Melbourne – Australia

Melbourne VIC, Australia

Veteran Stories

>> Hello there, my name is Laurie Krause. I served with the Royal Australian Air Force on the 77th Squadron, based at Kimpo Air Base just northwest of Seoul. I was there in October '52 to April '53, mainly the winter, although when I first got there, it was summer there or the end of autumn, and middling cold in the winter, I remember that for sure. I think all Korean veterans in the winter remember that. I was an armorer and serviced all the [INAUDIBLE] aircraft we had. At that time, they were reduced to ground support, and they supported, earlier on, the squadrons supported the troops at the Battle of Kapyong, where the Australian Army, along with the others, were awarded the U.S. Presidential Citation, which was a great honor for the troops that were involved in that battle. One of the worst things I remember is a lot of times when the pilots took off, and they never come back, some of them that I knew very well. One come from my city of Geelong who I knew very well, and I'm afraid he'd never come back one day, and he's never been found. He's one of the MIAs, but we lived intense there in the winter, and that's why we think of Korea as being a cold country, but not the people. The people are very good to us in their latter years. They remember. The children here in Melbourne remember the hardships that their grandparents went through, through either the stories told to them or their parents, and every year in Melbourne, we attend a Korean church service, along with the beautiful Korean community, and the Australians who attend are extremely grateful for the kindness that is offered to us veterans. I'd like to say to the American people, "You've got a beautiful memorial in Washington," and we have to have one built here very shortly in Melbourne. It's taken a long time, but finally we are going to have one. On Kimpo Air Base, we had a lot of fraternizing with the Americans, and we had ... All the tanker drivers were America drivers, and we got along very, very well with them. I don't think I've got much else all to say except may God bless you all, and as I say, Hannah is telling us, like hair, we're disappearing into the sunset. Thank you very much, and God bless again.
>> Well, my name is Kevin Collin Joseph Berriman, commonly known as Col. I joined the Army on the 25th of October 1951, on my 17th birthday, as the Korea War was waging at that time. However, as I was underaged, at 17, you weren't allowed to go into active service until you were 19. So therefore, the first 2 years of my Army life was spent waiting to go to Korea, in fact. I finally made it just after the Armistice when I went back for a second tour on the line. When we arrived, we did not have to put up with the shelling and the major fighting patrol activity, however, when I arrived my immediate thought was the sympathy for the people, and most of the populous was in starvation at that time. It was a terrible time for the South Korean people. When we arrived, there was still activity up on the DMZ. We established the demarcation zone, and our main activity at the time was patrolling inside the zone, which was allowed in those days. We patrolled one side, and the Chinese, who were still there, patrolled the other side, and we used to to wave to each other occasionally in the center. There was still activity with North Korea crossing the border on several occasions. Of course, we had to keep the whole area fortified, and I served there for approximately 12 months in that activity. There were several clashes on the border at that time, and I was injured during one of them where we had to chase some suspects. We chased them into a mine field. Well, we didn't ever find out who they ... I'll have to stop. Anyway, we never got to catch the four that we were chasing. We saw them, nearly caught them, but they went into a mine field, and we stopped the chase, but sadly saw them ... Well, we couldn't interview them because there was nothing left of them to interview after that. During the chase, I sadly fell down a ravine, and I didn't know it at the time, but I'd fractured my spine, and really I was out of action for some weeks after that. I spent time in hospital, and then came back to Korea for a short time where we engaged in more patrol activities, especially along the DMZ. Then my time was up in Korea, and I was hospitalized again, but over in Japan while I was in hospital, I was approached by the public relations officer. They wanted somebody to look after the office in Japan for a while, and they recruited me as a junior noncommissioned officer in the public relations office, where we were engaged in photography of Operation Glory, which was where the exchange of the dead occurred. We were receiving our dead, which had been buried in North Korean graves before the establishment of the static war lines on the Kansas Line on the 38th parallel. And also, we were working returning North Korea and Chinese dead at that time. I was engaged in the fringes of that, mainly working with a photographer that was taking photos of the Operation Glory activities. Some of them are still in the memorial at the present time, when our dead were coming back, and we were sending dead back over to North Korea. I left Japan in July 1955, so I was over there for almost 2 years, and I came back to Australia. Korea had finished with then. I was just due to go over to the mine action, the emergency