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First Action in Hong Kong

Heroes Remember

First Action in Hong Kong

Part of them went up to what they called Gin Drinkers Line up in the new territories, part of us went, we were scattered all over the Island of Hong Kong because I remember the Jap, the morning the Japanese struck, I’d been sent to guard a reservoir (I forget the name of it for the moment). But anyway, it was a nice, bright sunny day, perfect temperature and nobody was around, no corporal, sergeants or anyone around so I’m laying on my back with my tin hat over protecting my eyes and watching this reservoir. I don’t know what I was supposed to guard it against but anyway all of a sudden a little airplane came out of the blue and zoomed down over the reservoir and drops a string of bombs and the last one was well past the reservoir, part way up the hill towards where I was and I got covered with gravel and dirt and crap. And I looked up and I could see these, what we called fried eggs painted on the bottom of the wings so I knew there was something going on. It didn’t seem normal manoeuvres to me.

Mr. Gyselman describes being on sentry duty at a reservoir when it is bombed by the Japanese. One bomb is close enough to shower him with dirt and gravel.

Harry Gyselman

Harry Gyselman was born on February 11, 1920 in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. His father left the insurance business to farm, but went broke during the depression. After his father’s death, Mr. Gyselman worked odd jobs to support his family. Initially interested in joining the Air Force, he opted to join a friend who was enlisting with the Winnipeg Grenadiers. Mr. Gyselman was a truck driver during the battle of Hong Kong, and was in the POW camp in Niigata, Japan when the war ended. He has the distinction of being the first Canadian POW to reach mainland North America after the war.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
January 1, 2000
Person Interviewed:
Harry Gyselman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Truck Driver

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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