The Landing at Inchon

Note

There have been recent changes to the Korean alphabet. For example, Pusan now reads Busan and Kapyong reads Gapyong. In order to maintain historical relevance, the older versions of the names are used in this article.

In mid-September 1950 the military situation in Korea was dramatically reversed. The UN forces, confined within the Pusan Perimeter, were still being hard-pressed when a daring amphibious assault was launched at Inchon, the port of Seoul. Sailing from Japan, the US 10th Corps landed on September 15 and quickly overcame all enemy resistance in the seaport area. By September 26 Seoul was re-captured. Meanwhile, the Eighth US Army had broken out of the Pusan Perimeter and had linked up with the 10th Corps. By the end of the first week of October they were driving the shattered enemy across the 38th Parallel.

The United Nations Forces then moved northward, crossed the North Korean border, captured Pyongyang the capital, and advanced toward the Yalu River, the boundary between North Korea and China.

Following the Inchon landings and the UN successes of September and October, the end of the war in Korea seemed imminent. These events appeared to reduce the need for additional troops. It was, therefore, decided to limit the Canadian contribution to one battalion to be used for occupation duties. The remaining units of the CASF would continue training in Fort Lewis, Washington, during the approaching winter. The move to Fort Lewis was marred by tragedy when a train carrying troops of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery collided head-on with another train on November 21. Seventeen soldiers were killed.

At Fort Lewis the units formed the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade and this term was generally used in place of the "Canadian Army Special Force."

The battalion selected to serve in Korea was the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J.R. Stone. On November 25 the Patricias sailed for Korea with an embarkation strength of 927 including an administrative increment.

It was estimated that the battalion (which had yet to do any serious advanced training) would be ready for action by March 15, 1951. As it turned out the unit went into the line a full month earlier, suffering its first battle casualties in the Korean hills on February 22, 1951.

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