War history: Remembering Kapyong in PRNPR

News Senator Yonah Martin honoured the 63rd anniversary of the Battle of Kapyong in a ceremony at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

In tribute to the actions of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry forces, the Canadian government honours the memory of those who fought in the pivotal battle at Kapyong and the Korean War by marking this important event in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

The Battle of Kapyong took place in late April of 1951, after the retreating Chinese and North Korean Forces regrouped and overwhelmed the South Korean Forces in the valley of Kapyong. The ability of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, as part of the larger 27th British Commonwealth Brigade, to hold hill 667 during an intense night battle was key in preventing infiltration of the larger United Nations commanding forces and helped forge a lasting friendship between Canada and the Republic of Korea.

In 1997 Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada and Hallyo Haesang Sea National Park of Korea were symbolically twinned, and in 1998 a cairn and plaque were installed at Radar Hill in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to honour the service of Canadian troops and their heroic achievement in the battle of Kapyong.

The Korean War took place from 1950 to 1953 with over 26,000 Canadians in service during the war under the command of the United Nations Forces led by the United States.

The soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry persevered in the face of great adversity to help prevent a potentially costly defeat for the South Korean and UN forces in the Battle of Kapyong.

The battle came at the cost of the lives of 10 Canadian soldiers and injured 23. Five hundred and sixteen Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the Korean War.

The Americans awarded the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry the the United States Presidential Unit Citation for their heroic actions at Kapyong.

“It is a great privilege to be here today on behalf of the Government of Canada to honour those who lost their lives and those who fought in the battle of Kapyong. Though the friendship between Canada and the Republic of Korea was forged in war, it is those sacrifices that have allowed us to now gather in peace and honour our past by the commitments we have made to our future in the protection and presentation of our twinned national parks,” Martin said.