Inspired

“I heard a voice, calling from outside our wire, ’Canada Boy, tonight you die,’”

– Red Butler, 2 Platoon, A Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment

 

 

Canadian veterans Lt. Ed Mastronardi and Pte. Red Butler

(http://thechronicleherald.ca/artslife/1165585-in-praise-of-28-heroes-of-song-gok-spur)

 

Thursday November 14

We were quite surprised at the reaction to our Remembrance Day post. We had thirteen American visitors to that story and we also received a couple of very moving responses

One of the latter, coming in the form of a 'Comment' on that day's post, was from EDGYARTS, a 'Local Urban Artist from the North East of England' (http://edgyarts.wordpress.com)

This artist is highlighting 'the four major wars Britain has fought over the last century', in time for the 100th anniversary of WW1 in 2014

Each War is represented by one soldier who lost their life in the conflict and whose bravery was acknowledged by being posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross for valour

Corporal Bryan Budd VC, A Company, 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment (KIA 20 August 2006, Helmand Province, Afghanistan)

(http://edgyarts.wordpress.com/tag/bryan-budd/)

There is much more depth to this Art than a mere glorification of War and Wendy and I were greatly moved by it. We aren't sure why…we suppose that's just the power of Art. We really appreciate that the artist linked their work to our Remembrance Day post and we hope you will check out the site

Another emotional note came from my old partner, Baz

Baz, one of our dearest friends, is also one of the most intelligent, creative and Zen guys we know. He's also a Warrior…in the best and truest sense of the word

Baz was inspired by a new documentary he'd seen…'28 Heroes'. He writes…

It is an amazing story. I'd never heard of it before. I don't think I have ever felt prouder to be a Canadian than after watching it. I think they should teach it in every class. Spartans have nothing over Canadian warriors”

What Baz is referring to is a little remembered battle from the Korean War (also known as 'The Forgotten War'). We feel you might be inspired by it too

Members of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Korea 1951

(The Canadian Press Files, The Canadian Press)

The film tells the story of Lt. Ed Mastronardi and the men of 2 Platoon, A Co., 2 RCR. On the night of November 2nd and 3rd, 1951, the men of 'The Flying Deuce'…

…beleaguered in their isolated outpost, fought a desperate do-or-die action against up to 1,000 assaulting Chinese infantry. The ferocious Chinese attack was heavily supported by artillery, mortars, machine-guns, and four tanks. In the vicious engagement that lasted eight hours, the enemy pressed home attack after attack

During the heavy fighting several Chinese at one point penetrated the platoon's defensive perimeter. Expending the last of his ammunition, Lieutenant Mastronardi shot and killed two Chinese soldiers with his automatic pistol. Confronted by a third Chinese soldier, Mastronardi brought out his Verey pistol and dispatched his opponent when he fired a flare at point blank range into his chest. When dozens of Chinese came swarming through a gap in the wire, Private Eddie Bauer coolly waited till they were almost on top of him, then methodically cut them down with his Bren gun, firing magazine after magazine. Private Jack Johnson though wounded in both arms worked tirelessly to bring malfunctioning Bren guns back into action, while under almost constant fire. When evacuation of the outpost finally became necessary, Johnson carried a stricken casualty to safety. One of the most noteworthy features of this battle was that every one of the wounded men continued to fight until the order for withdrawal came

Lieutenant Mastronardi's superb courage and outstanding leadership enabled him to return to the company with only one more casualty, despite the fact he had to fight for the entire route back. He brought out all of his casualties except one man who had been killed. He personally fought the rearguard action and he was the last of his platoon to return. His platoon returned with all weapons intact. On arriving in the main company position, he quickly reorganized and checked the roll. He reformed his platoon and placed it in a fighting position.

