2021-04-24 19:48:05 UTC
Able Seaman Robert Edward MARCHIONI, DOB 1/4/1932 Taihape.
Robert Marchioni, a labourer, joined the RNZN on 13 October 1949 as a 17
year old and was committed for six years from the 1 April 1950. His
first posting was on the Loch-class frigate HMNZS Tutira on 26 March
1950. His next sea posting was on another Loch-class frigate HMNZS
Rotoiti. He joined the ship’s company on 31 July 1950 and remained on
this ship until his death. He was promoted to the rating of Able Seaman
on 13 April 1951. Rotoiti was deployed to Korea as her sister-ships had
been. On 26 August 1951, while a member of a shore party, Robert
Marchioni was killed in action. He was given a posthumous
Mention-in-Despatches.  On 26 August 1951, a raiding party was
organised from Royal Marines off HMS Ceylon and seamen from Rotoiti.
This party would land at Sogon-ni with the aim of taking prisoners and
destroying any gun emplacements if located. Marchioni begged to be
allowed to join the raid. Two boats from Rotoiti took the party ashore.
As they attempted to assault a North Korean gun emplacement from the
rear, they were taken under fire by a machinegun. Marchioni was hit as
he rose to throw a grenade and was killed instantly. His body was
carried to the beach where the boats were but had to be left ashore as
the party was under heavy fire from the defenders. The destroyer HMS
Charity and Rotoiti proved covering fire from their 4-inch guns to allow
the party to recover to the ships without further loss. 
Lieutenant-Commander B.E. Turner described Marchioni ‘as one of the
greatest seaman boys I ever had.’ Turner requested permission to
recover the body in daylight but was refused. Marchioni’s body was never
recovered. A funeral service was held on that morning after the raid for
the dead sailor.