Language selection

Welcoming the Canadians with a song!

Heroes Remember

Welcoming the Canadians with a song!

When we arrived in Pusan, of course, the troop ship was very high and the wharf was very low and I remember looking over the side of the ship and down and there was a big American brass band down there and I don’t know if they were navy or army or what they were but it was an American brass band way down on the jetty and they were playing. And you know what they were playing? “If I had known you were coming, I’d have baked a cake!" They knew the Canadians were coming! So then I know we got relegated again, shall we say, a sort of a compound in the port. We got all our artillery pieces and we had to clean them up and get them in shape and get everything ready and get the gun tractors and everything all lined up and then we went… we headed north then, two days of what you call the shake down crews and then we came back to Pusan again and we stayed there for another couple of days and then we left and went right on to the front. Well first of all this. The smell of the place was horrendous. I don’t know how to describe it, it was dirty and garbage was every place and as you say it was a military embarkment town, there was very few civilians around, you know. And I remember the first night we went ashore, I know I slept right next to our gun carrier and our ammunition carrier and I used a tire on the ammunition carrier for my pillow that night. There was no barracks or no nothing. All you had was your clothes on and your poncho sheet or rain sheet. That was our first night that we were there. But as we went along then we got issued with little pup tents and bit of heavier winter clothes, you know what I mean?

As the troop ship arrives in Pusan, an American brass band is dockside singing a song for the Canadians, a very humorous memory for Mr. Mercer.

Leslie Mercer

Mr. Leslie Mercer was born June 24, 1927 in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Being a child of the Great Depression, he went to work at the dockyard at a very young age. He was too young to volunteer for the Second World War but when the Korean War broke out he was quick to join with the Special Force. He became part of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery as a bombardier. After spending a year in Korea, Mr. Mercer returned to St. John’s, Newfoundland, married and raised a family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 10, 2015
Person Interviewed:
Leslie Mercer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
United States
Royal Canadian Horse Artillery

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: