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1950: Canada's troops head to Korea

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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When the Second Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry set sail for Asia on Nov. 25, the war in Korea seemed about to end. However, by the time the Princess Patricia's arrive in Japan on Dec. 14, the tide of the war has turned dramatically with China's intervention. An emotional report from the CBC's Tokyo correspondent, Bill Herbert, on the battalion's arrival in Japan signals the monumental nature of the international crisis unfolding in Korea.

• Three Canadian infantry battalions were originally slated for service in Korea. However, after the successful Allied landings at Inchon, where British and American forces caught the North Koreans off-guard and seized control of the war, UN command cut its request to one. However, when 300,000 Chinese troops joined the North Korean side, the Second Battalions of the Royal 22nd Regiment (The Van Doos) and The Royal Canadian Regiment sailed for Korea. By war's end, Canada had fielded the third largest army in the UN forces.

Also on December 13:
1883: The border is established between Ontario and Manitoba.
1979: Joe Clark's minority Conservative government is defeated by six votes. Clark had been prime minister since June.
1994: Ontario becomes the first province to allow nurse practitioners to diagnose common illnesses and prescribe certan drugs without a doctor's supervision.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC News Roundup
Broadcast Date: Dec. 13, 1950
Reporter: Bill Herbert
Duration: 4:01

Last updated: April 9, 2014

Page consulted on October 22, 2014

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