The US Presidential Unit Citation is a US army award for bravery that can be bestowed on an entire unit. It is awarded to units of the US army and co-belligerent nations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. 3RAR was serving as part of the US-led UN forces in the Korean War (1950–53) when it was decorated for the outstanding bravery demonstrated by the men of the battalion at the battle of Kapyong in April 1951. At this time the award was known as the Distinguished Unit Citation. It was redesignated the Presidential Unit Citation in November 1966.
[Transcript of citation]
EIGHTH UNITED STATES ARMY ( KOREA )
Office of the Commanding General
number 453 23rd June 1951
AWARD OF DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION
BATTLE HONOURS – By direction of the President, under the provisions of Executive Order 9396 (Sec I, WD Bul. 22, 1943) Superseding Executive Order 9075 (Sec III, WD Bul. 16, 1942) and pursuant to authority in AR 260-15, the following units are cited as public evidence of deserved honour and distinction.
3RD BATTALION, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT
2ND BATTALION, PRINCESS PATRICIA'S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY COMPANY A
72ND HEAVY TANK BATTALION (UNITED STATES)
are cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of combat duties in action against the armed enemy near Kapyong, Korea, on the 24 and 25 April 1951. The enemy had broken through the main line of resistance and penetrated to the area north of Kapyong. The units listed above were deployed to stem the assault. The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, moved to the right flank of the sector and took up defensive positions north of the Pukham River. The 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, defended in the vicinity of Hill 677 on the left flank. Company A, 72nd Heavy Tank Battalion, supported all units to the full extent of its capacity and, in addition, kept the main roads open and assisted in evacuating the wounded. Troops from a retreating division passed through the sector which enabled enemy troops to infiltrate with the withdrawing forces. The enemy attacked savagely under the clangor of bugles and trumpets. The forward elements were completely surrounded going through the first day and into the second. Again and again the enemy threw waves of troops at the gallant defenders, and many times succeeded in penetrating the outer defences, but each time the courageous, indomitable, and determined soldiers repulsed the fanatical attacks. Ammunition ran low and there was no time for food. Critical supplies were dropped by air to the encircled troops, and they stood their ground in resolute defiance of the enemy. With serene and indefatigable persistence, the gallant soldiers held their defensive positions and took heavy tolls of the enemy. In some instances when the enemy penetrated the defences, the commanders directed friendly artillery fire on their own positions in repelling the thrusts. Toward the close of 25 April, the enemy break-through had been stopped. The seriousness of the break-through on the central front had been changed from defeat to victory by the gallant stand of these heroic and courageous soldiers. The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment; 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry; and Company A, 72nd Heavy Tank Battalion, displayed such gallantry, determination, and espirit de corps in accomplishing their missions under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions as to set them apart and above other units participating in the campaign, and by their achievements they brought distinguished credit on themselves, their homelands, and all freedom-loving nations
BY COMMAND OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL VAN FLEET:
Leven C. Allen
Major General US Army
Chief of Staff
Photographic copy of the American Presidential Unit Citation awarded to 3 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, for service at Kapyong, 23 and 24 April 1951.