which was occurring over there, but was found to be, because of my injuries, no longer suitable for the infantry or active service. I retired from the Army in 1957 under the care of our Department of Veteran's Affairs, who really have cared for me since I was 22 years old. I was re-educated through our Department of Veteran's Affairs, became an accountant with a university degree and worked with the public service for a further 25 years until my injuries caught up with me again at the age of 48 when I was retired from public work. Since then, I've had another career of volunteer work for the ex-service community, mainly in welfare and bereavements, and that's it. >> So can you tell us a little bit about how many veterans in Australia are still remaining? >> Sadly ... Can we stop for a moment? You asked me, Hannah, how many veterans are left in Australia. There were 17,850 served in Korea from 1950 until 1956. Now, as of October last year, there were less then 3,000 of us still alive. To be in fact, there was only 2,700. They're dying very quickly. At the present time, there would be no more than 2,400 of us left. Now, I can also give you some casualty figures of those that we lost. Those that paid the supreme sacrifice during their service in Korea was a total of 356 who lost their lives, 340 before the cease fire on July 1953, and 18 after the uneasy armistice that occurred on that date. Is there anything else that you would like? >> POWs, missing in action? >> Missing in action, we still have 42 that are missing in action, about half from pilots that were lost, mostly in the North. Only one that we haven't recovered in South Korea. The rest of the missing in action are Army personnel mostly in the DMZ, which nobody can find in any case, even to this day. We suspect that some of those pilots that were lost in the North could have gone back on recoveries that have occurred by the Americans. It's a possibility that they could have some of them in Hawaii. We're investigating this matter at the present time by organizing a memorandum of understanding with the American authorities. Those that were recovered, of course, are all in the Hawaii cemetery, the beautiful American cemetery in Hawaii. I think it's called the Punchbowl. Perhaps they could be, but it's very doubtful if any of the 22 Army personnel are there. They're mostly still in the demilitarized zone. There's thousands of Chinese still there, and Americans, many thousands of them, still missing. That's about all that we can say about the MIAs. Under the current regime in North Korea, I don't think we'll ever recover any more of those. Anyway, it's so long ago now, what, over 60 years. What's to recover? >> How about POWs? Australian POWs? >> POWs, there are very few of them alive now. I can't tell you the exact ... We had probably over 20, 25. Some of them died in captivity, three of them, to my mind. I don't know whether we have any still alive at the present time. I think there was about less than 30 we had POWs in Australia. What else? >> What do you think is significant about Australian contribution in the Korean War? >> What? >> Australia's contribution in the Korean War unlike other countries? For example, on top of my head, I could think of is the Australians contributed all the ... >> Well, for our size, we contributed quite a lot, especially ... You've heard some stories from two of our pilots, both from the Navy and from our own 77 Squadron, who flew there. Our Army contribution, of course, was three infantry battalions, which for our population at that time, 17,850 of us served, so for our small population of seven million was ... Our actions, of course, in the infantry we contributed to several major battles: the taking of Maryang-san, which during the static war was ... Although we took it in October 1951, it was lost shortly after, unfortunately, but Maryang-san was the main Chinese outpost on the Jamestown Line. That was a major battle. The Battle of Kapyong, of course. Australians and the Canadians held the line at Kapyong during the big Chinese offensive of 1951, in April 1951. The Australian battalion 3 RAR held the Chinese offensive during that time long enough, for 3 days, for them to establish the defenses around Seoul, which stopped the Northern advance. And then, of course, the static war period happened shortly after that in October 1951, where the war stayed until the armistice just about the 38th parallel. For a small force of 17,000, as I said, we lost almost 400 killed in action. Many of us were wounded and injured, like myself, I suppose. I was one of the injured. Anyway, that's about all I can say really. It was a long time ago. My main thoughts and feelings during the time that I served was heart rending. I was so sad to see the population starving, especially children, which upset me very much as a young man. All that I can say is my ... The sacrifice that the South Korea people paid was enormous, and they must be congratulated for how they've lifted themselves up after that disastrous time to such a prosperous country that it is today, and I'm very proud to be concerned with the recovery of Korea. They've done a wonderful job. That's about all. I can't think of anything else. I get bad thoughts when I think of what the people suffered. It was a terrible, terrible time for them. Terrible thing to see. We helped them as much as we could, of course, but we couldn't feed the whole population. Anyway, that's it.
