Veteran Stories:
Douglas “Doug” Finney

Army

  • Mr. Doug Finney at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa. June 2013.

    Doug Finney
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"I saw them hit a self-propelled Russian tank one day. Right square on, he called the target down and I relayed it, and he hit her square right on with a shell."

Transcript

I was born and raised in Kingston, Ontario.  My family came out of Kingston.  Grandpa Finney, and my father and my uncle, were all career men in the army, and Gramp was riding master at RMC [Royal Military College of Canada] in 1910, so we came up through the military.  I joined the army, I was in there for three years, did 14 months in Korea.  When I graduated out of Kingston Collegiate, I finally, thought, “Well, I gotta get a decent job” and that’s when I joined the army, because dad was overseas.  So, I went down to Kingston and joined the signal corps and when I was in Korea, I was attached to the 81st Field Regiment which turned out later to be the 4th RCHA.

We were about, I’d say three miles, sometimes, behind the lines, the artillery were, and, my job was, as a wireless operator, was to call down targets.  The colonel or the observation post officers called it, and I relayed them to our regiment and also relayed them to 25 CIB [25th Canadian Infantry Brigade headquarters].

I saw quite a bit.  I saw them hit a self-propelled Russian tank one day.  Right square on, he called the target down and I relayed it, and he hit her square right on with a shell.  You know, when we went over, I don’t think any more than about, there was 48 signal guys going over there, and most of the officers and corporals were all Second – WW2 veterans, and all the young guys like us, like I turned 20 when I was over there.  We really had no experience, but these sergeants and corporals did, because they were in WW2, but, it was something; an experience I guess that you’ll never forget.  Things you saw.

I think the only paved spot I can remember seeing when we first got there was the dead centre of Seoul, and the rest of it was all country roads.  See, they didn’t have cattle at that time, they had ox, but they didn’t have cattle, and, if they carried anything the Papa-sans [Korean male elders] used to have this A-frame they’d put over their back; they carried different things here and there, and they’d walk and do it, too.  But, after going back the first time in 1993 I couldn’t believe how that country [Republic of Korea] had changed, you know.  And then, I was back in 2003 and of course, last year, or I should say this year, in April.  It was – they’re still progressing – great country.  The people are fantastic, too, they’ve been good to us.  You know, after the Second World War, the Dutch people were so great to our people, the Korean people are just the same to our veterans; they look after us.  And, we’re now happy to say that we went there in the first place because of the advanced programme that they’ve got and how they’ve accomplished things, you know, it’s great.

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