United Nations Involvement

 
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Participating Nations
Their Contributions to the Korean War Efforts

The Korean War Educator would like to post extensive information about each of the following countries' involvement in the Korean War.  However, in order to do that we need representatives from those countries (or other persons knowledgeable about a particular country's involvement in Korea) to provide the information.  For the most part, the United States is excluded from this page of the KWE because its significant role in the Korean War is explained in detail throughout the bulk of the Korean War Educator website.

Page Contents:

  • US Defense Department Fact Sheet
    • Summary
    • Foreign Ground Forces
    • Foreign Naval Forces
    • Foreign Air Forces
    • Foreign Forces Attached to the U.S. Army in the Korean War
    • Infantry/Artillery/Naval/Air Contributions
    • Foreign Prisoners of War Repatriated in 1953
    • Foreign Casualties in the Korean War
    • Foreign Medical Units
    • Estimated Number of Foreign Military Personnel who Served in the Korean War
  • Peak Strengths (Combatants)
  • Australian
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Denmark
  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • Greece
  • Holland (Netherlands)
  • India
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Republic of South Korea
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom

US Department of Defense Fact Sheet

Following is public access information from the US Department of Defense Fact Sheet.  The facts were compiled by the DoD 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee.  When the commemoration activities were over, extensive information and photographs relating to the United States' involvement in the Korean War remained online.  To access this informative material, the KWE encourages its visitors to click onto the DoD website at: http://www.korea50.mil.

Summary

Fifteen foreign nations other than the United States and South Korea sent combat forces to serve in the United Nations Command in Korea during the Korean War. Five noncombatant nations provided hospitals or ambulance units. Approximately 150,000 foreign servicemen fought, and foreign casualties included 3,360 killed, 11,886 wounded and 1,801 servicemen missing in action. There were 1,376 foreign prisoners of war repatriated to 12 countries in 1953.

Foreign Ground Forces

Fourteen foreign nations sent ground forces to Korea. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom comprised the British Commonwealth Forces. Belgium, Luxembourg, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, the Philippines and Thailand had battalion-sized units attached to U.S. Army divisions; Turkey deployed an infantry brigade.

Foreign Naval Forces

Eight foreign nations deployed more than 100 naval vessels to Korean waters, including carriers, destroyers, cruisers, frigates, landing ships, tankers and other utility craft. Foreign naval vessels were assigned by U.S. commanders to Task Force 77, the carrier strike force; Task Force 95, the blockading and escort force; Task Force 90, the amphibious landing force; and Task Force 96, the logistical support force.

Foreign naval vessels participated in the Inchon landing; the evacuation of United Nations ground forces from Nampo, Hungnam and Wonsan; shore bombardment of North Korea's coastlines; and patrols of the sea lines of communication to South Korea.

Foreign Air Forces

Australia's 77th Fighter Squadron was the first foreign unit to arrive in Korea on July 2, 1950. It was attached to the 35th U.S. Fighter Group.

South Africa's 2nd Fighter Squadron was attached to the U.S. 18th Fighter Group. It provided close air support to U.N. forces.

Australia, Canada, Greece and Thailand provided air transport units to the United Nations Command.

