Honouring No. 77 Squadron's Korean War Contribution

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13th October 2010, 04:04pm - Views: 670





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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel




Wednesday, 13 Oct, 2010

6/10

MEDIA RELEASE


Honouring No. 77 Squadron’s Korean War contribution


Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon

today honoured the contribution made by a courageous group of airforce personnel

who formed the first Commonwealth unit to conduct combat missions in the Korean

war, more than 60 years ago.


Mr Snowdon spoke about the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)’s No. 77 Squadron

to the Korean War, during a commemorative ceremony at Point Cook near

Melbourne. 


The ceremony was held to unveil a new plaque in Point Cook’s memorial precinct

which honours the No. 77 Squadron’s contribution and replaces a previous plaque.


Commissioned by the Korean Veterans’ Association Australia and the No. 77

Squadron Association, the new plaque includes the names of all 41 personnel of No.

77 Squadron who lost their lives. 


The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin and senior retired Air Force

officers, some of them veterans of the Korean War joined Mr Snowdon at the

presentation. 


“The courage, tenacity and dedication displayed by No 77 Squadron became well

known within the Defence Force, and the Squadron was the first Commonwealth unit

to undertake combat missions in the Korean War,” Mr Snowdon said.


No. 77 Squadron conducted more than 4,800 missions supporting the United Nations

ground forces and targeting North Korean military installations and supply lines such

as railways and roads


“In all 41, of the Squadron’s personnel died. Thirty-five of them RAAF and a further

six personnel on exchange from the Royal Air Force. Seven of the Squadron’s pilots

became prisoners of war.


“It is important that the sacrifices made by No. 77 Squadron and all Australian

personnel in the Korean conflict be remembered and honoured. The people of the

Republic of Korea live in freedom today due to their efforts,” Mr Snowdon said.


Throughout the war, more than 17,000 Australian service personnel served with

honour and distinction. No. 77 Squadron was honoured by the South Korean President

for exceptionally meritorious service and heroism, and 3RAR was honoured by the

United States President for their extraordinary performance against the enemy near

Kapyong.


Three hundred and thirty-nine Australian men and women died in the Korean War.

More than 1200 were wounded, and 29 suffered the ordeal of being a prisoner of war. 


Media contacts:

Minister Snowdon:  Alice Plate 0400 045 999 (onsite)

Defence Media Liaison 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664










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