New Zealand contributed both naval and ground forces in support of United Nations Command during the Korean War. Over 6000 New Zealanders served in the Korean War.
In early August 1950 the HMNZS Pukaki
and HMNZS Tutira
arrived in Korean waters. The two Loch class frigates supported UNC naval operations. Two New Zealand vessels were maintained in Korean waters throughout the war, including the HMNZS Rotoiti, Taupo, Hawea and Kaniere
On 31 December 1951, “Kayforce”, New Zealand’s contribution of 1056 troops to the Korean War, arrived in Busan. Kayforce was comprised of the 16th
Field Regiment of the Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA), smaller ancillary units of 10 Company Royal New Zealand Army Services Corps (RNZASC), as well as a number of smaller elements including signals, transport, logistics, services and engineers.
Three weeks after arrival artillery regiment joined the 27th British Commonwealth Infantry Brigade which faced action for the first time only four days later.
In April 1951, 16th
Field Regiment supported 27th
British Commonwealth in the Battle of Gapyong (Kapyong). For their actions at Kapyong, 16th
Field Regiment was awarded The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
During the war the New Zealand artillery assisted the British Middlesex Infantry Battalion and the Canadian Infantry Battalion with fire support. In July 1951, 16th
Field Regiment was assigned to the 28th
British Commonwealth Brigade.
Following the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement on 27 July 1953, New Zealand provided a naval presence, as part of the British Far Eastern Fleet until 1957. The majority of Kayforce departed Korea in November 1954, but a reduced presence was maintained until 27 July 1957. New Zealand was also represented by a military liaison officer on the Commonwealth Liaison Mission, Korea, until 1971.
Since 1998, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has contributed to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula through the provision of personnel to the United Nations Command (UNC) and United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission – Secretariat (UNCMAC-S), as part of “Operation Monitor”. New Zealand continues to contribute personnel, from across the three services of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF); the New Zealand Army, Navy and Air Force.