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Historical Calendar - 1950

The Kingdom of Korea, unified in 668, is invaded in 1254 by the Mongol who rule the country, except for a brief period, until the Japanese take over the Korean peninsula in 1905. Japanese control of Korea ends when it is liberated by the Soviets and the Americans at the end of the Second World War. In August 1945 the 38th Parallel is established, dividing the Korean peninsula into North Korea, administered by the USSR, and South Korea, administered by the USA. Two years later the UN calls for nation-wide elections in both North and South Korea, which take place in May 1948. The elections result in a democratic government in South Korea under President Syngman Rhee, while a Soviet-supported Communist government is set up in North Korea under the control of President Kim Il-sung. With governments established in both territories, the USA and USSR withdraw their armies in June 1949. North Korea begins to build up its military and by the spring of 1950 is ready to invade South Korea to unify the Korean Peninsula.


25 June 1950

Communist North Korea launches a full scale invasion across the 38th Parallel into South Korea with 110,000 troops, 1400 artillery pieces, and 126 tanks.

Sign at 38th Parallel

26 June 1950

The UN Security Council calls for an immediate end to hostilities and for North Korea to withdraw its troops from South Korea.

Korean War Ground Combat

27 June 1950

The UN Security Council calls on its members to support South Korea.

28 June 1950

The North Korean army captures the South Korean capital of Seoul and crosses the Han River south of the city.

Seoul, Korea

1 July 1950

US combat troops arrive in Busan, South Korea and move north. US President Truman authorizes General Douglas MacArthur, commanding Allied occupation forces in Japan, to use all forces available to him in defence of the Republic.

Korean Brigade

5 July 1950

US troops first meet the North Koreans north of Osan (100 km south of Seoul) and are forced to retreat.

5 July 1950

Three Canadian destroyers sail for Korea - HMCS Cayuga, HMCS Athabaskan, and HMCS Sioux. Sailors aboard HMCS Cayuga will be the first Canadians to engage the enemy.

Two army men on a boat

7 July 1950

US President Truman appoints General Douglas MacArthur commander-in-chief of a new United Nations Command. US Eighth Army commander in Japan, Lt. Gen. Walton Walker, is handed responsibility for conducting all ground operations in Korea.

25 July 1950

Six of the RCAF No. 426 (Transport) Squadron's 20 aircraft leave Dorval, Montreal for McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, Washington where the squadron is formally attached to the US Air Force's Material Air Transport Service.

426 Squadron C54 North Star at Goose Bay.June, 1952 (Frank Newberry)

4 August 1950

US and South Korean troops of Eighth Army are forced to retreat into the southeastern corner of the Korean peninsula, the so-called Busan Perimeter, a 140-mile line stretching from the Korean Strait to the East Sea (Sea of Japan) around the port city of Busan.

7 August 1950

The Canadian government announces its intention of sending ground troops to fight with the United Nations contingent in Korea and creates a brigade-sized Canadian Army Special Force. The infantry component of the Special Force consists of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI), the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) and the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (2 R22eR).

Royal 22e Régiment In Korea

15 August 1950

HMCS Cayuga and HMS Mounts Bay anchor off the Korean port of Yosu and begin shelling the dockyard facilities of the Communist base.

Two army men preparing a missile (Canada. National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-213204)

15 September 1950

While the bulk of the North Korean army is battling around the Busan Perimeter, UN forces launch a successful amphibious assault on the port of Inchon, west of Seoul, catching the North Koreans off-guard. Three Canadian destroyers, HMCS Cayuga, HMCS Athabaskan, and HMCS Sioux, are part of the naval forces backing the UN invasion of Inchon.

Two men in the control room of a boat

17 September 1950

UN troops capture Kimpo airfield, west of Seoul, against stiffening North Korean resistance.

26 September 1950

After breaking through the North Korean defences at Busan, Eighth Army forces link up with US forces south of Seoul.

Meeting U.S. troops (Ora D. Ross Collection)

27 September 1950

UN troops liberate Seoul. Shattered North Korean army retreats north of the 38th Parallel.

Army materials and reach-me-downs have been adapted to the clothing needs of a group of refugee children (Canada. National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-184477)

29 September 1950

General MacArthur visits Seoul with South Korean President Syngman Rhee.

Syngman Rhee

30 September 1950

First South Korean forces cross the 38th Parallel in pursuit of retreating North Korean army. China warns it will intervene if UN forces advance further north.

7 October 1950

First UN forces cross the 38th Parallel in drive toward North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

Troops of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry moving up to front (Canada. National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-171323)

19 October 1950

South Korean and US troops capture Pyongyang. On the same day Chinese troops begin crossing the Yalu River into North Korea largely undetected by the UN Command.

Chinese Troops March across the Yalu River into North Korea

25 October 1950

Chinese forces launch first phase offensive, an attack on the South Korean 6th Division.

26 October 1950

South Korean troops reach the Yalu River, the natural border separating North Korea from China. Most of North Korea is now under UN control.

21 November 1950

Seventeen Canadian artillerymen are killed and another 49 are injured in a train collision at Canoe River, British Columbia. The soldiers, all members of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, were on their way to Fort Lewis, Washington as part of the Special Force 25th Canadian infantry brigade.

Train Wreck at Canoe River (Canada. National Defence)

24 November 1950

A Chinese delegation arrives at UN Security Council. China demands the removal of foreign troops from Korea and a seat in the UN . MacArthur launches "final" UN offensive to reunite two Koreas.

Riflemen of 2nd Batallion Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry give covering fire for their buddies during hill to hill fight (Wilfred H. Olson / Canada. National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-171328)

26 November 1950

Chinese forces launch second phase offensive, a massive counter-attack against UN troops. Within days UN forces are in retreat on all fronts. Communist forces will continue to advance south for the next three months.

1 December 1950

HMCS Cayuga and HMCS Athabaskan assist in the evacuation of 7,700 US troops at Chinnamp'o on the west coast of the Korean peninsula.

Army man with binoculars (Canada. National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-213198)

5 December 1950

UN troops withdraw from Pyongyang and Communist troops reoccupy the North Korean capital. Canada suffers its first casualty aboard HMCS Cayuga.

Army men on a boat (Canada. National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-213201)

18 December 1950

The first Canadian battalion, 2 PPCLI, arrives at Busan, South Korea.

The treacherous Red Diamond mountain route run by the RCASC bringing up rations, north of Busan (D.L. Burleson / Canada. National Defence / Library and Archives Canada / PA-133339)
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