Language selection


Gerald Gowing

Gerald Gowing saw heavy action in Korea, including the Battle at Kapyong (Hill 677), where his regiment held the line and was later presented with a US Presidential Unit Citation for bravery.

Listowel, Ontario

Korean War

Gerald Edward Gowing was born in 1931 in Listowel, Ontario. At the age of nine, Mr. Gowing was taken in by the Stratford Division of the Children's Aid Society because his mother had passed away and his father was unable to take care of him. Looking for adventure, and to take part in something with purpose, Mr. Gowing joined the army in October 1950, requesting to serve in Korea. Sent to Calgary, Alberta, for basic training at the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry barracks, he was only there a few weeks before shipping overseas as a reinforcement Bren gunner. Mr. Gowing saw heavy action in Korea, including the Battle at Kapyong (Hill 677) for which the entire battalion was later presented with a Presidential Unit Citation, a very rare honour for a Canadian unit. Reluctant to return to Canada, Mr. Gowing left Korea in May 1952 after his tour had ended. He left the military in November of 1952, but returned in November of 1955 to serve as a signaler for three years before being discharged.

Heroes Remember interview

View all of Gerald Gowing's videos
Under Fire - HTML5 Transcript/Captions

Interviewer: And walking up those muddy mountains,

were you under fire at those time?

Oh, yes.

Interviewer: So, that's another added part of the adventure?


Interviewer: So, explain to me if you can, describe to me

walking up a muddy slope, nothing to grab onto, and you're under

fire. What was that like?

It's pretty nerve-racking, but, but as a, as a youngster you

really don't . . . It really don't make much difference, no

matter where you are, if you're under fire, I guess. It don't

really matter where you are. But going up some of these

mountains, you're on your belly some of the time. Some of the

time, you're on your feet. But when you're under fire, it's,

it's scary. Don't ever think it's not scary. I was scared,

believe me. Like, when you're under fire, you never know if

you're gonna get hit or not. You're hoping you never do. You get

down as low as you can, if you happen to be in a slit trench and

a, and a mortar bomb comes over, or something like that. You

never know for sure until it goes by. You can hear the whistle,

and when it quits whistling, you never know where it is. But as

long as it's whistling, going over top of you, it's still going.

So, you know that you're okay, there. And when they . . . when I

was under fire, at sometimes they were rolling, the, the North

Koreans and the Chinese, were rolling their

grenades and stuff down the hill.

Interviewer: Now, all of a sudden, being young and foolish and

adventurous looks different from when you were under fire?

Yeah, you know you're adventurous, but you never realize what

you're really getting into. War is hell.

Where they served

Date modified: