Korean War Legacy Project

Colin J. Hallett


Colin J. Hallett served in the New Zealand Navy during the Korean War on the HMNZS Kaniere. He joined the Navy at the age of 15, knowing that he would go to Korea. During his time in the Navy, he was a gunner and served in the China Sea. He describes what life was like on the ship. He met his wife while on leave and kept in contact with her throughout the war.  He married her after his 10 year Naval career. Colin J. Hallett is proud of his military service and of helping of the South Korean people.

Video Clips

Ship Description and a Funny Story

Colin Hallett describes the HMNZS Kaniere. He describes the guns on the ship and overall living conditions. The HMNZS patrolled the West Sea and really did not encounter too many North Korean forces. He also provides a story of a mistake by the US Naval forces that could have ended in disaster.

Tags: Yellow Sea,Front lines,North Koreans,Weapons

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Conditions of the Ship

Colin Hallett describes the living conditions on the ship. Crewman could not leave things around and would have to pay to retrieve possessions left out. He explains that crewmen were limited, worked during the day during one of the four watches and slept in hammocks.

Tags: Pyungyang,Yellow Sea,Food,Living conditions,North Koreans,Pride,Rest and Relaxation (R&R),Weapons

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Engaged During the War

Colin Hallett describes his engaged to Ina Everitt. Both Collin Hallett and Ina Everitt sent letters to stay in contact. Colin Hallett sent letters that spoke of daily and weekly events. Ina Everitt had a busy life at home that kept her busy and not just thinking of her fiancé.

Tags: Yellow Sea,Front lines,Home front,Letters,Living conditions,South Koreans,Women

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Invitation onboard a Republic of Korean Ship

Colin Hallett describes pride in his Naval service. He attended a ceremony where he was able to go onto a contemporary Republic of Korea ship due to his military service. The Republic of Korea Navy Captain was a generous host and showed Colin Hallett around the ship, which made him feel proud of his Naval service.

Tags: Impressions of Korea,Modern Korea,Pride,South Koreans

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Video Transcript

[Beginning of recorded material]

C:        My name is Colin, C O L I N, John, J O H N, Hallett, H A L L E T T.

I:          And what is your birthday?
C:        Eleven four, nineteen 32.

I:          So now you are 87?

C:        Eighty-six. Eighty-seven in April.

I:          That’s really hard to believe.  You, your face doesn’t tell that much, huh?


You look like a 66.

C:        Thank you.

I:          What’s going on in this country? Everybody looks young.  Wow, that’s great.  And where were you born?
C:        In a little town, in  Tearoha.

I:          Could you spell it?
C:        T E A R O H A.  It means love.

I:          Love?
C:        Maori name of it.  Tearoha means love.

I:          That’s a Maori language?
C:        Maori language, yes.

I:          Yeah.

C:        Yeah, it means love.

I:          Is it far from  here?


C:        Um, no, not that far.

I:          Um.

C:        About an hour and a half, you know.

I:          Yeah.  And tell me about your family when you were growing up, your parents and your siblings.

C:        Uh, oh well, my parents owned a, a farm

I:          Um

C:        and, at Waitoa which is seven miles from Tearoha

I:          Yes

C:        And the, um, I had an elder brother called Bill, and then there, I was t he second child.


And then  my sister called Norma and then my other brothers was, um, Barry and the other son was Kenneth.

I:          Um.  And schools you went through.

C:        I went to Waitoa School.

I:          Waitoa?

C:        Yeah, Waitoa, and then after Waitoa School, I went on to Morrinsville High

I:          Morrins

C:        Morrinsville High School.

I:          High School.  And when did you graduate from high school?

C:        Oh, 1945 or 6.


I:          And when you graduate  high school, did you know anything about Korea?

C:        Nothing.  Not, nothing at all.  Not really.  I never, I knew where it was, of course.

I:          Uh.

C:        But apart from where, apart from there, no.  Never in my life did I ever thought I’d end up in Korea.

I:          Wow.  And now you are Korean War veteran, right?
C:        That is correct, yes.


I:          Yeah.  So how do you link this thought?   You didn’t know nothing about Korea, nothing.  And then now, almost everything, right?
C:        That’s, well, a lot, not, not everything.

