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Korean War veteran Herman Denty will never forget a hungry little girl's thank you

Herman Denty
Herman Denty - Colin Farrell
LITTLE BAY EAST, N.L. —

From his corner chair in the living room of the beach-side home he shares with his wife, Herman Denty, 87, a veteran of the Korean War, recalls his enlistment as a youth.
Denty was 11 years old when he joined the reserves.
He was living in St. John’s and had just recovered from a car accident that would leave him laid up for two years.
“I got smashed up there on Long’s Hill,” he explained. “I was standing there were the light was to, waiting for it to change. When it changed an American fellow came whizzing up. He hit me and put me right across (the road).”
Denty was taken to hospital by a friend and would remain there for a year. He spent another year recovering in Burin Peninsula before going back to St. John’s.
“I went back and they gave me a clean bill of health, so I said 'Oh, boy, this is worth having a beer on', so I went down to have a beer and there was six guys that I worked with belong to Bay d’Espoir.
"I said, 'What are you fellows doing out here today?' 
"They said, 'We got tired of cutting wood and we come in and joined the army,'" he remembers. 

A photograph of Herman Denty, far left, during his time in Korea.
A photograph of Herman Denty, far left, during his time in Korea.


By that evening he, too, was on his way to Kentville for military training. 
"By Jesus did they put it to us,” he shares.
In 1953 Denty went to Korea where he served with the 2nd Battalion Blackwatch.
He said a memory of his time there still makes him emotional today.
“The worst thing I seen was a little girl...we were out on patrol and this little girl, she couldn’t be no more than six or eight, she come over and touched my (ration) bag. She was hungry,” he explained. 
“I gave her (food). She came over, sat on my knee and gave me a kiss. I never ever forgot that.”
He was also told he had to leave the forces because of his previous leg injury, but Denty refused to go.
"I said, 'I’m not going home. I come here for however long (the) regiment stays and that’s how long I’m staying.'"
He was made a radio man, and he continued in that role until he returned home in 1954.
Upon returning from Korea he worked a variety of jobs. He was a truck driver in Boat Harbour for a year, worked in Labrador laying rails for the railway, drove an ambulance and also worked for a company that purchased herring.
“A crowd from Sidney came down buying herring, they asked me how would I like to go to work for them as a foreman at their place there (in Boat Harbour).
When the company official asked what he expected as pay, Denty had an answer: “I wouldn’t go to work for less than $200 a week."
He got the job.
He said at times he was in charge of up to 15 trucks that unloaded fish into boats.
He later moved to Toronto where he worked as a tugboat captain for Waterman’s Services (Scott) Ltd.
“They were a good bunch to work for. I was 25 years old; I was married when I went with them. I was captain on the tugs for 27 years.”
At the age of 52 he returned to the Burin Peninsula where he went to work as a fisheries officer, before joining Gulf Oil where he spent six years working in the Arctic as quarter master on the vessel the Gulf Walford,.  
In 1979 he and his wife Marina brought a small six-room hotel located on the Burin Peninsula Highway.
“We built 100 feet on it and added more rooms,” he explained.
The couple ran the hotel until approximately 1992 when they sold the business. 

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