April marks the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong – one of the most significant battles fought by the Canadians in the Korean War.
As a member of The War Amps Operation Legacy, a group of committed young people who are dedicated to preserving Canada’s military heritage, I would like to highlight this anniversary.
On April 24-25, 1951, the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry engaged in the Battle of Kapyong. From their stand on Hill 677, the Patricia’s managed to hold their positions and reopen the supply route despite tremendous odds and bitter fighting. The Canadian action at Kapyong stopped the Chinese advance in this sector of the front for the rest of the war and earned the battalion the US Presidential Citation for valour.
Canada sent 26,791 soldiers to battle in Korea. More than 1,200 were seriously wounded and another 516 never came home. After the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953, the Canadians returned home amid little fanfare. There were no bands playing, and no parades. In fact, the Korean War had very little impact on Canadians, except, of course, those who fought in it or who lost loved ones.