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The Korean War becomes routine for Canadian troops

It is called Canada's "Forgotten War." Over 500 Canadians died in the United Nations' struggle to repel the communist forces that invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. To the people they helped liberate, the Canadians were heroes. Yet those who made it home returned to an indifferent country and a government that took 40 years to officially acknowledge their sacrifice.

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In May 1951 The Princess Patricia's are joined by the rest of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade. The UN's military objectives are now limited to pushing the communists back over the border with South Korea rather than a total military victory. The war shifts from major offensives to a wearisome pattern of trench raids and combat patrols reminiscent of the First World War. This CBC television feature from July 1953 captures the routine of Canada's front-line troops in Korea.
Routine did not mean less dangerous by any means. Canada's bloodiest moment in Korea took place during this period of stalemate, on the night spanning May 2 and 3 1953. In a brief but brutal engagement, "C" Company of the 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment was attacked by a large Chinese patrol. By the time the Chinese finally withdrew to their own lines, 26 Canadians lay dead, another 27 were wounded and seven taken prisoner.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: July 19, 1953
Host: John Scott
Reporter: Russell Spur
Guests: Sgt. Oakley, Pte. Thomas Summers, Pte. Ed Maloney, Maj. Macrae Brown, Sgt. Henry Jones, Pte. Percy Stinger, Bill Freeman, Johnny Dorling
Duration: 4:03
Photo: Paul E. Tomelin/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives

Last updated: November 6, 2014

Page consulted on November 6, 2014

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