Aussie Korean war MIA's

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by Cobber, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    After so much publicity about Australian MIA's over recent years with the teams bringing all MIA's from the Viet Nam war and Indonesian confrontation etc and with burial pits with many Aussies in them being discovered in France I thought I would remind people of the 44 Australian MIA's from the Korean war

    During the three years of open combat during the Korean conflict 44 Australians were classified as MIA's by end of war.

    24/12/1950 Ellis D. 77 Sqdn 021261 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    6/ 1/ 1951: Stephens G. I 77 Sqdn 0647 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    19/ 3/ 1951: Strange H. T 77 Sqdn A 2997 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    24/ 4/ 1951: Murphy W. K 3 RAR 3/400798 Corporal (MIA)

    5/ 11/1951: Clarkson K E 805 Sqdn ????? Lieutenant ( Missing Presumed KIA)

    11/ 11/1951:
    Robertson D.M 77 Sqdn 05672 Pilot Officer ( Flying Battle)

    1/ 12/1951:
    Armit E.D 77 Sqdn 022221 Pilot Officer ( Flying Battle)

    7/ 12/1951:
    Sinclair R.R 805 Sqdn ??? Sub Lieutenant (Missing presumed KIA)

    2/ 1/ 1952: Coleman R..J 805 Sqdn ???? Sub Lieutenant (Missing Presumed KIA)

    27/ 1/1952: Browne Gaylord (Mark Astill Baren Henry Aytack) (DFC) 77 Sqd 023665 Flight Lieutenant (Flying Battle)

    27/ 1/1952 :
    Gillian B T 77 Sqdn 033625 Flying Officer (Flying Battle)

    16/ 2/ 1952 : Robinson R G 77 Sqdn 022422 Sergeant (Flying Battle)

    22/ 3/ 1952 : Purssey I G (DFC) 77 Sqdn 011561 Flight Lieutenant (Flying Battle)

    30/ 3/ 1952 : Cowper L H C 77 Sqdn 0338 Pilot Officer (Flying battle)

    13/ 4/ 1952 :
    Colebrook M E (DFM) 77 Sqdn 05894 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    15/ 5/ 1952 : Robertson D N 77 Sqdn 05672 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle0

    9/ 6/ 1952
    : Surman J L 77 Sqdn 032537 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    8/ 7/ 1952 : Smith K D 77 Sqdn 033843 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    13/ 7/ 1952
    : Ryan L B 3 RAR 3/37672 Lieutenant (MIA)

    13/ 7/ 1952 :
    Wallace T G 3 RAR 3/400430 Private (MIA)

    13/ 7/ 1952 :
    Lord W T H 3 RAR 2/400919 Private (MIA)

    14/ 8/ 1952 : Whitehorse D E 3 RAR 3/10796 Private (MIA)

    3/10/ 1952 : Hall J R RHU 5/400213 Private (MIA, Lost at Sea while Returning To Australia )

    16/11/1952 :
    Kunkel W R 1 RAR 1/1641 Private (MIA)

    11/12/1952 : Rootes R D 1 RAR 2/5124 Private (MIA)

    11/12/1952 : Griffiths L J 1 RAR 3/10647 Private (MIA)

    24/12/1952 : Lawrenson F J (DFC, AFC) 77 Sqdn 022005 Squadron Leader (Flying Battle)

    14/ 1/1953 : White P 3 RAR 3/400608 Private (MIA)

    14/ 1/1953 : Shennon R W 3 RAR 1/400304 Private (MIA)

    In this following incident 25/1/1953 another 7 men were taken as POW's. Three other soldiers from this offensive action (attempt to capture Chinese POWs from their front line trenches) returned to Aussie lines the next morning The force consisted of three groups,one snatch and two covering forces, one of the covering fores was over run

    25/ 1/1953:
    Brady F 3 RAR 4/400156 Private (MIA)

    25/ 1/1953 :
    Hodgkinson J 3 RAR 5/400181 Private (MIA)

    25/ 1/1953 :
    Saunders J P 3 RAR 3/400868 Private (MIA)

    25/ 1/1953 : Scurry A J 3 RAR 5/2103 Private (MIA)

    25/ 1/1953 :
    Smith F C 3 RAR 2/35020 Lieutenant (MIA)

    25/ 1/1953 : Terry L J 3 RAR 3/400376 Private (MIA)

    11/ 2/1953 :
    Halley J B 77 Sqdn 05309 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    8/ 3/1953 : Hillier D 77 Sqdn 04425 Squadron Leader (Flying Battle)

    20/ 3/1953 :
    Chalmers P B 77 Sqdn 035079 Pilot Officer (Flying Battle)

