Veteran Stories:
Ellsworth Hutchins

Army

  • Ellsworth Hutchins at a marker denoting the 38th Parallel in Korea.

    Ellsworth Hutchins
  • A soldier holding a skull wearing the beret and cap badge of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment. Korea, 1953-1954.

    Ellsworth Hutchins
  • M3 half-track vehicles in a Canadian motor pool. Korea, 1953-1954.

    Ellsworth Hutchins
  • Jeeps and Universal Carrier light armoured vehicles in a Canadian motor pool. Korea, 1953-1954.

    Ellsworth Hutchins
  • Korean labourers working in a rice field. Korea, 1953-1954.

    Ellsworth Hutchins
  • Canadian soldiers playing volleyball in camp. Korea, 1953-1954.

    Ellsworth Hutchins
  • Soldiers of The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada in Korea, 1953-1954.

    Ellsworth Hutchins
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"So I got halfway through and he was still standing out in the road and he hollered, he said, “You’re in a minefield.” "

Transcript

The Princess Pats,* we relieved.  They said it was going to start up again, wouldn’t hold.  So… We got up in our lines, I was in a support company, anti-tank platoon, and I had four half-tracks, three-quarter tonne truck, and a jeep.  And, the officer put me in charge of that, and thirty-some men.  We had to take our turn going on patrol in the night.  We’d leave at dark, just come on dark, and come back daylight.  You had to go up around the enemy territory, you know.

We was there about, I think a week, or it might have been two weeks or something.  And they called us out in the night, and they had big search lights, overlooking North Korea, and we thought the war started again, the firing, so, they rushed us all up to our trenches.  We was there all night and then the next day we come back to our tents.

We had turns taking a watch - there was an outpost, for support company, up on – by the trench.  And, two guys used to go up there and spend it from daylight ‘til dark.  And after we come back…  And there was a line going across.  There was three lines, three white lines.  We used to call it tape.  And that went from one side of Korea to the other side.  And the middle tape, that was no man’s land.  If we went to our first one, and then he went to the second one, he was all right in there, but if you stepped over that, that was no man’s land, you’d get shot.  And, for Chinaman coming this way, if he got in there, you know, his was that one there, and the second one, then you could fire at him.  And a couple times, I fired at some.  But we didn’t fire to kill them, just we fired behind - I fired at one fellow, one time, and he was running back up the hill, and you could see the dust flying where the bullets was hitting behind him.

Me and another guy just before we come home, we went down to Dog Company, to visit a friend from Digby [Nova Scotia] just up here, oh, three or four miles from where I am now.  But I haven’t seen him since I come back.  I don’t know if he’s dead or alive.  But, anyway, we went to visit him.  I guess about a week before we come back.  So coming back – then we had to come up a hill to get to where … it’s all hills there, we walk along the valley, the road.  Anyway, there’s this rice paddy, and stuff.  So, anyway, I told this other guy, said, “I’m gonna take a shortcut - let’s take a shortcut up across,” you know, “go up through the hill and don’t have to walk all around the road.”  So, I got halfway through and he was still standing out in the road and he hollered, he said, “You’re in a minefield.”  But, the next day I took the three-quarter tonne truck and drove where it was.  And the only thing saved me, was the mines were quite round – I don’t know if you’ve seen mines or not.  But, the gravel or the mud, and dirt and stuff, had all washed away from it, and, when I was walking I think maybe… see, if they had’ve been down in the ground, covered over, I might have stepped on one and got blew up.  But, anyway, it was right out of the ground, the dirt had washed away from them, so, I couldn’t step on them unless you lifted your foot way higher, something like that.  But I think, you know, that’s the only thing saved me.

*Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment

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