>> My name is Jon Muller. I served in the Royal Australian Navy. I was a young sailor at the time and served on the HMAS Sydney. We [INAUDIBLE] up there. We had Christmas 1951 in Japan, well, in Korea, but we were back at Kure Harbor, and I remember that quite well because my father's friend, Sergeant Jet Kessels, he was back in Korea in Kure [INAUDIBLE], and I went there on Christmas afternoon and caught up with him and some of his friends and then had to go back on my ship, and this Aboriginal captain, Rhett Saunders, he said, "I'll drive you back." I said, "Oh, no, I'll get a taxi." "No, no, I'll drive you back," he said, and Captain Rhett Saunders drove me back to the ship. When I got there, he got out and opened the door and [INAUDIBLE]. He said, "Oh, I'm the officer coming on board. [INAUDIBLE] officer today, but the only bloke who came on board was this young sailor." But that was it. It was Christmas. We had to sail, and we had to have ... [INAUDIBLE] one morning. They said volunteers required to sweep the [INAUDIBLE] to get the planes on, and the Queenslanders and West Australians all jumped out of their hammocks, and away they went. Second morning, a few of them did but not all of them. Then on the third morning, [INAUDIBLE], flight deck, so they were forced to go up and sweep the ... [INAUDIBLE], but that was good. We had lots of ships around us, and we lost a couple of planes and a couple of [INAUDIBLE] unfortunately, but, yeah, that's about it from there, I think. >> Where do you take pride in the sailors? >> Sorry? >> Your comrades, the sailors, Australian Navy, you must be proud of your contributions in the Korean War. >> Yeah, well, I agree, much proud. >> Mm-hmm. >> And I still think about all of the things I did, and I'm also very proud of what the Korean government have done since. I remember going back there, 40th anniversary of [INAUDIBLE] with Jim Hughes and Greg McTheran, and I went back last year subject benefit of [INAUDIBLE] did the whole thing, and just the difference is still ... Twenty years, look at the difference. It's like I'd never been there, and you've done a great job. She contributed a lot of money to the museum there, and all the countries are represented there [INAUDIBLE] around areas of the museum, very, very impressive and thankful for that. >> Well, thank you for your contribution. >> Thank you. >> Thank you.
>> I came to Australia in 1968. >> Your name? >> Brian Edwards, ex-Lance Corporal, Royal Military, please. So I served in Korea from 1951, August, until 1952, August, where I served with the 28th Brigade, and the brigade at that time consisted of the Third Battalion Royal Australia Regiment, and apart from the King's Own Scottish Borderers and one or two other regiments, but the bulk of it was the Australians. That's why I'm affiliated with the Australian branch of Korean vets, so you want me to say something about whatever? Okay. My duty as a military policeman, apart from keeping law and order among the ranks, we have to assign the routes for troop movement, and my job was assigning routes for the 28th Brigade, mainly the Australians, whenever they were moved anywhere, and I had to sign the routes right up to the forward line to make sure they knew where they were going, and then once I'd done my job, then the troops would move in. We normally was the first in with an engineer or signals. The engineers would clear the mines. Signals would establish telephone points, and I used to point the signs down and say this is where this battalion or the second is going, so that's what a military policeman does in war. He's usually the first in and the last out to make sure all the wounded go out and everything is cared for apart from looking after all the roads, making sure all the roads are clear, so it's a big job, but it's good, and it's a rewarding job, and you usually do 3 months in the forward area and 3 months in reserve, but whilst I were in reserve in April '52, I escorted the First Battalion or Australian Regiment to relieve the third battalion, which was in the line, from Incheon. That was just the transport section. The other troops arrived Busan, and then came by road, so it was interesting job. You had to know the roads. You had to keep the roads clear, and you had to keep ammunition and supplies going to the front, and you had to make sure the wounded and/or dead were back behind the lines, so that's what a military policeman does in war, and that's how I was sort of affiliated with the Australians. >> But you're British. >> When did you come to Australia? >> 1968, so I've been in Australia quite a while. >> Were there other countries that sent their military policemen? >> Yeah, most