Bert Picotte with two orphaned Korean children. 1952.Bert Picotte
Bert Picotte (left) with a friend in Korea, 1952.Bert Picotte
Bert Picotte's dog tags, first received when he joined the army in 1950.Bert Picotte
Bert Picotte. 2013.Bert Picotte
South Korean proclamation of Bert Picotte as an Ambassador for Peace. 22 October 1985.Bert Picotte
Bert Picotte while stationed in Germany in 1956.Bert Picotte
"I forgot how many rounds – they used to tell us how many rounds we fired... I think it was around 34-3,500 rounds of ammunition."
At night, especially, it was quite a bit, going on. During the day, it was quieter. A few attacks, but nothing serious during the day. Everybody seemed to wait it at night. Well, we had one in … around the beginning of May in 1953, that was bad. I think it was one night. But that was one that the truck had to bring in ammunition. And as they unloaded, we were firing as fast as they unload. Everything was unloaded. It was all night, all night firing. That was one of the big ones we had when I was there. Well, the second one, I guess. So it was, I forgot how many rounds – they used to tell us how many rounds we fired, I think it was, I’m not sure now, I think it was around 34-3,500 rounds of ammunition.
Especially the enemy, there was a lot of them that didn’t make it. But, Canadian, the infantry, I forgot now, we were supporting the Royal 22nd [Régiment] and the RCR [The Royal Canadian Regiment]. And, I know they had casualties but I couldn’t say. I think I knew at the time, that we were told, but I don’t know, I’d be wrong now because I forgot what it was, but they had, infantry had quite a few casualties. I don’t think we, the artillery, that I know of, had any that night.
If I remember correctly, it was on a Sunday, but I wouldn’t swear to that. They told us that by nine o’clock tonight, it’d be the ceasefire – although, we fired all day. And right up to the last minute, who was going to be the last one to fire the last round in Korea, type of thing. And, sure enough, at nine o’clock, or I think it was nine o’clock, everything came to a standstill. Then, we were told, weren’t allowed to go because – past no man’s land – because you didn’t want soldier to mix with the Chinese or the North Korean, which wasn’t too many North Korean left, anyway. But, of course, some that did go through and enjoy themselves, I guess, with the Chinese. I wasn’t one of them, but I know some did.