To a world still reeling from the Second World War and still very fresh in everyone’s mind, another war, a small localized one, was not something a weary public was interested in.
However when Communist North Korea invaded South Korea in June of 1950, and China joined with the North, the United Nations committed its members to what it called “a police action”.
Canada sent ships, planes and land forces to support the UN.
Although labelled a police action, it was an all-out war in every sense of the word.
The first of the Canadian troops to land in Korea were the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry coming ashore at Pusan on December 18th, 1950.
This unit would later win a US Presidential citation for preventing a massive enemy breakthrough at Kapyong.
Indeed, during the war from 1950-53, Canadians were involved in some of the most horrific battles demonstrating amazing courage in the face of overwhelming odds. This including hand to hand fighting, calling down shellfire on their own positions, and holding the line while others retreated.
Some 516 Canadians were killed and over 1500 wounded during the war.