    15/ 4/1953 : Christie J K 3 RAR 5/2514 Private

    14/ 5/1953 : Foot T R 3 RAR 2/401322 Private (MIA)

    14/ 5/1953 :
    Mckandry W 3 RAR 2400919 Private (MIA)

    14/ 5/1953 : Nicholson J W 3 RAR 2/400143 Private (MIA)

    28/ 5/1953 :
    Ashe J B 3 RAR 3/3706 Corporal (MIA)

    7/ 6/1953 :
    Bourke E G 2 RAR 2/401173 Private (MIA)

    This is the first time I have placed these together in any real serious way I expect this work to continue for sometime while i find all the relevant info which I hope to include; grid references, length of tour,and many other details.
    The thing that got to me was the such short time many of these men had been in Korea before disappearing
    I do this as my Father was in Japan RHU Kure from April 1952 till June 1952 and Korea 1RAR and 2RAR June 1952 to June 1953, and again back to Korea with 3 RAR from December 1953 till June 1954

    {Added Wed 29/9/2010}
    Information is collected from Australian War memorial (Korean War MIA's), War Diary's and the Official history of Australia in Korean war Combat Operations.

    77 Squadron was/is a RAAF unit, while 805 Squadron was a squadron of the Fleet Air Arm of the RAN.
    RHU is the "Reinforcement Holding Unit".
  2. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    For the 77 Squadron RAAF flying Mustangs from 2/7/1950 till 9/4/1951 then Meteors till wars end, this shows that all but three of 77 Sqdn MIA's happened after they converted to the Meteor, they only flew fighter missions for a short time and went to the Bomber support and also in the Ground Attack role, as the Meteor was not capable of fighting the MIG's on anything near equal terms.
  3. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Hi Cobber,

    Great post mate. Very interesting as well. My father served in Korea for the 3 years. He started off with a Signals unit and then got attached to an SAS unit. He was shot in the back by a sniper and its thanks to the fact he had his backpack on that saved his life. I have a lot of pics of him over there and after he died i managed to find out his units. I was even lucky enough to of contacted one of his friends that he served with.

  4. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Thanks Sniper. :)
    "3 Years in Korea", that's awesome mate. Not many from any Allied nation can claim that, which nation did he fight for? And which Sig units ?
    I'm wont try and guess, if he was from Brit Commonwealth he would of been attached to one of the initial Brit Commonwealth (27th Bgd) or the British Independent Bgds (29th Bgd) then over to 1st Commonwealth Division. Unless he is Canadian then it was 27th Bgd for a short time during mid 1951 then 25th Canadian Bgd till mid 1953 when the cease fire came into being.
    This formation 1st Commonwealth showed just how well the Commonwealth Military's operates together, as did 27th Brit Commonwealth and later 28 Brit Commonwealth show that Brits and Aussies can do great things together.
    I have the OrBat for the 1st Commonwealth for duration of mid 1952 till early 1953 including but not restricted to the Infantry units. So if you want any Info on this then I can post it for you. This OrBat shows 1st Commonweath Signals unit to be "1 Comwell Div Sig R Sigs" (Including 25 Canadian Inft Bgd Sigs unit and 1RCHA Sigs troop)
    I have been in contact with a few blokes who knew my old dad (RIP), though dad lost his two best mates in a unfenced land mine that one of our very good friends failed to map. He and his Patrol was trapped their for several hours till the patrol made their way out dad had shrapnel up his left thigh. This happened during a night patrol, my old dad apparently like me had fantastic night vision so he got placed up front a bit, luckily he was back in the line before the mines detonated. Not long later after retuning from Hospital he was rifle butted in the left side of face by a Chinese soldier and almost bayoneted, after he recovered from this he changed and war to him was no longer what it was before these incidents. He seems to have kept up appearances and went on patrols and fought just as well as before however he was a changed man. Only complaint he ever wrote to his brother a WW2 Vet was that the Chinese Artillary made the sand fall down his shirt which he found annoying. He was with 1RAR for 9 months of ceasless patrols and with 2RAR for the last 3 months of his tour enduring the last and completely senseless slaughter of CCF troops at the final battle of the Hook including the concurrent attack on 1st Marine Division. Chinese bodies were three or four deep and covered the entire area in front of the Aussies.
    I have regular contact with the Aussie Korean Veterans organisation and other Aust Korean war organizations run by the Veterans. My dad was one of very few who can claim service with all three Australian Battalions who served in Korea.
    For a wonderful site on Australia and US Forces in the Korean war Auto Redirect KW Call So much Aussie imagery and stories direct from the Veterans themselves.
  5. John

    John Active Member

    Thanks Cobber for the story about your Dad. It is good to see the Korean War getting a mention.
  6. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    No Worrie's Keith. Hopefully i will be able to post the ocasional blurb about Korea in the future
  7. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Hi Cobber,

    I can't remember what units my dad was with, lost the info when i lost an email address where all the imformation was. My dad was a huge fan of taking photos and i have loads of him over there with his mates and i have one of him on a break during a patrol. He didn't really talk about his time over there and i do wish i tried harder to get him to talk about it before he died.