countries did, but the British military police was probably the first big one. The Americans did have police there, but they didn't do as much as what the British ones did. >> You're actually the first military policeman that I have interviewed. >> There you are. >> I didn't even know. >> And we all wore red hats. >> Can you put it in? >> All right. >> Wow. Wow, looks handsome. >> But it wasn't a hat like this we wore. It was more what we called a cheese-cutter where it had a big down where it had a red top on. I should have brought ... I've still got the red top I had there, but it's got a few holes in it now. Just I remember one time. It was the battle of Maryang-san. That was on the 3rd of October to the 8th. I, as a policeman, assign the route from the 28th of September before we moved the brigade up on the 3rd of October, and it was during that time ... I think ... In that battle, I think 30,000 wounds of shells went in, and I think we took 20,000 back, and that was on a crossroads. There was the enemy there. There was a road to Goheung down there, and there was the British. 29th Brigade was up there at one time, but on the 3rd or 5th of October, I had the bring the 28th Brigade up, so I was the last man. My mission dropped off at various points on the road, and I was the last one on, and I took control of this crossroads, and the shells was coming in at us, and a soldier from there took my into a ditch, and he said, "It's that hat of yours, which they're using as a target," and he was commander of a tank regiment. All the tanks were lined up there, and he was right. The shells were on it. What the hell? Just one cool experience that we came across. >> Wow. >> It was exciting. I was 19, and I think my first job when it comes to a large road was to stop a truck going too fast, and I asked him why he'd gotten ... Because he was creating dust, and you can't have dust in the war area, and he said, "I want to know where the graves commission is." He had dead bodies. At 19, it was bit confronting [INAUDIBLE]. There you are, but I'm here and thankful.

>> Okay. I’m Alan Everett. I’m not Australian. I came from England originally. I served in the First Essex Regiment, and in those days, in 1952, all the British men at the age of 18 conscripted, and so I was conscripted, and I elected to stay in the army for 3 years rather than just 2 years National Service because that was half pay, and I served in Germany, then Korea and then Hong Kong, so that was my 3 years which was spent mainly overseas. I was very fortunate in my training because I was trained to be a signalman, so I went to the School of Infantry in England, and in that School of Infantry, all the officers and NCOs all combined in their exercises, so it was quite an all-embracing training, so I then went to Germany, and then my battalion got moved to Korea, and we arrived just after the ceasefire, so I’m not a peacemaker. I’m a peacekeeper. So we were stationed on the southern bank of the Indian River for 12 months, and that was incredibly cold and incredibly hot, and we didn’t get to see much of the people because we were in a defensive position, and so most of the stories we heard were from the previous people who had been through the war itself, so that was quite a challenge, and I found since I left the army and I was trained in Hong Kong, as a national servicemen, you’re allowed to get some retraining to get back into civilian life. I wanted to go to agriculture college, and I had to study chemistry to meet my qualifications, so I went to the Royal Agriculture College at Cirencester in Gloucestershire, and I did my course there. Farmed in England, met my wife Nicole who you’ve met, and we had been together for 8 days, and then I came out to Australia, so that was quite [INAUDIBLE], and when I arrived in Australia, I got myself a job. It was great. A year later, I rang up and proposed to Nicole, and she came out with her mother, and we got married over here, so quite a different story to what you expected, I guess. So my servicing career, I did so much there because I was working in the signals office, and being part of the brigade and the companies that reformed our defense positions, so I was in contact with people all the time, so when the opportunity here came available for to be a secretary for the Korea Veterans, I offered to take that job on, so I’ve been National Secretary for 8 years, but I haven’t been involved in the war side of the whole thing. The impact of the Korean War hit me when I had been here some time because the Australian soldiers that came back from Korea were not recognized as having been part of a war, and they were actually refused