I:          Okay, a lot.  So that’s fair.
C:        Yeah.  But  always, always wanted to join the Navy.  It was always my, right from when I was just a child, I always wanted to join the Navy.  So I thought why if I joined the  Navy, I could end up in Korea.

I:          Um.

C:        And, and, and then I did.

I:          So when did you join Navy?

C:        Nineteen forty-six.


I:          Yeah.

C:        I was 15 when I joined the Navy.

I:          Yeah.  Everybody tell me those who served in the  Navy, they told me that they joined the Navy at age of 15.

C:        That’s right.

I:          I cannot believe that Navy allowed this young boys to join.

C:        Yeah.  Well, we were called Seamen boys, yeah.

I:          Hm.  So where did you get the military training?

C:        The, um, well, we, um, naval training you mean?

I:          Um hm.


C:        Yeah, at HMS New Zealand Tamaki which is on Motuihi Island in Hauroki Gulf up in Auckland.  And we did six months on there.  Then we got shipped to the big battleship, The Bellona.  Uh, then from the Bellona, we end up all around the world shall we say.

I:          Um hm.  What was your specialty?
C:        I, I was a gun layer.

I:          Gun what?

C:        Layer, after Tamaki, I, I went back to Philomel, HMS Philomel


I:          Yeah.

C:        and specialized in, in the, um, gunnery.

I:          Gunnery.

C:        Yeah, which was anti-aircraft guns and, um, 4 inchers, you know, all the big ones, you know, anything to do with guns.

I:          Um.
C:        That was what I specialized in.

I:          So you  must be a very good shot, huh?

C:        Shot, yeah.  Well, I was a hunter in, in life cause my father, he was a hunter, and my brothers are hunters, and used to do a lot of shooting and I was in,


rifles were right up  my alley should we say.

I:          Very good.  Do you , do you still hunt?
C:        No, no, no.  I, I walk now instead of hunting.  Hung up my guns.

I:          Had, had you ever thought that you’d go to the Korean War at the time?

C:        Um, when the Korean War come up on, on our first boat went up, I, I knew that I’d end up there.

I:          Were you afraid?

C:        No, not really, no.

I:          Not really.

C:        Not, not for one moment.

I:          You were very young at the time, right?


C:        Yes, yeah.
I:          How old were you when you, uh, when the Korean War broke out?  It was, uh,

C:        I was up there

I:          Nineteen?
C:        Twenty.

I:          Twenty.

C:        Twenty, yeah.

I:          Yes.

C:        Cause I had my 21st birthday in Hong Kong.

I:          In Hong Kong?
C:        Hong Hong Kong

I:          Yeah.
C:        That’s right.  Yeah.

I:          And then from Hong Kong, where did you go?
C:        Uh, we, uh, we was based in Sasebo and Kurae.  That was the two, um, ports that we was based in.

I:          Um.  And


what was your unit?

C:        I, I was on the, the, um, HMNZ Kaniere.

I:          H M

C:        His Majesty’s or Her Majesty’s New Zealand ship Kaniere.

I:          N S, Majesty

C:        New Zealand ship Kaniere.  K A N I E R E.

I:          K I N

C:        K A N I E R E.

I:          Kaniere.

C:        Kaniere, yeah.

I:          Yeah.


And what kind of ship was it ?

C:        It was a frigate.

I:          So keep, young children doesn’t know about this.  So tell me about what kind of ship was it.  What, how big, and what kind of guns and what was the main  mission?

C:        Um, well, gunnery was, our biggest gun was a 4.25, and then, of course, we had the [INAUDIBLE] for, um, underwater, um, submarines, um.


There were like big bullets we fired out the front of the ship and like, like depth charges, the old depth charges that was, because we had the, an [INAUDIBLE] and then the other gun we had on board was a pom pom.  It had six barrels and, they, um, they just fired like, like the old Gatlin gun, you know, [SHOOTING NOISE].

I:          Yeah.

C:        That was the armament on, that we had on board.  Uh, I’m not sure how long the ship was.  It certainly wasn’t [INAUDIBLE] Just, we just took for granted, you know, the length.


I:          How many, um, crew, crew were there in, in the ship?

C:        Ooo

I:          How big was it ?

C:        Um, it was, wasn’t that big.

I:          Approximately how many?

C:        Oh, We would have about 250 – 300 or so.

I:          That’s still a lot, 250 or, in a ship, right?

C:        Yeah.  [INAUDIBLE] About 37, 30 stokers, 36, 60.  I don’t know.   Perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit.  But, yeah.


I:          And

C:        It’d be in the hundreds anyway.  One hundred and something definitely.

I:          And from Hong Kong and you went to Sasebo.  That’s your, uh,

C:        Base, that’s where we used

I:          Base

C:        to restock and, and then have a little leave before we went back out on patrol again.

I:          Um.

C:        Up and down the coast.
I:          So when was the first time that you were in Korean seas?

C:        That I can tell you exactly cause [INAUDIBLE]

I:          Approximately,


what year was it?
C:        Oh.  I, the year

I:          Um hm.

C:        was 1953

I:          Before or after the War?

C:        No, no.  The War was still going as far as I know. [INAUDIBLE]

I:          So the War started in 1950 and ended in 1953, July.

C:        Oh, it must have been ’52 then.

I:          Fifty-two.

C:        Yeah.

I:          And what, what, were you in the East Sea or Yellow Sea?


C:        Um, good question.

I:          Was it?

C:        Where, where’s [Penyango]?

I:          Yeah, West then.

C:        That’s where we were.
I:          Um hm.  Tell me about your mission and your, uh, task there.  What, what was this, uh, frigate was doing there?
C:        Well we, we patrolled the Coast and checking all the fan pans and, and the, um, any of the shipping that, that was the, um, South Koreans, uh,


on board or not, not North Koreans.  Um, we had the, um, we quite often was told that, uh, a target to fire on a, ashore. Um, that, that’s basically what we, we did.  We just patrolled up and down the Coast, uh.  We ended up in, is it the Yangtze River?

I:          Yeah, that’s in Chinese.

C:        Oh. it’s Yangtze.  No, wasn’t, wasn’t Yangtze then.  Another one, another, some place.

I:          Imjin?

C:        No.


I:          Or Tae dong?

C:        No.

I:          Chungchun?

C:        No.

I:          Hahn River?

C:        I can’t remember which.  Anyway, that, that’s basically where we went.

I:          Were there any enemies in the sea?  Did you encounter any North Korean naval forces?
C:        No, no.  Not, not, no.  The, um, when we was at Penyangdo, they had this great big gun they rolled down on a trolley and opened up on us, um.  That was the only


time we really got under real heavy fire.

I:          Um.

C:        Uh, another time there was, uh, on, we were on convoy with American ships we was fired on, too, you know?

I:          Fired by whom?
C:        Well, North Koreans.

I:          Oh.

C:        Yeah.

I:          Tell me about it.  When was it, and how did it happen?

C:        Well, the American ships used to, um, do patrols same as us, of course they had their guns loaded, and, and when it come to dusk, they used to empty the barrels


out so, you know, so, for the next day, you know.  They couldn’t leave them in the barrels all night.  So they’d just fire them.  Well, this night they, they fired all the, um, shells off, and then they, they was attacked, and then they was caught with, with [INAUDIBLE] trails is done.  They had, mad scurry to reload and then, and that [vital for the planes].

I:          Um.

C:        So that was it.  So

I:          So you were in charge of all different kinds of gunnery there.


C:        No, I, I just, I was a gun layer out on the 4” gun.  They, there was three major people on, on our, on my, on the 4” gun.  There was a big, big, um, trainer that trained left and right.

I:          Um.

C:        And then there was me that trained them up and down for the elevation. And then the, the range guy had us put the range on to get the angle for the, for, you know, for the, [some of our men].  Of course, we had all the other guys that would put the shells in and, and work the bridge and what have you.  But that was


basically [INAUDIBLE] cause in those days, everything was manual, not like they are today, automatic.  So, cause I, I had to pull the trigger.  I pulled the trigger, and that was my job.

I:          And tell me about the life inside of the frigate.  How, where did you sleep?  How small was it and, you know, did you take a shower or meals?  What did you do  at the time.  Tell all the details because young children


in New Zealand will listen.

