Group portrait of 11 members of A Company, 3rd Battlion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), ...

Accession Number P04528.002
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print other than silver gelatin
Maker Unknown
Place made Korea
Date made 25 January 1953
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

Group portrait of 11 members of A Company, 3rd Battlion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), survivors of patrol group led by 3400153 Sergeant (Sgt) Edward John (Jack) Morrison (front right). On the night of 24/25 January 1953, 235020 Lieutenant (Lt) Francis Charles Smith led a "snatch" patrol of 30 men whose objective was to capture a Chinese prisoner. The patrol was broken up into three groups. The firm base group of 13, led by Lt Smith was ambushed on three sides by Chinese troops. Sgt Morrison's five man snatch group was away from Smith's group and killed a party of 20 Chinese who had approached from a different direction. Lt Smith ordered his men to withdraw, but only three managed to escape; Lt Smith was hit by a concussion grenade and not seen again. After routing Lt Smith's patrol the Chinese turned their attention to Morrison, who withdrew his men eastwards onto a ridge, and along with 33841 Corporal (Cpl) Francis Leo Mackay's forward base group of 13, encountered six Chinese occupying the crest of the hill. Morrison and Mackay engaged these six and killed them in hand to hand combat. Morrison reorganised the group of now 18 members, and they continued to the east, pursued by increasing numbers of Chinese. Two further attacks occurred, countered by Morrison in two frontal attacks and 3400376 Private (Pte) Lionel John Terry, 5400033 Pte John Houston Mackay and 4400156 Pte Francis (Frank) Brady in a rear attack. Pte Terry charged into a group of twenty, hurling grenades and firing his Owen gun. He dispersed the group but was not seen again. The Chinese then withdrew and 15 members of the patrol returned to A Company location at 0115 hours on 25 January. Three members of Lt Smith's group, 5400194 Pte Clifford "Snowy" Gale, 2400995 Pte Desmond Maurice Murray and 3400897 Pte Theodore (Tony) Whiting returned to A Company location at 1315 hours on 25 January. During this patrol 1400545 Pte William Edward Waters was killed in action on 24 January. Six soldiers were listed as Missing in Action (MIA): Lt Smith; 4400156 Pte Francis Brady; 5400181 Pte Joseph Hodgkisson; 3400868 Pte John Saunders; 52103 Pte Arthur Scurry and 3400376 Pte Lionel Terry. Seven men were captured and became prisoners of war (POWs): 4400163 Pte Glen Brown; 1400481 Pte John Frederick Davis; 2401292 Pte Brian Thomas Davoren; 5400033 Pte John Houston Mackay; 1400542 Pte James McCullock; 3400808 Pte Vivian Edward (Vince) O'Brien and 35698 Pte Anthony Poole. All survived and returned to Australia. Eight men were wounded. Sgt Morrison estimated they had killed 80 Chinese apart from those killed by the artillery and mortar fire directed to the action by Morrison. Sgt Morrison was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Cpl Mackay a Military Medal. Lt Smith and Pte Terry were posthumously mentioned in despatches.

Related information