WX16236 Albert Victor King survived WW2 – I950 he re-enlisted to fight in Korea

Former 2/4th soldier enlists with ‘K’ Force to fight in Korea 1950 – 1953.

Over 17,000 Australians served during the Korean War, of which 340 were killed, over 1,216 wounded and 30 captured as POWs of North Korea – 24 men from the army and six from RAAF. Of the thirty Australians, only one, Private H. W. Madden, died in captivity of starvation.
Madden was posthumously awarded the George Cross. The citation reads:
Testimonials have been provided by officers and men from many units of the Commonwealth and allied forces which showed that the heroism he displayed was outstanding. Despite repeated beatings and many other forms of ill-treatment inflicted because of his defiance to his captors, Private Madden remained cheerful and optimistic. Although deprived of food because of his behaviour, resulting in malnutrition, he was known to share his meagre supplies purchased from Koreans with other prisoners who were sick. This did not deter him and for six months, although becoming progressively weaker, he remained undaunted in his resistance. He would in no way co-operate with the enemy. This gallant soldier’s outstanding heroism was an inspiration to all his fellow prisoners.
The three year war was the first open conflict of the Cold War.  Australia was one of 21 countries to support South Korea against the invading communist North Korea.
Almost 18,000 Australian servicemen fought however their return home was to an Australian public indifferent to a distant war, especially one which ended in a difficult stalemate.
After the WW2 former Fairbridge Farm schoolboy Albert King resided in Norseman and was employed as a miner.    He re-enlisted on 9th August 1950, landing in Pusan, South Korea on 28th September 1950.  The battalion was part of the 27th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade. Troops from 3RAR were rotated and replaced on an individual basis, and 3RAR remained in Korea for the duration of the conflict.
King served with the Special Forces Unit 3 RAR and was killed in action after only 42 days in Korea on 8th November 1950.  His Regt. No. was 5/400008.  We believe King’s remains were recovered from North Korea in operation Glory and reinterred in the UN Memorial Cemetery in 1955.
‘In June 1950, North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal participant, joined the war on the side of the South Koreans, and the People’s Republic of China came to North Korea’s aid. After more than a million combat casualties had been suffered on both sides, the fighting ended in July 1953 with Korea still divided into two hostile states. Negotiations in 1954 produced no further agreement, and the front line has been accepted ever since as the de facto boundary between North and South Korea.’
Relations remain ‘Cold’ between North and South Korea with both sides guarding their boundaries separated by the Demilitarised Zone and 38th Parrallel.    North Korea has one of the most oppressive regimes in the world and its people have suffered enforced poverty and many died during famines. They live their lives isolated from the world.
The Korean war is often referred to as ‘the forgotten war’.
During WW2 Korea and Koreans suffered under the rule of a  brutal Japan who annexed Korea in 1910.  Relations between the two countries continues to be strained.
Most members of the Korean royal families  (primarily the Korean princes and princesses) were brought to Japan to marry into the families of Japanese aristocracy. The idea was to blend them into Japanese society and thereby removing the symbol.  Another example of this plan by Japan burning down and dismantling the Gyeongbokgung (the primary royal palace in Seoul which is still being restored today) and replacing it with a new administrative building for the Japanese governor. Several royal members died in Japan before the end of WWII, and those who did survive were actually denied reentry to their homeland by the South Korean government. Sygnman Rhee, the president of South Korea from 1948-1960 – many thought him a dictator of South Korea, was concerned about the possible challenge to his authority the return of the royal family may present to him. Throughout his regime, the royal family fell into obscurity until the 1960’s, when Park Chung-hee allowed them to return.
Today,  the young people of Korea probably dislike China more than Japan.

Please read further details of the war.