Don Landry (Army) of Nova Scotia served in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the 1st and 3rd Battalions. He served one tour in Korea. Landry hails from a family of multi-generational military service in the Canadian Forces, dating back to the First World War to current zones of conflict. He recalls witnessing the attack on the Hill 355 by the Chinese on the Royal Canadian Regiment.[audio https://www.macleans.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Landry_Don-EDIT.mp3]
They were terrific night fighters, they were excellent. They would come up through our wire and they were standing there in front. “Waiting for them and guarding and you’d hear, clip, clip, clip—you hear them clipping their wire, right, and working through it. And you couldn’t shoot, you couldn’t throw a grenade down because if you couldn’t show a body, they’d fine you $20 or something like that. That was a lot of bucks. Kind of stupid, you know. Like, here we are in a war and being fined because you had to show. Anyway, that was the story.
You could get too itchy in the nighttime, because in the nighttime, when you’re standing guard, looking out in the patrol or out into the valley, you can see bushes getting up and walking around. No, they don’t, but that’s what you see. One time I remember seeing a whole bunch of—I was sure it was trucks going down the Chinese east side with their lights just dimmed out. And the sergeant said, no, that’s fireflies. I said, “I know the difference.” I said, “and that one, I think it was.” And a couple of days later, we had an attack from them.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.