April 24, 2015 Ucluelet, British Columbia Parks Canada
Senator Yonah Martin, on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today commemorated the Battle of Kapyong and the actions of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry forces during this pivotal battle of Korean War in 1951.
On the 64th anniversary of the battle at Kapyong and the Korean War, the Government of Canada honours the memory of those who fought by marking this important event in a ceremony at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre 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.
- Under the command of the United Nations Forces led by the United States, over 26,000 Canadians served during the Korean War between 1950 to 1953. A total of 516 Canadian soldiers lost their lives in the Korean War.
- 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.
- The Americans awarded the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry the United States Presidential Unit Citation for their heroic actions at Kapyong.
- 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.
- As Canada nears its 150th birthday in 2017, the Government of Canada invites Canadians to learn more about the major sites, persons and events that have shaped their country’s history.
“Our Government is honoured to recognize those who fought in the Battle of Kapyong and to help Canadians discover this moment in our country’s history. The bravery and perseverance shown by soldiers in April 1951 helped to define our country on the world stage. This ceremony reminds us of those sacrifices and demonstrates that the friendship formed between the nations of Canada and Korea continues to this day.”
–The Honourable Yonah Martin, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
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Office of the Minister of the Environment
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Parks Canada – Coastal BC Field Unit