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At The Front

Heroes Remember

Well, I think that one thing that was most vivid in my memory was bunch of Americans that had been killed. Colonel Stone marched the whole battalion as we were moving up through where all the bodies and that were and, what had happened was, I don't know how many there was there but there was close to a hundred, and they'd got into their sleeping bags and went to sleep. And I would imagine they left people on guard but something happened and the North Koreans come in and killed them all, pretty well in their sleeping bags, bayoneted them and stuff like that. And the colonel wanted the battalion to look at this and think about it. Interviewer: What do you remember was the impact that that had on you personally? Pretty damn gruesome, you know, really, to see people half out of their sleeping bags and stuff like that. It was, it was pretty gruesome. That's why we never had sleeping bags. Interviewer: The PPCLI never had sleeping bags? We had blankets, two blankets. Interviewer: And the idea was that you'd be able to get out of those blankets quicker? You'd get out of them. Pretty tough trying to get out of one of them cocoon-type sleeping bags in a hurry.

The PPCLI arrive at the front line, just north of the city of Seoul. Mr. Nickerson recalls the gruesome sight that greeted them.

Ray Nickerson

Mr. Nickerson's father was a farmer and Veteran of the First World War. Mr. Nickerson was the second youngest of 10 children. Three of his older brothers served in the Second World War. He left school at the age of 16 and enlisted in the army with the PPCLI. His parents were not happy with this. After enlisting, Mr. Nickerson went to Curry Barracks in Calgary for basic training. He did his advanced training in Curry and in Wainwright, Alberta. In November 1950, his battalion was told they were going to Korea to serve with the U.N. force. Mr. Nickerson saw action near Pusan, Seoul and at Kapyong. While in Korea, Mr. Nickerson was wounded by a land mine. He was hospitalized for nine weeks. After his recovery, he returned to the front . Mr. Nickerson's tour of duty ended late in 1951 and he returned to Canada. He remained in the Canadian Army until his retirement in 1968.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ray Nickerson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

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