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Ambushed First Night

Heroes Remember

Ambushed First Night

My first battle experience was going out on patrol at night and on my first patrol I was ambushed. Being ambushed is something I don’t wish for anyone to have to suffer through, to go through let’s put it this way. But it just happens and in spite of the game, you know, night operations and so on. You are trained to do ambushing yourself. Personally it had many aspects. When I joined my platoon, most of the platoon people in my platoon were Veterans by that time. They had been there over six months. They knew the game. They knew how it was. And there you are a new lieutenant and say well who is he? But that’s part of it and the question is not to impose yourself but is to win their confidence. Really you had to prove yourself. And to prove yourself you don’t go overboard and expose them. That’s not the way to do it that’s for sure. And you don’t overdue it yourself either. But you have to react to a situation and during that particular patrol I was lucky that this was happening in pitch darkness that lasts about five minutes and everything is over in five minutes. And there’s been hand to hand fighting. People are scratching. I have five wounded, three of them can’t walk. How do we get out of that situation? We are about a mile away and so on. All that training and then the adrenalin comes out and you say, “Okay do it!” And fortunately I had good guys who had been there before me. And I said, “Okay I’m part of them now!” They have accepted me and they’re mine. And I guess that’s the worst, no not the worst, the big challenge of a young officer has to do is to get the confidence of his man.

While on patrol, Mr. Charland shares his experiences in keeping control of his men during a harsh battle at night while on patrol.

Claude Charland

Mr. Claude Charland was born February 27, 1929 in Montreal, Quebec. As an only child and born during the Great Depression, Mr. Charland was placed in a boarding school in hopes of experiencing a better life. After obtaining a high level of education, he made the choice to join the military. In 1948, he took part in the Canadian Officer Training Corp and underwent infantry training in Camp Borden followed by additional training in Val Cartier. In 1950 the Korean War started and Mr. Charland became an instructor for francophone officer recruits. In 1951, joining as a callout, Mr. Charland chose to be part of the Korean War. He joined with the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment and upon retirement held rank of Lieutenant. Mr. Charland holds great pride for his service during Korean War. In 2018 during the Korean Olympics, Mr. Charland had the great honour and privilege to be the torch bearer as part of Team Canada and carried the torch 100 metres through the rink grounds where he had served and played hockey many years before. Mr. Charland retired from the military in 1982 and remains very active in his community.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 23, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Claude Charland
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Royal 22e Régiment
Infantry Officer

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