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Korea, 1950 – 1951

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Korea, 1950 – 1951

At the end of August 1950, the Argylls landed in Korea to become part of a United Nations Force, designed to halt the southerly advance of the Communist North Koreans. The enemy on-rush was stemmed at the Naktong River, which enabled the UN to mount an immediate counter-offensive.

The Argylls were given as their objective, a strongly held position known on the map as Hill 282. After heavy fighting they took it, only to find it completely dominated by a neighbouring higher hill, No 388. A United States Air force air strike was called for on Hill 388, but the planes mistakenly drenched the Argylls position with napalm bombs and machine gun fire.

Nevertheless, Major Kenneth Muir, the Second-in-Command, rallied his surviving 5 officers and 35 men and reoccupied the smouldering hill. Unfortuately, he was mortally wounded by automatic fire while he engaged the enemy with a two inch mortar. Eventually, the remaining defenders were ordered to withdraw when their ammunition ran out.

With reinforcements available the 1st Battalion was soon back at the forefront of the fighting and was involved in several hard fought operations. After a successful attack on the Chinese ‘Volunteers’ the Argylls were relieved and returned to Hong Kong in April 1951, with a reputation for discipline, coolness and workmanship under fire, bringing them admiration throughout the Allied Army.

Some 44 men were killed and 181 were wounded during the Korean War, which included the large body of men who remained in Korea attached to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers Regiment after the 1st Battalion’s tour of duty in Korea.

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