Australian prisoners

Thirty Australians were captured during the Korean War...

Six were Royal Australian Air Force aircrew who survived being shot down over enemy territory. The other twenty-four were taken prisoner on the battlefield while serving with the Australian Army.

Three Australian soldiers were released on 9 February 1951, soon after having been captured. Three more were released in Operation Little Switch, the first exchange of prisoners, in April 1953. The remainder, with the exception of Private Horace W Madden, were released at the end of the war in a general exchange of prisoners of war. Madden was the only Australian to die while in captivity. For his courage while a prisoner of war he was posthumously awarded the George Cross. The citation states:

 

Testimonials have been provided by officers and men from many units of the Commonwealth and allied forces which showed that the heroism he displayed was outstanding. Despite repeated beatings and many other forms of ill-treatment inflicted because of his defiance to his captors, Private Madden remained cheerful and optimistic. Although deprived of food because of his behaviour, resulting in malnutrition, he was known to share his meagre supplies purchased from Koreans with other prisoners who were sick. This did not deter him and for six months, although becoming progressively weaker, he remained undaunted in his resistance. He would in no way co-operate with the enemy. This gallant soldier's outstanding heroism was an inspiration to all his fellow prisoners.

 

Korean War – Australian prisoners of war
Service number Rank Name Unit Date of capture Date of release
4400163 Private Glen Brown 3RAR 25 January 1953 23 April 1953
2400000 Corporal Donald Pattison Buck 3RAR 21 January 1951 Released on cessation of hostilities
2400024 Corporal Lawrence Edward Buckland 3RAR 21 January 1951 9 February 1951
310484 Private Dennis Douglas Condon 1RAR 23 August 1952 Released on cessation of hostilities
1400481 Private John Frederick Davis 3RAR 25 January 1953 23 April 1953
2401292 Private Brian Thomas Davoren 3RAR 25 January 1953 23 April 1953
1400205 Private Eric Donnelly 3RAR 14 January 1953 23 April 1953
033624 Wing Commander Vance Drummond 77 Sqn December 1951 1953
3462 Brigadier Phillip Jamieson Greville 1RAR 23 August 1952 Released on cessation of hostilities
022139 Squadron Leader Ronald David Guthrie 77 Sqn August 1951 September 1953
3400024 Private Keith Roy Gwyther 3RAR 24 April 1951 Released on cessation of hostilities
022100 Flight Lieutenant John Thomas Hannan 77 Sqn February 1952 September 1953
022048 Group Captain Gordon Ronald Harvey 77 Sqn January 1951 August 1953
2400311 Private Thomas Henry John Hollis 3RAR 21 January 1951 Released on cessation of hostilities
2400470 Private Alfred Jacobs 3RAR 14 August 1952 Released on cessation of hostilities
1400059 Private Edward George Light 3RAR 21 January 1951 9 February 1951
5400033 Private John Houston Mackay 3RAR 25 January 1951 23 April 1953
2400186 Private Horace William Madden 3RAR 24 April 1951 Died 9 November 1951 while POW
1400542 Private James McCulloch 3RAR 25 January 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities
1400127 18029 Lieutenant Angus Peter McDonald 3RAR AAUK 21 January 1951 9 February 1951
3400808 Private Vivian Edward O'Brien 3RAR 25 January 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities
24000360 Private Robert Henry Parker 3RAR 24 April 1951 Released on cessation of hostilities
5400108 Corporal Edward James Perks 3RAR 26 May 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities
02925 Flying Officer Donald William Pinkstone 77 Sqn    
35698 3400795 Private Anthony Poole 3RAR 25 January 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities
3400629 Private George Smith 3RAR 14 January 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities
2401248 Private Fred Speed 2RAR 7 June 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities
1400593 Private Colin Montague Tesch 3RAR 25 June 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities
032427 Flying Officer Bruce Lachlan Thomson 77 Sqn    
57013 Lieutenant Colonel Charles Peter Yacopetti 3RAR 26 May 1953 Released on cessation of hostilities

Last updated: 12 February 2019

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2019), Australian prisoners, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 10 August 2022, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/korean-war-1950-1953/events/prisoners-war/australian-prisoners
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