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Full Name: John McRae
Rank Last Held: Gunner
Forename(s): John
Surname: McRae
War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Serial No.: 204368
Date of Birth: 13 May 1928
Place of Birth: Thames, Coromandel, New Zealand
Occupation before Enlistment: Mill hand
Next of Kin: Mr Leonard McRae (father), Whangamata, New Zealand
Enlistment Address: Hikutaia, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation: Kayforce
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: 3 May 1953
Age at Death: 24
Year of Death: 1953
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Cemetery Name: United Nations Cemetery, Pusan, Korea
Memorial Name: Auckland War Memorial Museum, Hall of Memories. Korea, Malaya-Borneo.
Obituary: NZ Herald, 5 May 1953, p. 8.
Biographical Notes:
  • Served with Kayforce 1952-53
  • "During the following night, 2 - 3 May, the regiment suffered its first, and only, enemy-inflicted fatal casualties of the year. A heavy bombardment seemed to indicate that an attack on 28 Brigade was imminent, though in the end it fell on neighbouring Canadians and gave the New Zealand gunners a busy night. While operating behind Hill 159, Sergeant R.J. Reid, 162 Battery's signals sergeant, and Gunner John McRae were killed by this enemy shellfire." (McGibbon 1996, vol. 2, p. 338) Gunner McRae's sister, Mrs Witarina MacKenzie of Whangamata 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. 338, 371, 407. [photo of funeral service pp. 350-351]
  • New Zealand in the Korean War. NZHistory online. URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/korean-war
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