C:        Well, when we, when I went on board the frigate, we had a, a small locker, you know.  It would be just like a, just a little [bubby] locker that we kept all our clothes in.  And we had a, had a, a mess, just a wooden table with two seats on either side and, and a few, um, plates and cups and knives and forks.  And when you was given [you cook], you, um, you had to go up to the galley to bring down all the meals for all the guys, and then you dish out the meals and,


of course, in the Navy, we always got a[INAUDIBLE] of rum, so we had to, um, give the guys their glass of rum everyday, and then we had a job to clean up afterwards and, and keep the, um, our mess tent very ship shape because if  you left anything laying around, it got confiscated, and then you had to pay to get it back.  So we, uh, had to make sure you didn’t leave anything laying around.  And, and

I:          Because that would make a mess.

C:        That’s right.  Everything,


every night the, um, officer of the watch come around and check that, that place was ship shape.  And every weekend the Captain of the ship come down and inspected the, everything, you know.  At night time, we slept in hammocks and, and they, um, I really liked sleeping in the hammocks. And when the sea was nice and smooth, you got a gentle  lift, spring to one side, onto the other.

I:          Like a lullaby.

C:        Yeah.  But, uh, when we went into real rough seas, it wasn’t quite good.


So they’d go up and then go thunk you fall back down.  But apart from that, it was terrific, you know, the thing.

I:          Was a free roller coaster.

C:        Yeah, in a sense, yeah.  Um, we had a, a, uh, the evolution block where we’d go down and have showers, you know, and shave and everything.  And then, of course, we had toilets, it was, it was a bit like a racing stable.  We only had, barely only covered half, half shoulders.  I think the idea was to make sure you


the guys wouldn’t be in smoking.  So, um, that was [INAUDIBLE] everything was on board, you know.  And during the day, of course we, we worked during the day.  And then, then during the night, we had a, um, every, um, had four watchers, you know.  So every, every fourth watch you went on, on, you had to go on, work that night, you know.  So one night you’d work say the forenoon, and then the next night the afternoon, and then the next day you’d work until the middle


which was, and if you did the middle watch, next day you got the day off.  So, um, and then, then, of course, you  had the, what they call a first watch and, and and, the second and, and then you had the morning watch, and you always had to scrub the deck if you did, had the morning watch and then it was back to normal again, you know.  You, it, this is what you did at sea.

I:          You seem to really enjoyed it.

C:        Oh, yeah.  No, it was, you know.

I:          It’s nice, isn’t it?

C:        Yeah, yeah.  And  when I look back on it, it was pretty good.

I:          Yeah.


You don’t have to sleep in the foxhole.

C:        No.

I:          With plenty of water there or sometimes with, uh,

C:        Oh, no.  We had [INAUDIBLE] in a sense, you know?  But, the food wasn’t the greatest.

I’m sure they fed us a rabbit from the fir, from the last World War.  But, uh, no, no.  We survived.  And, uh,

I:          How often did you go back to base camp to replenish?
C:        Um, I’ve got that out there in, in the, I could tell you exactly.


I got out it out there in the, in the van.  But they, um,

I:          For how many days were in the sea, like two months, three months?
C:        Oh, no.  I think only about, about a month I think.

I:          Month.  And then you go back to base camp.

C:        Yeah.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        That’s right.

I:          That’s curiosity.  Did you, I mean, how do they treat the, the human waste in the sea?  Did they throw in the sea, or did they keep back, keep it and then throw it away when you returned to the camp?


C:        No.  It just went into the sea.

I:          Oh, really?

C:        Sure, but yeah.
I:          Oh.  That was fertilizer for fishes, right?
C:        Yeah.  Fortunately, yeah.   Yeah because the same with the scraps, you know.  We, when you’ve, um, you just threw them over the side, too.  Yeah.  Not very good for a rotten environment today.  But that, that’s how it was, you know, those days.

