Researching Australian military service: Korean War, 1950–1953
Australian military history overview: Korean War, 1950-53
The Nominal Roll of Australian Veterans of the Korean War was prepared by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) in Canberra. It contains information from the service records of more than 17,000 individuals who served during the Korean War. The roll was created to commemorate the men and women who served in the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force in Korea, or in the waters adjacent to Korea, during the conflict and after the ceasefire, between 27 June 1950 and 19 April 1956.
Personal service records
Service records of those who served with Australian forces are held by the National Archives of Australia. You can apply to the National Archives for copies of personal service records.
Those who died while serving
The Roll of Honour records the names of servicemen and servicewomen who died during or as a result of service with Australian military forces. The Roll of Honour introduction provides detailed information about Roll of Honour eligibility.
The Commemorative Roll lists Australians who died during or as a result of wars or warlike operations in which Australians have been on active service but who were not eligible for inclusion on the Roll of Honour. The Commemorative Roll introduction provides detailed information about Commemorative Roll eligibility.
Those who died in the Korean War are buried or, if without a known grave, commemorated at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, Korea.
Where they served
War diaries were kept by the commanding officer of the unit to record their daily activities and location. The war diaries of Army units in the Korean War have been digitised and are available for viewing on the Memorial's website.
Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
Reports of Proceedings (ROPs), known earlier as “Letters of Proceedings”, are summaries of a ship’s or shore base’s activities. The reports were submitted by commanding officers to the Chief of Naval Staff. To identify relevant RoPs in the Memorial’s collection, search RecordSearch using the name of the ship in keywords and AWM78 in the Series Number field. These records can be viewed in the Research Centre. Some RoPs have been digitised and are available for viewing online.
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
RAAF Formation and Unit records (AWM64) document operations and activities of RAAF units. The records are available for viewing on microfilm in the Research Centre. The original records have been withdrawn from public access due to their fragile nature. Original records are only issued when no microfilm copy is available. The National Archives of Australia has a duplicate series A9186, many of which have been digitised and are available online through the RecordSearch database.
For further information refer to our guide Researching the history of a unit.
Medals and awards
Refer to our research guides:
Where to look for photographs
- Collections Search gives access to digitised images of photographs held by the Memorial.
- Trove can search photographs and other images held by a range of major Australian libraries, archives and other cultural institutions.