Samichon Valley, 1952

The Samichon region differed in places but at its widest the lines were as much as 2000 yards from each other. There were features such as hill 75 which sat in the valley and were occupied by the Chinese, there was no point in Comm div trying to take it as it was covered on two sides by the main Chinese features up close and connected by tunnels.

When we were turned loose on patrols we HAD to kill someone
Deadly boredom in deadly lairs

Roughly 2000 yards wide for much of its length, and with the Samichon river running along the Chinese side, the Samichon valley proved to be a fertile playground for learning the art of patrolling. Being so long and wide it was covered by two battalions on our side, as best I can recall. Thus we and the Chinese put out large numbers of all types of patrols, to keep each other away; ambush, fighters and reconaissance.

Both sides raided the other, and the Chinese tried a few serious attacks at us but were frustrated. We on the other hand tried numerous ways of getting a prisoner but never did as far as I know. Lost a lot of men trying which in hind sight seems foolish.

Artillery and large size mortars were the main weapons and used quite often, for both sides. Sometimes for the most trivial reasons. For example there may have been a patrol clash of sorts as there were often, and the losers would then take revenge and shell the heck out of the others which in turn brought the expected reply. This frequently cost men their life for absolutely no reason of any value, tactical or otherwise. Since the base positions were relatively fixed, it was imperative to construct strong bunkers.

War leaves its mark in mysterious ways

Brown Palm ID
Underground in the Samichon Valley

Not penthouse life
Snowy Woodhams cleaning his Bren.

But a bit harder for the enemy to drop in a mortar
For 122mm Howitzer raindrops falling on your head ...

Building a bunker.
To live in, or rather survive.

Yet another bunker, with uninvited guests

Mosquitos seldom welcome
Your money or your wife

A lighter moment

The table turns
I thought we was mates

 Yeh, but wot's a missing beer between mates ...
 Bring 'em on

A quiet time
There were many

The curtain will rise

 Now why can't it always be like this?
 A Gent of Leisure

Relaxing, August '52
My mates can get it done

Well Dressed Warrior
For a stroll through Samichon Valley

 Sights on for 1000 yards, yeh ...
 Me and Betsy

Sun-bathing, August '52
With a friend

The Gay Minuet!
A watching skull had no comment.

No worries, just keeping in practice

There were amusing sides to patroling this area, early in 52 the valley still supported an abundence of wild life ranging from Siberian Tigers down to a multitude of pheasants and cranes. One occasion saw a lad from our lot half asleep when on an ambush job, being disturbed and poking his head quietly over the paddy-field bund. To his shock there was a tiger doing the same from the other side, he screamed and let fly with a burst from his Owen gun up into the air. The tiger likewise was somewhat startled and screamed in reply before dashing off into the night. That finished that ambush in a hurry.

Yours truly had a 3 man recce one night, the same time as Charlie chose to put in a fair size attack. So there we are trying our best to avoid them seeing us, and escape at the same time. What should I do but almost step onto a pheasant lurking in the rice stalks. Now these beautiful birds lay doggo until the very last second, before taking flight from an intruder. When they take off it is with a whirr of wings the likes off which are hard to describe. So after having a heart attack, I had to decide if Charlie had spotted us or no; and deciding he must have we went to ground in a muddy field.

Charlie did send some men to investigate, so we three were flat on our backs with just our noses out of the water and mud. They were impatient luckily and did only a brief search before rejoining their unit, it seemed like an eternity to us though.

Interesting times in an interesting place.

Have to let them know we love them ...

Hill 75
Getting a touch-up

Hill 75
We are persistent

 Gives them a chance to hole up in the tunnels for some cot time
Absent Friends

Mixed Fate
Before raid on Hill 75

Peter Cerdapavia
A good mate

I was young, but smart enough to listen when Peter talked
Getting ready for the next one.

Remnants of 6 Pltn
After raid on Chinese position "Hill 75"

Cpl. Max Wilson, MM
Wounded and awaiting evacuation, August 1952.

Cpl. Max Wilson, WIA, MM Recipient

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