Canberra, ACT. 1982-04-30. Studio portrait
of Captain William Josiah Rowlinson DCM and Bar, the most highly
decorated soldier of the Korean War. Captain Rowlinson (then Corporal)
received his Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallant actions at Kapyong,
Korea, on 23 to 25 April 1951. As a Sergeant, Rowlinson was awarded a
Bar to his DCM for actions involving an attack on Hill 317 during
Operation Commando on 10 October 1951. AWM photos and text.
J Rowlinson, DCM and bar was
born at Balgowlah, NSW, in 1919. After pre-war cadet service with 17
Battalion, he joined the AIF in June 1941, serving as NX37487 with 2/7
Armoured Regiment, a unit which did not see service outside Australia. In
November 1944, seeking a combatant role, he transferred to 1 Australian
Parachute Battalion, reverting to private from the rank of sergeant, but
the war ended before this unit saw action.
After a period with 113
Australian General Hospital as a volunteer in tropical disease research,
Rowlinson was awarded the Commander-in-Chief's Commendation Card, but took
his discharge from the Army in 1946. In 1950, he re-enlisted for service
in Korea, becoming number 2/400239 with 3 RAR. Twice wounded in Korea
during 1951, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Bar for
his gallant conduct in the battles of Kapyong and Maryang-San, becoming the
most highly decorated Australian soldier of the Korean War.
In early 1952 he was commissioned
as a lieutenant in the regular army, but later in the year, while giving
instruction in the use of explosives at Ingleburn, he was seriously
injured in a Gelignite explosion, his right hand and forearm being
amputated as a result. He recovered from his injuries, remaining in the
army until 1957, and reaching the rank of Captain. Bill Rowlinson died in
the late 1990s.