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Full Name: Robert James Unsworth
Rank Last Held: Lieutenant
Forename(s): Robert James
Surname: Unsworth
War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Serial No.: 31360
Date of Birth: 15 April 1930
Place of Birth: Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation before Enlistment: Regular Soldier
Next of Kin: Mr A.C. Unsworth (father), Main Road, Trentham, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation: Kayforce
Other Units: Regular Force, attached to the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment
Military Awards: New Zealand Operational Service Medal (NZOSM)
Last Unit Served: Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
Place of Death: Korea
Date of Death: 12 January 1953
Age at Death: 22
Year of Death: 1953
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, 15 January 1953, p. 8.
Biographical Notes:
  • Served with Regular Force 1948-53
  • Served with Kayforce 1952-53
  • Joined 3 Royal Australian Regiment on Christmas Day 1952
  • "While leading his first fighting patrol on 12 January, he made the mistake of returning from a brief reconnaissance away from his men by an unexpected route. The waiting patrol, hearing approaching noises in the darkness and fearing that they were about to be set on by Chinese, opened fire, mortally wounding Unsworth and killing the private with him." (McGibbon 1996, vol. 2, p. 274) Lieutenant Unsworth's sister, Mrs Lynette Bell Graham of Taradale received the New Zealand Operational Service Medal on his behalf from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence at a presentation at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Thursday 27 November 2003
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:
  • Ian McGibbon, New Zealand and the Korean War, Volume II: Combat Operations, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1996, pp. 274, 371, 412.
  • New Zealand in the Korean War. NZHistory online. URL:
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