Remembering the fallen
THIS year marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War which saw more than 17,000 Australian servicemen serve from 1950-53, incurring 1500 casualties with 339 dead and 40 missing in action.
Gympie’s Ken Williamson, a Korean War veteran, was part of ground staff with the RAAF 77 Squadron – the first Australian unit to go into operations in Korea.
They also suffered the first casualty, losing 40 pilots and seven prisoners of war. In 1951 the Australian Army was involved in the Battle of Kapyong, fighting fiercely but suffering significant casualties.
The courage and dedication to duty of those Australian soldiers did not go unnoticed and the 3rd Battalion was awarded a US Presidential Citation.
The Korean War began when North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950. United Nations forces, including Australia, combined to repel the invasion. An armistice, signed in July 1953, ended the fighting after millions, including some 339 Australians, had lost their lives.