Veteran Stories:
Robert Kingstone

Army

  • Canadian artillery guns in action.

    Sidney Fox
  • Canadian artillery guns in action.

    Sidney Fox
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"We discovered that the US were sending their troops into the Korean War with about six weeks of training and we were determined, I guess, with our eyes hearkening back to Hong Kong and other events, that this wasn’t the best way to raise a force."

Transcript

Well, they were interested in, once a decision had been taken, that we were going to take part in the Korean War.  They were interested in their raising of troops and equipment.  And again, this fell mostly on the army.  We got off to a rather bad start when we kept getting the Minister trying to run the whole thing himself, and the recruiting of people for the force.  We supported General Rockingham being appointed brigade commander and the people who were selected as the first commanding officers of the Patricia’s [Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry], the RCR [Royal Canadian Regiment] and the Vandoos [Royal 22e Régiment].  And we were very lucky, that this being just 1950, there were still an awful lot of very experienced people around who had been through World War Two, but had not been too happy being civilians.  So, we managed to recruit pretty quickly.  Perhaps not all the best, not in the best way.  But we did it fairly rapidly and we got the troops off to the United States to Yakima where they could do some training and I think that was a very wise move.

We discovered that the US were sending their troops into the Korean War with about six weeks of training and we were determined, I guess, with our eyes hearkening back to Hong Kong and other events, that this wasn’t the best way to raise a force.  So, we dug our toes in and managed to get the time for Rocky to assemble the brigade properly in Yakima before they were sent to Korea, with the exception of the Patricias and Jim Stone, who went off ahead of everybody else.

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