Veteran Stories:
Jim Ostrup

Army

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"We actually weren't sent to the lines, we were just going up and down hills, and more or less the Chinese had just left...the fires were still warm and everything. Well, the first experience there was a sniper and we couldn’t get around this hill, and we were stopped for, I think it was, 24 hours."

Transcript

We actually weren't sent to the lines, we were just going up and down hills, and more or less the Chinese had just left, and that was about it. Just like clearing hills, that’s all. Sometimes we'd come up on the hills where they just finished eating their rice, and the fires were still warm and everything. Well, the first experience was there was a sniper and we couldn’t get around this hill, and we were stopped for, I think it was, 24 hours, I really can't remember what it was, anyhow, but we couldn’t go any farther and, finally, we did get around there. I think, it was… One guy got… I don’t know if it was that hill or not, shot in the head. He was from Edmonton, and I had to get him out of there, and after that we were off again.

We went through this railway tunnel, it was quite long and the Chinese had been there, or Koreans, or whatever they were, and we come out and come around a kind of a corner, and here was 75 dead Americans on their hands and knees. They got burnt out of their tents, and that was an awful sight. Now that was in the paper… When I got home they showed me that. And it was true as can be. I know I carried my friend down on a stretcher on the 25th of April, and it… It wasn’t a good sight, you know. It wasn’t a good feeling. It was terrible. One fellow we carried down, he never had a mark on him. It was a concussion grenade* of some kind. Yeah, I got slightly wounded on the 25th of April in the head and the nose, but it wasn’t very serious. I did go down [to] the MO [medical officer], but things were okay. Well, I was out for five minutes, my buddy said. I don’t remember nothing. They thought I was dead, but I wasn’t.

 

*When detonated, concussion grenades created a shockwave. The effects of a concussion grenade’s blast were designed to stun, though fatalities did occur when targets were in close proximity.

 

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