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Repairing Communication lines

Heroes Remember

Repairing Communication lines

They took us out and showed us where all their lines were, and all their stations were, where all them come in and (inaudible), so you could test, and showed us where they were all tracked to and then you had to memorize these stupid things. Of course that wasn't my job so much, it was the sergeant's job, he had to remember where all these were and they would get blown out at night, you had to go and repair ‘em. And lots of time the only way you could find them is just go along the lines and then get to one station to another and then try and pick through, and then you find out which line is blown out, and you'd had to, but usually it wasn't just one line, it's a whole cluster of lines went out. At that time, most of my job was taking the guys out and staying with them with the vehicle and making sure, and if they needed help then I had to get and jump out and go help too. But if they hollered for tools or a load of reel on your back, there's backpacks we had and they used to have a reel and you'd go and tie it in and then go and lay a line, find the other side of the break and you'd lay back till you got in the amount of lines you needed. While I was doing that someone else would be splicing and getting them ready and the communications back in order. This would take you a few hours, some nights we spent a whole night out and sometimes just a couple of hours but, depending. Black with no lights, when you're doing your splicing you dropped a bunch of, well we just had our rain gear put over them with a light there and do it so it didn't shine. More aware of what's around you in the daytime than night, well I guess you're aware of, you're hoping nobody's around but. In the daytime, well you can see, it's a little, it's a little easier because you can see what you're doing but you got to keep your head down all the time because you're not sure whether some of theirs patrols get through or not.

Mr. Tupper talks about what it was like to fix communication lines in the night and in the daytime.

John Tupper

Mr. Tupper was born September 4th, 1929 in Kingston, Nova Scotia. No stranger to the sacrifices of war, his father was wounded during his service in the Second World War. This however did not deter Mr. Tupper from enlisting in the Signal Corps in 1950. He trained as a driver and a lineman, and his first posting brought him to Fort Churchill where he tested equipment in the barrens under severe cold. After this Mr. Tupper went home and was married, but his time home was cut short as he was called to Korea in 1952, having to leave behind his wife and first son who was only two months old. Once in Korea he was responsible for repairing communication lines that had come under fire, and even worked through the attack on Hill 355. Unfortunately Mr.Tupper was wounded in a gasoline explosion and was in hospitals for three months before returning home. Mr.Tupper recovered from his injuries and stayed with the army until 1956 with no regrets, and now lives in Whitehorse. His legacy of service is continued by his daughter who is currently serving with the Canadian Forces Signal Corps Unit.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Tupper
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
1st Division Signal Corps

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