In other words, it was a trap. So we withdrew. The next day, we went back, during the day. He was gone and we never heard from him again. He never came back with the prisoners and that bothered me.
Mr. Joseph Ganin is a Korean War veteran who went overseas with the 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment. He enlisted in 1951, and also served in Germany. He left the army in 1974.
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The Chinese didn’t have any planes. So when they showed their heads, the American planes came. The Chinese did all their attacks at night, in the dark. During the day we slept, ate and rested. Of course, there was guard duty and all of that. At night, everyone was ready. Just before nightfall, we would all be waiting. It’s more dangerous to advance at twilight. The same thing for the morning because even if you think they can’t do it, it doesn’t mean that they won’t. So everything took place at night, in the trenches, and we conducted patrols.
We conducted various patrols. Normally, when we patrolled, we took half of one platoon and then half of another platoon, and then they went out. Or three of us would go out to see what was happening in the field. That would all be decided by Level B (the military leaders behind the frontlines). It depended on what the bosses wanted, and what the senior bosses wanted. They would decide how big they wanted the patrols to be. And when their orders came down to us, they would say, “We want a reconnaissance patrol and we want to know what’s happening here, here and here.” Or they would ask for a fighting patrol. They would tell us what they wanted and where to go.
(Soldier Baker’s injury)
I did 17 fighting patrols. Some were big and some were small. And I did eight or nine three-man reconnaissance patrols. During one of our fighting patrols, we lost (soldier) Baker. We lost him and when he went down, I went to see him and there were two of them. I was a bit further behind but I was the one with the first-aid kit and the large bandages. He had a hole in the head. We couldn’t see anything with the other (soldier) but he was unconscious. So me and another guy, we decided to bring him with us. We dragged him because they were still firing at us. We dragged him but anyway, he was dead. They told us that he was dead. So we left Baker there.
I was in Ottawa, I had come back. We had 60 days. We were supposed to have 30 days of leave per year. The only time I had 30 was then, plus 30 special days. I was at the Rideau movie theater in Ottawa with my girlfriend. On the screen, they showed the first liberated Canadian soldiers. And who came off the plane? Baker! I never got a chance to talk to him again after that, we never saw each other again. I didn’t go to see him to tell him that we had left him there, either. I guess he still has the bullet in his head, they never took it out.
(Interviewer): “You were certain that he was dead when you left him?” Yes, yes, that really bothered me.
(The death of Lance-Corporal Maurice Ladouceur, September 1952)
This is a guy from the 2nd (Battalion) who contracted a minor illness. They kept him there. He had to stay. The 2nd left (to go back to Canada) and they kept him there (transferred him to the 1st Battalion). They sent him back to the front and we were attacked. He had gone out (on a patrol), to an outpost. They sent him out on the frontline. In my opinion, they never should have done that, he had done his time. Anyway, he was at the outpost, I think Ladouceur was his name, but I’m not certain (Maurice Joseph Gaston Ladouceur from Saint-Jovite, disappeared, presumed dead, September 6, 1952).
We had an electrical minefield and we were being attacked from the side of the minefield. So we decided to go get them out of there. It was only supposed to be one patrol. Because there was a platoon in front of us and that’s where the action was taking place, so we approached from the side. When we arrived at the opening of the trail that was cleared, which we knew was cleared, he yelled out to us, “It’s an ambush!” In other words, it was a trap. So we withdrew. The next day, we went back, during the day. He was gone and we never heard from him again. He never came back with the prisoners and that bothered me.