Tony White grew up in England during World War II. He was an apprentice when he was drafted into the Army in 1950. He arrived in Korea after the Battle of Happy Valley and served in a Patrol Unit as a Rifleman. Tony White talks about being cold all the time unless you had to run up a hill and then you were soaked in perspiration until you quickly froze again after stopping. Tony White said he had become a good soldier by the end of the war compared to some of the other Infantryman. He is amazed at the way Korea has developed since the Korean War and revisited in 1986 and 2006. He said he was treated like royalty during his revisits. Tony White can see why it is called the “Forgotten War” because of the lack of publicity and reporting.
The Journey to Korea from England
Tony White left Southampton, England and the ship had a steering problem in the Indian Ocean so they had to hit the rudder with a sledgehammer to steer. The ship diverted to Singapore. They also had to go to Hong Kong and then to Kure, Japan after enduring a typhoon. Tony White spent three weeks in Japan training and then went on to Korea.
When Tony White first arrived in Korea he was placed in a Patrol Unit. Tony White describes being ordered to use the mine detector when they came across a suspected anti-tank mine field even though he didn't know how to use it. He was terrified when he was walking and was relieved when other troops arrived and took over.
Hiding Under a Bull
While on patrol there was a tip from a local that there was a Chinese soldier hiding in a house they had just searched. There was a cow shed attached to the main house. The local Korean civilian pointed to a bull and when Tony White poked the bull a Chinese soldier who was hiding in straw underneath the bull bolted out of the house. The Chinese soldier was shot in the leg by one of the British soldiers who was about a hundred yards away.
Tony White discussed how hostilities continued after there was a cease fire and the process of laying mines. They could not see Chinese soldiers during the day with planes, but knew they were there because of gunfire at night. He laid explosives at one point in a big pit and saw a lot of the land collapse around it and realized The Chinese were hiding in tunnels during the day.