2RAR Photo from a Rifleman with 3rd Bn Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

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2RAR Vickers Training at Hara Mura Japan, 1953

Date sent: Sat, 02 Mar 2002 21:35:50 -0400
From: Dot & Terrence Flanagan <dotterry@accesswave.ca>
Send reply to: dotterry@accesswave.ca
Organization: Bugs Bunny Inc.
To: korteng@rt66.com
Subject: 2 RAR Korea

I have a photo of a few RAR troops on course in Hara Mura Japan
Terry Flanagan
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Date sent: Sun, 03 Mar 2002 13:46:23 -0400
From: Dot & Terrence Flanagan <dotterry@accesswave.ca>
Send reply to: dotterry@accesswave.ca
Organization: Bugs Bunny Inc.
To: korteng@rt66.com
Subject: Re: 2 RAR Korea
Hello Bert

When I found your email address, it was on something over 2 years old, so I didn't know whether I would reach you or not. The other puzzler for me was the address, which was unlike any I know to Oz, I think it was the Route 66 thing that got my attention (been there, driven some of the bits, but never would say "I got my kicks on Route 66" :-) )

"If you can identify as many of the 2RAR troops and/or as much about the photo as you can, and scan the photo at 260 dpi or higher, send a jpg to me via email and I'll add it to the Aussie Album. Please also add a little about yourself and how you got the photo. If you were with 2RAR, please include your service number."

As for the photo, I'm the grinning dolt in the back row, second from the left. I was a Rifleman with 3rd Bn Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the last occupants atop Hill 355 when the war ended. Tell any nostalgic diggers never to take a trip to the top of the hill if ever given the opportunity, as with the short time the UN command gave us to take all ammunition, wire and other stores off the top, we just didn't make the limit. Soooooo.......there are a couple of those bunkers absolutely jam packed with boxes of small arms ammunition, #36 grenades, 60mm mortar rounds and a few other lethal objects. Mind you, the Korean peasant wasn't any slouch at scrounging things to sell, so perhaps within a few days of our departure, they were all over those hills doing a full recovery operation. On thinking that over, I think some of those original Hyndai cars were made out of old shell casings :-) so maybe my guess isn't too far off the mark.

Anyway, as soon as we hit the rear areas, I was sent on a Vickers Course to Hara Mura and thus the picture at course end. As to anyone's identity, I'm afraid I haven't a clue.....other than my own name of course. The course trainees were divided into groups so that 1 Sgt and 1 Cpl were put in charge of the physical training of two gun teams, as opposed to the theoretical stuff in the classroom. Our six man mob was a mixed bag of Brit, Aussie and Canuck and our Sgt was that fine gentleman sitting in the front row, fifth from the left. He drilled us with "on this line, in that direction, mount gun" until we were almost burnt out. He did it so often that I can remember the drill, but I can't remember his name. I know he was a very fine fellow, tough, but well liked.

What was laughable about my Vickers training was the fact I returned to my old Rifle Company to serve out my remaining two months in Korea and when I returned home I went to the Parachute Battalion of our Regiment, where I was then put into the Machine Gun Platoon..........who were equipped with the US .30 Cal Air Cooled M19 machine gun, a bit of equipment I didn't have a clue about. Actually the last Vickers I eve saw fired was at Hara Mura and the last one I saw in the flesh was in the Regimental Museum. But a better mob of fellows to go on course with, couldn't be equalled.

I hope you have lots of bandwidth for this photo, I scanned at 300 dpi.

" Bert Kortegaard
80 Mimbres
Los Alamos, NM 87544

Would it be safe to say that you have Radiation detectors in the house instead of Smoke detectors? :-))))

Thanks for the input, Bert"

You're welcome

Brian Cooper, MM at the Hook, sent in email to Olwyn Green:- "I do recognise two faces from our Battalions, but couldn't put names to them. The bulk of the Australians in the picture are not 2 RAR, probably 3 RAR. Our soldiers all wore blackened anklets, not the canvas variety shown. The man on the left of the centre row is a face I should know and when I look into the footwear line, I think I can detect black anklets. The soldier behind him I should also know, but don't."

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