Returning to Korea 60 years after fighting in the war has stirred up unexpected memories for Bill Monaghan.
During the Korean War, Monaghan bunked with fellow fighter pilot Bob Macintosh at the Kimpo Airbase, outside of Seoul.
"The room mate I'm sharing with, we were in Kimpo together, I had forgotten how much he snores," the 84-year-old Canberra great-grandfather told AAP on the phone from Korea on Saturday.
The pair are among 15 Australia war veterans who have travelled to Korea to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice signing that ended fighting.
Mr Monaghan joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1949 and was in active combat during the last three months of the war.
His role was to fly over enemy supply lines and try to stop supplies getting through to the frontline.
"I was a frightened young boy from the country who did not know what he'd gotten himself into," he said.
During his twelfth combat mission, his Gloster Meteor plane was hit by enemy fire which took out his right engine.
Unable to return to base on one engine, Mr Monaghan made an emergency beach landing on the island of Paengyong-do held by United Nations forces, where his engine was replaced.
Mr Monaghan returned to Australia in December 1953, to marry his wife Dot.
"She's only divorced me 14 times," he joked, hastily adding that they've had a wonderful married life and are proud of their son and daughter.
More than 18,000 Australians served in the Korean War, 340 soldiers died, 1200 were wounded and 43 are still listed as missing in action.
The 15 Australian veterans are attending a special ceremony at the Korean War Memorial in Seoul on Saturday, alongside Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon, and have toured some battle ground sites.
Mr Monaghan said it was sobering to visit the famous land battle site at Kapyong.
"You look at the conditions where the (Australians) fought back an overwhelming force of the Chinese, it's very daunting to consider that ... your hat comes off to them every time you think about it."
While the highlight of the trip has been the companionship of his mates, Mr Monaghan was keen to return to Korea and see first-hand the thriving democracy and economy.
"We look over the border at the north and we say it was well worth the effort," he said.
* Korean War veterans will also mark the anniversary at a service at National Korean War Memorial in Canberra on Saturday.