1 RUR advance, Korea.

Wed, 02/14/1951

The 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles, having taken over on 12 February 1951 the ground previously occupied by the US 5th Cavalry Regiment, was then ordered to advance on the left of 29 Brigade. The Brigade mission was to advance astride the road from Pabalmak to the River Han. The advance continued for several days over exceedingly rough countryside, a succession of steep hills and ridges. Although resupply became very difficult for the forward companies, the problem was lessened by the use of Korean porters. It was estimated that ten Korean porters could man-pack the equivalent payload of a Dakota (Douglas D-47) aircraft.

The Battalion did not advance on 14 February 1951. The day was spent by work parties and Royal Engineers improving a goat track with pick and shovel to make it into a resupply track fit for loaded Jeeps to drive forward with supplies. When the first Jeeps climbed to the top of the ridge they were confronted with a terrifyingly steep snow-covered descent. Again the porters proved their worth as they manhandled the jeeps through the steepest and iciest descents by acting as human brakes. The Battalion Main Headquarters was able to move forward and the following day improvements to the track allowed the jeeps to conquer the return journey back up the steep icy slopes and connect with A1 Echelon to maintain supplies to the forward locations.

(Above right, such was the respect for the Korean porters, the officers of 1 RUR commissioned the silver statuette of a Korean porter.)