I:          Were there any dangerous moment that you might have been wounded  or, you know, something like that?
C:        The day that they opened up on us


from that big gun on, in the, uh, at Penyangdo, you know.  That, that was the most frightened.  The first time I’ve ever been under fire, put it that way, you know?  Of course I always,  I’ve seen a lot of war movies before I’d gone up there, you know.  I thought that when they had the bullets, um, whistling and then stopping, I thought oh, that was just not a fun, high point put on, on the films.  But when the real McCoy happened, got [INAUDIBLE] you know.  In fact, there were panic stations on board, you know, when we, they opened up, you know.  So, but after that,


they’ve been come, you got like, like, like, all things in life you, you get used to these sort of things, you know.  So you just accept it.  You knew you had to, you know.  And that was it, you know.  So

I:          Were you able to write back to your family? Did you, were you married at the time?

C:        No, no.  I was engaged.

I:          Engaged?
C:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.  With

C:        With this good lady here.

I:          Oh really?



I:          So can I ask her to join our interview?
C:        Yeah.  Well, ask there.  You gotta ask

I:          Please join us.  Can you move?  Sit tight.  So you were engaged at the time.

FEMALE VOICE:  Yes, yes.

I:          And with her.

C:        Yes.

I:          And what was her name?

C:        Ina  I N A  Everett, E V E R I T T.

I:          Um hm.  And when did you know her?  When did you meet her.


C:        Back home when I was on leave one weekend.

I:          Um.

C:        at a, at a local dance.  And I met her there and carried on from there.

I:          So what was it like to send your future husband to the War?  What was it like?

FV:      Um, I just accepted it, um, and as long as he, he was, um, safe there.  And we, I got


a letter quite frequently so I was kept very much in touch with what was going on.

I:          Um.

FV:      And I had a busy life at home as well.  So

I:          What did you do?

FV:      I had, I was, um, in charge  of a, well, I had a position with the drainage board in New Zealand, um, as secretary.  And I was part of the Girl Guide movement.  So I spent time doing camps and all the rest of it.  So, um,


No.  I had a busy life.  And, and I had friends who I went to the dance with every Saturday night that Colin wasn’t there.

I:          Yeah.

FV:      So

I:          So.  It’s, did he write letter to you, right?

FV:      Yes.

I:          And what did he write?  Do you remember any particular

FC:      Uh, he, he, he, um, it was like a day to day or a week to week, um, story of what he’d done, where he’d gone,


and what they were doing.

I:          And what fish he ate.

FV:      Hm?

I:          What fish he ate.

FV:      Which?
I:          Fish.

FV:      Oh, fish.  Oh, I

I:          I was just kidding.  And did you know anything about Korea where he was at the time?

FV:      No.  No, not, I, well I watched, I learned about Korea

I:          Um.
FV:      after, of course, he went away.  But, um, well I, presumed, and I knew that


they don’t go around telling them, um, the others what we [INAUDIBLE] what they’re doing.  So

I:          Um.  And have you been back to Korea?
C:        No.

I:          No?

C:        No.

I:          Okay.  And do you know, do you follow up with what’s happening in Korea in terms of Korean economy, Korean society, Korean culture things?  Are you familiar with what’s been done in Korea?


C:        Um, more, more or less.  I, I only what’s on the news of course, you know.

I:          Tell me about what, what do you know on modern Korea, contemporary Korea?

C:        Well, well, about the North and the South starting to, um, get together again.

I:          Yes.

C:        And the, um, they had the, um, course prior to that, they were about the, um, the DMZ [military thing]  you know.  The people  trying to get across sometime and they, they, the separation of the families up there, you know,


um, which  must be terrible, you know, that half your side on one side and half on the other.  Must be terrible for  those people.  But, just those, just those things in general, what’s, you know, um, whatever comes on the news about Korea, you know,

I:          Um hm.

C:        which is, which is quite regular really.  So

I:          Do you know anything about Korean economy, how good that is now?
C:        Um, well, I know it, it’s double of North Korea.  It’s much, much better than the North, you know.  So [INAUDIBLE]


I:          Do you know that

C:        It’s, it’s a very good economy, you know, Korean.  No, no doubt about that, you know? And, and I love the people up there.

I:          It’s a very small country, and have you, were you able to move, um, and see around some cities in Korea when you were there in, in the War?

C:        No, no.

I:          No.
C:        It was just, just basically Sasebo and Kurae.  That was about the only place that we, uh.  There was one other place we, we went to the, um, the school come on board, you know, and, and, um, put on a performance for, you know, school, you know.

