Private Roy MacLean Shows His Smashed Rifle Stock, Korea, 3 November 1951.
National Archives of Canada (PA-183959, photo by Paul E. Tomelin).

Private Roy MacLean Shows His Smashed Rifle Stock, Korea, 3 November 1951.

Flying mortar bomb fragments damaged Private MacLean’s rifle during a Chinese attack on his Royal Canadian Regiment platoon. MacLean escaped this engagement without personal injury, but many of his comrades were not so fortunate.

The Korean War was different from the two world wars of the twentieth century. Canadians suffered through the extremes of the Korean climate, the difficulties of fighting a war for which they were ill-prepared (and for which the enemy was well trained), and the complications of fighting under a command structure that recognized neither their capabilities nor their limitations. Perhaps the most difficult pill of all to swallow was that the Canadian public never really appreciated the Korean veterans. Indeed, the Canadian government has yet to erect an official Korean War memorial to honour the sacrifices of those who served, 516 of whom were buried in the Far East.

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