41 Independent Commando RM Korea 1950-1952 By Lt Col Peter Thomas

41 Independent Commando RM Korea 1950-1952 By Lt Col Peter Thomas

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41 Independent Commando RM Korea 1950-1952 By Lt Col Peter Thomas

41 Independent Commando RM, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel D B Drysdale MBE RM, was formed in August 1950, two months after North korea's invasion of South Korea, which the United Nations General Assembly voted to oppose. The British Pacific Fleet was commited to the UN and, as part of this, the Royal Marines were to provide a small raiding force to operate against the Comunist lines of communications in Korea. As 3 Commando Brigade RM was already heavily committed to the anti-terrorist campaign in Malaya 41 Independent Commando RM was formed to provide this raiding force.

After some initial independent raids 41 Independent Commando was placed under command of the 1st US Marine Division following the Inchon landings. The outstanding bravery of this small 300-man unit, which suffered ninety-three casualties in the operations against overwhelming odds in the Chosin Resevoir area, has become legendary and resulted in the award of the Presidential Unit Citation to 41 Independent Commando RM in addition to fourteen individual US awards and thirty-one British awards, some of the later being awarded for later actions. From April to December 1951 the unit carried out a number of the lesser known successful independent raids along the north-eastern coast, which resulted in the diversion of considerable enemy forces from the main battle area. The unit was finally withdrawn in December 1951 and disbanded at Stonehouse Barracks on 22 February 1952.

 In all 41 Independent Commando RM suffered thirty-one killed in action or died in captivity. The last of the nineteen surviving POWS were not repatriated until mid 1954.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Thomas, a Lieutenant in 41 Indpendent Commando RM, first wrote this Special Publication for the RMHS in 1985; it was then updated, revised and reprinted in 1990 and due to its ongoing popularity is now revised and reprinted once again, this time including an appendix written by Peter Thomas in 2010 for the Sheet Anchor covering raids carried out by RM cruiser detachments in Korea 1951.

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