Veteran Stories:
Herbert Stickley

Army

  • In this iconic image of Canadians in the Korean War, Herbert Stickley is one of the two officers standing on the hill in the centre of the image overseeing the bombardment by 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.

    ID #21003 Credit: P.E. Tomelin / National Archives of Canada / PA-128280
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"This machine gunner opened up on us and I don’t think he hit anybody but we all hit the dirt and then I started to call artillery fire down on him and I got rid of him."

Transcript

After discharged from the services in October 1945, I joined the weather office in Lethbridge, Alberta, in December and then I took leave of absence in October 1950 to go to the Special Force, 2 RCHA [2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery] to Korea. And we went to, the regiment was in Shilo [Manitoba], we left Shilo about November and went down to Ft. Lewis [Washington]. As a matter of interest, the regiment was so large, we were in two sections and I was in the first section belonging to D Battery and RHQ [Regimental Headquarters]. The second section was in quite a terrible train wreck at Canoe River [British Columbia], where we lost quite a few people. A tremendous amount or I would say there was a lot of retreads that we called ourselves, Second World War types in the 2 RCHA, under Colonel Bailey was our CO [Commanding Officer]. And we had a very fine, efficient regiment.

When we got to Pusan [South Korea], we staged there and then went up and we joined the 25 Brigade under General Rockingham and then took part in the commonwealth division. We were quite efficient I think did a good job. And I was sent forward to be the forward observation officer with the, there was a two company patrol and I was sent forward as a FOO and we ran into a machine gunner who decided to upset us and I had quite a good time getting rid of him. And the patrol was led by a couple of infanteers and as they crossed the river, this machine gunner opened up on us and I don’t think he hit anybody but we all hit the dirt and then I started to call artillery fire down on him and I got rid of him. The only downtime we had, one time we came out of the line, we couldn’t take the guns, they didn’t have overabundance of guns so we didn’t stop. The one time they took us to, we just stayed in some spot off to the side for a couple of days to rest up I guess, we just stood ready to come back into the line and just didn’t do anything. So that was our rest.

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