Maxwell Veale

Running time
1 min 52 sec

Maxwell Veale served in HMAS Murchison during the Han River operation.

"We used to bombard all night and sleep all day, just to keep them awake and upset them. And we done this for weeks and we had two JMLs there with us, they were Japanese motor launches, they were gunboats. With a 40mm gun and a couple of Oerlikons sitting each side. And they were [manned by South] Koreans. And they used to go in along the shore and they'd machine gun and all that, and then come back out. And they made it where we could [find] a passageway around the basin of the river. We were in the basin of the river and there was a passageway, like a gully right round where you could go right round but you had to drop your anchor, wait for the tide to turn so you could turn around, because you never had enough room to turn around with engines, and then come back out again.

And we had done this three or four times and that was good, but this day we went in and they were waiting for us. And we hadn't turned, we were going up towards the turn, and the lookout looked over, we were at action stations, and the lookout looked over and he said to the captain, 'Sir those haystacks are moving.' And the skipper, looking at them with binoculars, [saw that] they were moving, they had anti-tank guns behind them, they were tanks, moving. And they waited until we stopped, and that's when we had to turn and that's when they hit us. And they threw all this at us and of course we threw a lot back too. And that's when they put all the holes in her [HMAS Murchison], as we turned, because we could only train one turret on them."

Find out more about the role of the HMAS Murchison in the Han River operation.

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