hope so.

I: You did it.

C: Um.
I: You did it.    What was the most pleasant thing that you experienced in Korea while you were there?


C: The Korean beer.

I: Did you get Korean beer at the time?

C: No.  I think it was, um, I think it was Japanese beer.

I: Um.

C: It might have been Japanese beer.

I: Um hm.  You are the man of simplicity. [LAUGHS]  Yeah.  Coloin, 


you drove 100 miles. What is your, uh, what is the name of place that your home is located now?  Mangawhai?

C: Mangawhai.

I: Could you spell it?
C: M A N G

I: Um hm.

C: A W H A I.

I: I W H I I.

C: No.  M A N G

I: Yeah.

C: A.

I: Yeah.


I: Yeah.


C: H

I: Yeah.


I: A;.

C: I.

  1. I.   So Mangawhai.

C: Mangawhai.

I: M A N G  

C: Yeah.

I: Okay.  I’m sorry. M A N G I

C: A.

I: W H A I.

C: Yeah.  M A N G A 

I: Yeah.

C: W

I: H.

C: H A I.

I: A I.  Mangawhai.

C: Mangawhai.


I: Uh, Mangawhai. [LAUGHS]  It’s so far north from here, right?

C: Yes.

I: Hundred miles.

C: No.  Oh, to be at Mangawhai, it’s, uh, oh, about 60 miles to Mangawhai.  [INAUDIBLE] in t his morning.

I: So you drove long way to talk to me.  So you gotta talk to me.  How many children do you have and grandchildren do you have?


C: Uh, one grandchild and, uh, I’ve got three daughters.
I: Three daughters?  What do they do?

C: Uh, 

I: Anybody teaching the school?

C: No.  One’s a, uh, a registered nurse.

I: Nurse.
C: Um hm.

I: Um.

C: One’s an architect and a tutor.

I: Um hm.

C: And, uh, one’s over in England.
I: In England.
C: One in England.


I: I see.  How old is the grandchildren, child?

C: Uh, six.

I: Just six?

C: Um.
I: Boy or girl?

C: A boy?

I: Boy.

C: Boy, yeah.

I: Do you meet him often?

C: Not, not a great deal.  I was with him at Christ mas.

I: Christ mas.

C: Um hm.
I: Did you tell your children and your grandchild, granddaughter, grandboy?  Granddaughter

C: Um.

I: anything about Korea?

C: No. I’ve, I’ve never talked much about, about it to my


I: Why not?

C: Uh, I don’t talk about things.

I: Um.  Okay.  

C: But they know, they know I was there.

I: They know, yeah.  Yeah.  Got it.  Any other thing that you wanna say to me about the War?  Tell me more about daily routine, what you did in the, in Hahn, Hahn River?


C: Uh, in our off time

I: Um hm.

C: we went fishing in this little boat, and we used to hand them out

I: Oh yeah.

C: And, uh, with the han, uh, British hand grenade,

I: Um hm.

C: they  were right.  We’d drop them out of the side, and after a few seconds boon, and you got some fish.

I: Yeah.  


C: That we used and, uh, North Korean grenades

I: And? 

C: We blew the boat over.

I: Oh.  [LAUGHS]

C: because they had a, a long string on the end of them

I: Uh huh.

C: and they went off pretty quick.  We were lucky to be alive really.

I: [LAUGHS]  You might  been killed by fishing, uh.


C: But hey, we, we survived.  [IJNAUDIBLE]

I: So what did you do with the fish?
C: Oh, we took them back and, uh, they, they, the, uh, cooks cooked some of them up.

I: How?

C: But we lost a lot.

I: How did you cook?

C: Oh, we didn’t  cook them.

I: The cook.

C: Cooks.

I: Okay.  Did you give any, some food to Korean people or


C: On the odd occasion, uh, I, I gave them.  But, uh, it was c-rations.

I: Yeah.  

C: And, uh, yeah.

I: Did they like it?

C: Yes.  some of them were, some of these people were really hungry.

I: Yeah.  

C: And, uh, my job, these people wait, as I say, away from the city.  So we didn’t go into the cities.

I: Um.

C: The only cities we went into like Pusan and, uh, [INAUDIBLE] Seoul.


I: Yeah.

C: But, um,yeah.  Yeah.

I: Any other thing that you want to say to me about your experience in Korea?

C: I didn’t have a bad experience in Korea.
I: Um.


C: I didn’t have a bad experience.

I: But  you were in there very early phase of the Korean War.

C: Yes.  We actually, yeah.  It’s alright.

I: It was the very important moment there at the time.
C: Yes.

I: Yeah.    Um hm.

C: But anyway, I’m pleased that my little part might have helped them. 


I met a lot of Korean people over here.

I: Over here.

C: Um.

I: Do you like them?
C: Uh, yeah.  I, I do like them.
I: Why?

C: Well, they’re very friendly.  Really friendly.

I: Um.  

C: And they ‘re hard workers.  But the people I’ve had for me are hard workers.

I: Are you a hard worker?

C: Not now.

I: You used to be.

C: Yeah.


I: Got it.  

C: Yeah.  Anyway, thank you very much for giving me the interview.

I: You know, I have to thank you.  First of all, you fought for us.  You didn’t know anything about Korea, but you went there and was, uh, you told me you, it was scary in the beginning.

C: It, well, it’s, it’s scary for every, everybody here.

I: Yeah.  Absolutely.  It was war.

C: Um.  

I: Killing everybody against each other.

C: Yeah.


I: How was it?  I mean, killing everybody, two million people killed in Korea, the Korean civilians.

C: Um.

I: Three hundred thirty-nine Australian soldiers were killed.  I don’t, how many were killed here?

C: How many New Zealanders?
I: Yeah.  

C: Uh, well, there was one, two, two of our, 


same, same, uh, platoon over there, same um, Battery as myself at [Miryang]

I: Um.

C: And, and, uh, one officer from 163 Battery was killed while I was there.

I: Oh.  

C: He was an ex-um, British pilot.


It was very sad.

I: Did you see him dying?

C: No, I didn’t see him die.

I: Um.
C: But it was the week after we shifted.  We had a shift.

I: Coloin, I think you need to go back to Korea and 


see what’s been changed there.  You not going to believe your eyes.  Yeah.

C: Oh, I can believe it.  Yeah.

I: So I will talk to the VA Office here, Elaine, uh, David Meyer.  Do you know her?  Young lady?

C: Uh, I’ve been talking t o here I believe at home.

I: Yeah.  I’ll talk to her and make sure that you are invited by the Korean government

C: Alright.

I: So that you can go back.

C: Yeah.
I: Yeah.  And you drove such a long way to, to talk to me,

C: Uh, that’s not far.


and I wanna thank you for your fight and for driving today to meet with me.  You really look like, uh, uh, the movie star of Crocodile Dundee.  You need a cowboy hat.

C: Yeah.

I: And big, big sword.  Big knife.

C: Big knife, yeah.  Well, thank you very much anyway.

I: Thank you, sir.

C: Um.

I: You’re a man of integrity.  Thank you.

[End of Recorded Material]