The Korean War began 25 June 1950, when North Korean armed forces invaded South Korea.
The war’s combat phase lasted until an armistice was signed 27 July 1953.
With the defeat of Japan at the end of the Second World War, however, their empire was dismantled.
In one of the opening moves of what would come to be called the Cold War, the Soviet Union deployed troops into the northern portion of the newly liberated Korean peninsula while American soldiers moved into the southern half.
As part of a United Nations (UN) force consisting of 16 countries, 26,791 Canadian military personnel served in the Korean War, during both the combat phase and as peacekeepers afterward. After the two world wars, Korea remains Canada’s third-bloodiest overseas conflict, taking the lives of 516 Canadians and wounding more than 1,200.
The Korean War was one of the most significant chapters in our country’s proud military history.426 Transport Squadron was tasked with carrying supplies and troops between North America and Asia to support UN efforts in the Korean War.By June 1954, when the assignment ended, this unit had flown 600 round trips over the Pacific, carrying more than 13,000 passengers and 3,000,000 kilograms of freight and mail without loss.The UN forces responded with a major amphibious landing at Inchon in mid-September 1950, as well as a powerful break-out from the Pusan perimeter.The surging UN and South Korean forces soon liberated Seoul and pushed the overwhelmed North Korean troops back across the 38 Parallel and towards the border with China.After additional preparations in Korea, our soldiers reached the front lines in February 1951. This very hilly country is crisscrossed by many valleys with rivers, swamps and rice paddies. Troops from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India would serve together there, eventually coming together to form the 1 Parallel by the spring of 1951, Chinese and North Korean forces—reinforced with new troops and equipment—struck back hard in April.UN and South Korean troops in the area of the enemy onslaught had to retreat or risk being overrun.Alarmed by this turn of events, the Chinese intervened in the war in the fall of 1950 and launched a massive offensive in late November that drove the UN and South Korean troops back across the 38 Parallel and retook Seoul.A series of smaller offensives and counter-offensives beginning in January 1951 saw Seoul liberated again as UN and communist forces fought for the upper hand in the central portion of the peninsula over the months that followed.Their duties included blockading the coast, preventing enemy amphibious landings, protecting the UN fleet, bombarding onshore targets and offering humanitarian aid to isolated Korean fishing villages.Beginning in July 1950, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s No.