Detail from the Monument to Canadian Fallen in Busan, Republic of Korea. PHOTO: DAN BLACK, LEGION MAGAZINE
Early in the morning 62 years ago today (June 25), the North Korean People’s Army sent troops to invade South Korea, the beginning of a bitter civil war that was to cost Korea a million lives over the next three years.
The United Nations called on its member countries to assist in stabilizing the area, and Canada answered the call. More than 26,000 Canadians served in the Korean theatre–516 of them never came home; another 1,500 were wounded.
Veterans Affairs Canada‘s website discusses the history leading up to the war, provides a chronology of Canadians’ involvement and tidbits of information about Canada’s efforts there between 1950 and 1953.
The Korea Veterans Association of Canada website has detailed listings of Canadian Army, Air Force and Navy units that served, a photo gallery , a list of those who died and another of those whose bravery was recognized.
In Encounter over Korea, pilot Andy MacKenzie describes the experience of being shot down by friendly fire, bailing out and being captured. A postscript describes what happened to him during two years of internment inside Chinese territory, including efforts to get him to admit to being shot down over China, not Korea.