Title: In Valiant Company Diggers in Battle Korea 1950-51
Author: O’Dowd, Ben
Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2000
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 212 pages
Comments: The concise and well written history of 3RAR’s involvement in the Korean War from 1950 to 1951.
On the eve of Anzac Day, 1951, the battalion – along with a Canadian battalion and a company of American tanks – faced a division of Chinese troops at the Battle of Kapyong, blunting an assault on Seoul.
It was a desperate affair, leaving 32 Australians dead, 59 wounded and three captured. The Chinese dead were estimated to be at least 1000.
By most measures it was a bigger battle than Long Tan, lasted longer, involved more troops and cost more blood.
And it was a battle of human-wave assaults, encirclement and absolute confusion.
The headquarters of Lieutenant-Colonel Bruce Ferguson became “distanced from the battlefield” in polite Mili-Speak, leaving the poetically named Bernard Shelley (Ben) O’Dowd to hold the line and eventually lead the battalion’s fighting withdrawal.
The story related by Kapyong veteran and author Jack Galloway (Last Call of the Bugle) is that the boss of the Commonwealth Forces in Korea, Lt-General Sir Horace (Red Robbie) Robertson, was so ecstatic after the battle he immediately pinned a Distinguished Service Order ribbon on Ferguson, who thereafter “wore a medal that belonged to Ben O’Dowd”.
Includes – Rifle Company battle casualties September 1950 – April 1951.