Korean War Legacy Project

Sheridan O’Brien

Bio

Sheridan O’Brien enlisted in the Australian Navy at the end of World War II after seeing an advertisement in the local newspaper. He was not deterred by the twelve-year commitment the advertisement announced. Upon completion of his training in 1947 he was assigned to the destroyer The Arunta until the war’s end. During his service in Korea, he served aboard the Culgoa, an anti-submarine frigate, patrolling off the entire coastline of Korea. His primary duty as a sonarman was listening for submarines. He went on to a twenty-two-year career in the Australian Navy retiring as a Chief Petty Officer/Warrant Officer II. He is very proud to have played a small part in the war.

Video Clips

Naval Career Begins

Sheridan O'Brien recalls joining the Australian Navy after seeing an advertisement in the local paper in 1947. He recounts serving aboard the Arunta from 1947 through the end of World War II. News of his inevitable deployment to Korea came while on a walk with his family in a local park. He would serve as an anti-submarine frigate, the Culgoa, as a sonar man. The Culgoa patrolled off the coastline of most of Korea during his deployment in 1953.

Tags: Basic training,Home front,Weapons

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Serving Aboard the Culgoa

Sheridan O'Brien explains that the Culgoa had four-inch guns which were frequently called upon by the American and Australian armies for bombardments. He recalls that even with headphones on he could hear the roar of these weapons. He details how the ship shook when the weapons were engaged. Despite no submarines ever being located, he shares there was alway plenty to do, especially when they were assigned to their action stations.

Tags: Chinese,Front lines,Living conditions,Weapons

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Life Aboard Ship

Sheridan O'Brien recalls little danger aboard ship. He notes they never encountered enemy submarines or naval vessels. He felt well-protected aboard ship with the Culgoa's many weapons. He remembers an explosion of the hot water system while in Japan as the only real dangerous moment he experienced while aboard ship. He describes life onboard the Culgoa as well as an occasion when they were invited aboard a nearby American vessel for a movie.

Tags: Chinese,Food,Living conditions,North Koreans,Personal Loss,Physical destruction,Weapons

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We Have Never Been Forgotten

Sheridan O'Brien expresses the pride he has as a Korean War veteran. He shares his pleasure to have done his little bit during his short time in Korea. He believes he and other Korean War veterans have really become part of the Korean family and as a result will never be forgotten by the Korean people.

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

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