CLEMENT, Jean-Michel

Jean-Michel en Corée.
Registration Nr.:    08584
Birthday:    25.02.1932, Luxembourg City
Father:    Jean-Pierre CLEMENT
Mother:    Marie KREITZ
Service entry:    08.07.1949
Contingent:    1st
Ranks:    Soldat de 2e Classe
                  Soldat de 1re Classe (1951)
                  Caporal de réserve (1955)


Jean-Michel was conscripted into the Army in July 1949. Following the outbreak of the Korean War, he joined the first contingent. As a Bren machinegunner, he participated in the battle at the Imjin River in late April 1951. On patrol, under the lead of Sergent Aloyse Franck, Mich was tasked with checking on the communication lines between the battalion command post and C company. When he arrived at C company, he became involved in a counterattack against Chinese troops, during which his left leg was hit by shrapnel from a fragmentation grenade. This injury severely hampered his movement and prevented him from keeping pace with his section. He decided to fall back to be treated in a field hospital. 

After his return to Luxembourg, Mich stayed in the Army at least until 1956. After his military discharge, he did not return to his former trade as a carpenter but worked in the iron ore mines in the south of Luxembourg, where he loaded wagons with iron ore. This physically demanding, but well paid job allowed him to feed his family. One day, while casually talking to a Gendarmerie Adjudant about his term in Korea, he had a stroke of luck. The officer couldn't imagine a war veteran having to work as a simple labourer in the mines, so he spontaneously offered him a job as a police officer at ARBED. Mich accepted and finally got the job, working for the steel giant until his retirement.

"[...] Arrivé à la Cie C (Compagnie C) nous sommes invités par le Commandant de la Cie, le Lieutenant en 1ièr Paul Jansen de participer à une contre-attaque. Lors de cette attaque, je fus blessé à la jambe gauche par un éclat de grenade chinoise, ce qui m’a empêché de continuer la progression avec ma section [...]."

Excerpt from Jean-Michel’s anecdote.

"Soldat très discipliné et très dévoué. Sens du devoir très développé. Calme dans les situations difficiles. Bonne coopération. Endurant. Tireurs Bren de 1er ordre. A participé à une patrouille le 23 avril comme Bren I pour couvrir la section dans l’attaque."

Lieutenant Tun Wagener about Jean-Michel Clement. © Wagener/MNHM