Korean Personnel with the Canadian Forces
In their very early operations, the reader may recall, the
2nd Patricias had employed Korean labour to carry supplies over
the rugged and almost roadless terrain. This custom, which
practically all the U.N. forces had adopted in order to conserve
their own resources of manpower, remained in effect throughout
hostilities. In Japan, as well, extensive use was made of
"indigenous" labour. How gloomy and austere would any camp there
have seemed without its Japanese waitresses and housegirls! Most
drivers in the base also were Japanese, and these men were found
to be extremely efficient and conscientious.
In the course of the campaign the Korean Service Corps,
similar to a pioneer corps, was formed as a part of the ROK Army.
The 120th Regiment KSC was attached to the 1st Commonwealth
Division, one company being allotted to each infantry battalion
and other companies to the engineers. Although their duties were
of a non-combatant nature, it must not be overlooked that in
carrying them out KSC details were frequently exposed to
shellfire. Light domestic services were provided by Korean boys,
many of whom were homeless war orphans. These little fellows
soon developed a warm feeling towards the units which employed
them, and wore their badges. In view of the numbers of attached
Koreans it was necessary to engage still others as interpreters.
Dealings between its own forces and those of other nationalities
led the ROK Army to furnish additional interpreters and also
English-speaking liaison officers. One such LO became, in
effect, one of the longest-serving officers of the 25th Brigade -
Lieut. Yung Jo Kim, whose association with Canadian units dated
as far back as March 1951.
Shortly before its return to the line, in the spring of
1953, the Commonwealth Division was reinforced by 1000 Korean
soldiers known as "Katcoms" (Korean Augmentation to
Commonwealth). To help meet the special administrative problems
posed by such an arrangement, the ROK Army attached a liaison
mission to t Divisional Headquarters. The reinforcements were
allotted-approximately 100 to each infantry battalion and 30 to
the divisional signals-for all purposes except pay; thus, about
the end of March, the Canadian Brigade received 300 Katcoms.
Since these soldiers had been trained exclusively on American
weapons it was necessary for their new units to give them a short
course on Commonwealth small arms. They were then assigned to
rifle companies, two or three to a section, and each was paired
off with a Commonwealth soldier with whom he lived and carried
out all duties. Despite language difficulties the scheme proved
successful; for the Korean makes a good soldier, especially in
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