Intermission Stories (10)

Lt. Gerry Meynell, 3RCR

Lt. Gerry Meynell, 3RCR

Lt. Gerry Meynell

The Battle of Hill 187; 3RCR, Korea

On 2 May 1953 at 2220 hours, on a dark, moonless night, a 16 man Canadian fighting patrol faced an ambush position.  The men were from Able Company, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.  The patrol was in “No Man’s Land” on the floor of the Sami-ch’on River Valley.  They had left Hill 187 to face Hill 166 and the Chinese bastion.  This patrol was commanded by Lt. Gerry Meynell and each man from the onset could sense that they had become the prey rather than the hunter.

Canadian MLR

Canadian MLR

Maynell ordered his men to shift positions and take cover behind a bank of a rice paddy.  Over the radio, he called for illumination and a flare from a 60mm mortar of Charlie Company lit the sky to reveal 60 Chinese soldiers.  The RCR oped fire with small arms and grenades and records later showed, from a very close range.  The Chinese let loose with a devastating burst of automatic fire and Lt. Meynell was killed.

Corporal Joseph C. McNeil, the patrol’s second in command, after a half-hour and ammo getting low, broke contact and led his men back to the friendly lines 400 yards away.  These were the first shots and opening moves of what would become the Battle for Hill 187.

This story was located at the Royal Canadian Regiment site for the Jamestown Line.

Click on images to enlarge.

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By following the advice of Pierre Legacé, I searched and researched for further information on the story above.  The story below is what I found.  I wholeheartedly recommend reading this historian’s site located HERE!  

From the No. 23 Squadron site you can locate his other fascinating and informative blogs.   Remember – keep looking, you never what you’re going to find!  THANK YOU, PIERRE FOR ALL YOUR HELP! 

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John Hall, Francis Bayne & Reg Redknap in front of the officer's mess

John Hall, Francis Bayne & Reg Redknap in front of the officer’s mess

Francis Bayne

Hill 187, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery

From Guelph, Ontario, Francis Bayne writes of Hill 187..”.one of the things we did was fire propaganda leaflets at the Chinese.  We were on American rations and Kool cigarettes came with them.  No one liked them, so we fired them at the enemy too.”  But then the story gets all-too serious.

Because every one was dug in, there was a lot of patrolling.  The Chinese would shell an area and then during the attack (always at night), they would rush the minefield and blow it up, lay on the wire and the next wave would go over throwing grenades.  The next wave had the burp guns.  Though we had machine guns, we couldn’t fire them fast enough.  The only way was artillery fire on our own positions.

Propaganda leaflet

Propaganda leaflet

So, the night of 2nd-3rd May, the 3RAR was being overrun and we received the order DFSOS (Defensive Fire ‘Save Our Souls’), drop 200, fire until told to stop.  We questioned the order and were told , bloody well fire it!  So we drop 200, drop 400, drop 800 until we were right on the RCR position.  We fired all night, at least 1,200 rounds.  The barrels got red hot and we were throwing water on them, trying to cool them down.

We did fire often in support of the Hook and Hill 355.  And the patrol – two of my very good friends were killed that night.  Lt. Gary Meynell took a patrol out that night and ran right into the Chinese that wee getting ready to attack.  He was shot in the head and his corporal brought some of the wounded back.  Lt. Doug Banton went out to indicate where they could come back through the wire and he was telling them, “come this way, come this way…” and he was shot.  So, two very good friends were killed that night.

Francis Bayne 2011

Francis Bayne 2011

This story was found in The Memory Project.com

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Farewell Salutes – 

Carlos Brown – Florence, AL & Fort Myers, FL; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Roy C. Burnham (88) – Corvallis, OR; US Air Force, Captain, 22 years; bomber pilot in 3 wars

John J. Coyle, Sr. – Pearl River, NY & Jupiter, FL; US Army, KoreaVeterans_Day-thanks

Irving Doucet – Chicago, IL; US Navy, WWII

Roderick Hamel – Seattle, WA; US Army WWII

Frank J. Oliva – New Hyde Park, NY; US Army Vietnam

Stuart W. Richardson – Tauranga, New Zealand; Serv. # 280455, WWII

Martin Tully, Jr. – Elmwood, IL; US Army, Special Forces (Ret.)

Hiroyasu Yamane (80) – Montebello, CA; US Army

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WWII Update – 

USMC Cpl. Chester Nez, 90, last of the original 29 Navajo code talkers received the flag from Pfc Tiffany Boyd at the dedication of Code Taker Hall, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Va, 4 April 2014.

Chester Nez, 90

Chester Nez, 90

Chester Nez, USMC

Chester Nez, USMC

 

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About gpcox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 9, 2014, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 51 Comments.

  1. Did I tell you, GP, that I really like these intermission stories? Well, I do! :)

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    • Yes you have, Linda, but who doesn’t love a great compliment? I just hope I tell you how much I enjoy your site enough! ;)
      Is there anyway you have of translating the propaganda leaflet I included in this post?

      Like

  2. For Info mate

    Ian

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    • I had not heard this before, so sad. Cathy Wayne and the soldier’s mate both deserve a a tribute. The story of the Aussie hat reminds me of a very similar story from my own father and his buddy. Thank you for the link, Ian.

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  3. Thank you for the opportunity to know the truth of the Korean War
    Japanese tendency to hide the article of war・・・
    The bon appetite to read interesting

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  4. “For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne’er so vile…this day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England, now a-bed, shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap, while’s any speaks that fought with us on St. Crispin’s Day” A portion of the soliloquy from Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act 5, scene 3.”

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  5. Slight aside but not off of the topic. I spent much of my life battling with the tobacco industry and its promotion of tobacco products to kids. While tobacco may have eased soldiers through some of their tough spots, tens of thousands of soldiers became addicted during the various wars when they were given free tobacco products, and tens of thousands of them would die from lung cancer– a fate equally bad, if not worse, than dying in war. –Curt

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  6. great post–I found that propaganda leaflet particularly interesting!

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  7. Bravo to both of you, gpcox and Pierre. You all put us out there in a way. While that terror of combat I will never endure, these men did…and paid for it.

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  8. I like the idea of your ‘intermission stories’. They really give a face to the Korean War.

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  9. I enjoy these intermission stories. Thank you for doing the research and bringing it forth.

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  10. Crash MacDuff

    Reblogged this on CrashCourse.

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  11. The brutal realities.
    Difficult to face an enemy with so much cannon-fodder – or, in this case, landmine-fodder.

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  12. Thanks again for helping them to be remembered. I read this and instantly began to think of the friends I’ve lost along the years. I can’t imagine watching them die in battle.

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  13. My Dad fought in the Korean War, I believe the 45th Infrantry, Aritillary . He was a Forward Observer. His hearing was damaged from that time. Very interesting story it brings you back in time and I felt like I was there fighting with those men.

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    • I’m very glad you enjoyed your visit and will make a point to return. Any further info about you father would be greatly appreciated, just add it anywhere in the comments – they all need to be remembered.

      Like

  14. Like the story about the KOOL cigarettes. I wonder if my father remembers the brand of cigarettes that they were issued during the WW2.

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  15. Pierre Lagacé

    Always painful to read how soldiers died in that war.
    Always painful to read the suffering, period… during all wars.

    That’s the reason I write so much… so people will never forget.

    Thanks for letting your readers know there is more stories out there that need to be told.

    23 Squadron is “just” a spin-off blog that got a life of its own. More spin-offs evolved from it since 2011.

    Liked by 1 person

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