birdguy

Korea (Not flight sim related)

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Posted (edited)

With Korea in the news these days I thought I would post one of the stories from my Marine Corps service collection during the Korean War way back when...

The Patrol

Note: This was related to me by those who were actually on the patrol but I am writing it in the first person as if I was present and the last paragraph is my take on it.  I had been on such patrols but they were mostly just a walk in brushy hillsides without making contact with anyone.

The cease fire was on.  The talks at Panmunjom were progressing and for some reason unknown to us a two week cease fire was in effect but we still had to go out on patrols.

We were a few kilometers from our base walking slowly through the brush bitching about this and that when we saw a Chinese patrol coming our way. We were instantly on alert.

We knew they had seen us too because their conversations in Chinese had stopped.  We were looking at them and they were looking at us.

The knot in my stomach tightened.  We were wondering if they knew about the cease fire or if they would honor it.  We didn’t think highly of the Chinese, or Gooks as we called them.  I wondered if they had a derogatory name in Chinese for us.  I imagine they did.

We approached each other cautiously and suddenly we were face to face.  I think all of us, they as well as us, were wishing we weren’t there. 

Then one of them smiled and in sign language, bringing two fingers close to his mouth, asking for acigarette.  Our patrol leader took a pack of smokes out of his pocket and offered one of them to the Chinese soldier.  He took it and our patrol leader motioned for the rest of them to take a cigarette too.

Then we all started smiling at each other. We sat down in sort of a circle and cautiously put our weapons down.  The Chinese did the same.

Soon we were talking to each other in sign language, or more like hand gestures.  Sometimes we would all be laughing,

One of our guys pulled out his wallet and passed a picture of his girl friend around to the Chinese soldiers. They passed it around among themselves and they were smiling and laughing and making lewd gestures.  Then a couple of them took pictures out of their pockets and we passed them around among ourselves.  We looked the pictures of the Chinese girls and looked up and smiled and nodded approval.

The encounter lasted just about fifteen minutes.  Then we all got up, picked up and shouldered our weapons, an started back to our base.

We hadn’t gone but a few steps when we heard one of the Chinese whistle.  We looked back and they were waving to us.  We waved back.

You know, they looked different than we did.  They spoke a language we didn’t understand.  They were the enemy.  But they were also us.  Soldiers who wished they were someplace else...someplace called home.   And none of us really knew why we were there.

Noel

Edited by birdguy
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Noel,

Thank you for your service and sharing the story, and your reflection upon it.

It is greatly appreciated

Stephen

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I live in New Zealand that is filled with Backpackers from around the world, the carefree of the youth sharing ciggies and beer and having adventures with each other in a far away place from where they come from too. They are very lucky to have this freedom and they don't realize of course as they take it for granted. 

Thanks Noel as well for everything you did so that the next generation didn't have to, if only these kids could realize this.

And great story Noel, I can just picture it.

Cheers

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Posted (edited)

"You know, they looked different than we did.  They spoke a language we didn’t understand.  They were the enemy.  But they were also us.  Soldiers who wished they were someplace else...someplace called home.   And none of us really knew why we were there."

I wish my father were here to read this Noel. I'm sure he could speak to all of it. I never knew my dad. He died on Guadalcanal two months before I was born. May God bless you, and the Corps, and every single one of those souls who have served our country.....Doug

Edited by W2DR
edditted becuase i kant spel.............
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Thank you for your service. I am currently stationed over here now.

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It is the 65th Anniversary of the signing of the armistice. The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Ottawa is a continuous supporter of the Canadian Korean vets and pays homage to the nearly 27,000 Canadians who fought there and over 500 who died. One of our Senators, Yonah Martin who was born in Seoul is dedicated to honoring our Korean war vets and fostering Korean / Canadian relations. The Korean people will never forget the effort of so many from nations far away to protect them when they needed help.They are so ever grateful.

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Even though it wasn't a victory it was a war that brought positive results.

I recall liberties in Seoul where we carried our rifles and walked the streets of a semi-devastated city.  But look at what became of our efforts.  A thriving metropolis and a country producing and exporting automobiles.

Chalk one up for our side.

Noel

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Well Sam, I can easily picture how you chose your screen name... :biggrin:

I spent 13 months in Camp Casey, Korea as a 31E20 (Field Radio Repair). Well actually the first four months were in Camp Hovey, which was (is still?) immediately adjacent to Camp Casey, as near as makes no difference! Aside from the misery of winter when the Hawk was out in full force, I thoroughly enjoyed my assignment there. I actually 'begged' to be allowed to stay! :tongue:1bdd6ab6549d319b4e0123befb3e2001.jpg

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28 minutes ago, n4gix said:

Well Sam, I can easily picture how you chose your screen name... :biggrin:

I spent 13 months in Camp Casey, Korea as a 31E20 (Field Radio Repair). Well actually the first four months were in Camp Hovey, which was (is still?) immediately adjacent to Camp Casey, as near as makes no difference! Aside from the misery of winter when the Hawk was out in full force, I thoroughly enjoyed my assignment there. I actually 'begged' to be allowed to stay! :tongue:1bdd6ab6549d319b4e0123befb3e2001.jpg

Rodger on the screen name. I must say I was ready to leave after 12 months but, I did have some good times while there. We would get a lot of Army Dustoff choppers through Kunsan. In fact they gave me a ride from Soul when I got there. Saved me from a very bumpy and long bus ride. My new boss had told me to check with them when I got to Soul and sure enough they picked me up and took me to the parking spot number 1 in front of Base Ops which is where I was going to work.

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48 minutes ago, sightseer said:

"Lefty's"?

Yeah, you know, the guys that throw the baseball with their left hand!😉  Otherwise one would have to think he was making a political statement which is REALLY not permitted on the forums here.😱

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sightseer said:

"Lefty's"?

When someone says 'The Left Coast', they mean the one on the left, nothing to do with Polytics 😄

Edited by Matthew Kane

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57 minutes ago, SpiritFlyer said:

AVSIM is the only place I know of where there is an attempt, as imperfect as it may be, to put aside the differences that would otherwise drive us apart. Please, just let such comments go.

Thank you Stephen. I quite deliberately chose to let that part of the commentary slide, with the perhaps futile hope that it would not generate more friction and that it wouldn't derail an otherwise enjoyable thread. :dry:

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Those hills look mighty familiar Fr Bill.

Noel

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14 hours ago, birdguy said:

Those hills look mighty familiar Fr Bill.

Noel

I'm not surprised they look familiar. Of course, all hills look pretty much alike in my experience. After hiking for several dozen miles though, they all feel like they're all going uphill, even when going down!

Those Quonset Huts were miserable quarters; they were hotter than the hinges of Hades in the summer, and freezing cold in the winter! Ah well, it beat the dickens out of canvas tents at least. I've seen pictures of the housing these days and they are really nice with air-conditioning and modern amenities. :biggrin:

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We owe a massive debt to the men and women who fought in past wars and those who today join the forces to keep us safe, it's so sad that a some of the younger generations do not seem to realize the price paid and the price being paid by our troops for the freedom they enjoy today, so from me a big thank you to all the men and women in our forces

Peter

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They don't all look alike Fr Bill.

Betty and I go hiking every Thursday in the Sacramento Mountains about 70 miles west of Roswell.  Those hills are covered with Douglas fir and pines and aspen.  We did almost 8 miles last week.

While Roswell is sweltering in 100+ degrees almost every day a respite to the high altitude cooling at 7000-9000ft is a day's relief.

Noel

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