The Korean War started on 25 June 1950, when North Korean troops invaded South Korea. United Nations forces soon joined the fighting, which would rage until an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. More than 26,000 Canadians served on land, at sea and in the air during this bitter conflict (including members of our C&E Branch and its founding elements in The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, RCN and RCAF). Sadly, 516 Canadians died.
Long seen as a forgotten war, the Korean War is now recognized as an important chapter in Canada’s military history. 27 July 2023 marks the 70th Anniversary of the end of the fighting of the Korean War when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953. Below is just one example of the courage of all who served during this conflict.
Military Cross citation for Lt. Laurie George Coté, RCCS –
The Attack Begins
During the night 2/3 May 1953, C Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, sustained a heavy attack by superior enemy forces accompanied by an intense artillery bombardment. During the attack Lieutenant Laurie George Coté supervised the communications with a fighting patrol in the front of C Company. This patrol encountered the enemy and with the increased volume of traffic which occurred when it became apparent they had made contact with a large enemy force, it was necessary for this officer to remain on the position to supervise and assist the operators on the wireless and telephone communications, which he did in a most competent manner.
During the attack
Lieutenant Coté assisted No.7 Platoon Commander of C Company to maintain his organization and visited section posts to report defence conditions. On one such tour, he was twice blown from the trench into bunkers before he could return to the command post. In spite of this he carried on in a calm and confident manner, inspiring all concerned with his personal courage and coolness.
His courageous actions
At the height of the enemy assault, he left the command post to personally engage the enemy with pistol and Sten gun, and finally a Bren gun and grenades. He remained in the open trenches during the time that the Platoon Commander called for fire on the platoon positions and until the enemy had withdrawn, after which he once more toured the platoon locality and picked up four survivors whom he led to No.8 platoon position to the rear of No.7 platoon position. There is no doubt that his cool and courageous action in undertaking tasks for which he, as a Signals Officer need not have necessarily performed, contributed both directly and indirectly to the successful defence of the company locality.
To see other Military Cross Recipients visit: Military Cross – Signals Recipients – RCSigs.ca
To see the Military Cross vist: Military Cross – RCSigs.ca
Your C&E Association is attempting to gather the names of our surviving Korean War veterans. We wish to recognize their courage and service at this significant milestone.
Please email me at: [email protected] if you are aware of any of our Branch/Corps Korean War veterans.