Foreign Forces Attached to the U.S. Army in the Korean War
 

Foreign Unit Designation U.S. Army Unit Month/Year
Australian 3d Battalion 1st Cavalry Division October 1950
Belgium-Luxembourg Battalion 3rd Division
1st Cavalry Division
3rd Division
March 1951
October 1951
November 1951
Canadian 2d Battalion,
Princess Patricia's Canadian
Light Infantry (part of the 27th
Commonwealth Brigade)
1st Cavalry Division February 1951
Canadian 25th Brigade,
Canadian Army Special Forces
1st Cavalry Division May 1951
Colombian Battalion 24th Division
7th Division
I Corps (with 7th Division)
August 1951
January 1952
December 1952
Ethiopian Battalion 7th Division
I Corps (with 7th Division)
July 1951
December 1952
French Battalion 2nd Division
IX Corps (with 2nd Division)
November 1950
April 1953
Greek Battalion 1st Cavalry Division December 1950
Netherlands Battalion 2nd Division December 1950
New Zealand
16th Field Artillery Regiment
24th Division October 1950
Philippine 10th Battalion
Combat Team
25th Division
187th Airborne RCT
1st Cavalry
Eighth Army
3rd Division
October 1950
November 1950
December 1950
January 1950
March 1951
Philippine 20th Battalion
Combat Team
3rd Division
25th Division
3rd Division
25th Division
September 1951
October 1951
November 1951
April 1952
Thailand 21st Regiment 187th Airborne Regiment
I Corps
IX Corps
1st Cavalry Division
3rd Division
2nd Division
November 1950
December 1950
January 1951
March 1951
March 1951
December 1951
Turkish Brigade 25th Division November 1950
United Kingdom 27th Brigade I Corps September 1950
27th Brigade (with Australian
Battalion and New Zealand
Artillery Regiment)
24th Division October 1950
United Kingdom 29th Brigade IX Corps
25th Division
IX Corps
3rd Division
November 1950
February 1951
March 1951
April 1951
1st British Commonwealth
Division
I Corps July 1951

Infantry/Artillery/Naval/Air Contributions
 

Country Army Navy* Air Force
Australia 2 infantry battalions 9 naval vessels 1 fighter squadron, 1 transport squadron
Belgium/Luxembourg 1 infantry battalion n/a** n/a
Canada 1 infantry brigade 8 naval vessels 1 transport squadron
Ethiopia 1 infantry battalion n/a n/a
France 1 infantry battalion 1 naval vessel n/a
Greece 1 infantry battalion n/a 1 transport battalion
Netherlands 1 infantry battalion 6 naval vessels n/a
New Zealand 1 artillery regiment 4 naval vessels n/a
Philippines 1 battalion combat team n/a n/a
South Africa 15 soldiers attached to British ground forces n/a 1 fighter squadron
Thailand 1 infantry battalion 4 naval vessels 1 transport unit
Turkey 1 infantry brigade n/a n/a
United Kingdom 2 infantry brigades 50 naval vessels n/a

*The number of naval vessels reflects main battle vessels only.

** Not applicable.

Foreign Prisoners of War Repatriated in 1953
 

Country Number Repatriated
Australia 29
Belgium 1
Canada 32
Colombia 28
Ethiopia 0
France 12
Greece 3
Luxembourg 0
Netherlands 3
New Zealand 1
Philippines 41
South Africa 8
Thailand 0
Turkey 243
United Kingdom 977
Total 1,376

Dates of Service of Foreign Armed Forces in UN Command by Country
 

Country Dates of Service
Australia July 1, 1950 to February 12, 1954
Belgium January 31, 1951 to June 15, 1955
Canada July 30, 1950 to September 7, 1955
Colombia June 15, 1951 to October 11, 1955
Ethiopia May 7, 1951 to January 3, 1965
France July 22, 1950 to November 6, 1953
Greece December 9, 1950 to December 11, 1955
Luxembourg January 31, 1951 to June 15, 1955
Netherlands November 23, 1950 to December 6, 1954
New Zealand August 1, 1950 to October 6, 1954
Philippines September 19, 1950 to May 13, 1955
South Africa November 16, 1950 to October 31, 1953
Thailand November 7, 1950 to June 23, 1972
Turkey October 19, 1950 to September 4, 1953
United Kingdom June 30, 1950 to 1957 (date unknown)

Foreign Casualties in the Korean War
 

Country Killed Wounded Missing Total
Australia 339 1,216 72 1,416
Belgium 101 336 5 442
Canada 312 1,212 32 1,556
Colombia 163 448 28 639
Ethiopia 121 536 0 657
France 262 1,008 19 1,289
Greece 192 543 2 737
Luxembourg 2 13 0 15
Netherlands 120 645 3 768
New Zealand 23 79 1 103
Philippines 122 299 57 478
South Africa 34 0 8 42
Thailand 129 1,139 5 1,273
Turkey 741 2,068 407 3,216
United Kingdom 746 2,533 1,157 4,436

