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05/08/2021 01:54am

Korea Medal

Korean War 1950 - 1953.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
The Korea Medal - sometimes referred to as the Queen's Korea Medal to distinguish it from the United Nations Service Medal for the same conflict - was a British Commonwealth campaign medal presented for service during the Korean War. The medal was instituted in July 1951 and was awarded to various Commonwealth countries - except South Africa who produced its own medal - for service in the theatre of the Korean Peninsula between 2 July 1950 and 27 July 1953.
To receive the medal, navy personnel were required to complete either 28 days aboard ship in the operational areas of the Yellow Sea or the Sea of Japan, or at least one day of shore duty; air force personnel needed to complete one operational sortie over the peninsula or the surrounding seas, or meet the same requirements as naval personnel; and army personnel must have undertaken a minimum of one day's service on the strength of a unit serving in Korea.
Any military members who had made an official visit to the region for a period of no less than 30 days were also eligible for the medal, as were those who hadn't fulfilled the requirements due to injury or death in combat. In some countries, civilians in the Red Cross, Order of St. John Voluntary Aid Detachment, Salvation Army, or YMCA could receive the Korea Medal, per navy requirements if they served aboard a hospital ship, or per army requirements if they were stationed on land.
All persons awarded the Korea Medal also automatically received the United Nations Service Medal for Korea. The South Korean government offered to all UN militia the Korean War Service Medal, though regulations at the time did not permit persons from the Commonwealth realms (as well as the United States) to accept the decoration, however, in 2001, Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of New Zealand, approved the issuance of the Korean War Services Medal to all New Zealanders who had previously received the Korea Medal.
The medal is circular, 36mm in diameter and was struck in cupro-nickel. At the time of the medal's creation, King George VI was King of each of the Commonwealth realms, and his effigy was to have appeared on the obverse of the Korea Medal, however, he died on 6 February 1952. Because of this, the medal was issued both before and after the Queen Elizabeth II coronation, so consequently there are two Obverse versions.
The obverse of the 1st type bears the image of Queen Elizabeth II uncrowned, as per custom for sovereigns prior to their coronation with the inscription; ‘ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F:D:’ (meaning; ‘Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God Queen of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith’).
The 2nd type is identical but has the following inscription; 'ELIZABETH • II • DEI • GRATIA • REGINA • F:D:' (meaning Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith).
The reverse of both types of the medal depicts Hercules wrestling with a Hydra - a symbolic representation of communism - with the inscription; ‘KOREA’ below.
The Canadian version was identical, except it was struck in silver, and bore on the obverse the inscription; ‘ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA • CANADA •’ (meaning; Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God Queen of Canada).
The ribbon suspender is of a plain, straight and non-swivelling style, attached to the medal by a claw mount.
The recipient's details can be found on the medal's rim impressed in thin capital letters.
The ribbon is 32mm wide and is yellow in colour with two blue stripes representing the United Nations.
None were authorised for this medal, but a single bronze oak leaf emblem was issued to be worn on the ribbon to signify that the recipient had been ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
Dealer Retail Value *
Korea Medal 1st type to R.N. **
Korea Medal 1st type to Corps
Korea Medal 1st type to Regiments **
Korea Medal 1st type to R.A.F **
Korea Medal 2nd type to R.N. **
Korea Medal 2nd type to Corps
Korea Medal 2nd type to Regiments **
Korea Medal 2nd type to R.A.F **
Canadian Issue **
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
** The individual medal value will vary considerably based on the recipient’s details.
Further Historical Context
This section contains information on:-
- British And Commonwealth Forces During The Korean War.
- Canadian Forces During The Korean War.
- The Korean War.
British And Commonwealth Forces During The Korean War - The 1st Commonwealth Division was the name given, after July 1951, to Commonwealth land forces in the Korean War. The division was a multinational unit that was part of British Commonwealth Forces Korea, and whilst British and Canadian Army units formed the bulk of the division, Australian infantry, New Zealand artillery and an Indian medical unit were also a part of the division.
As with the US 'KATUSA' programme, numerous South Korean troops were seconded to the Commonwealth division to make up numbers under a programme known as 'KATCOM'.
The unit was preceded by the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade, which was the initial parent formation of Commonwealth army units in Korea, and which arrived in Korea in August 1950. Its two British Infantry battalions were joined by the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) in September, and by the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), in February 1951.
The brigade was subsequently re-constituted as 28th Commonwealth Brigade in April 1951. In November 1950 the brigade was joined by 29th Independent Infantry Brigade, and in May 1951 by 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade. In July 1951 these units were combined to form 1st Commonwealth Division. The Division was made up of 58% British forces, 22% Canadian forces, 14% Australian forces, 5% New Zealander forces, and 1% Indian forces.
The 1st Commonwealth Division was part of the US I Corps, which also included the US 1st Cavalry Division, the US 3rd and 25th Infantry Divisions, and the ROK 1st Division. The division occupied the strategically important sector of front on the Jamestown Line, stretching from the Kimpo peninsula on the Yellow Sea coast to a point east of Kumhwa about 6.3 miles (10.1 km), and just 30 miles (48 km) from the South Korean capital, Seoul.
It was deactivated in 1954 as part of the demobilisation of forces in Korea in the aftermath of the war, being reduced to a Commonwealth Brigade Group, and from May 1956 until its final withdrawal in August 1957 to a Commonwealth Contingent of battalion strength.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
Canadian Forces During The Korean War - The military history of Canada during the Korean War was very eventful. Canada participated on the side of the United Nations in the Korean War. 26,000 Canadians participated in the Korean War, and Canada sent eight destroyers.
Canadian aircraft provided transport, supply and logistics. 516 Canadians died in the conflict, 312 of the deaths were from combat. After the war, Canadian troops remained for three years as military observers.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
The Korean War - The Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) was a war between the Republic of Korea (South Korea), supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), at one time supported by China and the Soviet Union. It was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II.
The Korean Peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. Following the surrender of the Empire of Japan in September 1945, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with U.S. military forces occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half.
The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides; the North established a communist government, while the South established a right-wing government. The 38th parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Korean states. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950.
In 1950, the Soviet Union boycotted the United Nations Security Council. In the absence of a veto from the Soviet Union, the United States and other countries passed a Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention in Korea.
The U.S. provided 88% of the 341,000 international soldiers which aided South Korean forces, with twenty other countries of the United Nations offering assistance. Suffering severe casualties within the first two months, the defenders were pushed back to the Pusan perimeter. A rapid U.N. counter-offensive then drove the North Koreans past the 38th parallel and almost to the Yalu River, when China entered the war on the side of North Korea.
Chinese intervention forced the Southern-allied forces to retreat behind the 38th parallel. While not directly committing forces to the conflict, the Soviet Union provided material aid to both the North Korean and Chinese armies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when the armistice agreement was signed. The agreement restored the border between the Koreas near the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 2.5-mile (4.0 km)-wide fortified buffer zone between the two Korean nations. Minor incidents still continue today.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.