  8. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Coool mate, if you wish to try and find out which units we could help, you have his nationality and that he started out with a Sig unit if you can get his tour dates then the list of potential units will be lowered.
    Then again his service records will show most of that.
    As for the SAS their is such limited amount of information for the SAS and Korea apparently 21 SAS (Artists Rifles) trained for three months during 1950 for service in the Korean war however at last moment they were asked to volunteer for operations in Malaya.
    22SAS was created in 1952, so some of them could of made it to Korea no doubt I will find some more info on SAS in Korea as i keep looking. Many sites etc do not even list Korea as a Deployment or Honour of the SAS most go straight from WW2 to Malaya. So it appears the typical SAS secrecy is in force here, but I will locate the Troop etc that went to Korea

    Untill Sniper mentioned about his father spending time with the SAS in Korea I had not really thought about such forces in Korea, I knew Brit Commandos operated with raids behind enemy lines usually delivered Via the Sea with aid of Naval elements. Royal mariness also did some similar work.
    So now I have heard of SAS in Korea 1950/1953 I want to know more about the deployments.

    But SAS, I expect the scope for traditional type SAS operations by any European looking special forces in Korea would of been low. They would of had similar problems to escaped POW's etc in that they stood out in a Asian nation. Many strikes at or behind enemy lines via land were usually performed by infantry whose units usually had some form of Recon Section or platoon. depending on size of parent formation.
  9. John

    John Active Member

  10. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    Like with 21 SAS the Brits initially raised a LRRP group for motorised LRRP's behind NK lines, however they appear to also not be utilized.

    So the list for possible Brit SF's in the Korean War is getting smaller which I hope will make things easier to locate which SF's did go to Korea.
  11. Cobber

    Cobber New Member

    In this post I am just attempting to get to the bottom of any SAS in Korea 1950 to 1953. As it is my main area of interest and previous posts in this thread got my interest level raised to a high level.

    Spider what country did your father serve for in Korea? Can you post some of the photos you have it would be great if you can. As I have said Korean War is my main interest and any photos and other information is very welcome as it could broaden my horizons some more.
    Are you saying your father spent three (3) years in combat during 1950 to 1953 or are you including the years of peace enforcement, 1953 to 1956.
    Are you sure he spent time with SAS? Have you confused the SAS with Brit Commandos?

    There appears to be zero evidence that any SAS Troops or Squadrons were in Korea. The SAS was fully occupied in Malaya from late 1950 onwards 21 SAS (Artists Rifles) went straight to Malaya from Britain and again there is no evidence that they deployed to Korea at anytime. Naturally it is a possibility that fully trained SAS individuals from Britain were deployed to Korea and could have spent time with the Brit Commandos, Marines or Infantry for the experience.
    (See link given by John which is the only mention of a SAS trooper (individual or troop) I have seen for the entire Korean war and I have found zero information to back up what this link states, 'that the dead man was SAS')
    I have had contact with several people including britian small wars .co Many sites state (IMHO they Guess and just assume) that 21 SAS was deployed to Korea late 1950. They only mention it, they do not have any detail which is a contrast from every other SAS deployment these site's mention. However these sites also mention 21 SAS deploying to
    Malya in late 1950 as a Squadron. 22 SAS created in 1952 and deployed to Malaya some time later.
    21 SAS spent three (3) months training for Korea however remember that Britian did not announce that British troops would be sent to Korea untill late July 1950 and before 21's deployment to Korea apparently they were re tasked and re trained for operations in Malaya. LRRP (I'm told they were not a part of SAS) trained for ops in Korea however since such ops were nigh on impossible in Korea ( even during the mobile stage of war) they were not deployed as a LRRP.

    Was your father in British army before Korean war? Was he part of the Brit army during Korean war? I have found no evidence of any Aussie soldiers spending the full 3 combat years in Korea.

    Any information from anyone regarding SAS or anything else about Korea would be appreciated.
  12. Ian Saunders

    Ian Saunders New Member

  13. Ian Saunders

    Ian Saunders New Member

  14. Ian Saunders

    Ian Saunders New Member

    Australian MIA KW web site
  15. Ian Saunders

    Ian Saunders New Member

    Was your Dad Ron Cashman ? go to and contact me if so. Ian Saunders
  16. sniper

    sniper Active Member

    Hi Ian,

    Sorry mate but my dad was in the royal signals attached to the SAS during the Korean War. His name was Jeff Symmonds.


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