Foreign Medical Units
 

Country/Unit Designation Beds Medical Staff In-patients
Denmark - Jutlandia Hospital Ship 360 200 15,000
India - 60th Field Ambulance Unit 1,000 345 20,000
Italy - Red Cross Hospital No. 68 150 131 17,041
Norway - Mobile Army Surgical Hospital 200 106 14,755
Sweden Red Cross Field Hospital 450 160 900

Estimated Military Personnel

Following is the estimated number of foreign military personnel who served in Korea during the war years.

  • Australia - 17,164
  • Belgium - 3,498
  • Canada - 27,000
  • Colombia - 6,200
  • Ethiopia - 3,518
  • France - 4,000
  • Greece - 5,000
  • Luxembourg - 89
  • Netherlands - 5,300
  • New Zealand - 4,500
  • Philippines - 7,420
  • South Africa - 811
  • Thailand - 6,500
  • Turkey - 15,000
  • United Kingdom - 60,000

Sources

Grey, Jeffrey.  The Commonwealth Armies and the Korean War (1988)

Republic of Korea, Ministry of National Defense, 6.  The History of the United Nations Forces in the Korea War (1981)

Sandler, Stanley, ed.  The Korean War: An Encyclopedia (1955).

Summers, Harry.  Korean War Almanac (1990).


Peak Strengths (Combatants)

  • Australia: 2,282
  • Belgium: 944
  • Canada: 6,146
  • Colombia: 1,068
  • Ethiopia: 1,271
  • France: 1,119
  • Great Britain: 14,198
  • Greece: 1,263
  • Holland (Netherlands): 819
  • Luxembourg: Unknown by KWE
  • New Zealand: 1,389
  • Philippines: 1,496
  • South Africa: 826
  • Thailand: 1,294
  • Turkey: 5,455
  • United States: 348,000

 


Australia


Belgium


Canada

The following article by David Newman was found on a website which is no longer active

The Korean War is another Canadian War fought on Foreign Soil. In fact Canada wasn't a battlefield since the War of 1812 (although there was a revolution in 1837). In 1950, The Communist North Korea attacks democratic South Korea (Sounds like the war in Vietnam, eh?). The UN asked North Korean Forces to get out of South Korea. The North Koreans refused and the UN asked member countries to push North Koreans out of South Korea. Canada was one of the countries to go to Korea.

Canada made many plans before sending men to Korea. Louis St. Laurent decided that Canada would go to Korea after many people wanted to see Canada play a role in the Conflict. 5,000 men were gathered and trained. But soldiers were killed before setting foot in Korea. A train carrying soldiers collided with a British Colombian train. 17 Canadian Soldiers were killed in the collision and 70 were injured.

In April 1951, Canada was in a major Battle. The battle was that of Kap' yong when Chinese and North Koreans attacked the South Koreans. Behind them was the "British Commonwealth Brigade" including the Canadian Battalion. The Australians withdrew from battle but Canada kept their position.

More Canadian soldiers arrived in the next month. Canada attempted to attack Chail-li. In October of 1952, Chinese Soldiers attacked Canadian-Held position at Hill 355 an important UN stronghold. But after destroying Fortifications, the Chinese withdrew and Canada kept its position. The conflict ended in 1953 when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27th. Both countries still exist. Most Canadians left Korea at that point. All Canadian Troops had left by 1955. Canada had sent 26,791 men. Canadian forces suffered 1,558 casualties.


Colombia

The following information came from Ed Evanhoe of Antlers, Oklahoma.  It was found on an internet message board at www.korean-war.com.

