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NIAGARA MILITARY MUSEUM
PRESERVING and SHARING the TRI-SERVICE
MILITARY HISTORY of the NIAGARA PENINSULA
5049 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls. ON L2E 4E2
The Korean War erupted on June 25, 1950 when North Korea                                                                                                                  invaded South Korea. The first Canadian military response                                                                                                                                          was made by the Royal Canadian Navy less than two weeks                                                                                                                                         after the outbreak of hostilities when three destroyers, HMCS                                                                                                                                 Cayuga, Athabaskan and Sioux set sail for waters of the                                                                                                                                                    Western Pacific. These three ships took part in the battle for                                                                                                                                          the Pusan bridgehead in Korea. They were later joined by five                                                                                                                                                     tribal class destroyers, HMCS Crusader, Huron, Iroquois,                                                                                                                          Nootka, and Haida. The Royal Canadian Navy’s mission                                                                                                   included blockading the enemy coast, preventing amphibious                                                                                          landings by the enemy, protecting aircraft carriers from the           HMCS HAIDA PATROLLING THE COAST OF KOREA                                                                                      threat of submarine  and aerial attack, bombarding enemy                                                                                                                                       held coastal areas and bringing assistance to the civilian                                                                                                           Population.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In December 1950 when the port city of Chinnampo was in danger of being over run by a massive enemy advance the order was given to evacuate. Three Canadian destroyers made a highly dangerous run 16 nautical miles up the heavily mined Taejon River. Two United Nations ships ran aground and were forced to turn back but the remaining ships, led by HMCS Cayuga, reached the city after a nerve-racking passage through shallow, twisting channels on a pitch-dark night. The ships helped destroy the railway lines, docks and supplies left behind by the North Koreans. Their mission accomplished; the ships returned to the relative safety of the open ocean. More than 3,600 Canadian naval personnel served in eight RCN ships off the coast of Korea before the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. To maintain the armistice United Nations naval forces continued to patrol the waters around Korea. It was not until September 1955 that the last Canadian destroyer left the region.