On the 15th of August, 1950, the Second Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) was formed as part of the Canadian Amy Special Force bound for Korea. On the 26th of November, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Stone, DSO, MC, the battalion sailed from Seattle. While serving with the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade, the battalion fought in the fiercest battles in Korea. On the 25th of April, their skill as a unit was put to the test during the battle of Kapyong. Amidst countless enemy attacks, the battalion defended their position, resorting to calling artillery fire down upon themselves. Their actions during this battle won them the United States Presidential Unit Citation. The Second Battalion is the only Canadian unit to this day to have received this type of commendation. They continued to fight in the hills of Korea until relieved by the First Battalion in the fall of 1951.
Life back in Canada after the Korean War had little respite for the Second Battalion. Upon return, the battalion assumed the duties of the Canadian Airborne Battalion. In the next 30 years, the battalion was stationed in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. It was deployed 3 times to Germany and four times to Cyprus, accumulating a total of more than 12 years of overseas duty. On the 17th of May, 1973, the barracks in Winnipeg were renamed Kapyong Barracks in honour of the battalion’s heroic stand on 24/25 April 1951.
After the Korean War, the Second Battalion was heavily involved in United Nations (UN) operations in the Balkans. In April 1993, the battalion departed for its first six-month peacekeeping tour in the Former Yugoslavia. While serving there under the UN, the Patricias were involved in heavy fighting in the Medak Pocket region, Croatia. Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Calvin, commanding officer, won the Meritorious Service Cross, and 8 other Patricias were mentioned in dispatches during this firefight. The battalion received the Commander-in-Chief’s Unit Commendation for their efforts in the Medak. Members of the Second Battlaion also served with the UN Stabilization Force in 1997, 2000 and 2003.
More recently, the Second Battalion has been involved in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, forming the core of battle groups and deploying individuals and sub units as augmentees throughout the duration of the war. At the outset of the conflict in Afghanistan, members of 2 PPCLI participated in Op Apollo, for which they received the Commander in Chief’s award for their actions. As part of Task Force 3-06, A Company was attached to the First Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment battle group. During this rotation, members of A Company participated in Op Medusa for which they were awarded the Governor General’s citation for their actions. The Second Battalion is also currently in the planning phase of forming the nucleus of Task Force 2-13 in support of Op Attention, where there primary tasks will be ensuring the training and readiness of Afghan Security Forces.