Korean War Medals Home Page

General Information - A Catalgoue of Decorations and Campaign Medals
Issued By Australia To United Nations Forces
For The Korean War 1950 - 1954

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General Information about Australia's involvement in the Korean War

The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia provided one aircraft carrier (HMAS Sydney), a frigate (HMAS Shoalhaven) and two destroyers (HMAS Bataan and HMAS Warramunga) of the Royal Australian Navy.  The Royal Australian Air Force sent 77 (F-51 Mustang) Fighter Squadron, which arrived in Korea on 30 June 1950 and was followed later by 30 (Dakota) Transport Unit with support and administrative personnel.  Ground forces, who were all volunteers, from the Australian Infantry Forces in Japan (67th Australian Infantry Battalion) joined with an additional battalion from Australia (3rd Btn. Royal Australian Regiment) who embarked at Tokyo on the American vessel Aiken Victory for Pusan on 27 September 1950.  The 3Btn R.A.R. first distinguished them on 17 October when 1,982 prisoners were captured in an ambush at Sariwon, the largest single capture of enemy troops during the entire war.  During the same advance 3Btn RAR also killed 270 North Koreans in a bayonet charge north of P'yongyang.  They also distinguished themselves at the battle of Kapyong on 23 and 24 April 1951 for which they were awarded the United States Presidential Unit Citation.

The Australians rotated their forces throughout the war and the following Units were involved :-

  H.M.A.S. Anzac (Destroyer)  
  H.M.A.S. Arunta  
  H.M.A.S. Bataan (Destroyer)  
  H.M.A.S. Condamine (Frigate)  
  H.M.A.S. Culgoa  
  H.M.A.S. Murchison (Frigate)  
  H.M.A.S. Shoalhaven (Frigate)  
  H.M.A.S. Sydney (Aircraft Carrier; 805/808/817 Sqns RNAS)

09.51 to 01.52
  H.M.A.S. Tobruk (Destroyer)  
  H.M.A.S. Vengeance  
  H.M.A.S. Warramunga (Destroyer)  
  1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1BtnRAR)

03.52 to 03.53
  2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2BtnRAR)

03.53 to 10.54
  3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3BtnRAR)

10.50 to 10.54
  30 Communications Unit, Royal Australian Air Force (30Sqn; Dakotas)

07.50 to 03.53
  36 Transport Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (36Sqn; Dakotas)

03.53 to 08.54
  77 Fighter Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (77Sqn; F51, Meteors Mk7 & 8) 06.50 to 01.55
  391 Maintenance Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force.  
  491 Maintenance Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force.  

From the beginning of hostilities in Korea until the armistice in July 1953, 311 officers and 4,196 other ranks of the Royal Australian Navy served in Korean waters.  During the Korean War land offensives 281 Australian servicemen were killed in action, 1,257 were wounded in action and 37 missing in action. Apart from the land offensive casualties 35 aircrew from 77 Fighter Squadron were listed as missing in action.