TOMORROW we acknowledge the 72nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War and remember the dedication and recognise the service and sacrifice of more than 18,000 Australians who fought as part of the United Nations (UN) multinational force defending South Korea from a North Korean invasion.
Our Australian Navy, Army and Air Force personnel who served in the Korean War won international respect for their courage, endurance and combat skills.
On 25 June 1950, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Army crossed the border into the Republic of Korea capturing Seoul within days – the first major action of the war.
The first Australian ground troops arrived in Pusan on 27 September 1950 and following three years of fighting an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953 after a long negotiation. However, our Australian troops remained in Korea for another four years as part of the multinational peacekeeping force in the post-armistice period.
The Korean War also saw more than 150 Australian nursing sisters serve both in Korea and in a base hospital in Japan. They treated the wounded and sick in hospitals, aboard hospital trains and on aeromedical evacuation flights.
Australian troops suffered some 1,500 casualties during the war and post-Armistice period, including more than 350 who died, 30 taken prisoner and 43 Australians listed as missing in action.
Korea was the first war for the newly formed Australian Regular Army, the first and only time an aircraft carrier of the Royal Australian Navy had conducted wartime operations and it was also the last time the Royal Australian Air Force engaged in air-to-air combat.
The major units involved in the war included the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR), HMA Ships Anzac, Arunta, Bataan, Tobruk, Warramunga, Condamine, Culgoa, Murchison, Shoalhaven and Sydney (including Royal Australian Navy 805, 808 and 817 Squadrons) and Royal Australian Air Force No. 77 Squadron.
For more information on the history of the Korean War, visit the Anzac Portal
The War formalised Australia’s military alliance with the United States in the ANZUS Treaty.
The Korean Veterans Association of Australia will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance on 27 July 2022 at 11:30 am AEST. Commemoration Services will be held throughout Australia.
The Korean Society of the Gold Coast, the Association of QLD Korea Veterans and The Surfers Paradise RSL sub branch will be commemorating the event at the Cascade Gardens, Surfers Paradise.
Lest we Forget
Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling, provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 82414546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au