I:          So do you know the Korean


economy now, the rank in the world?  Korean economy,  The rank of Korean economy in the world.

C:        No.  No.  No.  I wouldn’t.

I:          It’s 11th largest economy in the world.  Can you believe that?

C:        No.

I:          The country he fought for in 1950’s and at the time, Korea was nothing there.

C:        No.
I:          Now it’s 11th largest economy.

C:        Yeah.  Syngman Rhee was the President when I was there.

I:          Yes.

C:        Yeah.


FV:      And you’ve got the, um, next lot of games coming up in Korea, haven’t you?
I:          What?
FV:      The,

I:          Olympics?
C:        No, no.  It’s Japan.

FV:      Oh, it’s Japan.

C:        Getting, getting close.

FV:      Sorry.

I:          It’s okay.

C:        Neighbor.

I:          No, no.  But we had the Olympics in 1988, and we had the [INAUDIBLE] all these things.  We had, uh, Olympics, and we were very successful in those things.


C:        Right.

I:          So, um,

C:        Well now you’re very good economy.

I:          So what do you think about your legacy as a Korean War veteran?  What is the legacy of the Korean War veteran?

C:        Not sure.

I:          What is the historical importance of the Korean War in your, in your, in your opinion?

C:        Oh.  For peace, you know.  For both countries.  That, that, that was all about.

I:          Um.

C:        That, that’s what we fought for, you know.  So you would become one country again


instead of two, a split country.

I:          Um hm.  Has your husband talked about his experience as a Korean War veteran to you?  Has he?  Has he talked about it?

FV:      Oh, possibly.

I:          Um.

FV:      Um, we talk about all sorts of things, and it’s part of our, um, he was, um, able to, he was very [INAUDIBLE] to be able to be, uh, invited onto the Korean boat when it came out to New Zealand.



I:          When was it ?

FV:      About

C:        Fifty years ago, yeah.
FV:      And there were a lot of boats came in and set there, and he, um, he was quite keen to see what, um, our New Zealand, um, boys slept in underneath and what it was like.  But he was refused entry.

C:        Couldn’t believe it.

FV:      And so he got into, uh, the que again and went along, and he went on to the Korean boat.  And he ended up being


greeted by the Captain, got a photo with the Captain and the flag flying, and he was [INAUDIBLE]  So he said I’ve done better job than in New Zealand.

I:          Tell me more about it.  How, how did you feel about it?
C:        Well, terrific, you know, to think, you know, cause I, I walked on board, you know

and then I said to the officer of the watch, you know, that I’ve been on, been at Korea, you know, and he said was you up in the Korean War and I said yeah, yeah I was up there.  And he said oh, you wait there he says.  So I


waited there and then he comes back and he, somebody else, and they took me up to see the Captain,  you know, and the Captain, you know, said oh, you know, and he made me very welcome, and he says come into the Officers’, um, mess.  So I went in the Officers’ mess, and they ordered coffee for us and sat down and had a good talk, you know, and he took some photos, you know, and then, and went back out on the deck again, and we took some more photos, you know, against the Korean flag and, uh, and, you know,  it, you know,


made me feel real,  you know, proud shall we say, you know, that

I:          They treat you nice.

C:        Yeah, no doubt about that.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        Yeah, very good.  Yeah.

I:          How many children and grand children do you have, or great grandchildren?

C:        We have a, um, one, two, four [INAUDIBLE]

FV:      Four grandchildren

C:        Yeah.

I:          Four?

FV:      Four.
C:        Yeah, four, yeah four grandchildren and a, um, three


great grandchildren.

I:          How old they?

C:        Um,

FV:      One of them is about 35.  One is about 34

I:          Uh.

FV:      Um, one in his 20’s, uh, and our grandson is in his, uh, 30’s, yes.  And we’ve got three great grandchildren.

C:        How old?

FC:      Um, three, four.  Um, we’ve got three boys, uh, 12, 10 and 9


I:          Wow.

FV:      And a little, and a new little grand, great granddaughter.

C:        Daughter.

I:          Grand daughter.

FV:      We haven’t, she’ll be one this month.

I:          One.

FV:      Yes.