The first of four Colombian Battalions--1st Battalion Colombia--to serve in Korea during the war arrived in June 1951 and stayed until replaced by the 2nd Battalion Colombia July 1952.  The 2nd Battalion Colombia was replaced by the 3rd Battalion Colombia in November 1952.  It was replaced by the 4th Battalion Colombia in June 1953 and stayed in Korea until October 1954.  Each of these units had a field strength of 1,000 men.  The 1st Battalion Colombia was assigned to the U.S. 24th Infantry Division on arrival but transferred to the U.S. 7th Infantry Division, January 23, 1952 when the U.S. 24th Division returned to Japan.  The 2nd and 3rd Battalion Colombia also fought as part of the U.S. 7th Infantry Division.  It is worth noting the 3rd Battalion was severely mauled in March 1953 when Chinese forces overran "Old Baldy."  In this battle Colombian forces fought well but were overwhelmed when a full Chinese division attacked.  Thus the 3rd Battalion had the dubious distinction of suffering the most casualties of any Colombian unit.

Colombia also sent six naval vessels to Korea. 

  1. Almirante Padilla
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?
  6. ?

The following information was found on the Korean War Project at www.kwp.org:

A todos los interesados en saber la lista de los integrantes del batallon colombia nº1, que participaron en la guerra de Corea, durante los años 1950 al 1954, les deseo informar que existe un libro llamado "Colombia en Corea" y puede ser consultado el la biblioteca de la Escuela Militar de Cadetes "General José Maria Cordoba" en la ciudad de Bogotá.


Denmark


Ethiopia


France

The following information was pulled from the French Embassy website on the internet.

 French Participation in the Korean War

"I shall speak briefly of the 23rd US Infantry Regiment, Colonel Paul L. Freeman commanding, [and] with the French Battalion…. Isolated far in advance of the general battle line, completely surrounded in near-zero weather, they repelled repeated assaults by day and night by vastly superior numbers of Chinese. They were finally relieved…. I want to say that these American fighting men, with their French comrades-in-arms, measured up in every way to the battle conduct of the finest troops America and France have produced throughout their national existence."

General Ridgway's statement before a joint session of Congress in May 1952.

On 25 June 1950, 7 North Korean divisions crossed over the 38th parallel, supported by 150 tanks. Less than 60 days later, the invasion force, which met with hardly any resistance, was occupying almost the whole peninsula.

On 22 July, following the British, the Turks and the Australians, France announced that it would join the multinational force, responsible for the implementation of international law and for reestablishing the territorial integrity of South Korea. However, it took the determination of a few French political officials and two General Officers to make this generous move a reality. Indeed, France was hardly back on its feet in the wake of the disastrous Second World War and its army was already engaged in Indochina.

The Chief of Staff of the French Army, General Blanc, who refused to make available active units still anemic and badly equipped, decided to form a battalion of volunteers made up of active and reserve personnel.

Lieutenant General Monclar, Inspector of the Foreign Legion, supported the idea and proposed to be the Commander of that unusual unit which readiness time was considerably reduced. The winner at Narvick, wounded 17 times during the two World Wars, General Monclar, accepted to wear again the stripes of a Lieutenant Colonel.

Arrived in Pusan on November 29, 1950, the battalion regrouped at Suwon and was placed under the operational control of the 23rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, 2nd U.S. Infantry Division. Triggering at first skepticism among the Americans, it did not take long for the French volunteers, rather facetious and sometimes undisciplined, to win the esteem of the U.N. forces and especially of General Ridgway, Commander of the 8th Army, by carrying out several successful hits.

From January 7 to 12 January 1951, the French Battalion participated in the Battle of Wonju where, thanks to a decisive bayonet attack, it stopped the Chinese advance. That episode was echoed around the world by American war correspondents reporting from the theater.

It was followed by the battles of Twin Tunnels (1 - 2 February 1951) and of Chipyong-Ni (3 - 16 February 1951). These combats, during which the battalion resisted the attacks of four Chinese divisions for three days, allowed the 8th Army to score a victorious counter-offensive.

Less than three weeks later, the battalion, which had already won two American Presidential Citations, was again engaged in combat for hill # 1037 (Hongchon region, 50 miles east of Seoul). The seizing of hill 1037 in minus 30-degree cold, opened the road to the 38th parallel. It resulted in 40 dead and 200 wounded.

