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Historical Calendar - 1951


1 January 1951

After advancing south and crossing the 38th Parallel, Chinese forces launch their third-phase offensive against UN troops in South Korea.

3-4 January 1951

UN forces evacuate Seoul as it is captured by the Chinese

13 January 1951

The US delegation votes for a UN cease-fire resolution.

15 January 1951

UN forces continue to bomb Chinese supply lines as the weakening Chinese offensive is brought to a halt south of Seoul.

Personnel of the 2nd Battalion, RCR, with captured Chinese weapons. (Front, L.-R.): Ptes. E.J. Paquette, Bill Brayley, (Centre, L.-R.): Ptes, Raymond Schiedel, Cliff Bertrom, L/Cpl. Ernie Lounsby.

17 January 1951

China rejects a UN cease-fire proposal.

February 1951

Lax regime at the prison camps on Koje-do Island off the southern Korean coast allows Communist prisoners to produce lethal weapons such as spears and knives, which they use to attack camp guards. In one incident US infantry kill 77 prisoners of war and wound 140 for the loss of one of their own men and the wounding of 38 others.

Major Dawney Bancroft (back to camera), commander of British infantry company, and U.S. army engineer with mine detector search for tunneling tools.

11 February 1951

Communists launch fourth phase offensive in central Korea.

March through mud.

17 February 1951

After two months of training in Korea, 2 PPCLI joins the 27th British Commonwealth brigade.

Troops of ‘B’ Company, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, crossing the log bridge (parts of image background are whited out).

21 February 1951

UN forces launch counter-offensive, Operation Killer, to drive communists north of Han River.

Tank of ‘C’ Squadron of Lord Strathcona's Horse guarding a hill held by an infantry company of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

22 February 1951

Four 2 PPCLI soldiers are killed and one is wounded in a two-company attack on Hill 444, the first Canadian battle deaths of the war.

‘A’ Company of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry moves across a rice paddy as it advances on enemy positions on the other side of the valley.

7 March 1951

Two companies from 2 PPCLI assault Hill 532 in South Korea, resulting in 7 Canadians killed and 37 wounded. 14 March 1951 Seoul is liberated by UN troops for the second time.

A Royal Canadian Army Service Corps ration run moving over the Red Diamond Mountain route north of Busan, Korea.

14 March 1951

For the second time, Korea is liberated by the Unitied Nations.

Liberated Koreans.

31 March 1951

UN troops, including 2 PPCLI, push back the enemy to the 38th Parallel.

Observation post of 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade

8 April 1951

General MacArthur is replaced by General Matthew B. Ridgway as commander-in-chief UN Command.

22 April 1951

Chinese forces launch their spring fifth phase offensive, and start the Battle of the Imjin River with its objective being the capture of Seoul. UN forces are eventually pushed back about 20 miles.

Privates Edward Gilby and Arthur Green, PPCLI, standing guard over Imjin River, North Korea, with Bren gun.

24-25 April 1951

Beginning after nightfall on 24 April and lasting until dawn on 25 April, Chinese troops surround and attack the 2 PPCLI positions on Hill 677 in the Kapyong River valley, but the defenders manage to hold their ground at the cost of 10 dead and 23 wounded.

2nd Batallion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Korea. This peaceful rest camp used by the PPCLI, northeast of Seoul, had to be evacuated in a hurry as the communist spring offensive got underway.

1 May 1951

The Chinese offensive is halted north of Seoul.

Riflemen of 2nd Batallion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry advancing to contact with the enemy.

4-6 May 1951

The Canadian brigade arrives in Busan to join 2 PPCLI in Korea.

Soldier of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

16 May 1951

The Chinese launch the second part of their spring offensive along eastern sector of front and is again stopped by UN forces.

22 May 1951

The Canadian brigade joins in UN advance east of Seoul.

Personnel of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade preparing machine gun position.

27 May 1951

The Canadian brigade reaches the 38th Parallel.

Personnel of the 2nd Battalion, PPCLI, crossing the Imjin River in assault boats.

29-30 May 1951

Canadian troops attack Kakhul-bong, or Hill 467, and Chinese defences around the village of Chail-li. Although they capture the village, the Canadians are forced to withdraw after fresh Chinese troops infiltrate their positions. The effort costs 6 lives and 25 wounded. Six days later, an American regimental combat team occupies Chail-li as the Chinese continue their withdrawal into North Korea.

