Logo by: Pat Stephens, Webmaster, DESA


 Deer Hunt Near Pusan, Korea, 1951

Source: Bill Lambdin Assistant Gunnery Officer


  I was the athletic officer on board the Whitehurst,  so it was my responsibility to see that the men had recreation.  I asked some of the guys if they wanted to go hunting,  and of course some did.  We took rifles and I took a shotgun.  The men killed two small deer, which by the way, had solid hoofs, unlike our deer in the States that have divided hoofs.  The crew ate the deer, and the stewards mates cleaned the three pheasants I killed and prepared them for the officers. 

The hunt lasted about 1/2 day.   We took the ship-assigned jeep to the countryside north of Pusan, where the landscape  was  hilly but had few trees.  There was one thing I do remember about the hunt.  As we were coming to the top of a rather large hill, we surprised a young couple.  They were in the middle of some serious love making.  I guess that goes to show you the Koreans are just as horny as we Americans when we were young.

The men took rifles and I took the only shotgun, so I had the privilege of shooting all the pheasants.
The deer were small, no bigger than a large dog,. The ship's company had the deer but  I don't recall how it was prepared.  I do remember that Oliphant [the officer's cook]  fried the three pheasants I killed, and it was a first for some of the officers.  That pheasant was a welcome relief from the hum drum of everyday mess.

Hugh Toney's comment: "I remember the deer being laid out on the deck.  They were scrawny animals with long canine teeth like a dog and looked like they were vermin infested.  I do not remember them being served in the crew's mess."


Standing l to r: John Beyer Jr BM2,  ??,  Robert Stolte, Officer Bill Lambdin,  Clover Cameron  SN

 Kneeling:  On left Turkaly BMG2,  center ??,  Aubrey Ryder SN 


 l. to r. Bill Lambdin, Glover Cameron, Steve Turkaly, Aubrey Ryder,  ??, Joe Bussey,  ??, and John Beyer Jr.


Andy Bisaccia offers the following as, possibly, the species of deer that was shot.

I have no recollection of any deer or bird hunting on our ship in Korea. It's interesting how men living in close quarters can be oblivious of things going on right under their noses. Life on ship is very compartmentalized. However, I do have a picture of the Korean water deer that is attached. It is the only member of the family cervidae where the male member is antlerless.   This deer is a hydropote and spends a lot of time around and in the water. It is a member of the deer family and is therefore an artiodactlya such as goats, deer, pigs, giraffes, antelope, etc., and has even number toes -- 2 or 4. The members of the perrisodactyla, such as horses, zebras, rhinos, tapirs , etc., are odd toed ungulates-1-3-5 toes or hooves. The water deer has a very interesting , unique feature for a herbivore--it has fang-like incisors and hops along with arched back like a rabbit!

Site Author, Max Crow's, notes: 

1. A few years after posting the story, Chris & I were visiting the zoo in Alamogordo, NM where we saw pair of small  deer, identical to the photo above.  They were identified as "Asian Deer" and, indeed, they moved with a hopping motion.

2. In January, 2008, Aubrey Ryder's daughter, Joanna, confirmed his identity in the pictures above.  Sadly she noted that he had died in September 1955 while still in the USN.
 If you can help with IDs or have input to the story, please contact Max Crow Site Author  

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