Just 46 Distinguished Flying Crosses were awarded to Royal Australian Air Force personnel in the Korean War.
D.F.C. London Gazette 3.10.1952. Recommendation states 'Flight Lieutenant Purssey has flown with distinction on operations in support of the United Nations Forces in Korea. He has flown on 110 operational missions in Meteor aircraft and as a Leader of the Squadron on ground attack strikes against heavily defended targets in North Korea, he has always pressed home his attacks to a low level with vigour and determination. This Officer's courage and devotion to duty during his current tour of operations has set a fine example and has been in keeping with the highest traditions of the Royal Australian Air Force'.
American Air Medal London Gazette 30.10.1953 'For exceptional bravery and devotion to duty'.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Goodwin Swan Purssey, D.F.C., was born in March 1923 and entered the Royal Australian Air Force as an Airman in April 1942. Following initial training in Australia, he embarked for Canada in November of the same year to attend a Pilot's Course and received his first operational posting in March 1944, when he joined No. 450 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron in the Middle East, which unit was operating with Kittyhawk aircraft. Latterly he served with No. 3 Squadron (R.A.A.F.) in the same theatre of war. Discharged with the rank of Acting Flight Lieutenant soon after his return to Sydney in October 1945, Purssey was re-appointed to a Commission in the Active Citizen Air Force in February 1949 and gained experience on jet aircraft of No. 23 Squadron over the next two years. In December 1951 he was allotted for active service in Korea, where he joined No. 77 Squadron. Tragically, in April 1952, having completed some 140 missions in Meteors, he was posted missing. Selected for a rocket strike on Chinnampo, his Meteor was hit by anti-aircraft fire in the ventral tank. Purssey endeavoured to make for the Korean coast to eject over the water but before he could make any progress the wing of his Meteor burnt through. According to Squadron sources, 'the ejection seat was seen to leave the aircraft at 600 feet but no parachute was sighted'.