In the spring of 1951, the battalion crossed the 38th parallel into the Hwachon region. The sacrifice of the engineering platoon allowed to stop a new Chinese offensive. This feat of arms won the battalion its third American Presidential citation.

In the fall of 1951, the French volunteers took part in the battle of Heartbreak Ridge where they won fame again during a night attack. In the course of these combats which lasted a month, 60 French soldiers were killed and 200 were wounded.

In the fall of 1952, after a lethal war of positions, similar to Verdun during WW I, the battalion put a halt in Chongwon, North Korea, to a Chinese offensive toward Seoul. This resistance resulted in 47 dead and 144 wounded. The total Chinese losses against the French battalion were estimated at 2000 men.

In the winter and the spring of 1953, the battalion took part in combats which kept the North Korean and Chinese forces from reaching Seoul.

After the signing of the armistice in July 1953, the French Battalion left Korea with five French Citations to the Order of the Army; the French Fourragère in the colors of the Military Medal; two Korean Presidential Citations; and three American Distinguished Unit Citations.

The French Battalion was the most famous unit of the United Nations Forces in this war.

The French Navy took part also in this conflict to repel the Communist North Korean and Chinese forces: Commanded by Commander Cabanie, the frigate "La Grandière" reached the theater of operations on 29 July 1950 and immediately engaged in transport and escort missions between Japan and Pusan (South Korea). In recognition of its action, the crew of the ship was awarded the Korean War Service Medal.

In total, 3421 French servicemen were involved in the Korea War. Of these, 287 were killed in action; 1350 wounded in action; 7 missing in action; and 12 became prisoners of war.


Greece


Holland (Netherlands)


India


Italy


Luxembourg


New Zealand


Norway


Philippines


Republic of South Korea

Brief Facts

  • Strength of South Korean protective forces at outbreak of war in 1950
    • ill-equipped South Korean army of less than 100,000 men
    • an army lacking in tanks, heavy artillery, and combat airplanes
    • coast guard of 4,000 men
    • police force of 45,000 men
  • Current military strength (Source: The World FactBook)
    • Military branches - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Maritime Police (Coast Guard)
    • Military service age and obligation - 20-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 24-28 months, depending on the military branch involved; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; some 4,000 women serve as commissioned and noncommissioned officers, approx. 2.3% of all officers; women, in service since 1950, are admitted to seven service branches, including infantry; excluded from artillery, armor, anti-air, and chaplaincy corps (2005)
    • Manpower available for military service - males age 20-49: 12,458,257 (2005 est.)
    • Manpower fit for military service - males age 20-49: 9,932,026 (2005 est.)
    • Manpower reaching military service age annually - males: 344,723 (2005 est.)
    • Military expenditures - dollar figure - $20 billion FY05 (2005)
    • Military expenditures - percent of GDP - 2.5% FY05 (2005)
  • Casualties (Source: Korea Herald, June 20, 2000)
    "The war left about 5 million people dead, wounded or missing, more than half of them civilians. It also left more than 10 million people separated from their families, 300,000 war widows and 100,000 war orphans."
  • Names (Source: Wikipedia)
    "The name 'Korean War' is the English language name for the war. In South Korea, the war is called the "June 25th Incident" (육이오 사변; 六二五 事變), although some use the term "한국전쟁" (韓國戰爭), which means Korean War. In North Korea, the war is called the "Fatherland Liberation War" (조국해방전쟁; 祖國解放戰爭). In China the war is called 抗美援朝 (kàng měi yuán cháo), which can be translated to "The War To Resist America And Aid (North) Korea", or the more politically correct "War of Chosun" 朝鲜战争/朝鮮戰爭. Another common term for the Korean War in Chinese-speaking communities is 韩战/韓戰, which is an abbreviation of Korean War.

South Africa


Sweden


Thailand


Turkey


United Kingdom

[KWE Note: The United Kingdom is Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  Great Britain consists of three regions--England, Scotland and Wales.  The remainder of Ireland (the Republic of Ireland or Eire) is an independent country that is not part of the United Kingdom.]


 


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