Missing in action

There are 44 Australian servicemen listed as 'missing in action' in the Korean War...

They are now presumed to be dead. Those who were seen to be killed at the time, but whose bodies were never recovered, are included in this category. The Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy try to recover the remains of their war dead when possible, but in Korea this task seems unlikely to be successful. All but one of those on the list below went missing or were killed in North Korea, or at sea. The North Korean Government is not at present co-operating in the recovery of the remains of the dead.

The exception is Corporal William Kevin Murphy. Murphy was a 30-year-old tin miner from Ireland with service in the British Army in WWII. He joined the Australian Army in 1950 and was killed serving with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment during the Battle of Kapyong. His body was not recovered at the time and has not been located since. Another whose name appears on the Memorial Wall is Sub-Lieutenant Richard Roslyn Sinclair of the Royal Australian Navy. In the years since the war it has emerged that Sub-Lieutenant Sinclair was buried at sea and is therefore no longer considered as missing in action. For this reason DVA uses a figure of 43 when considering those who are listed as missing in action from the Korean War.

Missing in Action – Commemorated Memorial Wall, Pusan
Name Number Rank Unit Date Comment
ARMIT, Ernest Donald O2221 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 1.12.51 Flying Battle
ASHE, John Berkley 3/3706 CORPORAL 2 BTN RAR 28.5.53 Presumed
BOURKE, Edmund George 2/401173 PRIVATE 2 BTN RAR 7.6.53 Presumed
BRADY, Francis 4/400156 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 25.1.53 Presumed
BROWNE-GAYLORD, DFC, Mark Astil Baren Aytack O23655 FLT LIEUT. RAAF 27.1.52 Flying Battle
CHALMERS, Peter Botley O35079 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 26.3.53 Flying Battle
CHRISTIE, John King 2/401322 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 15.4.53 Presumed
COLEBROOK, Maxwell Edwin, DFM O5895 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 13.4.52 Flying Battle
COLEMAN, Ronald James   SUB-LIEUTENANT RAN 2.1.52 Miss.Pres.Killed
COWPER, Lionel Henry Cadogan O33831 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 30.3.52 Flying Battle
ELLIS, Donald Campbell O21261 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 22.12.50 Flying Battle
FOOT, T.R. 2/401322 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 14.5.53 Presumed
GILLAN, Bruce Thompson O33625 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 27.1.52 Flying Battle
GRIFFITHS, Leslie John 3/10647 PRIVATE 1 BTN RAR 11.12.52 Presumed
HALL, John Rogers 5/400213 PRIVATE Reinf.Hld.Unit 3.10.52 lost at sea enroute Australia
HALLEY, John Beverley O5309 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 11.2.53 Flying Battle
HILLIER, Donald O4425 SQNLDR RAAF 8.3.1953 Flying Battle
HODGKISSON, Joseph William 5/400181 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 25.1.53 Presumed
KUNKEL, William Rudolph 1/1641 PRIVATE 1 BTN RAR 16.11.52 Presumed
LAWRENSON, DFC, AFC, Frederick James O22005 SQNLDR RAAF 24.12.52 Flying Battle
LORD, William Thomas Henry 2/400437 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 13.7.52 Presumed
McKANDRY, John Lawrence 2/400919 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 14.5.53 Presumed
MURPHY, William Kevin 3/400143 CORPORAL 3 BTN RAR 24.4.51 Presumed
NICHOLSON, John William 2/400798 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 14.5.53 Presumed
PURSSEY, DFC, Ian Goodwin Swan O11561 FLT LIEUT. RAAF 22.4.52 Flying Battle
ROBERTSON, Douglas Merson O5672 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 11.11.51 Flying Battle
ROBERTSON, Donald Neil O32536 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 15.5.52 Flying Battle
ROBINSON, Richard George O22422 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 16.2.52 Flying Battle
ROOTES, Reginald Donald 2/5124 PRIVATE 1 BTN RAR 11.12.52 Presumed
RYAN, Laurence Bonaventure 3/37672 LIEUTENANT 3 BTN RAR 13.7.52 Presumed
SAUNDERS, John Philip 3/400868 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 25.1.53 Presumed
SCURRY, Arthur John 5/2103 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 25.1.53 Presumed
SHENNON, Ronald William 1/400304 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 14.1.53 Presumed
SMITH, Francis Charles 2/35020 LIEUTENANT 3 BTN RAR 25.1.53 Presumed
SMITH, Kenneth Dudley O33843 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 8.7.52 Flying Battle
STEPHENS, Geoffrey Ingram O647 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 6.1.51 Flying Battle
STRANGE, Harold Thomas A2997 SERGEANT RAAF 19.3.51 Flying Battle
SURMAN, John Leonard O32537 PILOT OFFICER RAAF 9.6.52 Flying Battle
TERRY, Lionel John 3/400376 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 25.1.53 Presumed
WALLACE, Thomas George 3/400430 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 13.7.52 Presumed
WHITE, Peter 3/400608 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 14.1.53 Presumed
WHITEHOUSE, Dennis Edward 3/10796 PRIVATE 3 BTN RAR 14.8.52 Presumed

Last updated:

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DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) ( ), Missing in action, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 4 March 2024, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/korean-war-1950-1953/events/ceasefire-panmunjon-27-july-1953/missing-action
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