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A Chance to Join the Navy

Heroes Remember

A Chance to Join the Navy

Well a very good friend of mine met me where I was living in this new home and he said, “I’m going to join the navy!” “Why?” He says, “Well there’s a war started up over in Korea.” I said, “I guess I will do that too, it’s a job.” And that was it. When you joined the navy back then you went down to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, not too far from PEI, and twenty one weeks of basic training. When you are finished with that you are sent into Halifax waiting to get drafted aboard a ship. I was on about seven or eight different ships through my fifteen years in the navy and once you are finished with your radar training course, like Cornwallis was your basic training but your career training for radar itself, it took place in Halifax and once that was finished you were drafted aboard a ship and wherever you went. Everybody had their job. I was radar. There was your sonar people and back in those days they called it asdec, marine detection that’s under the water. I am above the water. So we all got along, seaman, pretty good throughout the ship. I think there was over 235 members aboard ship. In various branches, you had your cooks, your engine room people, for example, radar, your sonar, several different branches. Of course you had the pay writer, he had your pay cheque for you which wasn’t much back then. So you might have been called upon, painting the ship and cleaning here, swabbing the decks and all that stuff. We had other activities as well. Except when you went on your watch you went up in the radar room and did your job. But when that was over you returned like a seaman after that.

With the help of a friend, Mr. Guertin tells of his decision to join the navy and signing up for radar duty.

George Guertin

Mr. George Guertin was born in Ottawa October 16, 1931. With 9 family members, Mr. Guertin experienced a fairly rough childhood growing up a time when the Depression hit families very hard. Through Children's Aid Society, Mr. Guertin had the opportunity to move in with a new family and life seemed to improve. As he became old, with the support from a friend Mr. Guertin made the choice to volunteer for the Korean War and found himself recruited with the navy, accepting training as an ordinary seaman specializing in radar technology and travelled onboard the HMCS Huron to Korea. When the Korean war ended, Mr. Guertin remained in the navy for several more years where he became injured onboard the Labrador, in the artic, and sustained injuires caused cost him his naval career. Mr. Guertin loved the navy life and never wanted to leave. After medical discharge Mr. Guertin accepted a job with the Post Office in Ottawa where he and his wife retired and remain today. Mr. Guertin is an active member with Dominion Command, belongs to the National Color Party in Ottawa, a lifetime member with his legion and since 1990 has played an active role as member with the Korean Cultural Centre.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 23, 2018
Person Interviewed:
George Guertin
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
HMCS Huron
Able Seaman
Radar Operator

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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