"I’d do it again in a minute. What I saw and what I hear about people, what people have done and everything, these young fellows from Afghanistan, they’ve lost their life for Canada."
Well, I started out in sea cadets and I enjoyed it very much. My dad is a Second War veteran and he was in the army and I knew a bit about the sea cadets. I was walking downtown one day and there was a chap looking with a big sign up there, join the Navy, and I said, okay, that’s a good idea. So I went home, I was only 17 and my dad said, I’ll sign the papers as long as you stay in the service as a career. Which I did.
The only time we got into sort of any action, when you see a junk that we didn’t know it was enemy or anything, and as soon as we fired at them. We also supported the army by lopping shells, as long as they were close enough, we could fire the shells in. And the funniest part I guess in a way about my career is that this one junk came alongside the ship and they were too close for our guns to fire at so two or three of us actually grabbed a shell, really heavy shell and we threw it and it went into the junk, it just went through it. It didn’t blow up, it just went right through it and we sunk it that way, so it was almost hilarious at the time what had happened.
In fact, it wasn’t until about three years ago that in fact, I go to the schools and speak to the kids in school, it wasn’t until three years ago that they decided to add the Korea vets to go to the schools and talk to them. And everybody talked, oh, Korea, that was only a conflict, it wasn’t really a war or anything, no. And actually, I can’t remember the date now or how many, I guess our worst thing about the Canadian casualties was when two trains were going out west and we lost several members when the trains collided [Canoe River Train Accident, 21 November 1950]. And these are guys that never even got to Korea.
I’d do it again in a minute. What I saw and what I hear about people, what people have done and everything, these young fellows from Afghanistan, they’ve lost their life for Canada.