Clovis Ira “Danny”
Bordeleau died on January 2 in hospital, following by a few months the
passing of his beloved wife, Lila. He was 80 years old and went quickly.
would hope that his chums gave him full military honours.
assuredly was a pillar of strength for Korean War Veterans and
particularly for the Korea Veterans Association of Canada, which he
served with distinction for many years. Danny had held posts as national
treasurer and served in more than one term as president of the National
Capital Unit of KVA Canada.
served with the 1st PPCLI in
Bordeleau, newly trained jumper, on embarkation leave in September,
and others cynically called it “The Pusan death march.”
were in action very soon after that. Dan’s company replaced C Company
of the 2nd PPCLI in the lines on a hill that they had
captured a few days earlier.
after he watched from his position as his friend, Private Donald
Bradshaw attacked the enemy on Hill 566 with A Company of the 1st. Both
companies were attached to 2 PPCLI and Bradshaw’s company
was called “Able Green.”
was killed in action. Things were so hot as the attacking platoons
withdrew that his body was never recovered. Dan and Donald had both
trained with the
killed on the position on his 17th day in
feisty fellow, Danny had served in the Merchant Navy in World War II in
brother Gerald Bordeleau had served in
brother had been wounded in the head with grenade shrapnel. In Canada
he had to undergo emergency surgery sometime later for removal of
little older, a little tougher in character perhaps than some of his
chums, Dan was selected a few months later to attend the NCO
graduated as a lance corporal and returned to C Company in March, 1952.
It was on the Hook and his company commander, Major Charles Short
personally took him into a fighting trench to orient him to the
pointed out a long ridge line that led out toward a broad valley carved
by a tributary of the
was an academic question. Dan trudged between the rows of wire that
marked a safe trail through the mines. He reported to Sergeant Dick
Buxton, one of three brothers who served in 1st PPCLI.
was a very tough, harsh speaking fellow” Danny said of him once. “I
wouldn’t particularly want to sit down and have a drink with him but I
wouldn’t want to be in action under command of anyone else. He was a
put Dan in charge of a Bren gun section on the right spur of the Warsaw, overlooking the valley. The
very night enemy patrols were heard near the position. The platoon soon
received a spattering of mortar bombs, then there was enemy contact.
the platoon engaged on both the left and right spurs the enemy did a
classic maneuver and hit them in strength from the rear – from the end
of the Warsaw
that faced the Hook.
quickly reorganized the defences. He took over one of the platoon’s
Browning machineguns himself. The enemy came through the wire and were
shot up badly by both Private Carrington, who was 16 years old and by
and two men held the enemy at bay on the right flank.
was a little revetment and they had worked their way into it,” he
said. “Every once in a while they would try to rush us. Not very
one point in the action Buxton sent a man to the left spur to find out
why the Bren team that had been firing opposite Bordeleau had stopped
firing. They had taken a round from a flat trajectory gun through the
trench parapet. It had killed both Corporal Edward Theobald and Private
artillery made the night so bright you could read a newspaper, Danny
recalls. Adding to it was a stack of .50 caliber ammunition that had
caught fire and was exploding, the big sputtering increments sailing
into the sky. Danny believed tracer bullets from their own machineguns
set it off.
were less than 30 men defending and more than 80 in the attack. Dan
recalled that around 0200 hours he was beginning to feel exhausted. The
first attack had come in a little after 2300 hours.
enemy wouldn’t back off and repeatedly hit the platoon for more than
they were done the platoon had lost six men killed and eight were
wounded, including Sergeant Buxton. Buxton was awarded a Distinguished
Conduct Medal. He refused to accept it without the survivors of the
attack at his side.
killed that night were Privates Joseph Cote, William Fowler, Emerson
Patterson and Raymond Sweeney.
enemy lost 30 killed in action, one taken prisoner and an untold number
of wounded. Their casualty rate was estimated at 90 percent, perhaps was
platoon was relieved on the line for one day to attend Sergeant
Buxton’s investiture ceremony. Buxton died many years later in a
parachute jump and a Drop Zone at Garrison Edmonton is named in his