entry, particularly in New South Wales, to go into the returning servicemen’s clubs. They said they weren’t eligible to be members, and that took some time to overcome which is very sad, but that’s the sort of reception the Australian soldiers got when they came back to Australia. We didn’t have that in England. We just went back, and we just got on with our jobs, and it was no problem. Here in Australia, in Maldon, every year, we have a church service run by a Korean church in Maldon, and we have one of our biggest attendances of the year. We have about 90 people turn up, and about a good half of them will be veterans, [INAUDIBLE] one, and one day I was standing next to a father with his little Korean boy, and the little boy talked to his father and said, “Why are all these people here?” His father thought for a bit, and he said, “Well, without these people, I wouldn’t be here. Your family wouldn’t be here, and you wouldn’t be here.” I think that says it all. It’s such a moving experience to me. I found that quite fascinating, and the Korean community here are so helpful and want to look after the veterans as we get less and less, so it’s a beautiful encounter, that was. Now, we’ve given you the background to the memorial in Queensland, in Cascade Gardens. To me, that is the most beautiful memorial that anyone could make for any country. It’s a tribute to the people of Korea as well as the veterans from all nations who served, and when you see it, there’s a whole history that goes with it, but it’s well worth it, set aside in a beautiful park, and it depicts everything that is Australian and Korean. It’s just so well … And then, there’s another little memorial in Alexandra Heads, which a small association got formed in Queensland and the Sunshine Coast, and they made it specific for their veterans, so they’ve got this wall, and when one of their members dies, they put a brass plaque on the wall with his name and his service record on it, and I think that’s another one of the best memorials I’ve ever seen, so that’s my story.

>> So I was in Brownville, and I was a lieutenant, first lieutenant, with the Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in the Korean War. I had my full 12-back then, and 3 days waiting for an airplane back, 3 days was ... and I served in the Citizen Forces for some years after that. I was a company commander, and what else would you like? >> Some of the duties that you had in Korea. >> Well, they used to say it was a Ten Commandments war. We were out there doing patrols nearly every night and making sure that the opposition didn't get too close to us, and if he did, then he scared and bothered because we sorted him out. And very growing up time because I was only 22, and a lot of my sorties had been in the Second World War, and they were 30 years old, and so it was a swift learning curve for a young lieutenant, to have all those older men with the experience, and I was a reinforcement officer. I went up and replaced an officer who'd been killed, and it was a good place to come back from but a wonderful experience, great experience growing up. >> I know you're very ... You have a photographic memory you said. >> I can't hear you. >> You have a photographic memory, you said. >> Yes. >> And you ... I know you can read beyond just the surface. What do you remember about this war? >> Well, I was very thankful that we had air supremacy. We didn't have to worry about air, but I can very vividly remember night patrols and being in positions where we were heavily mortared and shelled by the enemy. I vividly remember them, as I imagine everybody would remember, but maybe, you know, position of trust and responsibility to our troops was rather humbling actually, so I had a lot of work to do there, quite a lot of work to do. Try and save their lives was maybe ... >> This war never ended, you know, and some of the people from all over the world sacrificed their lives and they died, even on the other side, and there's no peace, and there's no reconciliation. >> Do you know? I have a theory that I've never mentioned. You know, for years, on the continent, the Balkans have always been kept neutral so that other countries could move through there. Now I think that suits the Japan ... or the Chinese and Russians to have top of Korea and the Americans, it suits them to have the bottom because if the Chinese had the lot, then the Russians had us jumping for to go into Japan and America. If America had the lot or was [INAUDIBLE], they could jump onto China and Russia. Well, it's never mentioned, and they say, "Oh, we'll have to unite," and the Korean people would love it. I think it suits both of those people to