Veteran Stories:
Wilson Christiansen

Navy

  • 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun. Library and Archives Canada.

    Library and Archives Canada.
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"I was honoured to serve in Korea, in the Navy. I’ll never forget that and I’ve had a good life in the Navy and certainly during our time in Korea."

Transcript

I was accepted in March the 2nd, 1951. From there, I went to basic training in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia and completing the training in July of 1951, I went as a, an Ordinary Seaman onboard the cruiser HMCS Ontario for my seamanship training. From there I completed a gunnery course and practical gunnery training. And successfully completed an AA course, an anti-aircraft gunners course.

Completing the course in practical firings, I went onboard HMCS Crusader. That would have been about February of 1952. We prepared the ship and we sailed in June of 1952, stopping in Pearl Harbor [Hawaii] for briefings, the officers and commanding officer had briefings of what to expect when we arrived on our destination. We outfitted the ship with, what do they call them now, the blackout curtains throughout the ship, to darken the ship. And sailing from Pearl Harbor, we were in a wartime state, manning our gun positions and other positions that were required for a 24 hour period.

We arrived, I believe it was Sasebo, Japan, in the latter part of June. There were several workups with other ships, a lot of meetings and so forth and I think pretty well September, that we would have started escorting carriers in the Yellow Sea, U.S. or British carriers and tasked with the bombarding of supply trains coming down from the north on the east coast of Korea.

A director in the ship is guiding the mounting and direction laying and training of the gun and once they were on target, then there’s a command of open fire and as a tray worker, the tray would be filled with the projectile and I would flip the tray over and it be continuous until we stopped, given the order to ceasefire. And in the morning, we’d see the results of our efforts. A photographer was onboard and he took pictures. We felt pretty good about it when the engagement was over, yeah.

We weren’t frightened. We knew each other right from basic training. The senior people were World War II veterans, they were the, the supervisors and the Ordinary Seamen and Able Seamen came into the Navy within two or three weeks. So we knew each other.

Well, I was honoured to serve in Korea, in the Navy. I’ll never forget that and I’ve had a good life in the Navy and certainly during our time in Korea. Yeah.

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