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The foster parenthood of the Belgian Korea Volunteer Corps

 The third Parachute Battalion 

Barracks Pierre Gailly                  

 

 

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The colors of the Volunteer Corps for Korea are entrusted to the 3rd Parachute Battalion in 1955

    

Who was Pierre GAILLY

Many amongst you will wonder who Pierre Gailly was, when looking at the bronze commemoration plaque at the entrance of the camp. I have known Pierre GAILLY very well myself.

We left together in May 1951. He was a second lieutenant paratrooper then. I have seldomly met such a winning personality.  He was a humble and good-natured man, helpful towards everyone, with a fine sense of humor and also a very religious person. He lived  somewhat in the shadow of his brother, Etienne Gally, paratroop officer as well and very well known, more a nervous type, winner of the Bronze Medal in the marathon  race during the 1948 Olympic Games in LONDON.
In February 1952 , part of the platoon of which I was platoon sergeant, stranded in a minefield, thereby suffering one KIA and three WIA. Once we got back on safe ground, he stood next to me and, completely against his usual manner, started to curse silently. Softly but for a long time a complete rosary, such was his guilt at losing several of his men. Our lord has forgive a padré that curses when he is at the end of this tether!
Pierre Gailly began a second tour in Korea, has been promoted to captain and commanded heavy weapons company. On 20th March 1953 in the morning he flew over the Chinese positions in a small scout plane in order to ascertain their strength and location in front of his company from the air. The plane was shot down by enemy machine guns and crashed in no man's land. No sign of live was observed. Both passengers were probably killed in the crash.
His brother Etienne immediately went out with a patrol, under cover of a smoke screen in order to get close to the plane but enemy fire prevented this. During the following night friendly artillery fire was brought down the wreck to prevent the Chinese from searching it and to destroy all traces, like marked maps. Nothing was ever heard from him again.
Whenever I see his name, I often think of "Piet" as we were to call him, and I see him again like it was yesterday