have them separate. Have you ever heard that. >> No, but I'd listen to ... >> That's by Mark [INAUDIBLE]. >> Are you retired as an Army chaplain, right? >> I never was an Army chaplain. I had retired from the Army at the age of 16, and I was in the civi industry, and I suddenly found and studied theology, so I spent 8 years studying at the theology college part-time because I was in shipping. And during that time, the Victorian Council and the churches put me on the Board of Industrial Mission, and I was so impressed with them, I don't have the words here, that when I graduated, I became one of their chaplains from the understanding that I didn't run a managerial job. I wanted to be out helping people, so I had 28 years of that. Now I'm bordering on [INAUDIBLE]. >> And you've seen many veterans pass away? >> I've buried a lot of them. Yeah. >> I'm so glad to be here, and I'm so glad that you brought up, you know, Moroccan solution and the enemy and just the lives, you know, because I truly believe that every life is precious before God, and, you know, that we don't choose. We really don't choose who to fight, you know? And ... >> It's a very complex world, and the best one can do is ... My father was told, when he was 5, by his mother ... She was a very clever woman. She said ... although she said other children, she said, "When you grow up, men throughout the world will listen to what you say with regard to your profession. Never, even espouse any cause or sign any document that your conscience isn't fully at ease," and that's how I was brought up. >> I believe that. Kind of like earlier I said, "God, I'm only going to do what my heart tells me to do." >> Yes. That's the game. >> I thank you so much for ... >> It helps you to sleep a lot better than ... >> Oh, yes. Absolutely. Yeah. I do feel that, you know, even if I can wake up, even if I could foregone, I could say, "God, I did I my best. I really did." >> Mm-hmm. >> You know? And thank you for the greatest compliment I've ever received in my life. Without a doubt, I will take with me ... >> And coupled with that, after all, is that you're an exceptionally beautiful woman. >> Thank you. >> So it's, very, very great [INAUDIBLE] to find a beautiful combination. >> Thank you. >> I'm really a better man for having met you and your philosophy. >> Thank you. I pray and hope and dedicate my life so that ... >> And what will happen when you get back? How are you going to use this travel? I won't bore you with certain occasions when it's amazing I wasn't killed and various times, and I believe that I was being saved to do the work I'm doing today. >> I believe so too. >> I think so. >> I know so. >> Yeah? >> And because you've had many near-death experiences, you can empathize, and you know and understand things that other people can't, and it's an honor to point where I'm grateful that I also experienced a near-death experience and pain because even though I was very young, I'm able to kind of see the invisible pain that many people are experiencing, whether physical, emotional or psychological, and again, you know, one of my great passions is to visit my grandpas and let them know that ... Because many of them, like I've said, they have nightmares, they said. You know? Remembering the war, and I say, "You know, the war is atrocious, and it's ugly and horrific, but out of that bleakness sometimes you can find roses." And here I am. I can represent some good that came out of the war, so ... >> Indeed. And I just cannot believe, having traveled a lot, how a country which was bereft of trees, the Japanese most of all, which a mud heap, in 63 years ... as I said, the people flying over in time [INAUDIBLE] makes Sydney and Melbourne look like villages ... >> I know. >> And each time ... I've been back six times. Each time there's been so many more improvements, and I remember going around, and they've spent ages, everyone, putting trees around everywhere. And I went to show ... I was sent over to take some students there and then on to Gallipoli, and I was going to show them where the Battle of Kapyong took place. >> Mm. >> And that was not possible because instead of being able to see two miles down the road, I couldn't see more than 20 yards through all the trees they'd put in. >> You know, it's remarkable, and thanks to your contributions. >> From here to the end of the table and that round, when I was at Kapyong in 1995, they'd just trimmed some of the trees. >> Mm. >> And I got the branch off a ginko biloba on the B Company position, the Three Battalion at the Battle of Kapyong, and I have that at home. >> Wow. >> And I'm going to give it to Three Battalion one day. >> Wow. >> Yeah.
