Between June 1950 and October 1953, HMS Unicorn filled a vital support role to the Royal Navy and Commonwealth Aircraft carriers in Korean Water and on several occassions accompanied the operational carrier to the forward area, flying her own aircraft and acting as a spare deck. On one occasion she engaged enemy positions with her own 4inch guns, thereby becoming more closely engaged than any of the other carriers.
During her four years service in the far East, Unicorn steamed 130,000 miles and spent over 500 days at sea, carrying over 6,000 troops and handled some 600 aircraft. Unicorn operated out of Singapore, where she picked up supplies and aircraft for ferry to the forward bases at Kure and Sasebo where she met and resupplied the operational carrier. While Unicorn acted as a replenishment ship, the Aircraft Repair Department was disembarked to HMS Simbang, at Semabawang, Singapore to facilitate the quick repair of aircraft where possible.
LSUs were frequently used to ferry aircraft between the carriers when no dockside crane was available or the carriers were anchored too far apart.
Unicorn also transported the Middlesex Regiment and headquarters of the british 27th Brigade to Korea and was the first ship to land UN troops other than US and South Korean forces in South Korea.
Having spent four years sailing in the Pacific Ocean between Japan, the Forward Operational Area, Hong Kong and Singapore, Unicorn was the one of the most active and long-serving carrier in korea, if not the most long-serving. On 15th October 1953, Unicorn finished her four year tour in the Pacific and sailed for England.
Honours and Awards
Clifford Frank Dubber, RAN, Mention in Despatches
Chief Petty Officer, Eugene Elderfield Fernandez, RAN, Mention in Despatches
Chief Airman, William Daniel Gardner, RAN, Mention in Despatches
Chief Electrical Artificer, James Patrick Whelan, RAN, Mention in Despatches
Chief Air Fitter (E) Arthur Winstanley, RAN, Mention in Despatches