In The Wars

2014-05-06 NorthMagennis+
James Magennis, above, from east Belfast, won the Victoria Cross for service in WWII (as described in a post about a mural based on the image on the right in Tullycarnett). Robert Boyd, according to the image below, was awarded the freedom of the city of Belfast for service in Korean War. Two panels, one from each side of the Donegall Road bridge.
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Copyright © 2014 Extramural Activity
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2014-05-06 SouthKorea+
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Copyright © 2014 Extramural Activity
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text: X01840 X01849 “James Magennis had enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1935, in 1942 he entered the Submarine Service and volunteered for special service in X-class ‘midget’ submarines. In July 1945 his unit was sent to destroy the Takao, one of two Japanese cruisers. His midget submarine positioned itself under the hull of the Takao, after leaving the craft he had to clean barnacles off the hull in order to secure the limpet mines which were then tied in pairs by a line passing under the cruisers [sic] keel. Despite a steady leakage of oxygen form his equipment he persisted until he had placed all his mines on the Takao. After returning to his craft one of the empty mine carriers failed to detach from the side, he then volunteered to go back out, after several minutes of nerve racking work he succeeded in releasing it so they could make their escape. The Takao was disabled beyond repair and effectively taken out of service for the rest of the war. James Magennis was just 26 years old.” 1919-1986 born in belfast ulster history circle leading seaman submariner
“Royal Ulster Rifles in Korea. The 1st battalion arrived in South Korea in November 1950 as part of the 29th brigade of the british army. The UN forces had degeated the North Koran army of Kim Il sung which had invaded south korea. At the beginning of 1951 deployed north-east of seoul as chine entered the war sending over 250,000 troops. The UN line broke under the onslaught and began a withdrawal being the last unit to withdraw aiding the survival of soldiers of the 29th brigade. As they pulled back at nightfall they were engulfed by enemy forces in a valley at Chaegunghyon which became know to the soldiers as Happy Valley. During a twenty four hour period the battalion lost 157 men. Those captured like Robert Boyd where were placed in Chinese prison camps where they remained until the hostilities ceased. Robert Boyd aged 19 POW. Served with the royal irish fusiliers. Taken prisoner on 25th April 1951, listed missing 3rd May 1951 and then as a POW 13th October 1851. released on 7th August 1953. On his return to Belfast he was given the freedom of the city in recognition of services given. The original site of the Korean Memorial near the village of Pulmiji-Ri overlooking the battlefield brought back to Ulster abroad HMS in 1962. In redidicated and sited at city hall.

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