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4 RCHA

On 5 May, 1951, three artillery “Active Force Units” were formed at the following locations:

205 Fd Bty - Valcartier Que.

213 Fd Bty - Winnipeg Mn

216 Fd Bty - London On

On 10 April, 1952, Major General HA Sparling, Acting Chief of the General Staff, authorized 81 Fd Regt. as a “Battle” unit comprised of the 3 “Active Force Units”.

In June of 52 the Regiment formed up at Wainwright Alberta and began training in preparation for duty in Korea. In Sep. of 52 the Regt. moved to Petawawa for further training. In March of 53 the Regt left by train for Pier 39 in Seattle to board a ship for Korea. On the way, a stop was made for a pass at Kure, Japan.

The 81st Fd Regt took over the 1st RCHA positions in support of 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade.

205 Bty in support of 3 R22eR

213 Bty in support of 3 PPCLI

216 Bty in support of 3 RCR

Only two weeks after the takeover, the unit encountered it’s first major battle on 2/3 May, 53, when the Chinese attacked 3 RCR. The battle lasted for three or four. hours and the enemy were driven off under withering artillery fire with heavy casualties of the Chinese. The battle did a great deal towards raising morale in the unit and in the supported infantry, hence unit esprit di corps was enhanced considerably.

Throughout the remainder of the Korean conflict, there were no further major battles on the 81st Fd’s front. However, the unit took part in the HOOK battle, when units of 29 Brigade were attacked on 29 May, 53. Terrific hand-to-hand fighting took place during this battle and the Regiment have intense supporting fire. During the night, 5,800 rounds were fired which was slightly more than were fired when the 3 RCR were attacked on 3 May, 53.

Towards the middle of July, activity began to brighten in 1 ROK Div. area and heavy fighting took place in the BETTY Area. A liaison officer was kept with 59 ROK Arty Bn almost continually and gave heavy supporting fire in that sector for several days. The ROKs reported our fire as excellent with many Chinese casualties. In fact, they were so exuberant in this regard that they presented a scroll to the Regiment in recognition of the services rendered them during these trying battles. When the war ended on 27 July, 1953, the Regiment moved to a new area near the Imjin River, concentrated as a Regiment, and carried out extensive works on the KANSAS (reserve) positions, and in further training of officers and men.

On 30 November, 1953, the 81st Field was paraded, addressed by the CO, LCol Sterne, DSO, MBE, CD, and marched off as 4 RCHA. The Batteries were renamed; 205 Bty became K Bty, 213 Bty became L, and 216 Bty became M. (the Bty which I later joined) During the battle in Korea, 81 Fd Regt fired 120,597 “Well placed rounds”.

In May of 54, 4 RCHA returned to Canada to settle in Camp Utopia, NB and was increased by one light battery designated W Bty. When 4 RCHA was rotated into Germany in Sep. 55, W Bty remained in Camp Utopia and acted as the Regimental Depot.

The unit returned to Camp Petawawa in Nov. 57 and was re-established as a 5 Bty Regiment 13 Jan., 58. W Bty left Utopia from Petawawa and soon became the medium Bty. V Bty (locating) was formed soon after. Air OP Flight RCA stationed at Petawawa became Air OP Tp 4 RCHA in the spring of 1962.

(I joined M Bty on 14 June, 1962 then transferred to the RCAF on 25 May, 1963)

In 1964, 4 RCHA became part of the special Service Force and was re-organized into a 3 Bty light Regiment establishment, equipped with 4.2 in Mortars as an interim weapon. W Bty (Med) was attached to 4 RCHA for training and went to Cyprus for Peace Keeping duties under command of 2 Cdn Guards from Sep. 65 to Apr. 66.

Effective 1 June 68, a reduction was made to a 2 Bty establishment restricted for peace time conditions, K Bty was reduced to nil strength because L & M held AMF(L) taskings. The L5 Pack Howitzer arrived 17 Feb. 1969 and once again, the Regiment had guns!

Over the years the Regiment has travelled widely and participated in a wide variety of activities which include

Active Service - Korea

Peace Keeping - Cyprus

NATO Exercises - Sardinia, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Belgium.

Other Exercises - Jamaica, Puerto Rico, BC

Home Camps - Wainwright, Petawawa, Utopia.

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