>> Oh, good morning. Hannah. Still ... Just 1 minute to midday. Thank you for interviewing me. My name is Vic Dey. I am national president of the Korea Veteran's association of Australia. I served in the Australian Army for 6 years. I went to Japan in March 1952 and went into Korea for 1 year from June '52 until June '53. Mainly, the Australian soldiers signed on for 1 year to serve in the Korean War. I served with the third battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment and saw a bit of action. My first patrol was the 12th of July 19 ... My first combat patrol was the 12th of July 1952 when 26 Australians crossed the Sunyoodong Valley, which is nearing the DMZ, to supposedly gain a prisoner. We lost three men. Never seen them from that day or this. Their class was missing in action. 15 wounded, and eight others didn't get it, a really traumatic night which I will never forget. Many things happening between then including the Korean weather which I didn't like, like snow, until the following June the next year when my 12-month tour of duty was up, and I got out, back to Japan and then back home to Australia. Thank goodness, but I would do it all again if I had to, and I was young enough. >> What are some of the activities as president of the Australian Korean War Veteran's Association? What do you think is significant about Australian's contributions to the Korean War. I know you've met, you know, veterans from many different countries and president of different associations, but when you, say, meet with other president, like, what do you feel pride about Australian forces? >> Australians have fought in many wars in many countries around the world for over 100 years, and for some time after the Korean War, we felt that we weren't recognized as returned servicemen. Korea was sort of classed as a forgotten war, which is sad because the Korean people, and the veterans have paid a supreme sacrifice. It certainly wasn't the forgotten war to them or us, so that kind of thinking has thankfully passed, and now we are completely recognized as Korea being a war and not a police action. Police action is a sarcastic, demeanal saying. I hate it. The Korean War was a Korean War without a doubt for those that served and the Korean people that suffered. Without, it was a war, and we went to help. All Korean veteran, Australia Korean veterans are volunteers. We volunteered to go. I often wonder why I did, but I don't regret it, saw a lot of things that I'll never forget, houses down near Busan at the limits made of American sea ration boxes, which are said to be waterproof, and the Korean people built houses out of them because they had nothing else. In 1976, my wife and I went on a short tour of Korea through Busan, Seoul, and in every city intersection, there was a sentry box made of sandbags and machine gun in the center and four soldiers. There was a curfew, so you had to be off the streets from midnight to 6 a.m., everyone, all civilians and visitors, tourist, off the street at midnight or not back until 6 a.m., or you get shot, and that went on until ... the Korean consulate in Melbourne told me last year that went on until 1980, so I amazed, truly amazed, that the Korean people from the Republic of Korea have graduated to become the 10th largest trading country in the world under those conditions for that long. I'm truly amazed. [INAUDIBLE]. >> Show me some pictures and articles. >> Okay. I filled a folder here. I made up a folder for Hannah. This one is out of a newspaper going back quite long. The date, I've got it somewhere. They interviewed three of us. Those two have two ... Unfortunately ... Navy, me in the middle in the Army, and the Air Force fellow. Those two have since passed away, but their stories are in there. There's a photo. That's the day they took it. This one was done for the local paper [INAUDIBLE] back to Korea. I got some rations and flora and fauna to take to give to the schoolchildren, which you see when you go to the museum or the memorials, and I distributed the Australian flora and fauna posters to the children, which they loved. This is a photo of here I've talked to Wusan Ku, who was the ambassador at the time, and we played on a vine tree at a school in Melbourne, and then I'll be there Monday, and there we are in Memorial Garden. It has obviously grown since that time. Here's a story I wrote some time ago of an interview, and it got printed in Graybeards. That's out of the Graybeards, the American magazine and a story that I wrote down and a couple photos. There's a photo of my after the patrol I spoke about before. Here's a story about the patrol from after. This is an article I wrote to speak at schools and clubs. It's a three-page article. It can delete some things if children are too young to understand, but if they're adults, we can talk about the hard lot. There's a photo of my at ... in Korea in the snow, not a very good photo. Here's a photo of a church, Korean church of Melbourne and all the Australians and a few Korean nationals in there. This is a photo of a friend and ... me and a friend of mine. He's since passed away unfortunately, which is not unusual these days. Here's a photo of me the morning after the patrol, some photos at Uijeongbu when I was in the Canadian battle school. There's a couple stories in here about our newspapers, and I put in some postcards of the National Korean Memorial, not the Korean Memorial, the National Australia Memorial for you to take home and some Army stickers, so there you go. That's yours. >> Thank you.

Paying Tribute










Memorial Site

The Commonwealth of Australia participated in the Korean War from June 1950 until 1957. It is the second nation after the United States to commit personnel from all three branches of service to the Korean War. Prime Minister Robert Menzie sent two infantry battalions, one aircraft carrier, two destroyers, one frigate, one combat aviation battalion, and one transport aircraft formation to fight in the war.

In total, Australia deployed 17,164 soldiers and suffered 1,584 casualties. According to the statistics provided by the South Korean government, there were 339 killed in action, 1,216 wounded in action, 3 missing in action, and 26 prisoners of war.

The Korean War Memorial in Melbourne was recently dedicated in Maribyrnong’s Quarry Park. The Shrine of Remembrance also honors the Australian veterans who served in the Korean War.