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R E G I M E N T A L     B A T T L E    H O N O R S

KAPYONG

On 25 March 1951, 27 British Commonwealth Brigade came under command of 24 US Infantry Division operating on the central front. At this time, the enemy opposition was desultory. However, on 15 and 16 April a brisk fight developed as the brigade was taking two important hills that were intended to form part of a UN line just north of the 38th Parallel. Shortly afterwards, the brigade moved once more into corps reserve in the Kapyong River valley. Their position in the new line was occupied by troops from 6 ROK Division.

At last light on 22 April, the Chinese commenced a full-scale offensive in three main thrusts on the western, central and eastern fronts. On the central front, 6 ROK Division gave way, but the flanking US divisions turned their inner flanks back and 27 British Commonwealth Brigade and a US regiment moved in to plug the gap.

On 23 April, 3 RAR took up positions covering a ford and road from the north into the Kapyong valley. B Company was given the task of holding a low ridge between the river and the road, and the other rifle companies were allocated positions on high ground to the east. The Canadians were across the valley to the west and the Middlesex in the valley behind and between the two forward battalions. A US heavy tank battalion was in support and, by 11.00 p.m. that night, the New Zealand artillery had returned to the brigade from supporting 6 ROK Division.

As darkness fell South Korean troops began to flood back through the battalion area destroying telephone lines and masking the advanced elements of the Chinese army. At 10.00 p.m. a platoon of heavy tanks was fired on by the Chinese north of the B Company position. The tanks withdrew to the battalion area.

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