The title KATCOM was applied to Korean troops who were attached to the 1st. Commonwealth division. These soldiers were usually very young and very 'green', in other words; barely trained. Some of them had a slight knowledge of English, most had to learn by experience as they went along.

These men were scattered throughout the Division, serving with the assorted national units who made up 1 Com Div. They were deployed all the way along the line, from Div HQ through to the infantry sections.

The majority of these soldiers settled in well, despite living in a foreign environment trying to understand a foreign language, eating strange food, and putting up with strange people.

KATCOMs didn't just clean the guns ...

Kim Hung Koo July 53

One of my 2 KATCOMS.

Home Sweet Home

Better shot of Kim

The welcome mat depends on who's dropping in ...
Some would be lucky and go RAR

KATCOM draft


Collecting our quota

Hidden are the fearful ROK draftees waiting their fate

Many of these lads fought alongside the Australians, quite a few were killed; many were wounded in action. The majority conducted themselves as worthy soldiers, in the face of adversity and discomfort.

The general conduct of the KATCOMS could not be faulted. Once they learnt that their Australian comrades stood and fought, so did they. This gives the distinct impression that the panic retreats, so often encountered with early Korean divisions, had mostly to do with poor leadership and poor training, and the destruction of the ROK core divisions north of the Han during the initial NK surprise attacks. The quality of the men who became KATCOM soldiers left nothing to be desired.

Most fought well and bravely

Lee Min Bang and Kim Heung Koo

One-man Band

Kim on his mouth organ

Most fought well and bravely
Exercise under enemy observation

Don & Kim

Exercise on The Hook

Kim & Don

Changed MG roles

Before the whistle blew ...

In later years, these veteran KATCOM soldiers were so proud of whom they had become that they formed their own KATCOM association. They function to this very day, and still seek out old Australian comrades when the chance arises. The Diggers are proud to call them MATE.

Night was different

Sunbathing on the Hook

Observation by day

patrol by night

Kim & Lee

Ready for anything

Come on if you want,  we're ready ...

                 SEARCH SITE                  
     Principal Infantry Weapons     
                   Guest Book                   

     The Korean War, 1950-1953        
  Map and Battles of the MLR   
        Korean War Time Line        


© Once We Went To Korea ©