Language selection


Korea was a different war.

Heroes Remember

Korea was a different war.

They asked us if we would, if some of us would go to the Royal

Royal 22nd regiment soldiers standing around with kits on their backs.

22nd Regiment, the Vandoos because they were very short of officers. And I said yes I’d go, so that’s who I was with when I went to Korea, the Vandoos. A different war from World War II, I mean we were living in trenches and you had not only the enemy to contend with but you had the monsoons and all

Rocky mountain area covered in snow.

this sort of stuff. By day everything would be fairly quiet, no one dared showed themselves. Then at night the fun would

Soldiers sitting in tent as officer shows them a map.

start, the rear patrols would go out and the Chinese would send out their patrols and eventually you would clash, you know. I think the United Nations at that time did us a great disservice because they kept telling the Chinese we were not going to go North, but the Chinese never said they weren’t going to come South. And so the most that they could fear from us would be a raid maybe, but when they attacked us, they came in the thousands, you know. It’s hard to believe because you can see all these figures coming up and you start firing on them of course, they start to drop. I don’t know if you

Soldiers overlook rocky area and talk to each other.

have fear or not, uh, but there doesn’t seem to be any end to them, you know, and I guess the thought in your mind is, “When are they gonna stop?” And sometimes they just overwhelmed positions.

Mr. Bowen describes general conditions in the Korean war zone, and the overwhelming numerical superiority of the Chinese.

Gerald Bowen

Gerald R. Bowen was born in Ottawa, Ontario on October 13, 1925. He attended Lisgard High School, and was a paperboy. His family had prior military experience. His uncle had served in the Air Force and his father in the Army, later becoming an historian with the Department of National Defence. Mr. Bowen enlisted in the Navy where he became a telegrapher, serving aboard a Royal Canadian Navy frigate on convoy duty in the North Atlantic until the war ended. He left the service for a brief time and re-enlisted in the Canadian Army, where he became a paratrooper and a specialist in sabotage. He later served as a peacekeeper in Cyprus. Mr. Bowen’s extensive experience in the Canadian military offers us some very informative and perceptive anecdotes.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gerald Bowen
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Royal 22e Régiment

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: