Author Topic: Korean War vet brings past to life for infantry company  (Read 1549 times)

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Korean War vet brings past to life for infantry company
« on: March 31, 2012, 10:50:36 PM »
Monday, March 19, 2012
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Ottawa, Ontario — A company of Petawawa-based infantry soldiers came face-to-face with their regiment’s military past during a special visit to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa earlier this month.

Troops from Oscar Company of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (3 RCR) were joined by a special guest – retired Lieutenant-Colonel Edgar Hollyer, a veteran of the Korean War and a former platoon commander with the battalion.

Young soldiers huddle around LCol (Ret’d) Edgar Hollyer as he tells stories about his experiences during the Korean War.
Soldiers toured the museum with LCol (Ret’d) Hollyer during a break from a week of winter warfare training at the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa.

The young troops gathered around the 89-year-old veteran and listened intently as he described his experiences in Korea, including the night he called down an artillery strike on his own position to successfully repel advancing Chinese troops. LCol (Ret’d) Hollyer was awarded the Military Cross for his actions.

These first-hand stories gave soldiers an eye into their regimental past, but also a chapter of family history for Corporal Kyle Meeks. His grandfather served in LCol (Ret’d) Hollyer’s unit in Korea.

“It really hits home seeing one of [my grandfather’s] comrades that he fought with in Korea,” said Cpl Meeks.

Members of 3 Royal Canadian Regiment assemble outside the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa in advance of their tour.
Though decades separate the troops of the regiment’s past and present, some of the young soldiers felt a particular connection to the retired officer, including Lieutenant James Suzanski, a platoon commander with 3 RCR, the same role that LCol (Ret’d) Hollyer, who served in both the Royal Canadian Air Force and infantry, held 60 years ago.

While his presence during the tour aimed to give today’s soldiers a stronger link to their military past, LCol (Ret’d) Hollyer was as impressed with his regimental successors as they were honoured to meet him.

“I just wish I could direct them every day”, he said. “They look like smart, smart troops.”

LCol (Ret’d) Hollyer was invited to join the troops’ tour of the museum by company commanders as part of their professional development activities.

Article and photos by: Sam Toews, Canadian Army.
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