Machine gun crew of the Royal Canadian Regiment. (L.-R.): Sgt. Andy Gauthier, Pte. J.C. Gingras, Cpl. L.J. Lalonde.

21 June 1951

After the Canadian brigade moves to Chorwon, 2 RCR commences the first of many Canadian patrols in the area. Enemy opposition to these patrols is usually light but inflicts some casualties.

Major Don Holmes checking signal equipment before a night patrol by 'Charlie' Company, 1st Battalion, RCR (L.-R.): Maj. Holmes, Pte. H.J. Morris, Pte. Drinkwater.

23 June 1951

Cease-fire negotiations are proposed by the Soviet delegate to the UN Security Council.

29-30 June 1951

General Ridgway is directed by the US chiefs of staff to initiate discussions with the enemy concerning the possibility of holding talks and radios a message to Pyongyang. A joint response from Kim Il-sung and General P'eng, commander-in-chief of the Chinese army, indicates they agree to engage in talks and also select the location: a tea-house at Kaesong, just above the 38th Parallel in Communist-held territory.

Former Tea House where the Kaesong Conferences were Held.

10 July 1951

Peace negotiations begin at Kaesong between the Communists and a delegation of the UN Security Council. It soon becomes clear that the Chinese expect the UN to surrender.

18-19 July 1951

2 R22eR take over advanced patrol bases on the Imjin river's west bank north of the Imjin-Hantan rivers confluence. Two ferries crossing the river are inoperable because of flooding, trapping the Canadians as they are attacked by Chinese troops. The attack leaves two Canadians dead and one wounded. The remaining troops are evacuated on 23 and 24 July 1951.

Personnel and equipment of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade being ferried across the Imjin River.

26 July 1951

The UN and Communist delegations reach an agreement on the agenda for the armistice talks.

L/Cpl. E. Marshall passes out a few tins of rations to Korean children while the 25 Brigade moves from Busan into position near Seoul.

28 July 1951

The 1st Commonwealth Division is formed by joining the Canadian, British and Commonwealth brigades operating in Korea.

Canadian soldiers walking through marshland in Korea.

9 August 1951

HMCS Cayuga is assigned to patrol the waters around the islands of Ch'o-do and Sok-to located west off the Korean coast and above the 38th Parallel. The islands are used as bases for intelligence teams, guerrilla operations, and radio stations guiding US bombing and fighter missions.

Army man inside a control room of a boat.

10 August 1951

Negotiations between the Communist and UN delegations deteriorate and reach a low point, which is evident when the delegations stare across the table at each other in complete silence for two hours and eleven minutes. Two weeks later negotiations between the Communist and UN delegations are suspended after the Americans are accused of dropping a napalm bomb within the designated neutral conference area during the night.

Personnel of 'C' Company, 2nd Battalion, RCR, reading mail. (L.-R.): L/Cpl. Emmet Connors, Cpl. Arthure Scott, Pte. Dean Wellwood.

23 August 1951

General Ridgway orders a limited offensive on the Communist forces, alarming the Communists and leading them to propose a continuation of talks in Panmunjom, a deserted hamlet in no man's land about 8 kilometres east of Kaesong.

5 September 1951

The North Koreans are driven off "Bloody Ridge" after 3 weeks of hard fighting and the expenditure of nearly half a million artillery rounds. The battle east of the Hwach'on Reservoir costs the UN forces over 2700 casualties and the enemy an estimated 15,000.

Guns of ‘A’ Troop, ‘A’ Battery, RCHA, shelling Chinese troops assaulting positions held by ‘B’ Company, 1st Battalion, RCR, Little Gibraltar Hill, Korea.

8 September 1951

The Canadian brigade is involved in Operation Minden in which the Commonwealth Division advances to higher ground across the Imjin River in order to improve positions on a new front line. R22eR wins two Military Crosses and two Military Medals during this operation.

Star shells illuminating bridgehead held by 'D' Company, 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, on the west bank of the Imjin River.

13 September 1951

The Battle of "Heartbreak Ridge", the next ridge to the north of "Bloody Ridge", is launched by the 2nd US Infantry Division north of the 38th parallel. After 30 days of combat, this area is secured by the Americans on 15 October 1951 at a cost of 3745 casualties. Because both sides suffer heavily, it is the last major offensive conducted by UN forces in the war.

