On the night of 22 April 1951, Chinese forces launched a major offensive against United Nations forces defending the South Korean capital, Seoul, and positions further east. Next morning the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade (including the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment) was ordered to the valley of the Kapyong River about 60 kilometres north-east of Seoul, where South Korean forces were being driven back.
During a night of fierce fighting and throughout the daylight hours of 24 April the Australians and a Canadian battalion, supported by a New Zealand artillery regiment, stalled the Chinese advance before eventually withdrawing after dark. At a cost of 32 men killed, 59 wounded and three missing (taken prisoner), the Australians had helped hold up the Chinese 60th Division and inflicted heavy casulaties which totalled more than 500 killed alone. For their contribution to this action, 3 RAR was awarded a US Presidential Citation.
General J. van Fleet, General Officer, 8th US Army inspects members of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), when bestowing the presidential citation in recognition of the unit's action at Kapyong, Korea.
Robert O’Neill, Combat operations, Australia in the Korean war 1950-1953, vol. 2, Australian War Memorial and The Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1985
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Extract from Robert O’Neill, Combat operations, Australia in the Korean war 1950-1953, vol. 2, Australian War Memorial and The Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1985, pp. 131-160
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- United States Presidential Unit Citation: 3 RAR, 23 June 1951
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