Interview With Paul Stock

From the interview with Paul Stock of Cottage Grove, OR conducted by Eugene Walker on July 8, 2002 at the Fort Worden History Center. Mr. Stock served in the Boat Battalion of the 369th EASR during the Korean War era. Here he relates his duty while serving in Korea :

“I went to Pusan. Then I got sent to the 501st transportation corps, harbor craft, and wound up running a fire boat. At first, I went up the coast and ran a launch at an ammo dump for awhile, then back to Pusan and stayed there on the fire boat in the Pusan harbor.

The kind of calls we responded to were mostly Korean buildings. In the winter time, they heated with hibachis and it was pretty cold. They would start a building on fire, accidentally. Then they had short fire-fighting platoons, firemen, and we’d run the boat in close and provide water. We didn’t normally actually put the fire out. We weren’t firemen, but when a boat would catch fire, we became firemen. We saved a couple of Korean boats.

At the time, the Korean boats were crude. They had a cargo boat that they used and they lived on them full time. They had a big single Diesel engine in it, probably three or four cylinders. We called them a hot-head Diesel and they were pretty archaic, but they worked. Their fires were caused by careleeness. Somebody probably had a kitchen fire and started a fire on board. Then we’d come along, respond to the call, and gently put a fire hose over to them and provide water.”

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