Veteran Stories:
Richard Engel

Army

  • Mr. Richard Engel, August 2011.

  • Sergeant Richard Engel (left) and his brother during the Korean War.

    Richard Engel
  • Members of Richard Engel's platoon, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 1950.

    Richard Engel
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"And I was back in my bunker after last light and the telephone rang, the connecting. And it was one of these two guys, the quiet one. And he said, sergeant, they’re shooting at us."

Transcript

I got two recruits had come over and I was really short. My platoon was down to about 16 men by then. I got these two recruits, both out of Toronto, one was all mouth, the other was a quiet little guy. So at last light, stand to in the lines that our trenches were dug. We had consolidated and dug in. And covering the position that the corporal had put these two recruits in was toward the front French. But at any rate, the telephoning, it was, you know, (…) the rations were on sea rations. And I was back in my bunker after last light and the telephone rang, the connecting. And it was one of these two guys, the quiet one. And he said, sergeant, they’re shooting at us. And I said, no, no, they’re not shooting at you, I said, that’s our artillery shooting over the valley and onto the Chinese positions, hung up. Rang again about two minutes later, sergeant, they’re shooting at us. I said, no, I just told you, it’ll be over your head. About five minutes later, it rang again and he said, sergeant, they shot me. Holy shit, you know, you wheel up. And he had been, in the leg and he’d been getting down lower in his trench. And his leg stuck up and the round had landed in it. Now, the artillery that we had had been taken over from the Americans first and then taken over by the second. So the barrels were all buggered up and the rounds coming out of it weren’t. So they were landing on our positions. Well, the guns had to be replaced, barrels had to be replaced on the 25 pounders, 17 pounders (the Ordnance Quick-Firing 25 punder and the Ordnance Quick-Firing 17 pounder guns) . But they were hitting our positions. You know, they were behind the line two miles, three miles and they’d be hitting our positions when they landed.
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