From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List
Sent: Tue 26/07/2011 2:14 PM

REMEMBERING AUSTRALIA’S KOREAN WAR VETERANS

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, urged all Australians to take the time to remember the men and women who served in the Korean War tomorrow on Korean Veterans’ Day.

Mr Snowdon said the Korean War is often referred to as the forgotten war.

“Australian troops fought bravely to bring peace to the people of South Korea. More than 17,000 Australians, including around 50 nurses, served from June 1950 to July 1953 and in the post-Armistice period,” he said.

“Some 340 Australians were killed including 43 whom to this day remain listed as missing in action. More than 1,200 were wounded and nearly four million Korean and Chinese soldiers and civilians also lost their lives.”

Mr Snowdon said the contribution of those who served in Korea will never be forgotten.

“This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Maryang San – the greatest single feat of the Australian Army during the War,” he said.

“At 4am, on 5 October 1951, under heavy mist, the Australians fought through rugged terrain to capture the Chinese frontline. After three days of fierce fighting and against superior enemy numbers, they were able to gain and secure the Maryang San hills. The two previous attempts from American forces had failed.

“In that battle alone, Australian casualties were 20 killed and 104 wounded,”

Mr Snowdon said the battle was significant as it was thought to be the last chance for the UN forces to establish strong defensive positions before the ceasefire and armistice negotiations.

“Australian soldiers distinguished themselves in this battle, as they did throughout the War - showing courage and tenacity despite the very difficult situations they were in.

“The Australians fought with great courage and resolve in helping to ensure the freedom of the South Korean people. It is important we remember those who served, especially those who lost their lives,” Mr Snowdon said.

Images of the Korean War are available at www.dva.gov.au/media

Media inquiries:
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 02 6277 7820 or 0400 045 999
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203