Korean War Legacy Project

Stuart William Holmes


Stuart William Holmes was born in Yorkshire, England, left school at the age of fifteen, and found himself interested in pursuing a military career. The British military would only take a recruit once he was seventeen and a half, so he joined as soon as he was of age. Learning to fly, his experience in basic training as well as his instruction in flight school varied depending on his instructors. One such experience involved a lack of training in how to taxi which culminated in crashing into another aircraft. Once in Korea, he frequently flew over the Korean, Chinese, and Japanese coastlines to assess the weather. Stationed with Americans as well as Australians, he describes the unique situation of watching Americans drink tea while Australians drank coffee in response to their own opinions on the decency of the beverages available. He explains his lack of fear during his flights and attributes this to the hubris of youth; he felt then that no one would dare attack the British Empire.

Video Clips

Bad Flying Instructor

Stuart Holmes describes his flight training during the Korean War. He explains that his initial flight instructor did not provide adequate instruction, leaving him feeling ill-equipped to handle the taxi in-and-out procedures. He recalls how this resulted in an accident when he crashed his plane into another as he tried to taxi after a flight.

Tags: Basic training,Physical destruction

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Heard of Them, But Didn't Know Much About Them

Stuart Holmes describes going to breakfast with American and Australian soldiers. He describes his incredulity at observing American soldiers drinking tea and Australian soldiers drinking coffee, when he had assumed the choices would have been switched. Both sides confess that they found the coffee/tea offered as weak imitations of what their country offered and, so, opted for the opposite preference.

Tags: Food,Living conditions,Rest and Relaxation (R&R)

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No One Would Dare Attack the Great British Empire

Stuart Holmes describes flying at night over the coasts of Korea, Japan, and China. He explains that he rarely felt scared, which he attributes to the hubris of youth. He elaborates that occasionally it would be reported that someone was following them which gave him a 'twitch' but, otherwise, he felt no fear.

Tags: Chinese,Fear,Impressions of Korea

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