July 27 marks Korean Veterans' Day, which commemorates the end of the hostilities of the Korean War, which claimed the lives of Australians over its three-year duration.
Australia committed about 18,000 personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Regular Army and the Royal Australian Air Force to the defence of South Korea between 1950 to 1953. Of those who served in the war, 40 were killed, 1216 wounded, and 30 became prisoners of war.
Occurring between two high-profile wars - World War II and the Vietnam War - the Korean War is often referred to as the "forgotten war" and sadly many veterans of this conflict returned home to an Australian public indifferent to a distant war that had ended in a difficult stalemate.
The armistice, which continues today, was signed at 10am on July 27, 1953.
Australian War Memorial historian and Korean War expert Michael Kelly said Australian battalions fought several significant actions, including the battles of Kapyong and Maryang San, often against overwhelming odds.
"The Korean Armistice Agreement 70 years ago was a time in the world's history when the United Nations was truly able to have an impact," he said.
Captain Reg Saunders was one of the most prominent Indigenous figures of the Korean War. He had returned to uniform from civilian life and fought in the Battle of Kapyong, where he commanded a Company of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment.
The Memorial has identified more than 60 Indigenous men who served for Australia during the Korean War, 70 years after the Korean Armistice Agreement.
Most of those men served with the army contingent. There were seven men who served with the RAN and one seaman (PD Syron), who served in Korean waters with HMAS Condamine in 1952-53. At least three Indigenous men died as a result of their service (S.K.J. Lenoy, T. Hazel and H. Iona).
Two Indigenous men were officially recognised for conspicuous service. Torres Strait Islander Corporal Charles Mene received the Military Medal for his actions in 1952 and Albert Clothier was Mentioned in Despatches.
Memorial director Matt Anderson said the identification work was part of the organisation's determination to ensure all who have served, suffered and died in the defence of Australia's freedoms were recognised.
"The research helps build our understanding and knowledge of Indigenous service in Korea and many other conflicts."
Memorial Indigenous liaison officer and Ngunnawal/Gomeroi man, Michael Bell, leads the research on contributions and service of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
"These men were fighting for more than their country, they were fighting to be recognised," he said.
"It was a significant transition period for our people at home and their role in the defence forces overseas."
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