Kapyong Day honours the service of Korean War veterans

Kapyong Day, 24 April, marks the anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong, which involved members of the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), other units of the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade of which the Australian battalion was a part, and a small number of United States troops.

During the night of 23 April 1951, 3RAR was among United Nations units deployed to halt a Chinese offensive driving towards Seoul through the Kapyong River valley. The Australians were subjected to repeated attacks by the waves of Chinese troops. They were able to hold their positions through much of 24 April until they were forced to make a fighting withdrawal that evening with the support of New Zealand artillery. The battalion re-joined the remainder of the Commonwealth Brigade in the valley.

Chinese attacks on the Canadian position, on the hills opposite those over which 3RAR had fought, made no progress and on 25 April they abandoned the assault.

The Battle of Kapyong was costly for the Australians, with the loss of 32 lives, more than 50 wounded and three taken prisoner. Following the battle, 3RARwas awarded the United States Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation for its part in the battle along with Canadian and US forces.

Each year on 24 April, we pause to honour those who served in the Battle of Kapyong and all those who served in the Korean War, and those who lost their lives.

In 2023, we also recognise the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice on 27 July 1953.

To learn more about the Battle of Kapyong, and Australian service in the Korean War, visit DVA’s Anzac Portal.

Diorama showing three soldiers fighting at night in a defensive position

Photo caption: A diorama in the Australian War Memorial depicting the Battle of Kapyong, April 1951. AWM ART93183