Korea – Operation Fauna
From the 10th to the 12th of December 1952, soldiers of 1RAR were involved in Operation FAUNA, what would become 1RAR’s final action of the Korean War before their relief by 3RAR on the 29th of December.
During the operation, 1RAR was responsible for capturing enemy prisoners to gain intelligence about a Chinese relief battalion that had recently arrived in the area and to destroy enemy bunkers to prevent further Chinese advances. The Chinese occupied an advantageous position on Hill 335, and conditions were not favourable for the advance. Despite this, the Australians persevered in the attack.
Unfortunately, the Chinese defences proved stronger than anticipated and one-third of the troops were wounded. It proved impossible to capture enemy prisoners, who hid in well-fortified bunkers and underground tunnels. The Australians were eventually ordered to withdraw without having captured any prisoners.
22 men were wounded and three were reported missing during the Operation. One of whom was recovered the next day by a search party. Although the mission had been unsuccessful, many men from 1RAR were decorated for their bravery in the attack, their last action in Korea before returning home.
Image: Soldier of 1RAR on guard duty in Korea