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HMNZS Pukaki


HMNZS Pukaki was one of six ex-Royal Navy Loch-class anti-submarine frigates in the Royal New Zealand Navy. Along with HMNZS Tutira, Pukaki took part in the early phases of the Korean War, where their duties included escorting ships between Japan and the South Korean port of Pusan (Busan).

Both ships played a part in General Douglas MacArthur’s ambitious plan to land a knock-out blow to the Korean People’s Army by carrying out a landing well behind their lines at the port of Inch'on, near Seoul. The New Zealand frigates were involved in this operation, the largest amphibious assault since the Second World War, on 15 September 1950. They escorted the troopships carrying the US marines who went in and seized vital positions on islands in the harbour. The operation succeeded. Seoul was retaken and by the end of the month, the Korean People’s Army, with its logistic umbilical cord severed, had disintegrated.


Royal New Zealand Navy Museum
Reference: AAO 0103
Permission of the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum must be obtained before any reuse of this image.

Information for caption from the introduction to Pip Desmond, The war that never ended: New Zealand veterans remember Korea (Penguin, Auckland, 2013).

How to cite this page

HMNZS Pukaki, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated