What is this site for?
For Korean War information especially related to Australian soldiers in the Battle of Kapyong and the Distingished Unit Presidential Citation
awarded to them. Other experiences of being a soldier in Korea and on leave in Japan will be
included. This is intended as source to family history or genealogy reseachers tryting to find out what Dad or Grandad might have seen or done in the Korean War.
When I first did this page there was virtually no information on the web about the Battle of Kapyong and very few about the
Korean War with regard to Australian participation. Since then the Australian War Museum site has come online and many other sites have developed. So I decided to keep this a niche site.
Other sites give the UN versus China "big picture" battles. These political pictures are as irrelevant now as they were then to
the individual experiences that a soldier came face-to-face with, during his time in Korea.
This is an attempt at a soldiers perspective, more relevant to family members of veterans then political students.
The 3RAR was the first Australian unit to be awarded a Presidential Citation. Ironically, the Australian Government and the
Commonwealth Forces did not initially recognise this and many outstanding actions taken in Korea.
The lack of publicity in Australia about the war in Korea meant that many Australian’s still do not know we were even involved, or confuse it with the Vietnam War.
As in previous wars, many Australian actions were recorded as either British or American in the news media. This is related to
maintaining propaganda and morale by attributing the action to the overall commanding force.
Unfortunately it has the effect of diluting the credit due to those involved, leading to a reduction in knowledge and respect in Australia of what Australian armed services contributed.
Was the Korean War a real war?
Australian casualties were 339 killed and 1216 wounded. The war in Korea was clearly not a 'police action' or 'side
show', it was in every sense a major war. The civilian casualties were up to two million. For Australia, taking account of the numbers committed and the period of the conflict,
the casualty rate was second only to that of the First World War.
Besides 3RAR, 1RAR arrived in June 1952 and 2RAR in April 1953. The RAAF and RAN also played vital roles in the war but I have generally restricted this site to 3RAR due to personal interest.
There were many other actions by Australian units in Korea and I encourage you to look further afield to find out about these. Maybe even set up your own webpage about it to help other researchers.