From Crowsnest Magazine; Vol. 5 No.2; December 1952
ON BOARD HMCS IROQUOIS - The toughest part of the IROQUOIS' fight with a shore battery began when the fight finished. The IROQUOIS, with an American destroyer escort, USS MARSH, was making a daylight interdiction bombardment on a coastwise stretch of the main North Korean railway line. Sometime previously, HMS CHARITY (destroyer) caught a train on this section of line and blasted it and several hundred yards of track, successfully cutting the Reds' principal east coast line of communication. The interdiction task, which the IROQUOIS and MARSH were carrying out on the afternoon of October 2 1952, was designed to keep that line cut. Working parties could be seen in the area, toiling to get the line back into service. The IROQUOIS, with the MARSH supporting, opened up with her 4-inch armament and sent, the road gang, scurrying for cover. The shore battery fired on the two ships as they were turning to seaward, the operation just about finished for the day.
Close on the heels of a couple of ranging rounds, a shell hit "B" gun deck. It killed Lieut.-Cdr. John Quinn and AB Elburne Baikie instantly. AB Wallis Burden was critically wounded and died several hours later. Ten men suffered light wounds from fragments and blast. "B" gun deck was covered in a pall of powder smoke. It was impossible to determine, from the bridge, the number of casualties or the extent of the damage. Shells from ashore were still bracketing the ship as she snaked her way out of range at full speed, all guns blazing at the battery, and black smoke pouring astern.
The doctor, Surgeon Lieut. Donald Brooks of Toronto, was treating the wounded while enemy shells were still splashing alongside the ship. The ship's medical assistant, PO Emilien Fortin, of Giffard, Que., and the first aid party were hard at work under the doctor's direction. After Lieut. Brooks examined each of the wounded men, the first aid party, with the help of many other willing hands, began to move them aft. They were bedded down in the sick bay, the captain's day cabin and the after canopy. For a few hours, the flat was the busiest place in the ship. Men were spread out on the deck, covered with blankets, winter jackets and anything else available. Other men worked over them, bandaging, cleaning, and passing out cigarettes and warming cups of tea.
Above and below: The damage to 'B' gun as seen from USS Chemung. (Photos by Clyde W. Cannon)
For several hours, the doctor devoted all his attention to AB Burden, the one man on the critically injured list. In spite of a shrapnel wound in his right leg, PO Fortin worked with the doctor the whole time. Lieut.(L) Earl McConechy assisted them. None of the others was in danger. Members of the first aid party, with many willing helpers, made the men comfortable and administered first aid until the doctor was able to treat them. Three men in particular worked long hours to comfort the wounded men - PO Howard Smith of Halifax, PO Frank Judd of Toronto and PO Edward Moslin of Spalding, Sask. PO Moslin had suffered a shrapnel wound and was himself put on the wounded list later that night. Among the others who assisted the first aid men were Lieut. (S) D. S. McNicol of Victoria and Halifax, and Ldg. Sea. Derald Richardson of Saint John, N.B. AB Edwin Jodoin of Toronto, with a complex fracture of his left ankle and shrapnel wounds, was the most seriously wounded of the other men. He and AB Joseph Gaudet of Tignish, P.E.I., who had suffered a peppering by flying fragments, were transferred the next day to the USS CHEMUNG, a supply ship, for transport to the US Army hospital in Sasebo, Japan.
Able Seaman Edwin Jodoin of Toronto, wounded when HMCS IROQUOIS was struck by a shell from a communist shore battery, is transferred in a stretcher to a USN supply ship to be taken to hospital in Sasebo, Japan. Jodoin suffered a broken leg and shrapnel wounds of the leg and foot in the action in which one officer and two men of the Iroquois were killed. (RCN Photo IR-172).The others were only superficially injured and all of them were back on full duty within a few days. On the wounded list were AB Aime Adam of Joliette, Que., AB Waldo Berggren of Newport, N.S., AB Gilbert Dynna of Spalding, Sask., PO Fortin, PO Gerald Jamieson of Halifax, PO Moslin, AB Eugene Riley of Beiver Harbor, N.S., and AB Walter Wrigiev of Sudbury. The next day the IROQUOIS went alongside the USS CHEMUNG to fuel and replenish. AB Jodoin and AB Gaudet were transferred in stretchers. The bodies of Lieut.-Cdr Quinn, AB Baikie and AB Burden were piped over the side to the CHEMUNG. The IROQUOIS then returned to her operational area to finish the two week patrol.
On Wednesday, October 8, the ship took an hour off from the arduous patrol. At 1030, all the ship's company off watch assembled on the forecastle. At the same time as their three shipmates were being buried with full naval honours in the Commonwealth Cemetery in Yokohama, Japan, the officers and men of the IROQUOIS held a memorial service at sea. Simply and with heavy hearts, they prayed for their fallen comrades. A/Captain W. M. Landymore, commanding officer of the IROQUOIS, conducted the service, ten miles to seaward of where the action took place. It consisted of prayers, Scripture passages, the hymns, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" and "Abide with Me", and two minutes' silence.
At sea off the cast coast of Korea, the ship's company of HMCS IROQUOIS held a service of remembrance for three shipmates who were killed six days previously when the destroyer was hit by a shelf from a communist shore battery. Led by Captain William M. Landymore, the service took place on the same day the three Canadians were buried in the Commonwealth cemetery at Yokohama, Japan. The IROQUOIS paused during her patrol to hold the service not far from where the action took place. (RCN Photo IR-195)When the service ended, the IROQUOIS resumed her patrol duties. For another six days, she ranged up and down the area, shooting up a variety of enemy targets and making a particular point of blocking communist attempts to repair their important coastal rail line. In the service at Yokohama, the three flag-draped coffins were borne to their final resting place on the shoulders of men from HMCS CRUSADER and were saluted by a firing party, landed from the same ship. The cortege entered the gates of the British Commonwealth Cemetery led by Chaplain John Wilson, Protestant padre of the Canadian destroyers in the Far East. Behind were the mourners and armed services and government representatives, with Lieut.-Cdr. J. H. G. Bovey, captain of the CRUSADER, as chief mourner.
The firing party from HMCS CRUSADER presents arms as the funeral procession bearing the bodies of Lieut.-Cdr. Quinn and Able Seamen Baikie and Burden and led by Chaplain John Wilson, enters the Commonwealth Cemetery at Yokohama. (RCN Photo CU-ZI3)
The committal service was read by the chaplain, the bodies were lowered, the last handful of earth thrown into the graves, the last farewell volley fired, and the funeral party dispersed. Besides officers from the CRUSADER, the funeral was attended by Lieut.-Cdr.(S) Peter Cossette, Canadian Naval Liason Officer; A. R. Menzies, Charge d'Affaires, Canadian Embassy; Captain M. N. Tufnell, U.K. Naval Attache, Tokyo, representing the British Embassy; Brigadier R. E. A. Morton, head of the Canadian Military Mission, Tokyo and Commander D.G. Clark, commanding officer of HMS LADYBIRD representing the Flag Officer Second-in-Command Far East Station.
Photo and text from Crowsnest Magazine July 1953. (Submitted by Kerry Setter)
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