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Dangerous Night Patrols

Heroes Remember

Dangerous Night Patrols

Well, I guess the first patrol I was on, it wasn't really a, a contact patrol. It was a wire laying of concertina and trip wires, barbed wire laying, and that, and that was probably a hundred yards out, and that, that was the very first one. We went out after dark and layed wire, trip wire or concertina wire, stuff like that. Interviewer: To go out into this No-man's-land at night, what was the normal procedure that the patrol would use in camouflage and in tactics? Well, you pretty well didn't have to camouflage too much cause you were pretty damn dirty to start with. You'd make sure you didn't have any noisy items in your pockets and stuff like that and you would strip down to the bare essentials as far as, you didn't wear packs and stuff like that, except your ammunition pouches and so forth, and grenades and that. And then you went out and they usually had mine fields out front, trip, trip mines and trip wires, and stuff like that, and there was certain pathways through it, through it that you could work your way through to get out front. Interviewer: Would each of you men be told the pathways, or would it just be the officer or the leading NCO? No, usually you were informed of the pathways. That way there, if one of them got hit or anything like that, at least you could, and sometimes, you had guides that would take you out and then when you were, when they figured you were about ready to come back in, they'd go out and bring you back in because they were so complicated that, you know, you had to make sure you got back to the right spot. Interviewer: Tell me, Mr. Nickerson, what types of patrols were there? Well, there was, actually, there was patrols for, you could call them, intelligence patrols, there was prisoner patrols, there was fighting patrols, where you went out and you knew you were going to get into a scrap with one of their out-posts or that hoping to take prisoners or whatever. Just create them grief.

Night patrols were essential operations but were always dangerous. Mr. Nickerson describes his first experiences on a night wire-laying patrol.

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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