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Photo Essay: The Korean War (1950-1953)

Photo Essay: The Korean War (1950-1953)
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Five short years after the close of WWII, Australia would become embroiled in the US-led invasion of the Korean Peninsula. On 28 June 1950, then-PM Robert Menzies committed the RAN’s Pacific assets to the ‘Forgotten War’; followed soon by No. 77 Squadron (RAAF) and rotating RAR contingents. 

Five short years after the close of WWII, Australia would become embroiled in the US-led invasion of the Korean Peninsula. On 28 June 1950, then-PM Robert Menzies committed the RAN’s Pacific assets to the ‘Forgotten War’; followed soon by No. 77 Squadron (RAAF) and rotating RAR contingents. 

After the Chinese-backed North crossed the 38th parallel, the UN Security Council swiftly pushed through UNSC Resolution 82, calling on all members to support the pushback operation as of 25 June 1950. Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, and Canada would all join the fight in the days to follow; with the frigate HMAS Shoalhaven stationed in Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (and the destroyer HMAS Bataan on its way to replace the latter), Menzies wasted no time in committing both of these vessels to Korea. 

Days later, No. 77 Squadron began sorties over enemy territory, flying American P-51D Mustangs. Less prepared for a surprise outbreak of war, the Australian Army entered the fray on 28 September 1950, landing at Busan (Korea's second city, located at the southern tip of the peninsula). They would assist the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade (and the subsequent 1st Commonwealth Division) through to the signing of the Korean Armistice on 27 July 1953. 

This photo essay traces the deployment of Australian forces and assets to Korea, with a particular focus on RAR contingents and the human component.

 

 

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