Lindsay Glassey describes shelling from off shore

Lindsay Glassey was a signalman on the HMNZS Taupo during the Korean War. Here he describes shelling trains in tunnels from off shore.


The railway line ran along the coast. And we used to do what we used to call train busting. Sail up and down and if a train come, get in as close as they could with a close-range weapons and try and disable it, without much luck. But quite often they caused damage. Then they’d nip into the tunnel, wait in the tunnel. And we’d wait patiently at the other end. And they wouldn’t come out so we’d go away, then they’d go on their merry way. But what we used to do, there was also a couple of small trestle bridges and we went up there and they were quite good. And the American commander thought, perhaps we could do something about them. So he thought we could get in close with our draft and that. So we did. And we  blew this trestle bridge up, thought it was a great thing to do. Little short bridge, with this little trestle holding it up in the middle. We come back in the morning and the damn thing was up again. (Laughs). So they blew that up and we went down and ran our patrol and come back and the bridge was up again. And they spotted a guy on the line so they close-up one of the close range guns and tried to get him but we were just out of his range. But we were landing close and he was running along there and he disappeared into the tunnel. That’s where they got the idea that they must have gangs in the tunnels. Cos these bridges, you’d blow ‘em up and they’d all be back up again with bamboo and everything all lashed together the next day. So the next job we tried to do was block up the tunnels. That worked for a while too but they seemed to get cleared pretty quickly as well. How did you block them? Fire a couple of high explosives into the entrance of the tunnel and it all collapses. But we never really beat that but we found out later we were holding up their supply line down to the front line, causing quite big hold ups, so we kept blowing up tunnels and bridges.

Lindsay Glassey

Lindsay Glassey, 2011

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