Jim Stevens Korea War Veteran: Korea with 2 RAR

Posted on: Mon 19 Aug 2019

Jim went through some tough times even before he got to Korea. He was badly injured in a training accident and given 3 months to live.  However, he ended up in Korea and was wounded at ‘The Hook’, but his biggest disappointment was coming home from Korea, and despite being in uniform and wearing his medals, he wasn’t welcomed. Jim tells us about all of this, including his early training, and life in Korea with 2RAR, reinforcements for 3RAR.

Jim tells us how the Aussies’ fighting style differed from the Americans, and on a lighter side, how the Kiwis and the Aussies teamed up to steal Thanksgiving Turkeys from the Yanks.

Interviewer Helen Meyer

Jim Stevens sailed aboard the SS New Australia in 1953 to Korea with 2 RAR.  He and his new wife travelled from Japan to Australia aboard the SS Changte

JIm Stevens – L: aged 16 at Freeling South Aust. R: in uniform 1953 2 RAR. All photos provided by J Stevens and used with permission.

Post Korean War: Jim Stevens investiture Govt House Order of St John.


Main photo:  In navy suit Hon Jos Francis, Minister for Army.  Behind in peak cap Lt Gen Robertson GOC S Comd.  Arrow points to Jim Stevens, marker for rear rank.

Note:  In March 1943 Francis moved an amendment to the Australian soldiers’ repatriation bill allowing for a full pension to be paid to veterans suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis, whether or not their condition could be attributed to war service. The change complied with the policy of the Australian Labor Party (then in power), but it fell to Francis to bring the matter before the House. Not one voice was raised against the amendment which ended twenty-five years of bitter argument over the plight of ex-servicemen with tuberculosis and ushered in a far-reaching precedent.

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