3 October 1951

The 1st Commonwealth Division begins Operation Commando, in which five US-led 1st Corps divisions advance to establish a new front along the "Jamestown" Line.

Two snipers.

4 October 1951

As part of the Canadian brigade's advance, 2 PPCLI attack Chinese positions atop Hill 187. After a two hour fight, 28 Chinese are killed and four are taken prisoner for the loss of one PPCLI soldier killed and ten wounded. The positions seized by the Canadians are on a line of hills overlooking the Sami-ch'on River and a smaller valley, the Nabu-ri, to its north.

3 PPCLI en route to The Hook.

5 October 1951

Troops of the 1st Battalion, PPCLI, arrive in Busan, Korea to replace 2 PPCLI after a year of service in Korea. This commences the first Canadian troop rotations in Korea.

Arrival of 1st Battalion. PPCLI in Korea. Brig. J.M. Rockingham shows officers positions of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade on a map of Korea.

9 October 1951

With the capture of Hill 317 by the Australians, Operation Commando is completed at a cost of 58 Commonwealth soldiers killed and 262 wounded. The Canadian brigade has lost 4 killed in action and 28 wounded in the operation. With Commando's conclusion, the Commonwealth Division has reached the positions that it will hold for the remainder of the Korean War.

Riflemen Leo Neilson and Cpl. Freddie Carlson of the 2nd Battalion, Queen's Own Rifles Regiment, seen in the turret of a tank during exercise with the Royal Canadian Dragoons

23 October 1951

The Canadian brigade launches Operation Pepperpot, a raid meant to inflict damage and casualties on the enemy and obtain information about the layout of their positions. One company from each of the three infantry battalions - the PPCLI, the RCR, and the R22eR - attack Hills 166 and 156 across the Nabu-ri valley and achieve most of their objectives. Five Canadian soldiers are killed and 21 wounded; the enemy lost 37 known dead, and as many more are believed killed or wounded.

An RCR "Vickers" machine-gunner covers a valley leading to enemy held Hill 166.

25 October 1951

Cease-fire discussions resume at Panmunjom between the Communist and UN delegations, while the two sides engage in a bloody stalemate along the 38th Parallel.

Royal 22e Régiment mortars blast away at enemy from positions relocated early that morning.

2 November 1951

Chinese forces open a counter-offensive to retake some of the positions lost to the Commonwealth Division during Operation Commando. As a diversion to the coming attacks to the north, a Chinese battalion raids a 2 RCR platoon position on the Songgok feature, southwest of Hill 187, killing at least 35 Chinese and taking two wounded prisoners for the loss of one Canadian soldier dead and 13 wounded.

Members of ‘D’ Company R22eR and 2 RCHA.

13 November 1951

The demarcation line is established provided outstanding issues at truce talks are settled within 30 days. The UN ground action is permitted to continue.

Royal Canadian Signals Corps signalmen operate wireless sets in old Korean house. (Left): Norman Beddard, (Right): Walter Buccos.

22-24 November 1951

Members of 'D' Company, 2 R22eR hold their ground on the western slope of Hill 355, the key feature north of the Imjin River, after a heavy Chinese attack drives the American battalion holding the summit off the feature. The subsequent US counterattack to recapture Hill 355 is made easier by the 2 R22eR's stubborn defence. The action costs the battalion 16 dead, 44 wounded and three captured.

The morning after a great battle, the Royal 22e Régiment mortar platoon ready to fire.

24 November 1951

The three members of 2 R22eR that were taken prisoner by the Chinese during the fight for Hill 355 are the first Canadian soldiers to suffer that misfortune in Korea. They are imprisoned in camps in North Korea administered by the Chinese.

10-11 December 1951

Troops of 1 PPCLI, raid Hill 227, 1500 metres west of Hill 355, destroying enemy bunkers and machine gun positions. The raid leads to one killed and 30 wounded. Fighting and ambush patrols increase with the aim of capturing Chinese.

Hill 355 - Little Gibraltar - dominates enemy held Hill 227, to the left not in the photo, the focal point for "Canadian Moonshiners" searchlights.

27 December 1951

The demarcation line is invalidated as 30 days have passed and no progress is made on outstanding issues. The static war continues with little movement on either side.

Troops in snow.
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