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Out on Patrol

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: Do I understand it that the Allies were basically along one ridge of hills, and the Chinese would be along another ridge? Yeah. Interviewer: With the valley in between being No Man's Land? That's right. Interviewer: During the nights, it's my understanding that the Canadians in particular were expected to patrol, and that was a point of pride. Yeah. Interviewer: That the Canadians were to own No Man's Land. Yeah Interviewer: At night. Mm hmm. Interviewer: Can you describe to me what types of patrolling would be done? Well, you have a recce patrol, they're just going to see what's out there, not going to, hoping not to do much fighting. A fighting patrol, and their job is to go and pick a fight. There's also a patrol called the snatch patrol, and that's try and grab a prisoner. So there are various things that they go on out there, and sometimes a patrol changes it, its job description pretty fast. Interviewer: You were on a number of these patrols? I think I had four, four is all is I got onto. It's...unlike the outpost or anything like that, but I don't count that as a patrol. Interviewer: Do you have any vivid memory of those patrols? They're dark and scary. Yeah, it's one of the things you really, you're hoping that you don't want to be too close to anybody but you don't want to get too far away so you can't find them. Interviewer: How many men would normally go out on one of these patrols? You could have about half a dozen, or up to a dozen. You don't... considering there's all different kinds of patrols going out and from different spots. Interviewer: If you blundered into a Chinese patrol... Your going, now you're going to be fighting. Interviewer: In the dark... Yeah. Interviewer: What happens if one of your men were hit? And wounded? We'd try and get you out, but I mean we can't guarantee. Cannot, can't... I mean, if a person is killed, there's no sense in trying to help them. Probably you could, you could have somebody go out there another night very early and try and draw get them in, but as you probably know there's bodies still missing so...

Mr. Himes describes the types of patrols in No Man’s Land (the valley separating the coalition force and Chinese held hills) that would be conducted under the cover of darkness, and recalls his participation in them.

Kenneth Albert Himes

Mr Himes was born February 6, 1932, in Fort William, Ontario. He left school while in Grade 6, and worked at various jobs. After joining the Militia in an attempt to make money, he was posted to Churchill in the medical corp. While there he met men from the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) on training - he was so impressed with their skill and level of training, that he decided to join the RCR, and no other unit, as soon as he came of age. Canada was already looking for volunteers for Korea at the time Mr Himes became eligible to join, and thus was sent to Winnipeg the same day he signed on. After basic training in Petawawa, special training in Wainwright, and mountain training in Jasper, Mr Himes was notified Christmas Day 1952 that the RCR would be shipped to Korea - they arrived in Seoul in late April. Within two weeks of arriving in Korea, Mr Himes found himself in the middle of the Battle at Hill 187 - it would prove to be the worst action he participated in during his tour. After the peace accord was signed, Mr Himes remained in Korea with the RCR for an additional 8 months, patrolling the demilitarized zone. Having 3 years served under his belt, Mr Himes left the military soon after returning to Canada, but joined the RCR again when he found himself out of work. He remained with the RCR until he retired from active service in 1962.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Kenneth Albert Himes
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Royal Canadian Regiment

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