I:          Adorable, right?

FV:      Yes she is.

C:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.  What’s her name?
FV:      Ella.

I:          Ella.

FV:      Um.

I:          Um.

FV:      Yes.

I:          Are there any teachers in the school among your descendants?

FV:      A, a teacher.

I:          Teacher, yeah.

FV:      Um,

C:        No, my son,


son would be the teacher, closer to a teacher cause he works for, uh, New Zealand, and he teaches them all, all the, um, computers and how they work or, or web machinery, you know, in, in the Air Force, you know.

I:          Oh, in the Air Force.

C:        Uh, huh.  But, yeah.  But that’d be the closest to anyone being a teacher.  No

FV:      Yes.
C:        Now my son’s an agricultural, farming, you know, and then, you know.  And this is all, chief, her father was a painter.

I:          Um.  When did you retire from  Navy?

C:        Oo, um, ’56.



I:          Fifty-six.   And what did you do after that?

FV:      Got married.

I:          Married in ’56?

C:        Yeah, yeah, first of December.

I:          You, you waited long.  Wow, you were generous.

C:        Nineteen fifty-six yeah, we got married.

I:          Uh huh.

C:        Yeah.

I:          And then?

C:        Well I, well I bought a [INAUDIBLE] and there was a home cookery, you know.  We, um, you see up at 5:00 in the morning and make pies and, and

I:          Very good.


C:        [INAUDIBLE] rolls and what have you and, cause [INAUDIBLE] used to come to work and make the sandwiches and, and we used to, cause they had a picture theater right next door

I:          Um hm.

C:        So we didn’t get  to bed till 12, after 12:00 at night, you know.  So we did that for [INAUDIBLE] years.

I:          Um.

C:        about seven, eight years.  And then we went to, bought a shoe shop in [Tearahuh], and we had the shoe shop for 35 years, you know.  And then we, um, the, the big guy pushed us out, you know, the


warehouse and all that, you know.  They were bringing in shoes from Korea.

I:          Oh no.

C:        They were, they were, they was, they were bringing them and selling them for what we was buying then, you know.  So we couldn’t compete, you know.  So, so we just closed up shop when they finished.  So that was it.  But my, my son, he, he, he learned to be a chef, and he worked down the, um, [Chateau], you know, and then [Togarera] when

I:          Oh.
C:        and then, and he had the silver service in [Wairaki] and then he ended up


going, a Burger Barn [Tearaha]  So um,

FV:      It’s a fish and chips shop.
C:        Yeah, fish and shops in there, you know,

I:          Oh.

C:        and we, our other daughter had, had the mild bar in town, you know.  So, so my wife went to the milk barn and I went to the Burger Barn as the cook.  Every Friday night I used to cook fish and chips.  And then my son, he sold the milk, sold that.

I:          Um.
C:        And then he, um, he gonna be a, a vending run, you know, for the vending machines

I:          Um.

C:        But he had all them all around the countryside, you know, and  he got sick of that.


So he said oh, Mom and Dad, you can take over and and, uh, I’m going to Auckland.   So that’s what happened.  So we used to work the vending machines.  We’re still doing it.

I:          Yeah.

C:        But it’s just more, more of a hobby than a,

I:          I see.

C:        thing.  It’s not a, not a fully paid business as it’s, a, you know.

FV:      Uh, he works for Air New Zealand, and my daughter works for Air New Zealand

I:          Ah ha.

FV:      So um, yes.

C:        Yeah.

I:          By 2020, next year, the Korean War will


be 70 year-old

C:        That’s right, yeah.
I:          Yeah.
C:        Yeah, I realize that.
I:          Do, do you know of any war that, uh, broke, uh, in 20th century and still hasn’t been replaced by the Peace Treaty?

C:        No, I don’t really.
I:          No, right?  Yeah.

C:        Yeah.

I:          So it’s, it’s been like this for forever, and what would you say to the Korean people in the context of 70thanniversary of the Korean War?

C:        I wish the two countries


to get back together as one, really would, you know.  It seems so silly to, you know, to split a country in  half like that and be a bit like New Zealand.  You have the North Island against the South Island, you know, and

I:          Um hm.

C:        it, it’s silly.

