Battle of Sariwon


Australian troops riding on a US Army Sherman tank at Sariwon in October 1950

Sariwon, a bizarre one-sided action which occurred on 17 October 1950 during the United Nations (UN) counter-offensive launched against North Korean communist forces which had invaded the southern Republic of Korea. By 16 October the North Koreans were in rapid retreat and struggling to concentrate on their capital, Pyongyang, while American troops had occupied the village of Sohung little more than 70 kilometres directly to the south-east. The 27th British Commonwealth Brigade (which included the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, or 3 RAR) was ordered to take over the advance the next day with the object of capturing Sariwon, an industrial town also reputed to be an important military training centre, located about 40 kilometres by road to the west of Sohung and only 54 kilometres south of Pyongyang.

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Lost and Forgotten United States Navy Heroes

submarine, sea, silhouette-168884.jpg

About sixteen miles to the east, Wilkes had seen a beautiful islet that he judged to be far enough from Malolo that they might bury (Lieutenant) Underwood and (Midshipman) Henry “… with out exhumation …it was a lovely spot”. Wilkes wrote “In a shade so dense that scarce a ray of sun could penetrate it”. The grave had been dug deep into the white sand which was soon stained red with blood. (Prilbrick,N. 2003)

“War was now declared against the Island (Emmons, G. Lt. USN. 25th July, 1840)

Wars can be peculiar; some are famous but many remain insignificant, forgotten or unknown. The Oxford Dictionary defines wars as hostility between nations and between “persons”, formally declared or otherwise and regardless of dimension. Americans know of the battles of Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Iwo Jima, the Battle of the Bulge and foreign encounters such as Trafalgar, Waterloo, and Stalingrad. One confrontation virtually of which all Americans know nothing of is a four-day war on the South Pacific island of Malolo in the Fiji Islands, 24th – 27th July 1840. This skirmish represents the first conflict of any United States service in the South Pacific resulting in the deaths of Lieutenant Joseph Underwood USN and Midshipman Wilkes Henry USN.

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86th Communication Wing, Regular Passenger Service for Peace Conference

86th Communication Wing

An aerial mail and passenger service was instituted in the latter part of 1918 for the purpose of providing a rapid means of communication between London and Paris for the convenience of members of the Government and of the headquarters staff of the Air Ministry. This service was carried out by two squadrons, one stationed at Hendon, afterwards moved to Kenley, and one at Buc near Paris. In all 934 passengers, excluding crew, and 1020 mail bags or despatches have been carried in 744 trips over this route since the commencement of the service up to August 1919. Over 90% of these flights were between London and Paris with the rest to various towns in France and Belgium.

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