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Full Name: Robert Edward Compton
Rank Last Held: Gunner
Forename(s): Robert Edward
Surname: Compton
War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Serial No.: 206066
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 21 April 1927
Place of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand
First Known Rank: Gunner
Occupation before Enlistment: Tractor driver
Next of Kin: Mr R.R. Compton (brother), Featherston, New Zealand
Enlistment Address: Pironoa, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation: Kayforce
Embarkation Unit: 162 Battery
Embarkation Date: 10 December 1950
Place of Embarkation: Wellington, New Zealand
Vessel: Ormonde
Destination: Pusan, Korea (1 January 1951)
Military Awards: New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM)
Last Unit Served: Royal New Zealand Artillery, 16 Field Regiment
Place of Death: Korea
Date of Death: 24 November 1951
Age at Death: 24
Year of Death: 1951
Cause of Death: Died of wounds
Cemetery Name: United Nations Cemetery, Pusan, Korea
Memorial Name: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Hall of Memories. Korea, Malaya-Borneo.
Obituary: NZ Herald, 28 November 1951, p. 8.
Biographical Notes:
  • Served with Kayforce 1950-51
  • "On 24 November, a shell from 162 Battery's C Troop exploded prematurely -- the second time this had happened in 162 Battery during November. On the first occasion, on the 12th, a round had burst over RHQ [Regimental Headquarters], without causing any casualties. This time the shell was just leaving the barrel. The blast wounded three members of the gun crew, one of whom, Gunner R.E. Compton, later died." (McGibbon 1996, vol. 2, p. 230)
  • Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Mark Burton presented the New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM) to next of kin of New Zealanders who were killed or died in military operations since 1945 at a ceremony at Parliament 3 September 2003.
  • The New Zealand Operational Service Medal was received on his behalf by his brother Mr Lionel Compton of Masterton.
Description of Image:
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum, Hall of Memories. Korea, Malaya-Borneo (taken in April 1999).
  • Hall of Memories WW2, Auckland War Memorial Museum, looking East (taken in April 1999)
Further References:
Sources Used:
  • K-Force nominal roll : embarked for Korea on 'Ormonde' on 10 December 1950
  • McGibbon, I.C. (1992-1996). New Zealand and the Korean War (Vols. 1-2). Auckland, N.Z.; Wellington, N.Z.: Oxford University Press in association with the Historical Branch, Dept. of Internal Affairs.
  • New Zealand Defence Force. Roll of Honour. Personnel who have died on operational service since 3 September 1945. URL:
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