Monday, August 10, 2015

    Cyril “Cy” Carney

    Trip Over to Korea

    We, we went from Shilo, Manitoba to Seattle, Washington and boarded an American troop ship. There were 4,000 troops on that ship plus, I’m not sure the figure, I think 2,000 crew probably and we boarded and we were 19 days on board. We landed at Yokohama yeah it was Yokohama, and then loaded some supplies and American troops. We were there a day and then we sailed from there to Korea. So it was 21 days on board the ship. I was sick for a big part of it, seasick, with that many people on board you know you may feel alright until you see someone else. It wasn’t a pleasant trip but, you know, we had lots of recreation on the ship, movies and things to do. I guess the one thing that stands out is that after the morning get up for breakfast and you weren’t allowed back in your quarters. You had to stay on deck for the rest of the day like. You’re out there in the wind and rain sometimes, it was miserable Well, the evenings they had movies for us and the meals weren’t too bad, considering. It was great memories you know, met a lot of nice people. I guess what stands out too on that trip there were a lot of Americans that were conscripted. And they were there against their will on their way to Korea and a lot of them just out of university with a few weeks training and they didn’t want to go. Whereas Canadian troops had already volunteered more or less and we were trained soldiers. On this big ship we couldn’t go into Inchon. We landed in Inchon so we had to board landing barges. We went down the side of a ship on nets into landing barges and went ashore to Inchon and the thing about that I landed there on May the 3rd, my 21st birthday. Twenty-one years old on May the 3rd. The day we landed I haven’t forgotten that part. We had a short time on land, in Inchon then we went by truck up to the..., I don’t know where in Korea but south of Seoul any way and we got our units and our area to stay. We moved about five times in Korea.

    Bothered by the Children and Poverty

    Interviewer: What was your first impression of the country? Poverty. Kids, under-nourished kids. The smell, you know, the smell, but the kids bothered me. A very poor country. You could tell they were, you know, in poverty and most of them were under-nourished. A lot of their homes were demolished, of course, from the shelling and they were just people that were, you know, lost and on their own with no means of work or food, a lot of them. It’s just a bad situation where we had, you know, Canadians have so much.

    Living Quarters and Equipment

    We didn’t have the best of quarters or the equipment. We had a lot of equipment that was Second World War, like our uniforms and rifles. Living quarters were pretty rough. At one time a friend of mine just dug a hole in the side of the hill and sand bagged and we stayed in there for a couple of months I guess with the mud walls. It was during the monsoon season, the walls were falling in on us more or less, you know. We had a kit bag full of damp clothes all the time, nowhere else to go, and then we’d, oh we’d do some scrounging and get bits and pieces of American pieces of canvas and sometimes we’d get a fairly comfortable place. This one place in particular we scrounged and got a good piece of canvas for the roof and the windshield of a jeep for our window and a wooden door made of a.... The beer we used to get, come in wooden cartons, so we’d salvage them and make doors and things out of the wood.

    The Role of a Signalman

    We were in headquarters behind the lines and being attached to the artillery they had observations posts that they kept a look on the enemy lines and so we had to maintain communications between headquarters and also the guns, the 105 millimetres that they used. We had to have lines to them and from them up to the front lines. So if the observation officers spotted a target, they’d call back by phone because the wireless, too many hills, by phone and they’d call for the artillery to fire so many rounds on the North Koreans. So we had to maintain those lines 24 hours a day. Just thinking about lines there, one of the big problems with our lines was especially in the dry weather they’d be just laying on the ground and quite occasionally the grass would be set on fire for some reason and that would ruin our lines so we’d have to start... guess the part was, a lot of the other countries they had lines. They’re just a small little black telephone. They’d have them on the ground, course they’d all be mixed up and we’d have to go to a central post and try to sort out, you know, our lines and get communications back again.

    The death of Cyril “Cy” Carney of Newcastle Centre, NB occurred Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at the Veterans Health Unit, Fredericton, NB. Born in Jemseg, NB, he was the son of the late Walter and Cora (Dykeman) Carney. 

No comments:

Post a Comment