Korea: Canada's Forgotten War Paperback – Dec 10 2011
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About the Author
John Melady is a veteran writer on military history and space exploration. His many books include Pearson’s Prize, Canadians in Space, Star of Courage, and Heartbreak and Heroism. He lives in Egmondville, Ontario.
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Back in Canada, Melady shares stories of the rush to enlist..one fella with a scar from his neck to to his naval who claimed it was for an appendectomy; another guy in the medical corps, who told the psychiatrists he liked to go out at night and strangle sheep.
But by far the most intriguing story is that of the mysterious Dr. Cyr, aka Fred Demara. From March to October 1951 this fellow masqueraded as Surgeon-Lieutenant Cyr and practiced medicine (admittedly often by stealing a look at a textbook or soliciting help from other medics) on the Cayuga for six months, even managing to pull one of the Captains teeth. Eventually, the real Dr. Cyr, back in New Brunswick, happened to read a story about himself in the newspaper. The ruse fell apart shortly afterwords.
Still, the book is not all jest and off-the-cuff irony. Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry fought gallantly and tragically at Kapyong-ni in early 1951, preventing a breach in the UN lines and perhaps the fall of Seoul (again). For this they were awarded the Presidential Citation for 'Outstanding Heroism'-- the only Canadians to ver receive this award. Quite an accomplishment for soldiers who, a few months before, were afraid the War would be over before they arrived in Korea.