I:          It’s silly,  huh?
C:        Yeah.

I:          It’s a tragic also.

C:        And to think that your economy in the South is so good and, and their’s in the North is so terrible is shocking really.

I:          Hm.

C:        It really is.

FV:      But you’re living different lives, aren’t you, in the South, than the North.

I:          Yes.


C:        Yeah.  Must be very different

FV:      As I said too, yes,

C:        Yeah.
FV:      Yes.

C:        Yeah.

I:          South Korea is, uh, 11th largest economy, North Korean economy is suffering so that many people actually died of hunger in 1995 to 1999.  But there are drastic differences, and we want to be united soon

C:        Yeah.

FV:      Yes.

C:        I’ll bet you do.

I:          But there are a lot of problems.

C:        Um.  Oh, yeah.
FV:      Do you ever see a, do you see it happening in the foreseeable future?


I:          I am not sure.  Maybe we can normalize our relationship, and that’s how we can start our reunification process.

FV:      Yes.

I:          But, you know, you never know because the West German, uh, Prime Minister came to Korea in 1989, and he was asked by the reporters that do you see any foreseeable near future that Germany would be united, and he said I don’t have any idea,


and that was 1989.  Next year after that,

C:        That’s right.  The War come out.

I:          Germany was reunified.

C:        Yeah.

I:          So, you know, this kind of things sneak up on you, and you never know.  But I’m not sure.  I don’t think it will be that easy.  What would you say to the Korean people?  Do you like Korea, right?

C:        Yes, yeah.

I:          Yes

C:        The Koreans are terrific people, you know.  Yeah.

I:          Do you have any special message


to the Korean people in the context of 70th anniversary?

C:        Oh.  Well, I’d like to thank them for looking after us so well. But, uh, no.  I just wish them all the best for the future and, and certainly  hope that, you know, they, they do become united with the North.

I:          Um.

FV:      And their dreams are realized.

C:        Yeah.

I:          Yeah.

FV:      Because it must be, uh, a big dream and from one’s generation to the next or a big hope.


C:        It must be terrible to have family split in half, you know.

I:          Yeah.  There are so many families been separated since the War.

C:        Yeah, no.

I:          And that’s terrible.  But we need your support, you know.

C:        That’s right.

I:          Any other special message that you want to leave to this interview about your service as Korean War veteran.

C:        Not offhand, uh, no.  Uh, no I, very happy to serve, you know.


to help them out, you know.

FV:      A wonderful experience.

C:        It, it, it was, you know. It’s terrific to look back on now.

I:          Um hm.

C:        Wasn’t quite so exciting at the moment.  But when you look back and, you know, there, there were some marvelous times, you know.  Yeah.

I:          I want to thank, uh, all the soldiers and you from  New Zealand to fight for our country so that we have opportunity to rebuild our nation and it’s stronger ever in our history.


And that is your legacy, that you gave us opportunity to rebuild our nation.  And we’ll remain as a good, [-INAUDIBLE] allies to each other and friends.

C:        That’s right.  Yeah, we hope so, yeah.

I:          Thank you, sir, and thank you madam.

FV:      Thank you very much, yes.

C:        No problem.  No, no.

FV:      Colin had quite a thrill to go up to Auckland to, um, a place that you can buy things, uh, from the Navy and, um, he found out that there was a big


gun outside in the back area.  So he went to look at it, and it, he found it was the gun that he used

C:        Yeah, taken off the Kaniere.

FV:      to be

C:        the actual gun.

I:          You didn’t tell me about it.  Come on.
C:        It was stripped to where it was safe.

I:          From frigate?
C:        Yeah, the frigate, you know.  They, uh

I:          Kaniere.

C:        Yeah.  They, you pulled a, you know, um, scrap metal, you know.

I:          Ha.

C:        So they, and they took the gun off in the, the 4.25 [INAUDIBLE] gun.

I:          Ah.

C:        And they give it to the museum up there because


it was one of the actual, one of the Kaniere, you know.  So I had to

I:          And I’m going to focus that with you so that everybody knows and that’s the whole mission of our Foundation.  So

FC:      Well, it’s a wonderful

C:        Perfect.

I:          Thank you.  Hold on.

[End of Recorded Material]