Veteran Stories:
Robert Faulkner

Army

  • Private Robert Faulkner (at bottom) with Privates McNeil (top left) and O'Neil while in Korea.

    Robert Faulkner
  • Canadian soldiers with Bren light machine gun and Korean Augmentation to Commonwealth (KATCOM) troops. Hill 159, July 1953.

    Robert Faulkner
  • The conditions of Canadian positions on Hill 159 in Korea.

    Robert Faulkner
  • A Canadian soldier aiming an army issue revolver.

    Robert Faulkner
  • A Canadian Sherman tank on Hill 187. 1953.

    Robert Faulkner
  • Communist propaganda material targeting United Nations troops.

    Robert Faulkner
  • Communist propaganda material targeting United Nations troops.

    Robert Faulkner
  • Communist propaganda material targeting United Nations troops.

    Robert Faulkner
  • Communist propaganda targeting United Nations troops.

    Robert Faulkner
  • Robert Faulkner at a Memory Project event in Ottawa, Ontario. August 2012.

    Robert Faulkner
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"What they do is they fire two mortar bombs and then when they’re screaming in, they drop in another one. And once there’s two explosions somebody will get up and run to better cover and that third one sometimes gets you."

Transcript

[Hill] 187 is a finger that ran out into no-man’s land. If you’re sitting on top of 187 you got a nice position up there because this finger is quite long. And the finger is about 93 metres, the top of it, and that’s where Charlie Company was and that’s where Dog Company [3 RCR] was going and we were there for a month and a half on that position and we were just about wiped out too. It was getting to be tough on everybody.

Well black humour sets in because you’re trying to relieve tension. Anything that happened to somebody, it was funny. Not injured but like me sitting on the throne, the latrine and when I came back and I’m still holding my pants and I’m running in a bunker. We’re on C-rations and everybody bitches about them so he’s the cook of the day. Everybody took turns. We’d throw all the rations, different rations in a pot we had and we’d cook it and then you can’t bitch about it because everybody got the same thing. McCain, he’s looking, he said, “We heard there’s shells coming in,” and he looked at me and he saw me holding my pants. You ran into the ammunition bunker because it was right across from the latrine. And what they do is they fire two mortar bombs and then when they’re screaming in, they drop in another one. And once there’s two explosions somebody will get up and run to better cover and that third one sometimes gets you. So I waited for the third one in the bunker and once the third one came in – and they never changed that pattern. So I took off to my bunker and then McCain laughed. He was serving his own meal. The other guys in the section were eating and he put his on his bunk and he’s serving mine, he’s laughing so hard at me that he sat in his dinner. So everybody starts laughing because that’s kind of a silly thing but it was release from tension. What happened to me on the throne, on the latrine, and they thought that was funny, but it wasn’t really funny, but to us it was.

In January [1953], we’re up in The Hook. We’re a reserve company and the reserve company again, we seemed to get reserved a lot because we seem to have more casualties than everybody as a company. So we had to do all the patrols from December, January and February plus do any wiring that had to be done when it got blown out in the front position. And we had this patrol on January 8th. There’s a knoll running off from the position from the Chinese position and somebody’s been spotting a light there off and on, so they wanted to investigate it. So we were at Dog Company, got the patrol. We’re broken up, not everybody went out in Dog Company, but there’s about 30 of us and we’re split in two sections. I was in one section and a buddy of mine, [Bernard Ancel] “Newfie” MacDonald, he was out there. And what happened was our section was the cavalry. If they got into trouble, we’d come forward to help them. So the way the routine was, there should be five minute barrage on this position, then MacDonald’s part of the patrol would sweep the hill to see what was on it, then retreat and then three minutes barrage to cover the retreat. So we all went back and we’re feeling good and nothing really happened and we’re quite happy. Everybody’s talking and we had a bottle of rum, everybody got a swig of it and then somebody said, “Hey Newfie. You’re being awful quiet.” Because he is a real talker and this guy always had me laughing so hard, great stories, a real true Newfoundlander. He was a storyteller and jokes. He’s from an outport, isolated ports, they did away with them. They closed them up. So we’re all back and all of a sudden, no Newfie. We checked and waited and then the lieutenant leading the patrol got on the radio and called in, “We’re missing a man. Should we go out to look for him?” And they said, “No because you might get ambushed because – coming back. Maybe he got lost and he’ll find his way back in.” Never and we think he got caught in the barrage leaving, maybe he made a wrong turn or something because as far as I know his body was never found.

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