IN the pre-dawn hours of June 25, 1950, the North Korean Army launched a massive offensive across the 38th Parallel into South Korea.

The North Korean forces drove the Republic of South Korea’s (ROK) forces down the peninsula, capturing the capital, Seoul, within a week.

On June 28, Prime Minister Robert Menzies committed Australian Navy assets to the Korean War, followed several days later by the Air Force No. 77 Squadron.

On July 26, an Army battalion, 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), was committed to ground operations in Korea.

Only five years after the end of World War 2, Australians were again at war, and would serve for the next three years in the defence of South Korea.

By early July, RAN ships were escorting US troop ships to Pusan and RAAF aircraft were flying ground support operations over Korea.

By late July, Australian troops were on the ground and advancing with other United Nations (UN) through North Korea.

In late 1950, as UN forces neared the North Korean/Chinese border, Chinese troops entered the war and immediately pushed back the UN troops.

Mobile fighting continued until mid-1951, including the Australian involvement in the Battle of Kapyong in April 1951.

On July 10 1951, peace negotiations began between the warring powers in the town of Kaesong.

Negotiations were suspended in August after the building used was reportedly bombed. Talks did not resume until October, and from then on, were held in the village of Panmunjom.

A static war began in mid-1951 and basically continued until the ceasefire came into effect on July 27, 1953.

The Australians’ reputation for patrolling and raiding from both the First and Second World Wars was further enhanced by the efforts of the men of 1RAR and 3RAR during the war.

The armistice was signed at 10am on July 27, 1953.

Sporadic fighting continued throughout the day, but as evening fell the guns fell silent.

The armistice came into effect at 10pm and both sides withdrew two kilometres to form the Demilitarized Zone which still exists today.

Australian Forces remained in Korea as part of the multi-national peacekeeping force until 1957.

Over 17,000 Australians served during the Korean War, of whom 340 were killed and over 1,216 wounded. 30 Australians become prisoners of war during the conflict, with one dying in captivity due to malnutrition and mistreatment. One of the POWs was also local man Harry Jacobs’ brother; Alfred. He survived his captivity and returned to Australia.

Local people who served in Korea include: Harry Jacobs, Alfred Jacobs (POW), Peter Cerda-Pavia, Wally Fawkner, Ian Macdonald, Geoff Collins, Kevin Dollard, David Dollard (Killed In Action), Dennis Pearce, Ted MacKenzie, Don Wilkinson, Joe Wilson, Don Macleod, Harry Watson and Horace Madden. David Dollard was killed in action on November 17 1952 in Korea. He was 26-years-old.

The Sale RSL will hold a wreath laying service on Korean Veterans Day tomorrow, (Wednesday July 27), to remember the sacrifice of all those who served in the Korean War.

The service will commence at 11.30am at the Sub-Branch in York Street. All are welcome.

Lest we forget.