Roy Bindon, sitting, in Khaborovsk,
Siberia 1918. Original privately held
by Carol Fuller, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE].
The American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia were charged with keeping the Trans-Siberian Railroad open and out of the hands of the Bolshevicks. Roy and his comrads arrived in Vladivostok and went to work. As Roy's daughter told me the story:
One day the troops had gone up past Volodevestock (?) and Verteneudinks (?). She thinks it was beyond Verteneudinks. The troops were out guarding the Trans-Siberian Railroad and Roy, being a machine gun sniper, was sent out in the woods by his commandant.
While he was out, the Bolshevicks camped below the tree that he [Roy] was stationed in, where he had set up his machine gun sniper position. They [the Bolsheviks] spent the night below him and he had to stay up in that tree all night long. He hung on for dear life until they got up early the next morning and moved out.
When Roy thought the Bolsheviks were sufficiently gone, he reported back their position to his commandant. The commandant, had a canvas tent or some other temporary structure that was somehow heated. As Roy reported in to the commandant, the warm air hit his cold eardrums, and his eardrums burst. He slowly started going deaf from that point on.It really is a rather extraordinary story. I was able to confirm it by obtaining Roy's military records (see sources below). According to these records, Roy was treated in December of 1918 at an Army hospital in Khabarovsk, Siberia.
Roy came back from Russia and spent many years in Hines hospital because he was slowly going deaf and the ringing in his ears just about drove him crazy. After reading Roy's military records, I can only imagine the frustration he and the family went through trying to get him the medical help that he needed.
Roy's Military Records obtained from the Department of Veteran's Affairs in Chicago, Illinois. More specifically, his Honorable Discharge Certificate, various Requests for Army Information and Applications for Disability Compensation.
Carol Fuller Interview, 24 February 1994.
© 2010, copyright Michelle Goodrum