At 0630 hours Mastronardi and the remaining men under his command returned to the outpost position without opposition. Twenty one dead enemy were found and five wounded prisoner's were taken. From interrogation of prisoners it was learned that Mastronardi and his platoon had engaged over a period of nearly eight hours, a full scale enemy battalion attack.

http://theroyalcanadianregiment.ca/news/2013_06_27_28Heroes.html

Moose and Wendle's Notes:

2 Platoon's artillery support in that action was provided by the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery

“2RCHA fired over 3,700 rounds of 25 pounder that night in support”

http://www.kvacanada.com/stories_canadianboy.htm

Canadian War Historian, Norm Christie has an excellent series of three documentaries relating to Canadian involvement in Korea. If you're interested (and Norm's work…'For King And Empire'…is excellent) go to…

http://knowledge.ca/program/in-korea-with-norm-christie (you can also find and watch the episodes on You Tube)

Editorial comment

The men and women of our Armed Forces have earned an International reputation for being irrepressible, courageous and fair. They continue to serve Canada and Canadians proudly, both overseas and here at home (disaster relief and emergency preparedness). They and their families, serving together, are our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and in some cases…grandfathers and grandmothers. They are in fact, extensions of us

There are several ways we can embrace them…

Insist that they never be used in some ill-conceived scheme. Welcome them, as you yourself would wish to feel welcomed. If they choose to share, listen closely. Ensure that they each receive a fair and full measure of benefits and support (nudge nudge stevie h.). Follow their lead…Be Irrepressible, Courageous and Fair

Goodnight all

Moose and Wendle

 

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5 thoughts on “Inspired

  1. HI Steve, I have also been inspired by your Remembrance blogs and I also watched the documentary on the 28 heros. One particular channel highlighted the Canadians from every war and this Korean story was one of them. I find myself watching all of them and words cannot express the feelings they invoke, as we cannot imagine in any way what our soldiers went through. I had a great uncle who served in all three wars, he suffered the effects of mustard gas during the first war the rest of his life but also served in the 2nd world war and the Korean war but obviously not in direct combat during the latter two. He basically died a pauper and in a Veterans hospital in Toronto, he was my Dads uncle and I had no idea but Dad did his best to help him out. Dad served in the 2nd world war but never talked about it. I would question but received no answers, all I know was that he was older when he joined and served with the engineers and that he built and destroyed bridges, etc in preparation of the troops advancing in different countries and that he was involved in Holland and absolutely loved the people there. He would talk of Holland and every Canadian soldier who was there were given souvenirs form Holland, wooden shoes (they have disappeared) and items of their famous china. I will certainly spend more time looking at the references you mention in this blog. In grade 4, a nun decided to tell us about the 2nd world war and had quite a collection of horrific pictures that she showed all of us including lamp shades made out of the skin from Jews in the concentration camps. That was my introduction to war and I am sure all of us went home and felt sick but I do not ever remember talking about it with Mom and Dad, I found myself doing more research and contemplating trying to understand. Again, thank you for your blog. Julia Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:53:45

  2. I am the grand daughter of Cpl Jack Sargent. He was one of the 28 heroes. His title was senior section commander…. seeing as the spot was vacant at the time of the attack. He lead the group of men in rear guard position covering the other men while they withdrew back step by step. I believe he is the man to the right of the picture above. Standing with watch on his left wrist, he was a tall man. As i am told seeing as i never had the chance to know him. He died December 30, 1980. 1 month before i was born.

    • Hi Melissa. I am thrilled that we could honour your Grandfather and the other men of his platoon. We are also extremely pleased that we could reach out to you, and offer you a venue wherein you could share more of your family’s story. Thank You so much for writing. Steve and Wendy

    • Hi Wendy and Steve, my uncle William O’Connell, was on of the 28 heros as well. In fact, Jack Sargent was his corporal. He loves these photos and says the puppy’s name was Sport!
      Mary

      • Hi Mary.
        Wendy and I are so proud to recount the story of the members of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, Korea, November 2 & 3 1951. It has been two years since we posted and yet it continues to be one of our most popular and visited stories.
        Please thank William for his service and let him know that Canadians never forget what he and his buddies (and Sport) went through on our behalf. The RCR’s have a tremendous history and we are thrilled to have been a little part of recounting one of their proudest moments…’The stand of the Flying Deuce’.
        Cheers to you Bill…and to you Mary
        Steve and Wendy

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