Troops of "B" Company, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Crossing a Log Bridge, North Korea, ca. February 1951.
National Archives of Canada (PA-115034, photo by Bill Olson).

Troops of "B" Company, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Crossing a Log Bridge, North Korea, ca. February 1951.

 

Although Korea is, in many regards, Canada's "forgotten" war, it stands as an important milestone in the nation's military history. Canada's participation helped to establish a tradition of Canadian involvement in UN military actions that has endured for over four decades and demonstrated a willingness when needed to send Canadian soldiers to war rather deploying them as peacekeepers keeping armed adversaries at bay.

Origins

"Origins" examines the beginnings of the North/South conflict in Korea and Canada's commitment to provide a brigade group to the United Nations force.

Early Stages

Initial North Korean advances were driven back by UN forces under General MacArthur until China intervened on the North Korean side.

Canadian Participation

The 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI) arrived in Korea on 18 December 1950 and entered the war in February of 1951 as part of the 27th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade (27th BCIB).

Kap'yong

At Kap'yong, 2 PPCLI, and two other Commonwealth units, won a United States Presidential Unit Citation. In a desperate battle, they stopped a Chinese attack, which ultimately prevented a massive Chinese breakthrough in central Korea.

Chail-li

Chail-li was the next major engagement for the Canadians and the attempt by the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment to take Hill 467 was a costly one.

Hill 355

In a situation similar to 2 PPCLI’s defence of Hill 677 at Kap'yong, the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (the Van Doos), with a skillfully fought defence of their positions adjacent to the US-held Hill 355, stopped the Chinese from capturing an area that would have compromised the United Nations line of defences.

Troop Rotations

Three battalions each from the PPCLI, RCR, and R22eR rotated through the brigade group in Korea and a fourth rotation was on its way when peace was finally negotiated.

The Soldier's World

Extreme and arduous combat conditions, long periods of little activity, difficult terrain, extremes of heat and cold, and cultural differences made life in Korea difficult for most Canadian soldiers.

Peace

Peace talks concluded on 27 July 1953 with the signing of the Armistice Agreement but, to this day, a peace treaty has never been signed.

 

Copyright © 2015 The Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum
Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre
10440 - 108 Ave, Edmonton