The Australian Government encourages all Australians to take a moment tomorrow to honour those who served in the Battle of Kapyong and the Korean War.
In April 1951, the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment was positioned in Kapyong Valley as part of a UN force defending Seoul against the advancing communist forces.
The communist forces assaulted the UN defensive positions and during the night of 23 April, wave after wave of troops attacked the Australian positions. By morning, elements of the Australian force had to withdraw, with some cut off up to four kilometres behind the forwardmost enemy troops.
While the Australians were able to resist the attacks throughout the following day, by the evening of 24 April they were forced to undertake a fighting withdrawal. On 25 April the communist attack focused on the positions held by Canadian forces, who were ably supported by New Zealand artillery batteries
By the afternoon of 25 April, the communist attacks had ceased, and the combined Commonwealth forces had halted the advance.
While the Battle of Kapyong was successful, it was costly for 3RAR, with the loss of 32 members of the unit, 59 wounded and three taken prisoner.
More than 17,000 Australians served throughout the Korean War, with 340 killed, more than 1,200 wounded and 30 Australians taken prisoner. 42 Australian servicemen are still listed as missing in action in Korea.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, Matt Keogh, said the service and sacrifices of Korean Veterans won’t be lost.
“While some may call it ‘the forgotten war’, we won’t lose sight of the Australians who served with distinction in the Korean War, especially those who paid the ultimate price. We will remember them,” Minister Keogh said.
“Each year on Kapyong Day we honour the Australians who served in this battle and all those who served in the Korean War. Their service and the sacrifices of their families will continue to be honoured.”
To learn more about the Battle of Kapyong, visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal.